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The best guitar picks for beginners
“WOAH! Did you see that guitarist shred? I wonder how they do it?”
Have you ever caught yourself saying these exact words? To play the guitar like the musical gods like Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai, and others, you need to put in countless hours of practice and fully dedicate yourself to learning the instrument. However, some guitarists have a secret weapon that brings them to the peak of their abilities. This tool is the guitar pick.
The guitar pick or plectrum is overlooked by most beginners. However, the pick actually plays a very important role in a guitarist’s playing. If you’re using an uncomfortable pick, you might not be able to play the fast licks and riffs that you dream about. And if you have the right pick in your hands, it will feel like an extension of your fingers and allow you to play clearer, faster, and with more emotion.
While the strings, pickup, and wood of your guitar play the most important roles when it comes to tone, the pick you’re holding can make all the difference when learning to shred.
Pick Geek Assorted Guitar Picks
If you’re a beginner guitarist looking for a set of picks that will last you a long time, this is the one for you. With a nice carrying bag, pick holder, and 51 well-made plectrums, you’ll be using these picks for a very long time.
- Value for money:
We kick off our list with one of the best overall choices out there. This collection from Pick Geek features 51 premium plectrums with a wide variety of designs, perfect for guitarists who like switching it up.
And since there are a large number of picks in the collection, guitarists don’t have to worry about running out if they get lost. The picks are made out of Delrin and celluloid thermoplastics, which are some of the best materials for guitar picks on the market as they feel very comfortable in the hand and make a clear tone when plucking the strings.
On top of all that, this Pick Geek set also comes with a pick holder and drawstring bag that you can use to store your plectrums and make sure they don’t get lost after one practice session.
Art Tribute Vincent Van Gogh Guitar Picks
Have you been looking for a high-quality set of picks that stand out? These Vincent Van Gogh plectrums boast vibrant designs that can catch anyone’s eye!
- Value for money:
When it comes to guitar picks, designs vary greatly. However, these Vincent Van Gogh guitar picks boast one of the most eye-catching and unique designs out there. In this set, guitarists get 12 different picks that feature famous Van Gogh paintings, a tin box for storage, and a pick holder for easy access.
The picks are made out of celluloid and are medium gauge. Medium gauge picks are great for beginners since they can be used for rhythm and lead guitar playing. However, if you’re looking to strum away on an acoustic guitar, you might find these picks a bit too thick for the job.
One downside to this set is that the design might fade after regular use. However, that doesn’t mean that this still isn’t a great pick for just about any beginner out there. When playing the guitar with medium gauge picks, you’ll find that you can do a whole lot of different techniques, making them the optimal size for beginners who are practicing a wide variety of techniques.
BARKER CREEK D’Addario Assorted Pearl Celluloid Guitar Picks
If you’re tired of spending large amounts of money on plectrums just to lose them in a week, this is a great choice for you. This pack comes with 10 high-quality picks available at an affordable price, making it an ideal choice for beginners.
- Value for money:
D’Addario is one of the most well-known guitarist brands out there. While they are best known for their guitar strings and other accessories, their picks are one of the best in the market. This set of 10 D’Addario picks is available at a very affordable price, and on top of that, you’ll be getting a quality set of plectrums for a wide variety of playing styles.
The picks are medium gauge and around 0.70mm in width. This is just the right size for beginners as it allows them to play lead melodies clearly and strum wide and loud rhythms. However, if you’re playing the acoustic guitar, you might find this size a bit too wide to get the sound you want.
The picks are made of celluloid, which isn’t as good as Delrin but is good enough for a beginner set. They sport beautiful designs in a variety of colors, giving players a lot of variety. The celluloid material allows users to get that signature warm tone associated with most guitars.
These picks feel very comfortable in the hand, and can be used for shredding, strumming, or even a combination of both! So, if you’ve been on the hunt for a quality set of plectrums on a budget, this is the one for you.
Best beginner set
ChromaCast Guitar Picks
Beginners who aren’t exactly sure what pick size to choose will definitely enjoy this set. With a wide variety of sizes and colors, it’s the perfect pick for beginner guitarists looking to explore the different types of picks and plectrums.
- Value for money:
Most professional and experienced guitarists out there have a favorite type of pick. Guitarists find the right pick for them by trying out a variety of different materials, sizes, and shapes until they find the one that suits them the best. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to try out a variety of different picks before deciding on the best designs for you.
This set is one of the best beginner sets because it contains picks of different sizes and thicknesses. Included in the 12-piece set are extra thin, thin, thin/medium, medium, medium/heavy, and heavy gauge picks. This gives beginner guitarists the freedom to experiment with tons of different gauges while trying to find the right size for them.
This sampler set comes with both celluloid picks and DuraPicks. These two materials are commonplace in the world of plectrums, with celluloid being the ideal choice for many guitarists. However, DuraPicks are also popular amongst guitarists since everyone has different preferences.
These picks aren’t the most durable on the market, but they are good enough for beginners. And since the set comes with a wide variety of sizes and thicknesses, it will allow beginners to experiment all they want until they find just the right pick size for them.
Best for electric guitar
PPpanda Guitar Picks
If you’re an electric guitar student looking to get clear and concise tones when playing, you might enjoy using these picks. They are made with the ideal material for picks and come in many different sizes, giving guitarists a lot of flexibility.
- Value for money:
Students studying the electric guitar need to come up with clear tones on their instruments. To get a clear tone on the electric guitar, guitarists need to use the proper technique and also have a decent guitar. However, another key factor to a guitar’s tone is the pick being used.
This set of PPpanda guitar picks is ideal for electric guitar students. All the picks included in the set have a very smooth surface, making it comfortable to grip. And since they are made of celluloid, they will wear down nicely and produce a clear and warm tone.
If you aren’t sure what pick size to use, this set is also a great choice for you. The set comes with 48 picks in 6 different sizes. So, guitarists will have the freedom to experiment with all the different gauges to find the one that suits their playing style the best.
On top of all that, the set comes in a wide variety of colors, making it perfect for beginner guitarists looking to learn in style.
Best for acoustic guitar
Donner Celluloid Guitar Picks
Acoustic guitarists struggling to find a set of picks would enjoy this set greatly. With 16 picks in a variety of sizes and colors, just about any acoustic guitarist out there will be able to find one that fits their tastes.
- Value for money:
This next set is great for all the acoustic guitar players out there. It comes as a set of 16 different picks in a variety of sizes. While every guitarist has their own preferences when it comes to the right pick thickness, acoustic guitarists in particular will enjoy the thinner gauges that come with this set.
When playing the acoustic guitar, thinner picks are recommended, especially when strumming. Thinner picks give less resistance when strumming, allowing guitarists to strum with ease while also lessening the strain on the arm and wrist. However, thin picks aren’t as durable as the thicker ones, which can get in the way when strumming hard.
Along with the 16 picks, this set comes with a tin box where you can store the picks. That way, in the event one of them gets lost or gets broken, you can easily get another one and continue playing.
Best under $5
Jim Dunlop Variety Pack Guitar Picks
Need a set of picks on a budget? Then don’t look any further than this Dunlop collection. The set is made out of a variety of materials and includes picks of different sizes, all available at a very affordable price.
- Value for money:
When looking for your first set of guitar picks, you don’t want to spend too much money, especially if you aren’t sure what type of size, shape, design is best for you. If you’re on a budget but still need a quality set of picks, this is a great set for you.
Jim Dunlop is one of the top brands for picks out there, and this set comes with a wide variety of their best picks. Try out different materials like celluloid, Delrin, and nylon. The picks also come in a variety of sizes, making it easy to find the right one for you.
With that said, this set is designed for acoustic instruments. So, they might not sound as good when used on an electric guitar, but are still a great option for any guitarist. Because of the wide variety of materials and sizes you get in this collection, this is a highly recommended budget option for electric and acoustic guitarists.
What to look for in a good guitar pick for beginners
When it comes to guitar picks, everyone has their own unique tastes and preferences. Some guitarists prefer thick picks, some prefer thin ones. There are many different factors to consider, and when you’re a beginner guitarist, these factors can be overwhelming and get in the way.
To make finding the best picks for you easier, we’ve made a list of the most important things to consider when buying a beginner’s guitar pick.
The first version of the guitar pick, or plectrum as other musicians like to call it was made out of tortoiseshell. This material was very popular for picks all the way up to the early 20th century. However, due to the high demand for the material and overexploitation, marine turtles were declared an endangered species in the 1960s. As a consequence of this, tortoiseshell picks were banned in the United States in 1973.
Even before the 1970s, many pick manufacturers made the switch to faux-tortoiseshell picks, while some exclusively made picks out of faux-tortoiseshell. Nowadays, manufacturers make picks out of a wide variety of materials such as plastic, metal, nylon, and Delrin.
Some of these materials wear down slower than others such as Delrin and nylon. In fact, some guitarists claim that their nylon picks can last them years unless they lose them.
When it comes to pick material, there is no “best” choice for beginners. Every guitarist has their own personal preference because, at the end of the day, it all boils down to comfort. So, when buying your first pick or set of picks, try and test out different materials to see which feels the most comfortable in your hands.
Another aspect to consider is the thickness of the pick. Again, this will all boil down to comfort at the end of the day, so make sure to try out different sized picks next time you’re at the music store.
For more rhythm-centric playing, most guitarists recommend using thinner picks. This is because thin picks cause less strain on the hands when strumming heavily. Thinner picks that are 0.45mm-0.70mm thick are best for strumming and plucking the acoustic guitar and are known for having a very delicate tone.
For flexible players who play both lead and rhythm guitar, medium to heavy picks are ideal. These have a bit more body than slim picks and will measure about 0.75-1.22mm thick. These produce a louder and fatter tone. Some guitarists even claim that thicker picks allow them to shred faster, but not all guitarists agree with that.
If you feel like you need an even thicker pick, then you can go for extra heavy designs. These models will be hard to play for beginners, but many advanced players, especially those who play hard rock and metal, find that these picks are best suited for their genre and play style.
The last thing you have to consider is the design of the pick. One of the best things about picks and plectrums is that they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. The best one for you will be the one that suits your tastes and preferences.
There are solid-colored simple picks, ones with intricate patterns, and ones with a faux-tortoiseshell texture, just to name a few.
Can beginner guitarists use a pick?
Yes, beginners can use guitar picks. When learning how to play a steel-string guitar, whether it’s acoustic or electric, picks are a great way to teach students more advanced strumming and plucking techniques. Picks can also take off some of the strain on the fingers, which can come in handy for beginner guitarists, as calluses and blisters are common for beginner students.
While it’s great for beginners to start using picks early, it should not be an excuse to not learn proper plucking patterns and techniques.
Does it matter what pick you use?
Yes, it does. Every guitarist has a different preference when it comes to the pick they use in playing. Some picks will feel very comfortable in your fingers and produce just the right sound, while others are the exact opposite of that. Holding the right pick in your hands can make a huge difference in playing as the more comfortable you feel when holding a guitar, the easier it will be to play.
What is the best pick for strumming?
For strumming the guitar, musicians recommend using thinner picks. These picks produce a lighter, more delicate sound than heavier, thicker picks. Thinner picks will flex when struck against a string, making it much easier for guitarists to strum heavily.
And with that, our list of the best guitar picks for beginners comes to an end. Guitarists, especially beginners often overlook the importance of guitar picks. The right guitar pick makes techniques easier to play, feels better in the hand, and can greatly improve your playing.
However, every guitarist out there has a different preference when it comes to plectrums. Some prefer thick models, some prefer thin ones. At the end of the day, it’s all up to you. So, if you’re a beginner guitarist looking for the right pick, then we recommend trying out a variety of sizes, styles, materials, and designs until you find the perfect option for you!