How to Choose the Best Guitar Pick (8 Tips)

best guitar pick

Guitar picks may seem like a minor detail in the overall scheme of learning to play guitar, but they can actually make a big difference in terms of your tone and technique. Choosing the best guitar pick is essential to getting the sound you want and the key to playing your best. So, how do you choose the right one? Let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider when picking out a guitar pick. 

What is a guitar pick?

A guitar pick (or plectrum) is a small, thin piece of plastic or other material like a pointed teardrop or triangle used to pluck or strum the strings on a guitar. They are also known as plectrums and come in different shapes and thicknesses. The pick is a way to get the loudest and brightest sound out of your guitar.

How to choose the best guitar pick?

There are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing a guitar pick. The best guitar pick is one that feels good in your hand, and has a tip that matches the type of tone you want. Here are 8 tips for choosing the best guitar pick for you!

1. Thickness/Gauge

Some picks are thicker than others, and you may prefer a certain thickness based on the type of music you play. Lighter gauges are better for strumming and rhythm playing, while heavier gauges provide more power for lead playing.

Here are the various thicknesses of guitar picks:

  • Extra light (under 0.40 mm)

Extra light picks are great for strumming and rhythm playing. They are also a good choice for beginners as they are easy to hold and don’t require a lot of pressure to produce a sound.

  • Light (0.40 mm – 0.63 mm)

Light picks are versatile and can be used for both strumming and lead playing. They are a good middle ground for beginners who are still getting used to the feel of a pick in their hand.

  • Medium (0.63 mm – 0.85 mm)

Medium picks are great for lead playing as they provide more power and control. They can also be used for strumming, but may be too thick for some players.

  • Heavy (0.85 mm – 1.22 mm)

Heavy picks are best suited for lead playing as they provide the most power and control. They can be difficult to hold and may cause hand fatigue for some players.

  • Extra heavy (1.22+ mm)

Extra heavy picks are best suited for lead playing as they provide the most power and control. They can be difficult to hold and may cause hand fatigue for some players.

2. Brands

Picking out your favorite brand can be tough because each pick design has its own unique qualities suited for certain styles or types of guitar and music depending on what you’re playing!

How to Choose the Best Guitar Pick

You may choose from a number of guitar pick brands, including Ernie Ball, Gravity, Jim Dunlop, TUSQ – Graphtech, Fender, Sharkfin, Herco, V-Pick Screamer and more.

  • Ernie Ball is the pick of professionals, and they’ve come up with some great options to suit any guitarist’s needs. The Ernie Ball picks are made from cellulose and come in thin, medium or heavy gauge. They also feature highly durable delrin material for a secure non-slip surface that also makes them great as an easy grip when playing your favorite instrument. Whether you’re looking for standard thicknesses or something more specialized like glow-in-the dark picks (and other colors!), there will always be an option available!
  • Gravity picks are more robust than regular picks, making them one-of-a-kind guitar picks. The best thing about these picks is that they’re of the highest quality. These gravity fed, hand-shaped and polished mandrels are made by professionals for your instrument. With gravity picks, you can play faster and louder without worry of breaking the bank. Their unique material brings out all of your tone’s potential while providing dependable quality each time – no more worrying about getting a bad one because these will never let go at such an affordable price point!
  • Jim Dunlop picks are available in a variety of thicknesses and materials, including nylon, tortoise shell, and Ultex. They offer a wide range of tones to suit any style of playing.
  • TUSQ picks have a distinctively bright and cutting sound that is perfect for strumming or flat picking. They’re the world’s first and only pick with three distinct levels of harmonics. TUSQ picks are also very durable, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking or wearing down over time. If you’re looking for a pick that will give you great tone and excellent control, TUSQ is the way to go.
  • Fender picks are perfect for any musician looking to make their performance more comfortable and versatile. The wide variety of materials enables you with choices in sound, feel or appearance so that no matter what style is required on stage all musicians can find something they need from this brand. Fender picks, with their comfortable grip and high-performance flexibility will help you play your best.

3. Width

Picks also come in different widths, so it’s important to find the right size for your hand. Some players prefer a large, wide pick to easily strum their strings, while others may like a smaller pick that gives them more control and allows them to play faster.

4. Shape

Picks have different shapes too. Pointed picks are good for playing fast lead lines because they allow you to pick each note individually. But if you’re playing slower songs or just strumming chords, a rounded shape might be preferable because it will keep the strings from getting caught on your fingers as much.

5. Material

Picks are made of different materials, and some players have very strong preferences when it comes to material type. Nylon picks are softer and more flexible than plastic or metal picks, so they’re good for strumming. Plastic picks are stiffer and provide a brighter tone than nylon, while metal picks have a sharper sound.

6. Texture or Grip

Picks that have rough textures or grips are good for players with sweaty hands, but they can be uncomfortable if you don’t need them. Smooth picks slip less and stay in your hand better than textured ones, so they’re a good choice for most people.

7. Color

Some guitarists prefer to have colorful picks, while others like a more classic look. If you’re in a band or playing live often, it can help your audience members identify who’s playing what instrument. A vibrant selection, on the other hand, can aid you in locating them if they’ve gotten lost amid a bunch of objects.

8. Price

Picks are reasonably priced and come in many different price points. You don’t need to spend much money on quality picks because they all work well, but if you’re looking for something special then there are plenty of options out there. There are also cheaper picks that will do just fine in most situations and last a long time before wearing out or breaking.

To determine the right pick for you, try out a few different types and see what feels comfortable. At least 10 guitar picks would be a good idea. You’ll soon find one that works best with your playing style and personal preferences.

How to take care of your guitar picks so they last longer?

Guitar picks are the most underrated piece of guitar accessories. The truth is, we need them on our guitars to be able to play. And if we don’t take care of our precious plectrum, they will eventually wear down and break apart in no time. There are many ways you can take care of your guitar pick.

  • Keep it clean.

One way is to keep them clean. If they get dirty, just use a little bit of water and soap to clean them off. Be sure to dry them off afterwards so that they don’t rust.

  • Store them in a safe place.

Another way is to store them in a safe place when you’re not using them. You can put them in a small zip lock bag or container so that they don’t get damaged. This is especially important if you are traveling with your guitar because there’s always going to be dirt and dust from the road which could potentially damage your picks.

  • Use multiple guitar pick holders.

A third way is to use multiple guitar pick holders instead of just one big box where all your guitar picks are just thrown in together. This will make sure that your plectrum doesn’t get mixed up with another one which could potentially damage them. Also, you’ll be able to easily find the pick you’re looking for without having to search through a pile of them.

  • Replace the broken pick.

And lastly, make sure that you replace your guitar picks when they start to show signs of wear and tear. If the plastic starts cracking or the edges get rounded off, then it’s time for a replacement.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your guitar picks.

Pick the best guitar pick!

If you’re looking for a new guitar pick, hopefully, this guide has helped you choose the right one for your playing style. Remember to experiment with different picks and find what works best for you.

No matter what type of pick you choose, it’s important to practice with it so that you get comfortable using it. The best guitar pick for you is the one that feels best in your hand and allows you to play well at any speed.

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