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What Types of Guitar Picks Should I Use?

Guitar picks are a crucial accessory for guitar players, affecting the tone and playability of the guitar. With so many different types of guitar picks on the market, it's important to choose the right pick for your playing style and the type of guitar you're using. This blog post will provide an overview of the different types of guitar picks, including thickness and material, as well as guidelines for choosing the right pick for different types of guitars. Additionally, ALWAYS consider taking private guitar lessons from a private instructor.

Types of Guitar Picks

1. Thickness

Guitar picks come in various thicknesses, typically ranging from 0.38mm to 2.0mm. The thickness affects the tone and playability of the guitar.

  • Thin picks (0.38mm - 0.73mm) are more flexible and produce a bright, trebly sound. They are suitable for strumming and playing fast, intricate passages.

  • Medium picks (0.80mm - 0.88mm) are stiffer than thin picks and produce a fuller, warmer sound. They are suitable for a wide range of playing styles.

  • Thick picks (0.96mm - 2.0mm) are the stiffest and produce a darker, heavier sound. They are suitable for heavy strumming and playing with distortion.

2. Material

Guitar picks can be made from various materials, including plastic, nylon, wood, metal, and even stone. Each material produces a different tone and feel.

  • Plastic picks are the most common and affordable type of pick. They are available in different thicknesses and produce a bright, snappy sound.

  • Nylon picks are more durable than plastic picks and produce a warmer, mellower tone.

  • Wood picks are relatively rare but can produce a warm, organic sound.

  • Metal picks are less common but are favored by heavy metal guitarists for their bright, metallic sound.

  • Stone picks are also rare but are known for their unique tone and feel.

Types of Guitars and the Picks to Use

Different types of guitars require different types of picks. Here are some guidelines for choosing the right pick for your guitar:

  • Acoustic guitars: Thin or medium picks are generally the best choice for acoustic guitars. The flexibility allows for a brighter, more resonant sound.

  • Electric guitars: Medium or thick picks are suitable for electric guitars, depending on the playing style. Thicker picks produce a heavier sound that's suitable for distortion and high-gain playing.

  • Classical guitars: Nylon picks are often used for classical guitars, as they produce a warmer, more rounded sound.

  • Bass guitars: Thicker picks are recommended for bass guitars, as they produce a more prominent, defined sound.

Tips and Advice for Using Guitar Picks

  • Experiment with different types of picks to find the one that suits your playing style and the type of guitar you're using.

  • Hold the pick firmly but not too tightly. A loose grip can cause the pick to slip, while a tight grip can cause tension in your hand and wrist.

  • Practice proper pick technique, using the wrist and arm to strum or pick rather than just the fingers.

  • Use the appropriate pick for the type of music you're playing. Different styles and genres require different playing techniques and pick types.

  • Don't be afraid to try unconventional picks or materials. Sometimes, the most unusual picks can produce the most unique and interesting tones.


Choosing the right guitar pick is essential to achieving the desired tone and playability. With the different types of picks available, it's important to experiment and find the one that best suits your playing style and the type of guitar you're using. And remember, getting advice from a private one-on-one guitar teacher can help you refine your technique and achieve the best possible results.

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