Picks for your guitar are a little bit like brakes on a car: they are minuscule, compared to the actual device they are used for and they do not seem too exciting, but if you have a broken one or somehow do not have any at all, you are in for a disaster. Sure, maybe choosing the best guitar pick is not the most exciting task for you. You might think, how complex can a piece of triangle be? But trust me, picks can make your experience with your guitar so much better, especially if you are a beginner. On the other hand, you pick the wrong one and you might never want to lay an eye on a guitar ever again.
Top Guitar Picks
D’Addario, being one of the biggest and most popular companies that produce picks, logically is one of the best ones at it. This celluloid pick is medium gauge (70mm) and works really well not just for strumming but for articulate picking as well. The same model also comes in ranges from light to extra heavy so you can have your pick. Standard shape provides good grip and comfort so that you can enjoy playing and practicing instead of constantly having to re-adjust your grip on the pick. For all the eco-conscious people out there, the company packages their picks for minimal waste and environmental impact. This is one of those models that you can buy for experimenting and not be too sad when you want to dispose of them or choose something else because you can get a pack of 10 for only around four to five dollars.
Made from premium celluloid, Fender Premium Picks Sampler gives great warm music tone and is great for both beginners and professionals. This pack has an assortment of thin, medium, and heavy gauges so you can experience the three basic thicknesses and decided which one you prefer, or which one is best for which style. Also, an added bonus with all picks is that you can choose the style. And I don’t just mean the shape and thickness, I mean the color and shading. Have you ever been to a concert and just wished your favorite musician would just throw something at the crowd, like some sort of a memorabilia? I do not know about you, but I have been keeping a lighting stick (not even anything related to music) that some dude threw from the stage at the end of The Strokes concert for years now. Well, now imagine being one of those amazing musicians, looking at a crowd of fans and knowing that your pick that probably cost you like a dollar, means so much to them. You can even have your signature pick! Okay, okay I really hope I am not the only one obsessed with such trivialities.
Dunlop has provided great design and quality for over 50 years now. They produce a variety of accessories for guitars including capos, strings, slides, etc. This variety package contains some of their best picks in different shapes, textures and most importantly made of different material. Dunlop PVP101 Pick Variety Pack is great for beginners. Let’s say you just got your first guitar and have no idea which pick you should get. This one is great because you will get picks that are different in the most vital ways – thickness and texture. This pack has 12 light/medium gauge picks in total making it easier for you to understand which type is the best for your sound.
If you are planning on buying a guitar or already bought one and somehow forgot about one small but glaring detail – picks, maybe you want to get something affordable, good quality and as soon as you can. ChromaCast CC-SAMPLE 12 pack is a great option for that purpose. Picks in this package are also made of a nice quality celluloid, so you probably won’t go wrong with this. You can try out different size/thickness and shapes and once you are more acquainted with how to use picks and which ones are most comfortable in your hand you can either buy something high-end, or even continue with this pack, since you will definitely find one that fits your requirements from this 12 options.
So, you are an art enthusiast along with being an aspiring musician? Well, then this assortment of picks might be to your taste. As you might have guessed from the name, this collection features some of the most famous art pieces. The picks are made of celluloid and fulfill all the necessary needs for a beginner. It is good for personal use, but would also be an amazing gift for a friend. Depending on where you buy this model, it might come with a pick holder which is really useful, because I sure as hell lose my picks like nobody’s business. I have not bought this package myself, but I have heard that the printing on the picks is not bad quality and it will not come off after use, so you can admire Van Gogh and Munch for as long as you wish.
With a guitar accessory that is almost the same size as a coin, you would not expect to have a complicated list of features and characteristics you should be looking for or avoiding. Partially, this is true. For me, there are 2-3 main things to keep in mind when choosing your pick, but there are a lot of variations within those features and they are vital to your experience. Let’s start with the thickness. The thickness of a pick ranges from extra thin (under 0.45mm) to extra heavy (over 1.20mm). Thinner picks are more often used with acoustic guitars and thick ones with electric guitars, although personal preference plays a big part in the decision. All thickness levels have advantages and disadvantages but keep in mind that the thickness will change the sound as well as your style. Most picks are usually triangular or somewhat triangular, there are variations on that too and the shape will affect the way you hold the pick and strum. It is mostly recommended that beginners start with the standard shape and then, if found unsatisfactory, experiment with variations. Materials used in picks range from tortoiseshell (which is illegal now) to actual gold. Extravagant material aside, the most common ones are celluloid, nylon, acetal, etc. I would say nylon is the best pick (at least for me). Celluloid and nylon picks are the most popular ones, but my personal pick is nylon because it is more durable and provide much-needed texture for comfortable grip. And yes, texture is really important. When you are just a beginner and start practicing for the first time you want to be as comfortable as possible. Textured surface on a pick will give you a better grip than the smoother one so that you will not have to strain yourself and worry about it slipping
I have a fair share of musician friends who have had misfortunes with their performances all because of little tiny picks. They might be small but, goddamn, they are powerful and vital in your performance. For instance, one of my friends had to stop mid-performance for 5 minutes while 200 people were staring at him because he accidentally broke his pick and could not find a back up one. Details are often the thing that ensures you success or undermines it, so be as meticulous with your accessories as you can and spend time experimenting with different models of picks so that you can find the best guitar picks that suits your style.