The guitar pick / plectrum is a implement used to play the guitar and there are a huge variety of them on the market today. Here we’ll go over how to correctly hold a guitar pick, what to consider when choosing one, and even how to make your own!
Firstly here’s a great video on guitar picks by Mark McKenzie from Jamorama:
How to Hold a Guitar Pick
As a guide you should hold the plectrum with your thumb across it and your forefinger pointing down. This is if you are holding the plectrum with 2 fingers (it is possible to hold it with 3). Again this is only a guide as it should be held in whatever way is comfortable for you.
It’s important to keep in mind that like almost all elements of guitar playing, you should keep your muscles relaxed while using the plectrum. Tensing your muscles will only cause discomfort and will limit your ability to play well.
Things to Consider When Buying a Guitar Pick
Below we’ll discuss the things you should consider when buying a guitar pick, as well as how to correctly hold one.
The material that a guitar pick is made of can be anything from plastic to metal or stone. Basically as long as its durable enough it can be made of anything. Personally I’ve never really diverged from the conventional plastic ones as I find them easy to use.
The conventional shape for guitar pick is a rounded triangular shape. Saying that however, there are many other types out there. The Tortex Fin by Dunlop for example has a jagged edge, as well as 2 other more conventional edges. There’s also a pick called the Jellifish which is a really interesting invention. It basically has multiple ‘brushes’ which can be used in various ways to achieve a range of different sounds.
Some picks are shaped so they are more ergonomic, with contouring so that they are easier to hold than others.
This is probably the most important factor in choosing a pick that’s right for you, as it makes a huge amount of difference! Guitar picks are made in a wide range of different stiffnesses. You should experiment and find one that suits you as it entirely depends on your style of play and preference.
Making Your Own Guitar Pick
There are some products on the market that allows you to make a guitar pick yourself; one such example is the Pick Punch. It’s basically like a hole punch, but it punches picks out of various types of plastic. For example you could make a guitar pick out of an old gift card you have lying around (we recommend you use the credits first!).
Here’s a video showcasing what the Pick Punch can do:
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