What kind of guitar picks should I buy?
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
In my years of teaching, this is one of the most commonly asked questions I’ve received. Sounds simple enough, right? But have you seen how many there are to choose from?
When you get down to it, there’s nothing wrong with any of the guitar picks out there. You just need to know what’s best for you and your style of playing. The best way to do that is to try as many as possible. Here's a good place to start for something like that for only a few bucks. There are so many different types of these variety packs available!
I’ve used Jim Dunlop nylon picks for at least 20 years. And no, I’m not getting paid to say that. When I play hard on an electric guitar, I tend to use the black 1.0mm thickness picks. Otherwise, I float between the .73mm and .88mm gauges most of the time. They have a nice gradient system of white to black, thinnest to thickest, in the full line of nylon picks. I have some of the thin white ones that I’ll use occasionally for light rhythm guitar work as well. They work best on my 12-string acoustic in my opinion. I find there something to be a little too harsh about a heavier pick on those higher octave strings.
There are a few reasons why I gravitate towards these picks:
The nylon construction makes them more flexible than a standard celluloid plectrum. This produces less pick-noise on the attack of a note for me.
They are absolutely indestructible. Break one. I dare you. (Losing them in the laundry doesn't count).
The text printed on each side serves as a perfect amount of grip for my fingers.
That being said, I do have other picks I use. Smaller jazz picks are nice for playing fast lead guitar passages sometimes. I have a small stash of those in my studio. Don’t think they’re just for jazz. Plenty of metalheads shred with them too. Kirk Hammett even has his own variation of these. They’re really quite cool, to be honest.
There's also the topic of ukulele picks, banjo picks, bass picks, and mandolin picks. I'll cover that sometime in the near future. I'm hoping that I find some people with different preferences so I can learn about new picks to try. There are so many different materials they're made from now. Tell me why I should try yours and maybe I will.
I hope you've found this post informative. I'm happy continue the discussion in the comments below! Happy August! Hyvää elokuuta!
P.S. All of the linked picks to purchase on this page are from my Amazon Affiliate account. I never see who buys what, but I do get a tiny percentage of the sales for commission. I would greatly appreciate it if you'd use my links to shop. It's a nice way of helping to support my website. :)