How to Choose a Guitar Pick
About Glenn Sutton
As a professional guitar teacher with 25 years of experience (see guitarlessonspoway.com), people sometimes ask me whether they should learn guitar tablature or standard music notation. This article and video explain each form of notation and I also give some guidelines as to which notation guitar students should learn. I have included the video I recorded at the end of this article.
What guitar pick should I use?
The first thing to consider is the gauge. Guitar picks are available in thin, medium to heavy gauges. Medium is recommended for beginners. They are good for both chord strumming and single string/note picking. Heavy-gauge picks give better guitar tone (brighter) and is also the choice for the skilled instrumentalists (speed picking). Bass guitar players should use heavy picks due to the big strings found on bass guitars. Thin picks are good for chord strumming. Light gauge picks work well on nylon string guitars but can break on the acoustic steel string guitars/electric guitars.
Guitar picks are available in many different thicknesses. The following list shows the thickness in millimeters
- Light/thin 0.45–0.69mm
- Medium 0.70–0.84mm
- Heavy/thick 0.85–1.20mm
- Extra heavy/thick ≥ 1.50mm
Guitar picks are in many shapes.
1. Standard size pick – Recommended for Beginners.
2. Triangle pick – 3 sides for picking.
3. Jazz pick – Small. Pro Jazz Guitarists
4. Thumb pick – Used along with finger picking.
Always keep extra picks. Guitar picks are generally lost before they are worn out. Buy guitar picks that are opposite color of your carpeting/flooring. This way you can find them easily.
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