Guitar PicksPlectrum Style Guitar

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Guitar picks come in many different colors and thicknesses but the basic pick shape stays very similar because you have to hold it in your hand.

Picks stay in a similar shape for the same reason baseball gloves do, they have to fit on someone’s hand.

In the case of a pick they must fit between the thumb and index finger comfortably.

The black tear-drop shape is a Gibson pick from a long time ago.

The white thumb pick is made by Dunlop I usually file the playing tip down some on these.

I prefer a heavy pick for single notes because they don’t flex too much. Medium picks I like for strumming chords.

The F1 and X1 picks I got on the internet a few years ago at They have an extra section of plastic on them that helps steady the pick. The F1 has a plastic section for your index finger and the X1 has a section to put your thumb in.

Pick Material

The material the pick is made out of will effect the tone of your guitar. Try picking your guitar with some things you have around the house like a folded up piece of paper, broken CD or thin cardboard. Try using a quarter anything else that will work just to hear the different tones they create.

Picks are made from a variety of plastics and a few are made of metal. There are metal finger picks that the steel guitar players use and there are regular metal picks but they have no give.

I remember reading about a popular rock guitarist who used a dime for a pick but I can’t remember his name. It was the 60’s.

Pick Thickness

The thickness of your pick will change the tone some but the main thing is it will effect is your playing.

I’ve found that a thick pick is easier to control, they have less give and will help train your picking hand so your hand controls the tone too.

With the heavy pick you adjust the force your arm uses to pick lighter to heavy.

This puts a lot of the tone control right in your hand or arm I should say.

The thickness of picks vary from different manufacturers but not a lot. I usually use the Fender heavy because I have a bunch of them, any brand that doesn’t break is good.

Picking Speed

Here is another reason I like the heavy pick, since you have less flex you can play faster for single note picking. This movement comes from the wrist.

The heavy pick will help train your picking hand for those single notes too.

Basic Guitar Picks

Here are some top names in the pick making world.

Dunlop Picks

Dunlop uses a plastic called Tortex. They came out with a tortoise shell pick years ago. No they didn’t use real Tortoises. Dunlop’s Tortex picks are available in a variety of shapes and gauges.

Dunlop Picks

Fender Picks

Fender uses a plastic called Celluoid that is supposed to be a primier pick material. They have a couple slightly different shapes the 351 shape is the pick most associated with Fender. A wider body and a rounded tip have made this pick a favorite with players of every style.

Fender Picks

Ibanez Picks

Ibanez makes picks with rubber grips and a “sand” grip too. They have special Steve Vai picks also.

Ibanez Picks

Planet Wave Picks

These guys specialize in Beatle Picks. They have Song titles and images on their picks and other things. They also have Beatle guitar straps.

From Love Me Do to Revolution, the Beatles were the most creative, diverse and influential band in pop music history.

Planet Waves honors the Beatles’ legacy with a unique collection of guitar picks and straps, featuring iconic album covers and timeless images which capture the enduring spirit and essence of the “Fab Four.”

Planet Wave – Beatle Picks

National Picks

They only sell fingerpicks because they only make Dobros and Variations of the original Steel body guitar.

National Thumb Picks

Wirething Picks

This is a new type of pick using plastic and copper

The Wirething(R) Guitar Pick is a new invention that features a smooth curved wire that picks the string, embedded in an injection molded textured and contoured plastic grip.

This gives guitarists the precise clean sound of a metal pick, plus the easy grip, control, and light weight of a plastic pick.

The invention has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 5,894,097.

Wire Features

  • .035 in. diameter steel or copper-alloy wire
  • Precision-formed for consistent production
  • Micro-smooth polished finish for reduced string wear
  • Spring-tempered for extra-long life and durability
  • Smooth no-scratch finish easier on your strings than metal picks.
  • This custom-fabricated copper-beryllium alloy wire is extremely hard
  • Will not be magnetically attracted to electric guitar pickups.

Grip Features

  • Injection-molded acrylic or nylon
  • Contoured for thumb shape — improves grip and comfort
  • Textured for no-slip control
  • Invented by multi-instrumentalist Ken Barry
  • It could be a useful to any guitarist’s pick collection

Wirething Picks