Most guitarists don’t usually pay attention to guitar picks, especially beginner and intermediate guitarists. The fact that they are so cheap makes people only imagine them to be really small plastic pieces that can impact tone and playability.
This guide will take you through the steps to help you find the right guitar pick and facilitate your journey as a guitarist. It’s worth mentioning that guitar picks are also vital for your playing. With the wrong pick, you will not be able to enhance your technical abilities. Continue reading to find out more about guitar picks.
Do Different Guitar Picks Make a Difference?
Guitarists usually don’t think about using different picks because they feel that they are all the same. However, they are not all the same, and there are different ways to test them. Basically, your playing and your tone will differ when you use different types of guitar picks. This is because the thickness of the pick, the texture, the shape, and the material used in making the pick all play a key role in playability and tone.
Guitar Pick Materials
Now that we have established that different guitar picks affect playability and tone, the next thing to understand is that guitar picks are made from different materials, and each material also affects tone and playability.
Most of the guitar picks you’ll find on the market are made from nylon, Delrin, celluloid, and other plastic materials. They are also made from materials that include stone, metal, and wood.
The nylon guitar picks are more flexible, and they have been the guitar choice for people for many years now. According to many guitarists, flexible picks are best for producing a mellow or warm tone. Some also report that they produce a vintage tone.
Celluloid guitar picks on the other hand were designed to be an alternate option to tortoiseshell, and they are also a flexible option and better shifter than nylon. They are best for producing higher tones than their nylon counterparts.
If you want a stiffer option, you might want to consider Delrin guitar picks. This option is best for producing a more high-end tone. Delrin guitar picks usually come in solid colors, and they are a really handy option.
For someone who has never tried non-plastic options, stone guitar picks are a great option to consider. The feel is good, and they are made from different materials like a jasper, jade, and agate.
Guitar Pick Thickness
The thickness of the guitar pick is also an important consideration to make as it can impact tone and playability. Even with tiny thicknesses can produce distinct changes in playability and tone. Therefore, you might want to consider getting different thickness ranges, especially if you don’t want to play with the wrong tone.
There are different thickness ranges, and here’s an overview of these thicknesses and how they affect playability and tone.
Thin Picks: These are picks that are around 0.60mm, and they offer a great level of flexibility. They also produce a light tone with less midrange or bass. Most guitarists consider this a vintage option as the music they were mostly used in was from the 50s and 60s.
Medium Picks: These picks are between 0.60 to 0.80mm, and they with this range, you can easily get a midrange tone, with tones that have more volume. Rhythm guitarists prefer these options because it makes it easier for people to play riffs accurately.
Thick Picks: These picks are 0.80m or thicker, and they offer so much midrange and bass tones. They are usually used by guitarists that like aggressive or heavy musical styles. There are more thicker options; some are as high as 1.38mm.
How to Find the Right Thickness for You
There are different picks on the market, and you might be wondering what thickness is right for you. In some cases, you might be thinking of buying different guitar picks and experimenting with them until you find one that suits your needs.
With this, you’ll be able to figure out the thicknesses that work best for you. However, if you know the type of tone and playability you want, you might want to consider any of the thickness options that we have provided above. After choosing the right thickness, the next thing to do is to choose a shape and material you prefer.
Guitar Pick Shapes
The shape of the pick is also a significant thing that you’ll need to consider when choosing an appropriate guitar pick. For most guitarists, pick shape is one of the most personal things for them, which is why they mostly stick to a particular shape.
You might want to consider experimenting with different shapes. It’s normal to hate most of the picks you’ll find, but you’ll definitely find one that suits your play style. Some of the picks you’ll find have rounder tips, while others have sharper tips. Your play style will help you select a suitable guitar pick.
Guitar Pick Textures
Texture is also an important feature that determines the guitar pick that you select. Some options are more polished and have a shiny appearance, while others have a sanded texture. You’ll also find raised picks that have a raised or bumpy area, which confers an extra grid to the pick. There are many other textures that you are likely to find on the market, but the main thing is to note that texture also plays a vital role in determining playability.
These are some of the key things to know about guitar picks, and in addition, it’s vital to understand that guitarist use picks to help them gain more control over what they play. With guitar picks, you can play in a completely unique and different way.
With a guitar pick, you’ll have more precise and flexible control over how your play the guitar. Playing some musical styles is so much easier with guitar picks, unlike when you don’t use a guitar pick. With the information in this article, choosing your guitar pick will be a lot easier for you.