The guitar sound is most affected by the type of guitar, strings, and pick that you use. This article will address how picks impact the sound coming from the strings on the guitar.
What’s a pick?
A pick is a tool that is used to you can use to create clearer and sharper sound from your guitar. The majority of your guitar playing will be done with a pick in the hand. Unless you are fingerpicking (which is a good skill to have). It may be a meaningless detail for men but for women who want to protect their fingers from the strings, the pick sure comes in handy. Most of the time the sound produced from a guitar player’s fingers isn’t comparable to the volume that is created by a pick.
Sizes and shapes
The most commonly used pick is the original pick that is in the shape of a classic 351 made by Fender. There are guitar picks that are shaped into extremes such as circle picks, diamond picks, or heart-shaped picks. Some finger picks that go on your finger like a ring and other ones that go on your thumb are called thumb picks. There are large triangular guitar picks that some current band artists use (i.e. Carlos Santana). On the other hand, there are tiny picks that are similar to mandolin picks.
Thick and thin
The thickness of your guitar pick has an impact on the amount of volume that you can generate. The thicker it is the greater the volume and usually the better the tone. Thinner picks do not sometimes carry the weight it takes to get the strings to really vibrate. The truth is once again it depends on your preference. The lighter pick is easier to maneuver and usually faster. If you are playing a faster song, a flimsier pick will ensure that your strings remain safe.
Plastic, Nylon , Metal, or hundreds of other materials.
Most nylon or plastic guitar picks are brittle and cause a clicking sound off of the strings when played. Finger picks and thumb picks are usually made out of metal which helps the picks not break and metal picks send out a very precise and bright tone. Other guitar pick materials, including Woods, Metals, Acrylic, Resin and Epoxy, Carbon Fiber, different types of Stones, Leather, Bones and Horns, and more. I working on a huge post going over most materials used for guitar picks, and I’ll update this post once it’s published. If you want to learn more about some unique materials and designers (plectiers), you should browse around the site.
When you are looking to play more like a certain guitar artist then copy what type of guitar or amp they use and then try to figure out what pick they are using. Sometimes you might even be surprised by learning that they use objects such as pennies, schillings, or pesos.
Try out as many different picks as you can and when you like the sound and the feeling you get, then go with it.