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Are you using the right guitar picks with your guitar? Wondering what the very best guitar picks are?
Many guitarists think very little about what kind of picks they use when playing, but the truth is that the right pick can make all the difference in your playing. Every player will have different preferences when it comes to guitar picks and there are a lot of different types, but some picks are definitely made better than others.
Fortunately, we’re here to guide you. Below we’ll give you our list of the best guitar picks available today.
Best Guitar Picks – Quick View
|Dunlop 418P.73 Tortex Standard .73mm||Check Price on Amazon|
|Fender 351 Premium Celluloid Picks||Check Price on Amazon|
|Dunlop 471R3C Max-Grip Nylon Jazz III||Check Price on Amazon|
|ChromaCast Celluloid and Dura Guitar Picks||Check Price on Amazon|
|D'Addario Celluloid Guitar Picks||Check Price on Amazon|
|Ernie Ball Nylon Guitar Picks||Check Price on Amazon|
|Dunlop 44P73 Nylon Standard Guitar Picks||Check Price on Amazon|
|Stickpick Guitar Picks||Check Price on Amazon|
What Is a Guitar Pick?
Also known as a “plectrum”, a guitar pick is a small, thin object that you’ll use to strike the strings of a guitar. You can strum your guitar with a guitar pick and you can also play melodies and lead parts as well.
While there’s a standard shape that guitar picks tend to have, there are a lot of variations out there. When looking for guitar picks to buy, you’ll find different shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, and will also find guitar picks that are made of various materials as well.
While some guitar players prefer to fingerpick their guitar, many others prefer to use a pick instead. However, a lot of players will switch back and forth between the two methods of playing.
Do Guitar Picks Really Matter?
Believe it or not, the type of guitar picks that you play with can do a lot to influence your guitar’s tone. Thinner guitar plectrums tend to produce a clearer, thinner sound while heavier picks offer players a more mellow tone.
In addition to this, guitar picks matter because they can influence how you’re able to perform various guitar techniques. Many players find that thinner picks are ideal for strumming, while thicker picks are seen as better for electric guitar techniques and playing lead guitar parts.
How to Choose Guitar Picks
So what should you consider when choosing a guitar pick to use? Here are the main factors you should think about when buying a guitar plectrum.
The thickness of a guitar pick is one of the main things that you’ll want to pay attention to when choosing one to use.
Guitar pick thicknesses range by quite a bit. Extra light guitar picks will have thicknesses of less than 0.45mm while the heaviest guitar picks will be 1.20mm or more in thickness.
When it comes down to it, the pick thickness you choose for your instrument is all about personal preference. You should experiment and figure out what guitar pick thicknesses you enjoy playing with the most.
As a general rule, light picks produce a clear, thin tone while heavier picks produce a warm, mellow sound. Many players find that lighter guitar picks do a great job of strumming but heavier options are typically best for playing leads on a guitar.
Size and Shape
Most guitar picks feature a triangular, pear-drop shape but there are other options out there.
There are some picks available that are larger or smaller than the standard size. Large picks are often the ideal choice for strumming.
Generally speaking, the shape of a guitar pick won’t affect the sound of your playing very much. The shape of your guitar pick will mostly affect how it feels in your hands while playing.
Guitar picks are typically made from plastic materials, but there are a variety of options to choose from. The type of pick you choose will mostly depend on your personal preference but the materials affect the durability, so be sure to keep this in mind as well.
Nylon and celluloid picks are some of the most popular options and many guitar players prefer them. Guitar picks made from Delrin are also incredibly durable and are a favorite among players as well. Other options include Ultem, wood, and metal.
One last thing to consider when choosing a guitar pick to use with your instrument is how good the grip is.
Some picks will offer a bit more grip than others will and this will make them a bit easier to hold onto. These picks will feel a bit more comfortable to hold in your fingers.
Raised lettering and indentations in the picks can affect the grip and can make them easier to hold. You might want to try some picks with extra gripping features if you tend to get sweaty hands or want a little bit of extra comfort.
Which Guitar Pick Brands Are the Best?
One of the questions you might ask when choosing guitar picks is which brand is the best. While there are a lot of manufacturers out there, a few of them consistently rise to the top to create popular picks that players love.
Some of the brands that you might want to pay special attention to during your search include the following:
- Ernie Ball
Guitar Picks Vs. Fingerpicking
While most beginners to the guitar start off using a guitar pick, fingerpicking a guitar is also an option as well. The style of guitar playing you choose to focus on depends on your personal preferences and goals.
Both options can influence sound in various ways. Fingerpicking a guitar usually creates a softer, mellower tone while using a guitar pick is louder and clearer.
There are also different playing techniques that you can only do using one option or the other.
Generally speaking, playing chords is easier with a guitar pick. Playing with a guitar pick will also be louder and it can be a bit easier to play quickly and consistently.
On the other hand, fingerpicking allows you to create some beautiful sounds and play in a way that isn’t possible with a pick. You’ll be able to strike more than one non-adjacent note on your guitar at a time without strumming all of the strings. This allows for some interesting possibilities and the creation of some arrangements that you couldn’t create with a guitar pick.
What Guitar Picks Should Beginners Use?
Generally speaking, beginners to the guitar will want to opt for a pretty basic option when starting the instrument. It’s typically best for a beginner to get a guitar pick that’s a standard pear-drop shape.
It’s also usually best to choose a guitar pick with a thickness that’s in the mid-range. Looking for a guitar pick that is between 0.71mm to 0.84mm thick will usually be the best choice for a beginner.
As you progress in your playing, you can start experimenting with other guitar pick shapes and sizes. However, choosing an “average” guitar pick will help you iron down your skillset while starting from a blank slate.
Guitar Picks for Electric Vs. Acoustic Guitars
While there are picks available that are marketed for either one type of guitar or another, electric and acoustic guitar plectrums are essentially the same. However, as with all things that relate to guitar picks, the type you choose will depend on experimentation and your personal decisions.
As a general rule, the consensus is that heavier options are best for playing the electric guitar effectively. On the other hand, many acoustic players tend to use thinner materials instead.
No matter what type of guitar you play, however, be sure to try both options. Consider what you like the best and make a choice that allows you to play the instrument most effectively.
Top Picks For Guitar – REVIEWED
Ready to find some amazing picks to use? Here’s our list of the best picks for guitarists.
The Dunlop Tortex Standard Picks are the first type of picks on our list. The Tortex material of these picks is very popular because they offer such a bright tone and an extended life.
These Delrin material guitar picks will offer guitarists plenty of mileage and great playability. Their texture allows for a great grip. They’ll be held easily by even the most aggressive of players.
Keep in mind that the picks seem to be slightly on the smaller side compared to many options that are out there.
The Fender 351 Celluloid Guitar Picks are another great option for guitarists.
These picks are made from premium celluloid in the USA. They offer great value and many players love that the price is so reasonable. These picks offer the quality you would expect from a brand such as Fender.
Due to the vibrant colors that are on these picks, they aren’t nearly as easy to lose as many of the others that are out there.
The Dunlop 471R3C Max-Grip Nylong Jazz III guitar picks are also a great option for guitar players to consider.
This pick is nylon and comes with a carbon additive. Several colors are available including red nylon, black “stiffo”, and carbon fiber.
The jazz pick offers superior grip capability with Max-Grip technology. They also offer an excellent amount of precision and are made for durability and strength.
While beginners may love to use these picks as well, these are especially an excellent option for pros and advanced guitarists. They’re also, of course, a great option to consider if you’ll be using them with a great jazz guitar.
The ChromaCast Guitar Picks are another great type of pick that will serve any guitarist well. These picks make for a standard, classic choice and are built well. They have a wide body as well as a rounded tip.
Many colors and thicknesses are available for these picks as well and both the dura and celluloid picks offer quite a variety.
D’Addario is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to guitar accessories, so these celluloid guitar picks are well worth considering. This D’Addario Guitar Pick features an attractive, marbled mother-of-pearl appearance and they’re also made well.
These guitar plectrums come in a variety of thicknesses ranging from light to extra heavy. You’ll especially want to consider the medium gauge (0.70mm) option if you’re a beginner at the guitar.
Another brand name that’s well known when it comes to acoustic and electric guitar accessories, these Ernie Ball Nylon Guitar Picks are also well worth considering.
Overall, this is a pretty standard option and there are a variety of thicknesses available. Where these picks really excel, however, is in the grip that they provide.
These picks are very easy to hang onto while playing due to the textured writing that’s on them. Be sure to consider these grippy picks if you want to add to your plectrum collection.
In addition to the other popular Dunlop options listed above, these Dunlop 44P73 Guitar Picks are also a good choice if you’re looking for a basic, yet well-made nylon pick.
These picks are one of the most popular options on Amazon and for good reason. Dunlop’s nylon standard picks simply work well and provide all of the functionality you’ll need. They also offer a good bit of grip as well, due to the texture and lettering that’s on them.
If you want to move beyond plastic options, you might want to try Stickpick Guitar Picks. While wood isn’t as popular for guitar picks, they’re worth trying if you want to experiment with your tone and see if you like how they sound.
This set of 7 guitar plectrums includes a variety of different thicknesses and colors, so you’ll have fun experimenting and trying out the different included options.
Choosing the Best Guitar Picks for Your Needs
If you’re trying to find the best picks for your needs you may need to go through some trial and error. However, this list should start you off in the right direction and will allow you to have some great picks to use when playing.
Looking for more great guitar accessories? Check out our list of the best acoustic guitar accessories now.
Hi, I’m Harrison! I created this website to help musicians navigate the ins and outs of their craft and to help them choose new instruments and gear to add to their collection. I have 15 years of experience as a guitarist and singer and have also played many other instruments throughout the years including the bass guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica.