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3 Things to Consider When Selecting a Guitar Pick

I asked some friends,"What were some questions you had when you first started playing guitar, but were afraid to ask?"

How to choose a guitar pick was a common answer among all of us. Luckily, you don't have to spend a lot of money to figure out what works best for you as a player. Let's talk about the 3 most important things to look for in a pick:

  1. Material

  2. Shape

  3. Thickness


Guitar picks are made of various materials from metal, stone, nylon, proprietary materials like the dunlop "tortex" pick, and my personal favorite, celluloid. Each material will have a different texture, stiffness, and will make a small difference in the sound your guitar produces. There isn't a right or wrong choice. Typically, picks that are stiff tend to be great for playing lead, and picks that have more give to them tend to be better for rhythm.


Picks come in many different shapes, typically the more narrow the end of the pick the more focused the sound will be (which is great for playing lead). The more broader the end of the pick is, the rounder the tone will be. To try this out, cut up a used gift card or old cd into various shapes to get an idea of what they sound like. Click here for a great how to article from WikiHow on how to do it.


The thickness of the pick is the last factor that I believe is important. A thick pick of a flimsy material like nylon is going to be less stiff than a thinner pick made of stone or metal. Typically a thinner pick of the same material will be less stiff and more conducive to rhythm playing, and a thicker pick will be more conducive for playing lead.

Once you have these 3 things figured out, you can begin to figure out what works best for you. I use Fender Medium thickness celluloid picks, and they work best for me. If you're still overwhelmed and aren't sure where to start, the easy solution is to pick up a variety pack from a company like Dunlop that has several different materials and thicknesses to try out (click here to view on Amazon).

Thanks for reading, feel free to contact me and I would be happy to answer your guitar related questions!


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I help people to tell their stories through engaging content such as presentation decks, photos, videos, and music.  Give me a shout if I can help you tell your story.  


Hi, I'm Brent.  I'm a musician, photographer, video maker, and designer in Edmond, OK.

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