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Choosing the Right Guitar Pick

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As you hunt for the perfect guitar tone, your quest will have you questioning every single piece of gear you use, from your electric guitar amplifier all the way down to your guitar pick. Each component in your signal chain has an effect on your tone. Today, we will look at some things to keep in mind when you are choosing which pick to use.

Size, shape, and thickness

The size of the pick you choose can have a big effect on how you play. For players who like to choke up on their pick for ultimate alternate picking efficiency, a large pick can feel cumbersome in their hand. Alternatively, if you are sitting down to strum out some songs on your acoustic guitar, a small pick may not give you the surface area for a good grip, and you’ll find yourself dropping your pick more than you’d like. On that same note, picks that come to a sharp point are great for laying down single note runs at high speeds, whereas picks with a more rounded tip are more suited for strumming. Similarly, thick picks are more appropriate for single note playing, and thin picks are better for strumming, generally speaking.

Material

Nowadays, picks come in a wide variety of different materials. You will notice that each different material feels different in your hand. If you are a player who is prone to dropping picks, you may want to opt for a pick that has a raised texture, or a chalky finish, as opposed to a shiny polished plastic. You will also notice that each different material sounds different against the string. Harder materials, such as ultex, are great for a percussive pick attack. If you want a more muted string sound, nylon is a great choice.

As you can see, the guitar pick that you choose can have a major impact on your playing style, and ultimately, your tone. Even if you already have a favorite style of guitar pick that you have been using for years, it is always worth it to build up a collection of different picks. You never know; you may just find a new favorite!