BBC radio 2

Did you hear our how to guides on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Drivetime show?

You may have read about Howopia in The Telegraph?

How To Choose The Right Guitar Pick

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)
Choosing the right guitar pick is central to ensuring you develop your individual style and improve as a guitarist. Certain picks are better suited to particular playing styles; choosing the right one from the start will set you on the right track.
What you'll need: 
Guitar picks
Music shop (optional)
Guitar picks are available in countless shapes, sizes, materials and textures. Choosing the right one can be tricky if you don't know exactly what it is you're looking for.
Picks vary in thickness and are classified in terms of their 'gauge' as light/thin (0.45–0.69mm), medium (0.70–0.84mm), heavy/thick (0.85–1.20mm) and extra heavy/thick (≥ 1.50mm).
As a rule of thumb, thinner, more flexible picks are used when strumming chords on a guitar rather than picking individual strings. Thin picks have plenty of 'give' and therefore bend when in contact with the strings. Beginners and acoustic guitar players should use either a thin or medium pick.
Thicker (medium to extra heavy) picks allow more control and speed when playing individual notes. As you advance in your playing and begin to find your individual playing 'voice' you should decide on your preferred size, material and thickness.
Picks can be made of various materials including nylon, plastic, rubber and even metal. Each material will result in a different sound and feel. Experiment with various types until you find a style you like.
Some picks are textured to improve your grip. This is particularly useful when your hands become sweaty and slippery from extended playing.
More distorted, rock guitar generally requires a heavier gauge pick so as to ensure that notes and chords are clear and distinguishable. Heavier picks also afford greater accuracy as they tend not to 'give' and bend.
Music is all about injecting your own style and energy into your playing. Your choice of equipment is an essential part of that and one which you should explore and discover.
Try various styles and sizes until you find one that suits you.
Picks are relatively cheap so make sure you have a good stock of them at all times.


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Featured writers

We have had a chat with a couple of our more experienced writers.

Find out more about their experiences and why they contribute to Howopia.

Spotlight on two writers.

Share this

How To guides

Howopia is a new website dedicated to bringing together a community of experts to create the most useful 'How To' guides, to help you to achieve almost anything.

Related links