How To Choose A Guitar Pick For Acoustic & Electric Guitars in 2023
A pick is an essential tool in a guitarist’s equipment collection.
Though some guitarists prefer strumming and plucking with their fingers alone, using a pick offers several advantages worth considering. Most notably, guitar picks improve playing speed and accuracy, as well as your sound and tonal delivery.
That said, using a pick will bring you one step closer to mastering your craft. This makes your selection one of the most important choices you can make as a guitarist.
While pick selection is a personal preference, some picks are better suited for certain techniques — so you’ll want to make sure you choose the best one for your playing style. This can be a tricky decision because there are so many available pick options on the market.
Here, we will look at some of the most popular picks for both acoustic and electric guitars and how using these picks can benefit your playing.
The Difference Between Acoustic and Electric Guitars
The first step to choosing the right pick is to determine what type of guitar you have — acoustic or electric — and to understand the differences between the two.
The most considerable difference between electric and acoustic guitars is the type of strings used. Acoustic guitar strings are typically thicker and heavier than electric strings. As such, they produce a much brighter sound than electric guitars.
Picks for Different Playing Styles
There are dozens of different picks to choose from, but there are two basic types to consider: thick and thin.
Thick picks have more mass than thin ones, so they have less give and flexibility. They also have sharper edges, which makes them better at picking attack. That said, the ideal thickness of your pick will depend on how hard you hit the strings and whether you’re strumming or picking individual notes.
Strumming is simply striking multiple strings at once, usually with your fingers or a pick.
This technique is most commonly used to play chords and rhythm patterns in styles such as folk, country, and pop music. Despite this popularity, many guitarists do not know how to do it properly.
The good news is that strumming patterns are easy to learn once you understand that they’re just combinations of up-and-down strokes that you play as you alternate between different chords.
You can do this in different ways, like moving up and down the fretboard, but most beginner guitarists focus on perfecting their downstrokes when they’re just getting started.
Picking is a technique used to play individual notes on the guitar, rather than strumming chords. This technique may not be as relaxed and mellow as strumming, but using a pick to pluck individual strings will produce a distinct percussive sound.
Acoustic Guitar: Best Picks for Strumming
The best picks for acoustic strumming are thin, yet durable; comfortable to hold, and easy to play with.
Most importantly, the ideal pick is one that is flexible enough to bend the strings without breaking them. The flex allows the pick to glide effortlessly across the strings, producing a smooth and percussive sound on every strike. Flexible picks also produce clean notes that are rich and bright in tone, making them perfect for strumming chords.
So if you’re a rhythm guitarist looking for a pick for strumming, the Attak Pick from Acoustik Attak is an excellent choice. This textured pick delivers a percussive “double-striking” effect, harmonically enhances mid-range frequencies, and smoothes out individual string volumes on open chords.
A crisp, clear, and beautiful delivery of every chord, every time.
Electric Guitar Picks: Best Picks for Plucking Notes
Electric guitars respond more dynamically to picking techniques — and while thin picks are great for strumming, they’re too flexible to maintain enough control for accurate delivery of individual notes.
With this in mind, you’ll want a stiffer pick with more mass so that it bites into the strings with each stroke. The thicker material allows for more string contact and better control over volume and tone. This creates a sharper attack and louder sound from each note you play. Additionally, thicker picks give you more control over your playing style and help you create a signature sound.
Stronger, thicker, and heavier picks are better for electric guitarists who want to play heavy power chords. However, even if you prefer fingerstyle songs with less distortion in them, this type will still be useful because they tend not to fall out as much during strumming motions like palm muting or raking across multiple strings with one stroke motion.
That said, here are two top-tier options for your consideration:
First on the list is the Stealth Pick. This 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 next pick is the Blade Pick. This pick creates a compressed sound when playing individual notes and creates a plucking feeling rather than a picking feeling.. This allows distortion and overdrive effects to stand out with more clarity, while also reducing the muddiness of excess string resonance in the lower-frequency range.
Every guitarist needs a pick (or several) in order to perfect their skill and master the craft.
That said, guitar picks come in all shapes and sizes — and finding the right one will depend largely on your playing style.
Thicker picks are great for creating deep and resonant sounds, playing fast licks, and shredding solos with a precise attack. On the other hand, thin picks produce bright and distinct tones, making them best suited for strumming chords or rhythms with less attack power.
Regardless of your playing preference — from electric guitarists looking for a strong pick for powerful plucking or acoustic guitarists who prefer pliable picks for bright tones and crisp delivery — Acoustik Attak’s selection will meet all of your musical needs.
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: