Choosing The Right Guitar Pick
- 1 pick for strumming songs;
- 1 pick for chord picking songs (in songs such as Green Day's "Time of Your Life");
- 1 pick for rock, metal, jazz and single string (riffs or solos) based music.
Pick No. 1 - Strumming SongsIf you like to strum an acoustic guitar, go for the lighter one - 0.46 is the most popular for most beginner guitarists that I teach. They sound rich, have a lovely "zing" across the strings, and are thin, therefore easy to control.
Pick No. 2 - Chord Picking SongsFor songs where you pick chords rather than strum them, then try something a little thicker, such as the 0.55 or 0.73 - they are definitely two of the best guitar picks for beginners. You will find chord picking sounds quieter than strumming, (that's because it's one string being hit at a time as opposed to six when you strum), therefore having something slightly thicker helps keep the volume at an audible level. Having a slightly thicker pick for chord picking will also help you hit the right string more often. This is because thinner picks are great when strumming but bend too much when chord picking which causes a lack of control and the wrong string being hit.
Pick No. 3 - Electric (Rock, Jazz, Metal) Type SongsFor any single string riffs (think Led Zeppelin or Metallica style riffs) lead guitar (any of those widdly '80s virtuosos or douchebags as they are often called - not by me though), or fast jazz players, thicker is better. Not too thick though. Around about 0.9 to 1.1 is good. If you have played for years and can control a thicker pick, go for the Dunlop Jazz III XL. I love them. I can't believe no one told me about these until about 5 years ago. Before I used those, I would use a multitude of different picks, never settling on any particular one as when I would get all sweaty on stage, they would fly out my hand and disappear somewhere in the audience. I'm sure I once "flicked" one in someone's drink, or maybe I just wish I was that cool. Anyway, the Dunlop Jazz III XL is about 1.38mm thick and sounds great and has an awesome grip. No more wasting them in someone's gin and tonic any more. The following three picks are the ones my students have chosen as their favourites. If you struggle to get a good, solid sound from your pick, try these three picks for these three styles of playing:
- Strumming - 0.46mm
- Chord picking - 0.75mm
- Electric riffs/solos - 1.0mm