How To Choose A Guitar Pick For Acoustic & Electric Guitarists In 2024

How To Choose A Guitar Pick For Acoustic And Electric Guitarists

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Looking for a top guitar pick? Want to know how to choose a guitar pick which is right for you? Well you have come to the right place.

When you're learning how to play guitar like a pro, you'll soon discover guitar picks are a big part of playing as a beginner.

That said with so many different styles and designs to choose from, it can be hard to know which one to go for.

Today we'll be looking at what a guitar pick is, what to look for when finding the right a guitar pick, and why you even need to use one.

Just think of this guide as a guitar pick comparison chart with a lot more info. 😉

All of that and more below, so let's get into it.

What Is A Guitar Pick?

Before we look out how to find the right guitar pick for you, let's look at what a guitar pick actually is. Quite simply, a guitar pick is a thin piece of material which is solid enough for you to strum your guitar strings with.

It can be made up of many different materials and different shapes and sizes. It's as simple as that.

There are many reasons why you would want a guitar pick, the main ones I will look at below.

Why Use A Guitar Pick?

The best material for guitar picks is DuPont Delrin used in Tortex

There are a few reasons people use guitar pics. One of the main ones is that some guitarists find it easier to play faster with them.

For many picks make playing more accurate and allows swifter movement between guitar strings.

While some guitar players prefer playing with their fingers and have enough practice to swiftly move between strings without a pick, often many beginners find a pick handy to use. At least initially.

Another of the main reasons is to protect their fingers. While playing guitar is a passion for many, not everyone can physically keep up and playing for a long period of time.

This can make their hands tired or fingers sore. The constant strumming can make it difficult to play for a long period of time.

Using a pick can help ease the tiredness and is less abrasive on your fingers.

How To Choose A Guitar Pick

Ok, so let's look at what to look for when picking a guitar pick. If you want to find the best guitar picks, here are some of the things you should be thinking about.

1. The Size – Here's A Guitar Pick Thickness Chart

How thick should a guitar pick be? As a general rule, there are five main types of thickness you can choose from.

Please note that the below guitar pick thickness chart uses estimated numbers as there is no set universal measurement:

  1. Extra thin guitar picks. Also know as extra light, these are under 0.45mm in thickness and are used for more delicate playing. They produce a different sound than the heavy picks and are usually used by acoustic guitar players.
  2. A thin, or extra light guitar pick. As a general guideline these are between 0.46mm and 0.70mm thick but can vary. These thinner guitar picks are usually best for strumming with a good acoustic guitar. They are also less likely to cause tendinitis when gripped lightly; more details on what this is below.
  3. The medium guitar pick. These are around 0.71mm to 84mm thick but can vary. One many beginners go for.
  4. A heavy guitar pick. These are between 0.85mm and 1.20mm, with 0.96mm thickness being the average. These are more suited for people who play electric guitars.
  5. Extra heavy guitar picks. Anything above the heavy guitar pick thickness are considered heavy guitar picks. Again, these will give a different sound to lighter picks and are best suited to electric guitar players.

While certain guitar picks are generally used for certain situations and instrument types, in all honesty the thickness of your pick is a personal preference.

While thin guitar picks are more common with acoustic guitar players, there's nothing to say you couldn't also use a medium or heavy one.

The thickness will impact both the sound of your playing and your playing style, so experiment with a few and see which you prefer.

2. What Is The Best Material For A Guitar Pick?

Now let's look at best material for guitar picks. Guitar picks can be made from more or less anything including plastic and metal.

That said, plastics are usually used for most commercial guitar picks. These are usually recommended for players as well.

Some materials guitar picks are usually made from include:

  • Celluloid,
  • Nylon,
  • Xylonite,
  • And the popular DuPont Delrin.
How to choose the best guitar pick

So which is the best material for your guitar pick? Well in all honesty, there is no one top choice when it comes to material. Again, it will be down to your personal preference.
Some things you will want to think about though include:

  1. How quickly the guitar pick wears down. Some materials are more durable than others and will last longer. Nylon picks for example are more durable than celluloid ones and are considered of a better quality. DuPont Delrin made picks are also considered very durable.
  2. The feel of the guitar pick in your hands. Some are smoother than others, some more powdery and resistant to touch.
  3. Lastly, the sound which the guitar pick gives off.

I advise you get a few different types and experiment to see which one you like the feel of the best.

That said, nylon guitar picks are very popular as are the ones made out of DuPont Delrin. But don't restrict yourself to these, you may find another one suits you better.

3. The Style And Design Of Pick

One of the other things you want to think about when finding the right guitar pick for beginners, is the look and style of it.

In terms of shape, most picks are in a pear drop style shape. This is the common design for them and the ones you will usually find when shopping online.

That said, there is no restriction to the shape you can have your pick as long as it is easy to hold and can strum your instrument. If you are a beginner guitarist though I would recommend going for the standard shape.

Another style aspect is the actual design on your pick. You can get literally any design of guitar pick you want if you are willing to pay to make it yourself.

Websites such as Alibaba allow you to do this, although you usually have to order in bulk which can get quite costly.

If you aren't willing to do this however that is not a problem. There are many different designs sold by many different companies both online and offline.

Guitar picks come in all shapes, sizes and colors. If you pay less money, usually you won't get a design which fully covers your pick.

If you want an all over design you usually pay that bit more as it costs manufacturers more to produce. That said, guitar picks generally aren't that expensive so it could be worth getting one which properly represents you as a musician.

Be adventurous with their choice of guitar pick you get. While it is only a small instrument, it can go a long way to making you feel more comfortable playing guitar and showing off your individualism.

Which Is The Best Guitar Pick For Finger Picking Beginners?

A guitarist with tendonitis guitar finger

While it'll largely depend on what you're looking for personally, e.g. if you need it for a metal or acoustic guitar, as a top all round choice I'd recommend these ones by Pick Geek.

Not only are they really comfortable to use, but they also look great and have a fun design. They're currently the top rated picks on many stores, so definitely worth a try.

A Warning About Tendinitis When Playing Guitar

Tendinitis, or tendonitis as some people call it, is the inflammation of your tendons. This can be caused by using guitar picks, but isn't something that's made aware to guitarists until it's too late.

This is by no means something that should stop you playing guitar, but it is something you should be aware of so you can prevent it happening to you.

Symptoms include mild pain, stiffness of your joints around the affected tendons, and inflammation.

I suggest you have a read of this guide to see fully what it is and how to prevent tendinitis for guitarists.

Best Guitar Picks Conclusion

So there you have it, how to find the right guitar pick for you. If you found this guide useful in helping you choose a guitar pick, please share it with friends.

Now, which guitar pick did you decide to go with? Which thickness did you go for? And did the look and design of the guitar pick impact your choice?

Let us know this and your personal method of how to choose guitar picks in the comments below.

And while you're here, why not check our list of top guitar tuners.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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