8 Unorthodox Ways to Use Guitar Picks for a Truly Unique Tone

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By Guitar Pick Reviews

As a guitar enthusiast, I’m sure you’ve heard of all sorts of crazy picking techniques out there. 

From tremolo picking and tapping on the body to harmonics and experimental sounds. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned player feel dizzy!

If you’re looking for ways to break free from tradition and bring something new into your playing style, look no further.

Today, we will explore some unconventional ways that will have you embracing your picks in no time!

Percussive Techniques: Adding Some Beatz

Gone are those days when picks were relegated solely to strumming chords or soloing scales. Now, we can use guitar picks to add rhythms, too!

Percussive techniques involve using our trusty little pieces of plastic as mini drumsticks. Striking various surfaces, such as strings or bodies, allows us to create beats and textures which give more definition to our soundscapes.

Experiment around with different intensities, from light taps through medium strokes right up until hard hammer smashes, so that what comes out of your guitar is unique and truly yours. 

Extended Techniques: Breaking Through Sound Barriers

Let’s dive a little bit deeper into the world of extended techniques. Those who are usually pushed to one side due to their ‘unconventional’ nature. Slide that pick around for sliding sounds!

Sliding a Pick Against the Strings
Sliding a Pick Against the Strings

Alternate between picking and lightly grazing the strings until harmonic overtones dance through the air. It can be a mesmerizing experience when you do it correctly.

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If you want an intense sound, tremolo picking might just be what you need! Try out different approaches with these theory-breaking techniques, as there aren’t any boundaries here anymore!  

Experimental Sounds: Unleash Your Creativity

When creative juices start flowing more freely, we dare venture further down our rabbit hole in search of even bolder ideas that may come from breaking conventions through experimental sounds created using our trusty picks.

We all know about strumming, but let’s try something else now by gently scratching/scraping against strings or other parts within your guitar body…the result?

A layer of raw unpredictability adds more depth and intensity to whatever style melody comes out next time round (and I guarantee it’s going to be amazing).

Or why not lightly place your palm onto the strings whilst strumming for a more staccato effect?

It adds an extra bit of oomph and dynamism that you won’t regret. 

Alternative Materials: Think Outside the Pick Box!

Many are under the impression that conventional plastic picks bring out what’s best in our sound, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with shaking things up once in a while, right?

Do some digging into different types of guitar picks. Experiment with materials such as metal or even wood/bone. Try different shapes and gauges. Soon enough, you’ll find something which brings its own unique tonal characteristics and affects how we play!

Guitar Picks Of All shapes and Sizes
Guitar Picks Of All shapes and Sizes

Exploring the Unconventional Picking Techniques of Famous Musicians

When it comes to playing guitar, a pick is usually seen as an essential tool. From strumming chords to blazing solos, picks are seemingly ubiquitous in many genres and used by countless guitarists worldwide.

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But while conventional picking techniques can get us pretty far, there have been some revolutionary players who challenged this status quo and created unique approaches to using their picks.

Let’s take a closer look at some iconic artists who developed unorthodox picking styles that forever changed our understanding of what’s possible on the instrument! 

Jimi Hendrix – The Wizard Of Whammy

Jimi Hendrix is arguably the most influential electric guitarist in history, and his innovative approach to music still resonates today.

His ability to fuse blues, rock, funk, and soul into a single style was groundbreaking – but that’s not all!

Known for extensively using a whammy bar combined with picking techniques (as opposed to solely relying on picks), Jimi revolutionized the way we think about playing guitar.

By bending notes and manipulating feedback, as well as combining conventional pick work with unorthodox techniques such as string bends, he pushed our understanding of what could be created on an instrument beyond its limits. 

Eddie Van Halen – The Tap Master

When it comes to redefining modern guitar-playing styles, Eddie Van Halen’s name cannot be ignored.

He developed two-handed tapping, which involves simultaneously pressing down different notes or chords. At the same time, hammering out rapid arpeggios through the use of both hands , a technique almost unheard of priorly!

Eddie Van Halen's Double Tapping Technique
Eddie Van Halen’s Double Tapping Technique

This method was famously associated with him due to its complexity yet sheer speed. It allowed him to execute each performance flawlessly every time. It also enabled players like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani later in their careers to incorporate these same techniques within their own repertoire and further refine it. 

Mark Knopfler – The Fingerstyle Maverick

Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler is renowned for his intricate fingerstyle guitar playing, which he utilized to display a wide variety of emotions and feelings in each song.

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Not only was Knopfler’s use of picks creative, but he also very rarely used any picks at all! 

Rather than relying solely on this tool, instead opting to pluck the strings with his fingertips producing soulful rhythms that would linger long after every performance.

Many players have mimicked his melodic guitar sound since then due to its complexity yet accessibility . This makes him one of the most influential guitar players ever. 

Jeff Beck – The Master Of Control 

Grammy award-winning guitarist Jeff Beck stands out from other musicians thanks to his unparalleled control over the instrument as well as an innovative approach when using a pick!

He grips the pick between thumb and first finger while resting other fingers against the pickguard, enabling him to execute nuanced picking patterns with finesse and fluidity like never before seen or heard before!

This technique, combined with Jeff’s ability to coax beautiful sounds from guitars, has earned him accolades worldwide, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest living players today! 

The guitar pick is an instrument in and of itself, capable of creating a wide range of sounds. 

These innovative picking techniques demonstrated by these trailblazing musicians have opened up the possibilities for what can be achieved on the guitar, allowing us to explore new realms with this timeless tool.

Whether it’s Jimi Hendrix’s use of the whammy bar or Jeff Beck’s control over the pickguard – each one has made their mark as a pioneer who pushed boundaries and challenged traditions to shape our current understanding of music today!

Wrapping It All Up

Who knew exploring guitar picks could be so fun? Breaking away from traditions provides us with endless possibilities of playing styles yet discovered. Don’t forget to use them wisely when situations arise.

No matter whether it’s percussive techniques, extended techniques, or experimental sounds, one thing for sure is that you’ll be having a blast with your guitar and keeping those pick technique experimentations flowing. Peace out!