Everyone loves guitar picks, even people who can’t play guitar but did you know they come in all different shapes, sizes, colours, materials and thickness? But what is the difference and what one is right for you.
Using different thickness’s and shapes will help you tinker with the sound of your guitar. Using a very thin pick produces a sound drastically different to a thicker heavier one. Many jazz guitarists tend to favour heavy pics (1.5 or 2mm) because it tends to thicken and darken the sound. A thinner gauge will give the guitar a much brighter sound although you may lose depth. You may also find a thinner and more flexible pick gives you more speed but this will be down to each individual.
If you are looking for faster rhythmic strumming then give a very thin pick a try. They are generally very flimsy but easy to manage. They are great when you need a bright fast sound.
A medium pick works better when your trying a slower more solid performance. The thickness tends to offer a more sustained and less percussive sound.
A thick pick will give you the feeling of more control as you ‘attack’ the strings without having to worry how the pick will act.
Its always a good idea to speak with friends and other guitarists about what picks they use and give them a try. Next time you are in your local music shop pick up a range of picks and practise with each of them to see what suits your playing style. Make sure picks you buy are of a good quality, a pick that breaks or has jaggy edges will results in the string not sounding right and may even damage your strings.
Picks come in different shapes too from the classic triangle shape to shark thin to two stuck together with a gap in between. Mostly these won’t alter how your music sounds but give them a try to see what suits your grip better.