Unless you’re going to be playing classical guitar, or bare-finger fingerstyle guitar, you’re going to be using guitar picks.
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The Plectrum Guitar Pick
You’ll use your guitar pick to strum guitar chords and pick out individual melody notes. Guitar picks are typically made of plastic, tortoiseshell, wood or stone. They’re shaped like an elongated triangle, with the two equal corners rounded and the third corner a bit sharper. Guitar picks come in all variations of the triangular shape, and in a range of sizes, and thicknesses.
The pick you use will depend on your guitar, the style of music you’re playing, your hand size, and your playing technique. Beginners should start out with a standard-sized, standard-shaped, medium gauge pick. This will work for any guitar in any style of music. From there you can experiment with different sizes, shapes and gauges.
If you’re playing electric guitar with very light strings, you may want to try lighter picks. If you’ve got a jazz guitar strung with heavy strings, you’ll want a thicker pick. The one pick mistake that could affect your playing is using a flimsy pick on a heavy strings. Other than that, you really can’t go wrong with your choice of pick. Consider that ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons uses a Mexican peso coin, filed down to more-typical pick shape
Like most guitar players, over time you’ll want to try different picks until you settle in on a favorite.
If you’re a singing guitar player you may need a microphone stand pickholder.
Guitar Finger Picks
Fingerstyle guitarists have some choices: finger picks or bare fingers. Finger picks involve a thumb pick, and individual finger picks. Thumb picks are usually plastic. Finger picks are usually plastic or metal.
Thumb Picks for Guitar
Thumb picks and finger picks do come in a variety of sizes, shapes and gauges. If you’re going to try finger picks, it’s a good idea to actually “try on” the picks, especially the plastic ones. These picks need to fit snugly on your thumb and fingers, but can not be too tight, or too loose. Metal finger picks can, to some extent, be bent and shaped to fit your fingers.