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  • Writer's pictureJay EuDaly

Picking Peril

One of the things no guitar teacher ever talks about is a specific issue that arises due to using a pick.

I'm not talking about any kind of esoteric pick-hand technique. It has to do with simultaneously holding a pick and pointing towards something.

If you hold the pick between the thumb and forefinger as I do, your middle finger becomes the pointer. This can result in all kinds of misunderstanding.

Yeah...I trust you came up with an image there.

One time I was doing a live television show with Mama Ray. We were being interviewed right before the performance. I was holding my pick like I always do and the interviewer looked at me and asked,

"So who's in charge?"

To which I responded,

"It's a matriarchy!"

"It's a matriarchy!"

I was completely unaware I had exhibited this awkward behavior until a day or two later when somebody asked me,

"Dude! Did I see you give Mama Ray the finger on live TV?"

"What? No! I would never do that!"

I went back and looked at the footage and sure enough, there you go.

In spite of the way it looks, I was actually giving the Mama all respect due her proper place as boss.

BTW: notice the direction Mama Ray's thumb is pointing? And the interviewer's pointer finger? All digits, provocative and otherwise, lead to Mama Ray!

Another time I was editing a teaching video and noticed this:

Yeah...I'm holding a pick between my thumb and forefinger. It looks like I'm disrespecting the Minor Pentatonic scale; nothing could be further from the truth. I'm teaching it.

Ok, that was my first mistake. My second mistake was, in an attempt at a little self-deprecating humor and maybe some marketing value, I shared the image on my social media pages with this caption:

  • So I’m editing a teaching video and I see this. I’m holding a pick with my index finger so I point with another one. Yeah...I think I’ll edit this little section out. It could be taken out of context.

Next thing I know, one of my students edited the photo and created this meme:

Ok, totally out of context but...I love this! That's what I want from all my students! Trust in the process. Maybe sharing on my social media pages wasn't a mistake after all. I've gotten a ton of PR from that meme.

It reminds me of one of my all-time-favorite photos:

Somehow I don't think Johnny did this because he was holding a pick between his thumb and forefinger while pointing at the ceiling.

Maybe the facial expression gives it away.


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