What kind of pick should you use? This is really a matter of personal taste. After you have been playing for a little while, start experimenting with different shapes and gauges. The shape and thickness of your pick does play an important role in your overall sound and ability to play. A thick pick 1.00mm and up is better for playing lead guitar because they have an instant direct response to your finger movements (no bending). For strumming you want to use a lighter gauge pick or thin pick, this creates a sort of percussion sound while strumming created by the bending of the pick.

The shape of the pick also has some importance; a standard shape pick has a rounded tip and is a good all purpose pick shape. Picks that are smaller or that have a sharp V tip like a Dunlop Jazz 11 or Jazz 111 are great to use for lead playing and can help to generate more speed.

The texture of a pick also can effect your playing there are two types of picks water based and oil based. Oil based is the shinny picks and for some people they tend to slip around in their fingers. Water based picks have a flat dull appearance and when your finger sweats a bit it absorbs the moisture and allows you to keep a good grip on the pick, they even start to mold into your finger grip after a while but unfortunately by that time they start to wear out.

You may want to look for a brand of pick that has a little bit of a texture to it. If a pick is glossy and completely smooth, you may have trouble hanging on to it. Especially if your hand sweats. The pick will just slide around between your fingers. Another option is to take a piece of fine sand paper, and "rough up" your picks a little. This will give you a little more grip on the pick.

My suggestion is to have a supply of picks in different shapes and thicknesses with you at all times experiment with them for different applications and see what you think sounds best.


Jon said...

I remember someone (maybe Paul Gilbert, or Troy Stetina) saying it is easier to play softly with a heavy gauge pick than to play hard with a soft gauge! Good advice.

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