How To Choose A Guitar Pick

Table of Contents

As a beginner, you probably want to know how to choose a guitar pick to avoid purchasing one that makes you uncomfortable.

Choosing a guitar pick can be pretty confusing as there are several styles and designs available on the market. Even more important is how instrumental this accessory is to your growth and performance as a guitarist.

For beginners, it is great to try different picks with varying shapes, thicknesses, and materials before choosing what fits you. However, most people do not know what to look out for when choosing a guitar pick and so find it hard to choose suitable picks.

Not to worry, this article will show you how to make the proper guitar pick selection.

How to choose a guitar pick appropriately

Learning how to choose a guitar pick is necessary for both beginners and advanced guitarists. Guitar picks are widely used because they help guitarists play faster, and they help improve accuracy and fast finger movements between the guitar strings.

In choosing a guitar pick, the following factors should be considered.

Size and thickness

The size and thickness of a guitar pick should be considered when choosing them, as it significantly influences your playing and the sound of your guitar.

There are five main types of thickness to choose from.

  • The extra thin guitar picks: these are ideal for delicate playing as they produce a sound different from heavy picks and are great for acoustic guitars.
  • The thin guitar picks. They are excellent for strumming and ideal for acoustic guitars.
  • There are also medium guitar picks that are often thicker than the thin ones and often preferred by beginners.
  • Heavy guitar picks, which are best for electric guitar players.
  • Extra-heavy guitar picks: these refer to picks with thickness above heavy guitar picks, and electric guitar players also use them.

Although specific picks are ideal for particular instruments, the thickness to choose is primarily based on personal preference. So it is best to try different picks with various thicknesses to get the one that suits you best.

The material

Guitar picks can be made with several materials, including plastic and metal, but most commercial picks are made of plastic which is also recommended for players. There are also guitar picks made with celluloid, nylon, and xylonite.

In choosing guitar picks, consider using those made of durable materials that do not wear quickly, such as nylon.

Also, consider the feel that a particular material gives you when you hold it. Finally, pay attention to your guitar’s sound when plucked or strummed with different pick materials.

Style and design

Guitar picks come in various styles, designs, shapes, sizes, and colors. When considering the best guitar picks to purchase, also look out for style and design as it influences your convenience while playing.

In terms of shape, there are no restrictions to the pick’s shape as long as you can easily hold and strum with it. A typical design for most guitar picks is the pear drop style shape which is often the standard recommendation for beginners. Usually, most designs do not fully cover the pick, and those that do so are more expensive than regular ones.

For beginners, we recommend choosing a guitar pick that you are comfortable and happy with.

Additionally, as you consider all the above factors, try to be adventurous with your guitar pick choices as they are instrumental to your music career and guitar playing journey.

If you are not satisfied with regular guitar picks, you can make your own with materials like credit or gift cards, old business cards, and old CDs. Even coins can serve as an excellent alternative to regular guitar picks.


Guitar picks play a vital role in your journey as a guitarist; therefore, it is necessary to use those that perfectly suits you. There are several options to choose from, so as a beginner, try different brands before settling on the pick that makes you comfortable. Now that you know how to choose a guitar pick, your play experience will be more fun.

Jim Henneberry

Jim Henneberry

I love playing my guitar, and my kids got hooked along with me.
This is a family thing now - why don't you join the family fun? :)