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Guitar Picks – What Pick Should You Use?

In todays blog I’m going to be talking about guitar picks. There are many different styles of guitar picks you can choose to use. My main go-to is anywhere between a 0.73 and a 1mm. These will have a little bit of flex but still firm enough to provide some attack and precision.

When playing metal, rock and down-tuning alternate tunings, heavier strings had to be used. When using thicker strings, down-tuning and playing a lot of fast shred, you’ll want to use a thicker pick. I’d recommend anywhere between 1.5mm and a 2.5mm. My go-to would be a Jim Dunlop stubby pick and that would be about 2mm which provides lots of attack, doesn’t bend at all, and they’re just really good for lead playing and digging into the strings to get the attack you want for that djent tone.

Another great pick for that sort of music, and also great if you do a lot of lead playing are the Jazz iii by Dunlop. These are like the stubby picks but smaller, so you don’t have as much to hold on to but they’re great for playing palm muted and you can get a lot of control with those picks as well. Generally they’re great for any gauge strings from your light regular standard tuning and down to heavier gauge drop tuned sounds as well.

When playing acoustic, rhythm guitar usually you’ll want to use a pick which isn’t going to provide as much attack, doesn’t scrape accross the strings too loudly and something which sounds a little looser. I’d go anywhere from 0.25mm up to a 1mm. Maybe even a little lighter if your playing rhythm guitar in a standard tuning with lightweight strings. A general rule of thumb is that the thicker strings you’re using, increase the thickness of your plectrum in order to provide the same amount of attack.

If your a rhythm player your mostly going to want to use a lighter plectrum compared to if your playing lead. If you’re in standard tuning on an acoustic or electric guitar and playing a lot of rhythm your best bet is anywhere between a 0.5mm and a 1mm. If you’re after a really light sound just to full out the rhythm section and mid range, I’d probably go with about a 0.5mm.

If you’re playing finger style guitar you can use thumb picks. They’re something I rarely use but can be great for country, classical and bluegrass playing. You can also use metal plectrums which i’m not a huge fan of because they have a metallic sound which some players are looking for, it’s a personal choice. They’re great for bluegrass and slide guitar. Sometimes when playing acoustic I don’t even use a pick which gives me more freedom to play percussively and mix techniques.

Check out my video on which guitar picks to use over on my YouTube channel.

Thanks for reading!

Sam

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