This may seem stupid for some reason, but I am having trouble playing fast with a pick. I am 17 years old and I've been playing for two years and probably about six months ago is when I have been trying to play really fast punk rock. My technique(how I hold the pick) seems to work for 16th notes up to around 150-160 bpm. I can play around 190 bpm or faster if I really try hard(stiffen up my arm and pick pretty hard), but I always hear how I should be completely relaxed when I play. But relaxing and playing at speeds above 180 bpm doesn't seem at all possible. I hold the pick between my thumb and the pads of my index and middle fingers. I play to punk rock like Rancid and AFI, etc. My fretting hand is well-trained, I can play most of Matt Freeman's(Rancid) lines, but just peddling single notes at really fast speeds just feels akward. Another thing, some days I seem to be able to play faster than other days, it's weird. Does anybody know a better way to hold the pick? A way that allows for really fast playing? BTW, I use Fender Nickel Plated Steel 45-110 gauge strings, and Dunlop Tortex purple picks(they're pretty heavy), I used to use the light gauge orange Tortex picks, but I discovered I can play faster with heavier picks. It just seems to me that maybe I have a screwy way of holding the pick. I've seen some instructional books that say to hold the pick between the thumb and joint of the index finger. I cannot do that. The pick strikes the strings at too much of an angle, thus when alternate picking, there is just a bunch of scratchy noise coming through instead of notes. I feel like I've been musically stuck in a rut lately. I know that music is supposed to be fun, but this speed thing is kind of frustrating. Any tips and suggestions will be greatly appreciated, thank you.