When you play the guitar, the way you produce sounds from the strings directly reflects your playing style.
Every guitarist has specific pick preferences that they stick to like a religion. You’ll find some prefer thick ones, others like medium ones, and some love thinner designs.
Although you’ll see criticism of thin picks in different forums and blog posts, this option is the most popular way to play the guitar today.
When you choose a thin pick for your guitar, you’ll produce a resonant tone on electric or acoustic guitars with clarity and purpose.
Are Thin Guitar Picks Worthless?
Thin guitar picks have a specific purpose for players. They deliver excellent results when playing muted notes, chords, or rhythm playing. They offer a lighter strike across the strings to produce a particular tone that contributes to the composition.
Some guitarists don’t use thin picks because their playing style doesn’t benefit from the product.
If your responsibilities to a band are to shred metal licks, you’ll need the heavier strikes that a thicker pick provides.
You can get a better sound from thin picks on some electric guitars.
The strike can be heavy enough that you hear scraping noises come across the feed with some items, reducing the quality of your overall sound.
Switching to thinner picks would eliminate the unwanted sounds.
Thin picks on electric guitars tend to provide unmistakable tones for chords and individual notes.
You’ll find that this playing technique reduces the number of times you need to retune the instrument since you’re not hitting the strings hard.
If you’ve never tried a thin pick, you can find a few options that are worth using as a beginner.
You might be surprised by how much your overall playing quality improves with this one simple switch!
What Are the Best Thin Guitar Picks to Use?
|D’Addario Pearl Celluloid Guitar Picks||• When you choose this brand of guitar brands, you’ll want to select the “light” option for a thinner product. |
• It is a 50mm design that produces ideal strumming conditions, using the standard shape to provide a comfortable playing experience.
• It offers a fat tone, natural warmth, and plenty of different colors to show off your personality.
|Fender Premium Picks Sampler||• Fender picks tend to be the best ones because of the product’s shape and consistency. |
• Since you’ll likely switch between different gauges to achieve specific results in various songs, it helps to grab a sampler pack.
• It comes with plenty of thin models, along with a few medium and heavy gauges, which also provides acoustic benefits if you play both styles.
|Dunlop 44P.46 Nylon Standard Guitar Picks||• When you need a lighter, more precise sound on your electric guitar, these picks deliver a consistent result. |
• They’re 0.04mm thinner than the “light” version from other manufacturers.
• You also get the benefit of using nylon, which provides a better gripping surface.
• You’ll get a feel for what you can do with an instrument while developing an appreciation for the articulation created.
|TimbreGear Exotica Wooden Guitar Picks||• The one exception to the thick pick is one made from wood. |
• If you select these handcrafted rosewood picks, you’ll create the rich tones that thin styles under .60mm offer.
• The thumb groove in this design makes them stand out, with each carved to perfection.
If you select wooden picks instead of thin ones to produce the warm, articulate tones on your guitar, you’ll want to stick with olive or rosewood to get the best results.
Softer woods respond the same way as thinner picks when playing an instrument.
That means harder styles, such as ironwood, will create a muddier sound when playing.
What Is the History of the Guitar Pick?
You can grab almost any guitar and feel like you’re one with the instrument. If you use the classical technique, a pick isn’t necessary.
You’ll be using your fingers to create the notes and chords.
Have you ever tried using a different pick on your guitar? The experience can feel you’re playing a brand-new instrument!
Although the modern picks developed from tortoiseshell designs in the 19th century, guitarists were using feather quills to play their instruments before that time.
Some evidence suggests that coins were a popular choice in some regions.
Even when we read about the oldest stringed instruments in history, the descriptions talk about using ivory, bone, or wood to create musical sounds.
After the industry started mass-producing guitar picks from plastics, players started noticing that their instruments weren’t sounding the same.
When design adjustments were made, or new ideas were tried, researchers often found that guitarists played the same way 50 to 100 years ago.
What Guitar Pick Should I Use to Play?
Have you noticed that your guitar strings seem to break more often than the way that other players play?
Do your fingers feel like they vibrate after you strike a chord, strum, or note on the frets?
Both examples are indicators that your guitar pick is too thick.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use thick picks for your playing style. With options measuring up to 3mm, you get more control over the playing experience.
The sound tends to be darker than when using thinner products.
The issue is one of skill. You must use specific playing techniques to avoid spraying picking scrape sounds into your music.
It works well to have a thicker pick if you play the lead guitar. You can use something in the 1.5mm range to get a positive result.
When you play rhythm guitar, a thinner pick is usually better because it adds crispness and lighter tones to your playing.
It’ll let you strum harder without worrying about playing too loud or breaking your strings.
Since a thin pick bends relatively easily, they’re an excellent choice for most acoustic guitars and some electric rhythm players.
You’ll get more picking control with a thick pick, eventually leading to fluidity and speed because of the extra weight.
Thinner picks might offer less specificity, but it comes with the advantage of having more control.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Thumb and Finger Picks?
Most guitarists use a standard-style pick for their instruments. This product is what you hold separately from the guitar in your hand as you strum or produce specific notes.
You have two other design options to consider when choosing a thin guitar pick. There are thumb picks and finger picks that change your approach to hitting the strings or strumming.
Before you consider switching from standard-style picks to the thumb or finger option, several pros and cons are worth reviewing.
|Pros of Using Thumb and Finger Picks||Cons of Using Thumb and Finger Picks|
|• You don’t need to worry about dropping the pick into the guitar’s soundhole when playing.|
• It allows you to play all of your preferred techniques.
• You can achieve clawhammer chords with cleaner and more controlled sounds.
• It makes it easier to pick the challenging strings of a solo instead of learning a specific technique for one song.
• Listeners can pick up the classical-style harmonics with improved consistency.
• You can switch between fingerstyle playing and strumming quickly since your hand isn’t forced to hold a thin, flat pick.
|• It takes a while to get used to using thumb and finger picks for the guitar. |
• If you learned how to play with the flat option, it feels strange to have something attached to the thumb.
• Some players might not find a product that works with their thumb or finger size.
• It can feel painful if the product is too small, while the larger ones make you worry that they’ll fall off.
• If you forget your thumb or finger picks before a gig, recording session, or practice, you’ll be stuck using a flat pick anyway.
• Most retail shops at the local level don’t stock these products.
How to Find the Best Guitar Pick For Me
When you use thin guitar picks, you should expect to lose a couple here and there. They tend to drop off your stand, fly out of your hand, or drop into the instrument with remarkable accuracy.
The best guitar picks will remain comfortable to hold when your hands get sweaty. They shouldn’t cause your hand muscles to cramp when using it for an extended playing session.
If you don’t like holding the pick the entire time, you could switch to a thumb or finger pick. Some guitarists prefer to tuck the flat ones into a pocket or have them stick out of the mouth.
When you’re not satisfied with the sounds that thin, medium-gauge, heavy, or extra heavy flat picks produce, you might try using a natural design instead.
Wooden picks are usually thicker, produce a mellow sound, and retain the crispness you want when using softer styles.
Everyone has a unique preference when playing the guitar for the picks they use. Thinner styles aren’t worthless, but they might not perform as expected in some situations.