Right Hand, Picking

On the M3 you cannot avoid going across the strings more often than on the six-string in conventional tuning. If you are trained in fingerstyle playing you have a great opportunity to put it to good use on the M3. The rest of us has to deal with the problem as we best can. As an alternative to the conventional grip, try the Benson grip where you keep your thumb arched as far back as it goes. The result is that the pick is rotated upwards so that your picking movement attacks the string with the edge instead of sliding gradually off the flat part. When you pick a note it should feel a bit like cutting the string in two. I have included a couple of pictures to demonstrate the principle. If you use both the 1st and 2nd finger to squeeze the pick up against your thumb the grip is extremely stable. For a proper discussion of the advantages and disadvantes of the different right hand approaches, read the thorough description by Tuck Andress.

Conventional grip The Benson grip

Directional Picking

Alternate picking, where every downstroke is followed by an upstroke and every upstroke is followed by a downstroke, is what most of us use intuitively. However, it is an inefficient way to move across strings since picking from the 'outside' causes you to move the pick by a greater distance than necessary. It is more economical to use directional picking because it makes the most of the movement of your hand. The basic idea is that when you move to a higher string you do a downstroke and when you move to a lower string you do an upstroke, regardless of the direction of the previous stroke. You basically continue the motion of your hand without using your wrist.

For directional picking it is best to slant the pick downwards, and so it is not directly compatible with the Benson grip. Both techniques have their merits so give each of them a go and find out which one you prefer.