When I teach a new student, I usually don’t let them use a guitar pick right from the start. I do believe it’s important that in the first couple of lessons, they should solely use their fingers to get a feel for the strings. But after a little while, of course, I do introduce the plectrum and the first question we look into is to how to hold a guitar pick.
It is important to understand that here is no right or wrong way to hold a guitar pick. Of course, depending on whom you ask, other guitarist or guitar teachers will disagree with my philosophy. As demonstrated in the video, I would suggest you just go with the traditional way by holding it between your index finger and your thumb. Make sure that you have a firm grip. But you also want to keep your wrist flexible so you can adjust the angle in which you hit the strings. In other words, don’t tense up.
When you just get started using a pick, stick to down strokes first until you get a feel for this technique. Also, incorporate exercises where you play one string at a time. It is important that you get familiar with the distance in between the strings. At a later point, the more sophisticated your playing gets, you need that confidence in making user that you at any point in time exactly know what strings you’re hitting.
The way how to hold a guitar pick is to some degree also an individual thing. After you’ve been using a pick for a while, it will almost come naturally. So don’t over-think this. Stick to what I demonstrated in the video and the rest will fall into place.
In my Beginners Guitar Course we cover this topic in much more detail and actually dedicate a full lesson just to get started playing with a pick. Maybe that’s something you want to check out.