There’s something you can do right now to instantly improve your sound, and you don’t even have to go out and buy any expensive new gear. What I mean is that the grip in which you hold your guitar pick plays a HUGE role in the way you sound. Go ahead and grab your guitar and see what I mean.
Use Your Pick as a Tone Shaper
Now, go ahead and play a chord. Any chord is fine. If you don’t know any chords yet, just use your open strings. Now squeeze your pick as hard as you can, and strum a normal strum. Not only is it louder, but hear how bright, edgy, and aggressive that sounds? Now, I don’t mean to make you think that this is a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing if you’re playing something like fast paced rock or something else that has sort of an aggressive feel to it. It would, however be a bad tone if you were trying to play something lighter and softer sounding instead.
Ok, so let’s try the opposite then. Strum your guitar again, (don’t cheat and make your strum softer or harder. It’s not the strum that were looking at!) but now, hold on to your pick as lightly as you can without dropping it. Notice how this time, the notes sound smoother and more rounded? This would NOT be the tone you would want for an aggressive song.
So with this thought in mind, try to consciously be more mindful of how you are holding your pick. Most of the time we don’t even really think about things like that, I know I don’t! But, as you have just heard for yourself, even the slightest nuances in your pick grip can really effect your sound. It also allows you to fit in better, or worse, to the style that you are playing.