What is the best thickness for a guitar pick? How thick should a guitar pick be? What is the recommended thickness for a guitar pick?
In order to answer these questions, we have compiled a standard guitar pick thickness guide that includes the best thicknesses based on desired sound, playing style and genre.
- 1 How Thick Should A Guitar Pick Be?
- 2 Does Guitar Pick Thickness Make A Difference?
- 3 Guitar Pick Thickness Chart
- 4 Most Common Guitar Pick Thickness
- 5 Best Pick Thickness For…
- 6 What Thickness Guitar Pick Should I Use?
- 7 What’s The Difference Between Thin, Medium Or Thick Guitar Picks?
- 8 Guitar Picks With Different Thickness
- 9 More Related Guitar Pick Articles
- 10 How Thick Of A Guitar Pick Do You Use?
How Thick Should A Guitar Pick Be?
To begin the process of answering this question, we need to know what the purpose is for which we are purchasing a guitar pick. There are 3 main purposes – playing style, sound and genre. The thickness of a guitar pick will have a direct effect on your playing experience (sound) and will also have an indirect effect on your sound (playing style).
These days it seems like there are more and more new guitar pick designs in the market than ever before. Its hard to keep up with all the different thicknesses and materials available. If you play blues or rock, thicker picks generally produce a cleaner sound while lighter picks produce more of a light sound. This is also true for punk, jazz, folk and pop styles.
The thickness of your guitar pick will also have an effect on your playing style. For example, if you play jazz or blues with a lighter pick, you would use it more like picking technique rather than slapping like a heavy metal player would use a thick pick for example.
With the advent of playing styles and sound, the decision on what thickness to pick up guitar becomes even more important than picking style. This is because you also need to consider your intentions regarding sound. Do you want a bright delicate sound or a heavier tone?
For example, a clean tone for the blues or jazz would use a thinner pick while metal players would prefer a thicker pick. For most mainstream metal styles, guitarists generally prefer to use a thicker pick due to the popular metal genre known as power metal. Doing so adds more heft and punch to the tone.
Another important consideration when picking up guitar is your genre of music. For example, if you are playing metal or heavy rock, you may want to invest in a stronger pick. This will add more sustain and punch to your tone. While hardcore punk bands may have different requirements on what they use, they also use guitar picks (as do all other genres of music).
In the end, it is important to consider your desired playing style, sound and genre when picking up guitar. This way you get a balanced approach to the process that will allow you to achieve what you want out of your instrument.
Does Guitar Pick Thickness Make A Difference?
Yes. The thickness or gauge of a guitar pick will make a difference in the sound and playability of your instrument. A guitar pick with a thicker edge means that the pick will have more mass and weight on the strings. This can be a desirable effect for genres such as blues and rock. Also, a thicker pick will naturally produce more volume.
However, playing styles may have a different preference for the thickness of their guitar pick. For example, if you play jazz or blues, it may be better to use a lighter pick because it better simulates finger picking than using a thick pick that would normally be used for rock or metal style guitar picking.
Guitar Pick Thickness Chart
|Pick Type||Thickness||Used For|
|Extra Thin||less then 0.4mm||strumming chords|
|Thin||0.4 to 0.6mm||strumming chords|
|Medium||0.6 to 0.8mm||rhythm playing|
|Heavy||0.8 – 1.2mm||lead guitar|
|Super Heavy||greater than 1.2mm||lead guitar|
Most Common Guitar Pick Thickness
The most popular guitar pick thickness is a medium pick at around 0.73mm (0.028 inches). A medium guitar pick is the most versatile pick you can own and is a good all-around choice. It is a good thickness for most material types and can do well with most playing styles. If you are just starting out, this is the pick you should buy.
Best Pick Thickness For…
Electric guitarists generally prefer a medium pick. This is because thicker picks produce more overdrive in their tone. It also naturally boosts their volume level out of the amp. This is helpful in recording scenarios where amps are not always turned up to their highest levels.
For acoustic guitar, the best thickness to choose is going to depend on your style of play. A lighter pick gives you a country twang while heavier picks will give you a more distinct and edgier sound.
If you are a beginner, I would recommend that you buy a medium pick and see if you like the sound of the thickness. Then buy a few thinner picks and see how those do. If you want to play hard rock or metal, then get some thicker picks!
For Heavy Metal
A thicker guitar pick will give you a heavier sound for metal styles. For example, you could use a medium pick for more mainstream metal and heavier styles such as thrash or death metal. If you want yet another advantage of thicker picks, is that it makes the strings easier to hit and produces a warmer tone.
For Jazz & Blues
If you are interested in jazz and blues then I would recommend buying a medium size pick. This thickness and sound will have a more clean and jazzy tone, which is ideal for this genre.
If you just want to strum your guitar, a medium pick will work fine. It’s suitable for most music styles. If you want to play heavier styles, try a thicker pick. Use a thin pick for lighter and softer genres such as folk or pop.
For Thicker Strings
If your guitar has heavy strings, then consider using a thicker pick. The heavier the strings, the more likely it is that you will have trouble playing with a thinner pick. Also, if you have bigger hands, a thinner pick might feel too small and be harder to grab. A thick pick will help reduce any hand fatigue you may be experiencing.
For Lead Guitar
The lead guitarist is probably the most important musician in any band. The guitarist is responsible for creating the mood and atmosphere of a song. A thick pick can help you achieve this effect if you want a more raw, heavy and powerful sound for your lead playing.
For Rhythm Guitar
For rhythm guitar playing I would recommend that you use a medium pick. This is because it will give you a good balance when playing rhythm guitar.
What Thickness Guitar Pick Should I Use?
You might have the question – how to choose guitar pick thickness. You need one that fits your playing style. If you are a beginner, I would suggest you start using medium guitar picks and see if you think they sound good. Then try and find out what thickness guitar picks work best for you.
If, after testing a few thicknesses, you still think the medium pick sounds good, then stick with that pick throughout your entire journey as a guitarist. You can always switch to a thicker or thinner pick as time goes on and your playing develops.
What’s The Difference Between Thin, Medium Or Thick Guitar Picks?
Playing with thick guitar pick vs thin vs medium guitar pick can give you a different sound and feel. Thin guitar picks make it easier to play the higher frets. Thick picks are useful for playing riffs and rock solos, as they can generate more volume. Medium thickness picks tend to be used by many players, including beginners. Thin picks are also very popular amongst acoustic guitarists due to their ability to deliver a clear, crisp sound.
Guitar Picks With Different Thickness
There is also a types of guitar pick that has different thicknesses. These triangle shaped picks have three points. Each of these points are a different thickness. These are great for guitarists that might want to change in different parts of a song.
More Related Guitar Pick Articles
How Thick Of A Guitar Pick Do You Use?
What thickness do you prefer? Feel free to comment below to let us know!