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How to Strum Smoothly Using a Pick [Guitar Strumming Lessons]

November 22, 2019

In this video I’m gonna show you how to
strum smoothly using a pick so you can sound like a pro on your guitar, let’s do
this. Hi there, I’m Tomas Michaud from Real
Guitar Success where I help you learn guitar and unleash the musician within.
You know, within, in here. You know what I mean. If you’re new here, please subscribe
to my channel and click that bill so I can get you some more great guitar lessons
and tutorials. Getting a smooth strum using a pick can be a little rough at
first but if you do know how to get a good smoother strum you can make some
great music even with just a few chords. The key is knowing how to hold the pick
properly in just a couple of simple techniques. Let’s get started with the
best ways to hold the pick. I’m going to show you two different ways to hold the
pick. The first way has your palm and your hand basically parallel to the
guitar. The pick sticking out this way and it strikes along the strings like
this. The key to making this work properly
is you’re going to strike down and angle the pick up slightly on the way down and
then turn your wrist slightly so on the way up it slides along the strings on
the way up. It’s not straight up and down the whole way that would make a rough
sound. This makes it smoother. The other technique that I can tell you now that
will really help is when you tighten up on the pick, you’re actually putting the
pick on your first knuckle or your first finger and then your thumb over it and
when you tighten up there roll your thumb back a little bit so there’s more
pressure on this part of your thumb than the first part. It allows us to pick the
wiggle a little bit more. So the combination of wiggling and turning my
hands slightly makes for a smooth strum. Can you see the pic wiggling a little
bit? Now if I don’t wiggle it and tighten up and straight up and down it’s very
rough. If I let it wiggle and angle, it’s smooth. Now the second technique is to angle
your fingers a little bit this way so that the palm is not exactly parallel to
the guitar but your hand is pointed towards a guitar a little bit.
This makes more of a brushing sound on the guitar and there’s a little
different style. Now you’re going to want to angle the
pick quite a bit to make that work. You angle on the way down up and on the
way. When your hands going up, the pick is angling down. And again you don’t want to tighten up
too hard but have a nice loose hold on the pic but enough so it won’t just fly
out of your fingers. You have to tighten up. People do have problems with it
flying out of their fingers. You have to tighten up enough to hold on to it or
you’ll be strumming with your fingers. Now, good way to practice this is just to
take a simple chord and try first of all getting the feel of what makes a harsh
sound and what makes a smooth sound. You can see that I’ve tighten up a little bit and tighten my wrists as well so its not moving and its trying to get archer. That’s even the sound I want some time I want to dig in. So it’s a useful sound
but if you want a smooth sound which most of the time you do, you want to get
a feel for how much you tighten to hold on but still can let the pick
wobble. This video is part of a playlist called Guitar Strumming Lessons. Make
sure and subscribe if you want to learn more about strumming and I’ll let you
know when more of the videos are live. If they’re already live by the time you’ve
gotten to this place I’ll go ahead and put a card somewhere up there so that
it’ll direct you to the playlist and you can go there and check out the videos on
the subject that you want to learn about guitar strumming. Thank you for joining
me today. Let me know in the comments if this video has helped you and if there’s
something that you’d like me to make a video lesson on let me know in the
comments below and maybe I can help you out. Until next time


  • Reply Ejaz Warsi February 15, 2018 at 4:38 pm


  • Reply Sasuuke February 15, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Nice one Tomas!

  • Reply Govind Wagh February 15, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    with good practice and focus in mind of smooth strumming,it is achieved.after 6 month of good practice I can strumm very smother.sometime it sounds so cool and soothing to myself.thanks a lot

  • Reply Savta Simcha February 15, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    I had trouble with a pick till I tried a Herco flat thumb pick which I found was the perfect solution. Not only did my strumming improve, but since all the fingers remain free, finger picking can continue as usual.

  • Reply Aashish Masih February 15, 2018 at 5:38 pm


  • Reply bhuvanesh kumar February 15, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    How finger practice in 12 to 17 frets pls

  • Reply Phil Tapsell February 16, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Hi Thomas! I struggled initially using a pick. Then I started using a really thin one at .38mm. After a couple of weeks moved to .46mm and so on. It worked a treat! Maybe helpful to other beginners……….you can buy packs of mixed sizes.

  • Reply Johan Löfgren September 19, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Thanks Thomas. I have played for 2.5 years and still struggle to strum smoothly with a pick. I tend to dig in to much. Still dont feel 100% comfortable when using a pick, but its getting better though. I started with a really thin pick but has now moved up to 0.7-0.9. Loads of practice is the only thing that works for me.

  • Reply Stringfreak November 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Loved the video. I was struggling with this for quite some time.

  • Reply Brothers Manager December 20, 2018 at 10:05 am

    fantastic video!

  • Reply Devin Coyle February 18, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Thank you so much for this I have no issues using my fingers but I would love to actually be good with a Pick it's always so uncomfortable and I've tried to hold it so many ways and i always lose it or the sound is to rough….

  • Reply Bishwas Pariyar February 19, 2019 at 4:51 am

    Thats awesome thank u for this vedio😊 i subscribe your channel

  • Reply CaptainxTeemo March 30, 2019 at 6:01 am

    Oh you have a lisp

  • Reply Mr. Studer May 2, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    This video really helped! Takes quite a bit of practice.
    Any tips on only strumming 2 strings like the 3rd and 4th and palm muted? I cant get it to be super smooth and i am hitting other strings or get 'hung up' on a string.

  • Reply DatMangoTho June 23, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Whenever I upstrum, the first two strings stand out a lot and sound super twangy if that makes sense… How do I fix it 😭

  • Reply Lanora Robertson July 2, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Great tips, thank you!

  • Reply Rashik Phuyal July 22, 2019 at 1:08 pm


  • Reply David Mc July 30, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    thanks, i watched this at just the right time. i have learned to strum but was getting frustrated by the harsh noise and trying all sorts of different angles. Now i know i am heading in the right direction and working on the right things. Clear simple tutorial.

  • Reply snowflakes October 3, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    thank you

  • Reply Stevie Simpson October 20, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    thank you i now understand how to strum a bit

  • Reply Ephraim Adekoya November 14, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Thank you so so so so so much! God bless

  • Reply Diogo Stein November 16, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Simple and straight to the point. Perfect tutorial. Thanks

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