Grinding sound when angling the pick for alternate picking

Hi all, quick question!
In the first lesson of mo6 of grade 1, the one about alternate picking, Justin says to angle the pick slightly, so that it catches less on the strings to create a smoother picking motion.

However, when I do this, I hear a lot more buzzing sound coming from the string, kind of like a zipper. It’s the edge of the pick grinding against the coiled outer wire of the string.

Is this normal? I’m only playing acoustic currently so maybe it’s just more noticeable?

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It sounds like you’re dragging the pick along the string, rather than striking it cleanly. The pick should be angled as Justin says, but the movement of the pick across the string should be straight up and down… unless deliberately trying to produce the scratchy dragging sound.

Hi Aäron. The key word here is slightly. If your pick is grinding against the strings you must must be angling it to much. Hold your pick softly in your hand, use a steady up and down strum moving your arm from the elbow with a flexible wrist and just practice up and down. You’ll soon find the correct pick position.
If you still have problems take a short video of your technique and post it. We’re here to help.

Just wanted to say I had the same exact question this past weekend. Thanks for asking, OP and thanks for the answers posted by the others!

I get the same thing with my thumb pick. There are several ways to angle the pick. …|… against the strings verses …/… or … is one form of angling. That doesn’t cause the sound. As long as the pick is parallel with the strings. Apologies if the attempt at diagrams doesn’t make sense.

But when I also angle the pick to where it’s no longer parallel with the strings, that’s when I get the zipper like sound.

@Goffik @sairfingers thanks for the advice, both of you! It indeed seems to be mainly an angle problem. Slowly starting to get picks where the zipper sound is almost gone, so I guess I’m on the right track!

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