Pat Metheny Pick Holding Technique

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by saltbird, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    Is Pat using some polish/nail strengthener on his picking hand fingernails?

    My nails look nothing like that...
     
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  2. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Or with mops on their head.
     
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  3. JonR

    JonR Member

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    I've always held the pick in a very similar way, just because it felt like the most natural way when I first picked (ha) one up. I hold it mainly between tips of thumb and middle, with the index supporting the front edge. I.e., rather like a pen or pencil. (This is a little different from Metheny, who seems to hold it between tips of thumb and index, with middle supporting the rear edge - the photo also looks like he's picking with a rounded corner, not the point.)

    It was many years (decades?) before I realised there was such a thing as an orthodox grip, which was different. I probably noticed other players holding it differently but didn't think anything of it. I though everyone just held it the way they liked.

    I have tried the supposed "correct" way to hold a pick and - while I can see it helps play lead lines fast (minimal hand movement) - I find it clumsy for strumming. My playing is always combining lead and rhythm, and I like my grip because it enables a lot more manipulation of pick angle and attack than the orthodox grip. I use a relatively thin pick (no more than .88, usually .73), because it's better for strumming, and - like Metheny - I can use the fingers to stiffen the pick when I need to by gripping it harder (so it bends along an axis perpendicular to the strings).

    BTW, George Benson holds it in a similar way. I.e., he angles it differently against the strings, but also uses a combination of thumb, index and middle fingertips.

    Needless to say, this doesn't mean I can play like Metheny or Benson... :(
     
  4. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Need mop on head
     
  5. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Dang, so that's the secret after all...
     
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  6. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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    Can't do pinch harmonics holding it that way. But I bet pickslides are easier. Does Pat do a lot of pickslides?
     
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  7. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    I don't ever attempt intense strumming with my Dunlop John Petrucci Jazz III pick. Will only try that with a .50mm red Dunlop Tortex.

    (watches as plectrum goes flying across the stage)
     
  8. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    Most mops dream of growing up and becoming Pat Metheny.
     
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  9. The bear

    The bear Member

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    I bet you your wife's nails do.
     
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  10. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    That's not true. I have picks from that era that are extremely stiff. (I'm 1+ year older than Pat).
     
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  11. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I remember in an interview Pat suggesting that he should take picking lessons from Gambale.
     
  12. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Not a lot. Just some.

    His pick hold and technique just defies analysis and logic.
     
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  13. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Here's a rare example of a Pat pick slide - about 30 sec. in. He started it doing it more often after this album - like once a year instead of once every ten years.

     
  14. JosephZdyrski

    JosephZdyrski Member

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    He’s not saying stiff picks weren’t available just that the store Pat frequented early on only stocked thin picks. I’ve heard this story too.
     
  15. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    Flattered, but my “wife” is in actuality a very hirsute bear himself. aka WOOF!

    But you do make a good point, The bear!
     
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  16. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    I bought that Gambale dvd in the 80s. Never could get his sweep technique down but trained myself to play four notes per string, ala Holdsworth (R.I.P. btw)
     
  17. Eric Rowland

    Eric Rowland Member

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    Pat swears by a product called Power Nails which uses a gel coating made rock hard by a little UV lamp.
    "That acrylic stuff they paint on to make fingernails really hard has made my life much easier over the past 10 years," he says.
     
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  18. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    Pat has said often (I’ve been there in classes twice) “don’t do this at home [I do it because it works for me]” regarding his unusual pick grip.
     
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  19. dlguitar64

    dlguitar64 Member

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    The only picks in stock at the store in Lee's Summit Missouri where Pat bought
    them as a beginner were Fender Thin. Make sense now?
     
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  20. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    Yes. I apologize for going with what you said vs. what you meant.
     

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