We’re all familiar with the cliche that music has no rules, maybe except for one: Never play the Uke with a pick. When you first think of a ukulele (or a uke), you probably don’t think about plectrums. Most of the time you’ll play the uke with your fingers. But don’t let that stop you, there are great ukulele picks in the market. There are rubber, leather, and even felt ukulele picks. There are some good reasons not to play the ukulele with a pick. But there are also great reasons to at least try it out, and we’ll touch them all now.
Some reasons to avoid a pick when playing the Ukulele include the risk of harming your instrument, some picking patterns that are almost impossible to play, and a very guitar-like sound (which can be easily avoided using some of the picks in this list). There are some very good reasons to try playing the Ukulele with a pick. Such as better ergonomics, a variety of sounds, and comfort. It’s up to you if you want a pick to be a part of your daily routine or not, but my advice to you is to at least try it.
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Things to consider when choosing a ukulele pick:
Like every other pick, there are 3 main things to look for when it comes to the picks properties:
The shape controls a lot of the sound produces by the pick. The shape is also responsible for your picking hand posture. You should never underestimate the benefits of using a comfortable pick and the damage an uncomfortable hand posture can cause.
This is pretty much the simplest thing to look for. The pick’s level of hardness determines a lot of the characteristics of the sound produces. A general rule of thumb is: The softer the pick, the softer (of mellower) the sound. Easy.
When it comes to Ukulele picks, there are mostly 3 materials to choose from (except for thumb picks, which I really don’t like on a uke): Felt, leather, and rubber. Each material has its own characteristics. Felt picks wear faster than any other material I tried because it’s usually very soft. It also produces a very mellow sound. There are some cool synthetic felt picks with a stiff core, that you can use to produce a punchier attack. Leather is a very common material when it comes to uke picks. You can use it to get that classic Uke sound easily. Leather usually gets softer the more you use it but doesn’t get as soft as felt. Rubber is extremely useful in my opinion. It eliminates the clicky pick sound completely, making your plucking sound very much like your finger – and allowing you to enjoy both worlds.
Anyway, here are my favorite Ukelele picks:
#1: Anwenk Leather Ukulele Picks
Anwenk is a great option if you want to try leather picks. Each pick is double-sided (so there’s no suede-like side to the pick). It makes it a lot more consistent and durable. Each pack contains 4 three-sided picks, so you’ll have a lot of time until they all wear out. And at less than $9, it really is an easy decision. Click here to buy them from Amazon.
#2: Rubber Tones Heart Uke Picks
Rubber picks are a bit of a challenge for me to describe. They share a lot of the sound properties of the Felt picks. They are often duller than them but are a lot more durable. Rubber picks eliminate the clicky sound we usually have when a plastic pick hits the strings. So they emulate the sound of strumming with your fingers pretty accurately. They cost $5.81 per pick, and you can buy them on Amazon.
#3: Timber Tone Felt Picks
This is where we step up our game. While most Ukulele felt picks cost anywhere between $0.7 to $1.5, these picks cost about a bit more than $3.5 per pick, but they last a lot longer. What I don’t really like about them is the fact that they’re a bit bigger than a normal pick (but to be honest, it doesn’t really matter when it comes to strumming). The pack contains 4 picks and costs $14.62. Click here to buy them from Amazon.
#4: Wedgie Rubber Picks
Even though they are ranked #2 on my Best Picks for Bass list, I think that they are lacking some high-end detail and texture to be ranked higher on this list. They are super high quality and will last for a long long time. If you’ve never tried them, I think it would be better to try the variety pack from Amazon and see what fits your playing style.
#5: The curveball – I-MART Celluloid Picks
I called it a curveball because these picks are not made for ukuleles (even though this is what they say). They are just super thin guitar picks that sound nice. With these, you will have the click sound when strumming the strings, but if that’s what you look for – this is the way to go. Another benefit you get from these is that picking is a lot easier with them compared to other picks on that list. They are also dirt cheap, $4 will get you 12 of these, $5 will get you 24, and $8 will buy you a 100. That’s 8 cents per pick! Click here to buy them from Amazon.
#6: Mudder Felt Ukulele Picks
On one hand, these picks remind a bit of Timber Tones’ Felt picks. But, on the other hand, they really aren’t really comparable. They are a lot cheaper and they are 4mm thick, without any beveling at all, meaning that the tip is 4mm as well. It’s not so bad, because this pick is made for strumming, Buy I’d really like the option to pick a string every now and then. I know that they’re ranked low on this table, but they are really not bad at all. They just don’t fit my playing style, but for that price, you should really give them a chance. For $7.99 you’ll get 10 picks, Click here to buy them from Amazon.