Types of Guitar Picks


Types of Guitar Picks

It is funny how the tiniest and cheapest guitar accessory can influence the tone and technique.The type of pick – material ,thickness, texture and shape can strongly influence the tone, phrasing and articulation.

Regardless of the type of genre you play, and the musical applications you’re attempting, the type  of pick will provide a tonal foundation for your sound and your technique.

Shape and size

A typical standard pick looks like an elongated triangle with rounded edge or some would say, like a teardrop.

  • On one side, it is a broad surface where it provides a comfortable grip to hold the pick
  • The other side, a flat pointy tip to strike the strings

These picks provides more control and direction connection to the strings. These picks are best for playing progressive, metal and jazz styles. Larger picks are typically meant for heavier gauge instruments such as baritone guitar and bass.


The factor is the thickness of the pick. Most picks have its thickness printed on it.

The lighter picks are usually 0.53mm. These are the types that are ideal for strumming purposes or to produce a more sensitive and trebly tone. If you are looking at control, then this is not the pick to get as it bend and flicks.

For the thicker picks, it provides a rounded, fuller and heavier tone which help to assert the notes more precisely.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, thicker picks yield a fuller, rounder and heavier tone, and help to articulate notes more precisely. Jazz players and fast metal players gravitate towards these, as both the round, full-end tone and speed appeals to them.

In general, thinner striking surface (in other words, thin and pointy) will emphasize higher frequencies and give a more trebly tone; to get those lower overtones to vibrate, you need a thicker, rounder pick. Think about it: when you play with the fleshy part of your thumb it sounds muffled, much darker than with your fingernail. The same principle applies, and it becomes a question of finding the balance of tone that is right for you, and combining it with a shape that you find comfortable to hold.

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