What Guitar Pick Should I Use?
You've been playing guitar for as long as you could hold one. Though many moons have passed since then, your fervor presses on, woven into every note.
You hum along as you play, plucking at the strings with precision and practiced ease. By now, the skin on your fingertips has long since callused over.
Or perhaps your tale sounds slightly different.
The indents on your fingertips are still red and raw, the stinging sensation lingering long after you put your new guitar away for the night. Yet steadfast and true, you stay committed to your craft and breathe life back into your instrument with every passing day.
No matter how you choose to tell it, every guitarist has a story. And though the details differ from player to player, one similarity courses through each of you:
Players like you want not only to chase tone but to find it — to uncover its richness and depth and carve it out in every song in every show from this day forward.
To you, dear player, there is but one key to unlocking the potential of your tonal possibilities:
A guitar pick.
Reasons You Should Use a Guitar Pick
A guitar pick is a foundational playing tool, an essential addition to any guitarist’s collection.
Often underestimated, this small piece of material is your key to great guitar playing. Mastering its use is crucial to improving your skills and perfecting your craft.
That said, using a guitar pick offers several advantages worth considering.
Faster Playing Speed
One of the most significant benefits of using a pick is that it allows for greater speed when playing complex rhythm patterns and techniques such as palm muting.
Additionally, using a pick enables you to play intricate chord combinations that would be hard to do with your bare fingers.
Another factor to keep in mind is your playing accuracy. Using your fingers can be imprecise, especially when you’re trying to play fast licks or chord progressions without looking. With a guitar pick, however, this problem is rare.
Guitar picks make it easier to play riffs with better accuracy, so you don’t have to worry about hitting the wrong note and messing up your flow.
When playing the guitar, it’s crucial to consider how much resonance there is in your tone. A guitar pick allows more vibration from the strings. The result is a richer, fuller sound that lasts longer than if you only used your fingers for strumming or picking techniques.
The pick also gives your sound more character and projection than if you were playing with your fingers. Using a pick enables you to adjust your attack for different sounds and tonal effects. For example, if you want a more mellow tone on an acoustic guitar, using light strokes with a flexible pick will give you the desired result.
Guitar Pick Use Cases
Finding the right pick for your playing style is crucial to enhancing your sound and setting your playing apart. However, many guitar picks are available on the market, and ‘picking’ the right one poses a challenge.
Electric Guitar Picks
If you’re an electric guitarist looking to pluck your way to paradise, the Stealth Pick and Blades Pak from Acoustik Attak have everything you need.
The Stealth Pick is every solo shredder’s dream: its pointed tip allows for unmatched precision in speed picking, alternate picking, and sweep picking. While this pick delivers a clearer tone, its exquisite ergonomic design that sets the Stealth apart. The center of the pick is concave with raised bumps, which lock the thumb into place and prevent slippage.
The Blade I is the first pick in the pack. This textured pick generates a compressed sound when you pluck individual notes. Its horizontal line formations and semi-flex structure allow overdrive and distortion effects to cut through the mix with clarity. Additionally, this pick reduces the impact of excess string resonance, making it ideal for funk fans and bluesy rock players who want their sound to stand out.
The second pick is the Blade II. Though similar to the Blade I in precision and clarity, this pick is slightly stiffer and thicker. The rigidity of this pick instantly transmits power when playing harder, offering more definition with a faster attack. This pick also pushes upper mids forward to generate more top end while lightening up the muddiness in the lows and low mids.
Both picks are perfect for hybrid picking and allow you to play with added percussiveness and clarity. With an emphasis on every note, these picks add an element of attitude to every song, for every player.
Acoustic Guitar Picks
The best picks for acoustic playing offer a bit of flexibility and give when they strike the strings. The picks in the Attak Pak have both of these elements in spades.
First in the lineup is the Attack pick. This pick is sharply angled, designed to capture more depth and deliver clarity with every chord. With a percussive ‘double striking’ effect, it harmonically enhances mid-range frequencies and brings out tones reminiscent of a sought-after 12-string acoustic sound. Equipped with this pick, players can expect a crisp and clear delivery of every single note.
Next up is the Ambush pick. This one provides the same heat as the Attack but with even more impact. Raised structures on the pick allow for some snag, creating a ‘snap and pop’ effect and a more percussive sound. Also, hard picking with the Ambush thickens lower harmonics and gives it a heavier, fuller tone and a front-of-house feel.
Accompanied by an aggressive impact with every strum, the picks in the Attak Pak are ideal for players looking to brighten their tone.
Bass Guitar Picks
The strings on bass guitars are usually thicker than other guitar strings, so bass players need a pick that gives them strong plucking power while also adding roundness to their tone. That said, Acoustik Attak has a specially curated lineup of picks best-suited for bass: the Pocket Pak.
In addition to the Ambush pick discussed earlier, the picks featured in this selection are bound to make bass players swoon.
Those looking for thicker tones with more thumping power will love what the Juggernaut brings to the table. Bass playing requires consistency and clarity, and this sturdy pick offers nothing short of precise accuracy on the attack of each note.
If overdriven bass pieces are your bread and butter, the Surge will deliver an edgy growling tone that’ll keep you coming back for more. This pick introduces a greater level of playing presence while simultaneously producing a smooth upper-frequency boost without becoming brittle or harsh.
Finally, bass players with a penchant for punchy tones can take advantage of the Stealth XL. This pick’s curved and beveled tip glides smoothly across the strings while its ergonomic grip design delivers consistent control and effortless harmonics.
Regardless of your bass-playing preference, the Pocket Pak will give you everything you need to play in the groove.
Guitar Pick Thickness — Does it Matter?
As you can see, a wide variety of guitar picks are available on the market, so guitarists of all skills and specialties can find one that packs the right punch.
Before you make your selection, one final consideration is worth mentioning:
Guitar pick thickness affects the durability of the pick itself and the sound you get from it.
Most guitar picks come in 1 of 4 different gauges:
- Thin — 0.40mm to 0.60mm thick.
- Medium — 0.60mm to 0.80mm thick.
- Thick — 0.80mm to 1.20mm thick.
- Extra Thick — 1.20mm+ thick.
Thickness also impacts how much force you need to use when playing and the overall ‘bite’ you get on each note.
Thin picks are flexible, enabling faster and more fluid picking techniques. Generally speaking, thin picks are also easier to use when strumming chords and flying through different picking patterns.
Thick picks, on the other hand, are stiffer, heavier, and more durable. Guitarists using thicker picks can dig into the strings for aggressive playing styles and more distinct tones. Thicker picks also tend to have less string noise than thinner ones, which means fewer instances of unwanted buzzing when you strum hard or play fast.
Picks come in many different thicknesses, and the one that feels right in your hand will ultimately come down to personal preference. So try out different styles and see where the notes take you!
A pick is an essential tool for any expert guitarist.
From fuller sounds and more precise tones to faster playing and improved attack accuracy, this small shard of material offers a range of benefits you'll want to take advantage of.
But with so many different options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you.
With expert craftsmanship and a diverse selection of offerings for specific playing styles, Acoustik Attak makes it easy.
So take your pick.
Attak Pik: Where Sound Meets Science
New to Attak Piks? Acoustik Attak guitar picks feature raised structures on their tips, leading to various sound enhancements such as desirable harmonics, tone brightness, and percussive effects.
Get Attak Picks now. With a single pluck of a string, these structures produce a pattern of multiple strikes which produces a series of waves at different times. This results in a greater complexity in wave action when compared to that produced from traditional picks.
Did you enjoy this article? Strum on for more:
Buying Guide: How To Choose The Right Guitar Pick
How to Select and Use a Guitar Pick for Beginners
Acoustik Attak’s Innovations Continue with Additional Guitar Picks and Beyond