How to Pick a Guitar Pick
Finding the best guitar pick involves a bit of trial and error. Really, finding a guitar pick is like finding the best pair of running shoes: there’s no “right” answer. Everybody’s different and what works for one person may not work for you. The only way to figure out How to Pick a Guitar Pick is to buy it and try it. The good news is that most guitar picks are far cheaper than a pair of running shoes. Here’s some basic information about guitar picks:
What is a Guitar Pick?
A guitar pick is a small, thin object which you hold in between your fingers and to strum or pick the strings of a guitar, bass, mandolin or other string instruments. Guitar picks can be made of wood, bone, metal, stone, or plastic. Some of the best picks are made of turtle shells but these are no longer made because of endangered species considerations. Most commercially available picks are made of plastic: even so, there are many kinds of plastics and some are composite materials.
Why Use a Guitar Pick?
Some guitarists find that using a pick allows them to play faster with ease. The movement is more accurate and allows you to move between strings quicker with cleaner plucks and a stonger sound. Using a pick also helps preserve your fingertips. Not everyone can strum a guitar for hours at a time; but using a good pick will allow you to play longer with fewer abrasions, tiredness, and soreness.
Thick or Thin Picks?
Guitar picks come in different sizes (height, length) but it is their thickness that you should consider. Here are some guidelines.
- Extra thin picks are 0.45 mm or thinner. They are predominantly used for delicate sounds and intricate moves. They are often used with acoustic guitars.
- Thin picks are 0.45 mm to 0. 7 mm in thickness. This size of pick is the one that most acoustic guitar players use. The picks are good for strumming and because they are slightly thicker than the extra thin picks, they are easier to grasp.
- Medium picks are between 0.7 mm to 0.85 mm in thickness. These are nice picks that beginner guitarists use because they are neither too thick or too thin.
- Heavy guitar picks are 0.85 mm to 1.2 mm in thickness. These picks are good for electric guitars and bass guitars which have thicker strings.
- Extra heavy guitar picks are picks thicker than 1.2 mm and they can be as thick as 3 mm. These picks are great for a heavier, louder, and deeper sound.
That being said, acoustic guitarists can use a thick pick and a heavy metal guitarist can use a thin pick. Not a problem: just a matter of personal preference.
As you might predict, a thin pick will tear or rip more easily compared to its thicker counterparts. If you like to attack your strings with vigor, you may lean towards a medium or thick pick. Metal picks can damage guitar strings (and the guitar itself) because they are made of a harder material.
How to Pick a Guitar Pick: Sampler Kits
It’s not clear how to pick your guitar pick other than trying different variations of size, thickness, etc. You really just need to try a few and see what feels good in your fingers and sound good to your ears. If you do not know which pick to buy, many beginners buy our starter kits which have a selection of picks in different sizes and thicknesses. Please note that shipping within the USA is only $1.99 (we also ship internationally) so don’t be shy, give us a call at (615) 927-5989 or contact us online.