Picking hand technique
1) There are several schools of thought on optimising picking hand technique; the overriding opinion favours an anchored but relaxed arm (rest your forearm on the guitar’s body) with the edge of your palm just resting on the bridge. Picking motion should come from your wrist your elbow (this uses the wrong muscle group and could lead to RSI). Grasp the pick firmly between your thumb and first finger allowing just the tip of the pick to be visible. Avoid ‘stirring’ the pick between your finger and thumb as this also results in a lack of control. Some players like to achieve additional stability by anchoring their remaining fingers on the scratchplate. 2) Many contemporary players angle their pick so that the leading edge is pointing downwards (ie ‘pick slanting'), as this reduces the drag of the pick on contact making it easier to pick faster. However, this isn’t mandatory. Players like Steve Morse or John McLaughlin attack the strings flat on and still achieve incredible speed. By complete contrast George Benson and the late Shawn Lane’s lightning runs are created by angling the pick in the opposite direction so that the leading edge points upwards. The important thing is to experiment and find which approach works for you; so constantly analyse picking motion while keeping pick and fretting hand movements to an absolute minimum in order to achieve maximum efficiency. 3) A very thin, floppy pick is pretty useless for faster picking. Something that flaps around in your fingers is not conducive to building a precise and controlled technique! Thicker is definitely better and preferably the traditional teardrop shape with a nicely pointed business end for minimum string contact (although some favour the rounded end). Some players prefer an indentation to aid grip, some don’t. Be prepared to experiment (don’t just copy your favourite guitarist) and find what really works for you.