Plectrum – Which one to Pick?

Here is a mixture of popular picks and obscure but interesting ones that will help you decide on which plectrum to pick.

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Plectrum is a generic label for flat tools that are used to strum or pluck stringed instruments. Note that the correct plural for plectrum is plectra, but many still refer to them as plectrums. To reduce the confusion, guitarists refer to guitar plectrums as guitar picks. The Plectra we featured comes in various sizes and shapes, so it will do you well to check available sizes and shapes that fit your needs. More info on shapes and sizes are found below.

Dunlop Tortex Guitar Pick
Dunlop Tortex Guitar Pick

Dunlop Tortex Standard Guitar Pick

Dunlop Tortex is the top favorite, designed to simulate the feel of Tortoise Shell with added texture grip. It is famous for being versatile, an in between that works for a variety of music applications. For more information, visit Jim Dunlop.
Online Retail Price: $3.95 per dozen.

V-Picks Psycho Guitar Pick
V-Picks Psycho Guitar Pick

V-Picks Psycho Guitar Pick

The Psycho guitar pick from V-Picks is designed to virtually stick to your fingers, giving your right hand a more relaxed and natural position. Some reviews even claim that it can be therapeutic for those having right hand injuries. The thickness gives it a powerful attack and it also works for popular bassists like Billy Sheehan and Stu Hamm. Other sizes are available at V-Picks.
Online Retail Price: $14.99 per piece.

Fender 351 Guitar Picks
Fender 351 Guitar Pick

Fender 351 Standard Guitar Pick

The Fender 351 guitar pick is a celluloid guitar plectrum that has the traditional feel and smooth striking surface. It produces a warmer tone that most people prefer, especially guitar players with Fender guitars. Most people buy this plectrum to simply match with their Fenders. Head over to Fender for more details.
Online Retail Price: $3.95 per dozen.

V-Picks Night-Glow Pick
V-Picks Night-Glow Pick

V-Picks Night-Glow Guitar Pick

The Night-Glow pick is probably the coolest pick ever. It has the same fast action and tone as other picks but when darkness takes over, it leaves the competition behind. Just charge the picks via sunlight or any light bulb and it will glow for your entire gig. The glow will make your picking hand look cool in night time gigs and will make losing the pick harder. It comes in various sizes and is usually out of stock because of high demand. Check them at V-Picks.
Online Retail Price: $14.99 per piece.

Dunlop Nylon Guitar Picks
Dunlop Nylon Guitar Picks

Dunlop Nylon Standard Guitar Pick

Because of their grip and transparent pick attack sound, Dunlop Nylon picks are an easy favorite, used by the likes of Eric Johnson, John Petrucci and Sarah McLachlan among others (in Jazz III shape). With Nylon picks, your tone will have less of that annoying pick sound. The thin gauge picks are ideal for the acoustic player while the thicker ones are preferred by rockers. Visit Jim Dunlop for more details.
Online Retail Price: $3.95 per dozen.

Everly Star Grip Guitar Pick
Everly Star Grip Guitar Pick

Everly Star Grip Guitar Pick Dozen

The Everly Star Grip is a plectrum that employs a unique star shape hole as a means of enhancing grip over the pick. It keeps the grip part steady between your fingers and uses your fingers as support for added strength. You can find out more at Everly Strings. Online Retail Price: $3.99 per dozen.

Real Rock Gemstone Guitar Pick
Real Rock Gemstone Pick

Real Rock Gemstone Guitar Pick

If you are tired of your same old boring guitar plectrum, check out the various gemstone picks offered by Real rock. You can pick from Agates, Jaspers, Tiger Eye and Petrified Wood among others. The picks also come in various shapes and sizes. It is sure to breathe unique characteristics into your tone and playing. Just don't lose these gemstone picks. Real Rock has all the juicy details. Online Retail Price: $30 per piece.

Dunlop Gator Grip Picks
Dunlop Gator Grip Picks

Dunlop Gator Grip Guitar Pick

This pick has a specialized matte grip that works for players with sweaty fingers. It is specialized for aggressive playing styles. The beveled edge design gives your playing a consistent pick attack. More information is available at Jim Dunlop.
Online Retail Price: $3.95 per dozen.

Hunsaker Composite Guitar Pick
Hunsaker Composite Guitar Pick

Hunsaker Extreme Precision Composite Guitar Pick

This guitar plectrum will take your playing to the extreme. It has a sharp point smaller tip angle that will give you increased picking agility, accuracy and tones. The sturdy Carbon based black diamond tip is meant to outlast its owner regardless of playing style. You might even pass this unique guitar plectrum to your grandson's grandson if you don't lose it. Details are available at Obbligatoinc. Online Retail Price: $39.99 per piece.

Clayton Acetal Guitar Pick
Clayton Acetal Guitar Pick

Clayton Acetal Standard Guitar Pick

The Clayton Acetal is one of the most durable plectra that you will ever encounter. Since it is made of acetal, it has very minimal string friction, producing little pick noise, clear overtones and emphasizes lower register harmonics. It is ideal for chunky riff work. Clayton Acetal comes in three different shapes, check the official product page at Steve Clayton for more details.
Online Retail Price: $3.95 per dozen.

ZeroGravity Orbit Guitar Pick
ZeroGravity Orbit Guitar Pick

ZeroGravity Orbit Guitar Pick

The ZeroGravity Orbit Guitar Pick is uniquely tethered to your index finger, making it virtually impossible to accidentally lose it. Advanced players that have strong picking hands, and good memories might not take interest but beginners, seniors and anyone with picking hand injuries will benefit from this ergonomic and nifty design. More information is available from the stores that sell the Orbit guitar plectrum. Online Retail Price: $2.99 per piece.

Plectrum Shapes and Sizes:

Fin Shape
Shark's Fin Shaped Plectrum

Equilateral is the traditional shape for picks and is what we prominently featured. It is the most familiar and easiest to use. Another common shape is the sharp edged or tear drop pick which requires more skill to use but gives you better control for more advanced playing. The Shark's Fin shape (as shown on the side) which is sometimes referred to as Fin shape has small perturbations that can be raked across the strings for chord work or raked sideways to produce scratching sounds. Size does matter when it comes to picks, thin picks are ideal for strumming while thicker picks are used for lead work and single notes. You can of course reverse the role for unique results.

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Dunlop Jazz III

Just FYI - Eric Johnson and John Petrucci use Dunlop Jazz III picks, not the nylon standards.

Nylon Jazz III

You are right, those guys use Dunlop picks with the Jazz III shape, I have updated the article to specify it correctly.

Great new hand made guitar picks

Hi I’m the designer, maker and full time user of Superbitepicks.
I’ve been making hand made picks here in the US since the early 80’s and now would like
to share my findings. I've come up with some new ideas for picks over the years and now have them available on the web.
( superbitepicks.com ) I use 7 different materials with different shapes and gauges, and will custom make picks to order if there's a shape or combination not seen on my site. Come see what some other guitar players already know.

Black Diamond picks

I am the person on our carbon patent listed as the main inventor. So I am bias somewhat.
While Brian Hunsaker has designed our next generation of picks the wood handle hybrid
on our web site is a protptype. The production picks ae solid carbon. The grip, and feel is
as big of an improvement over conventional picks as the tone shift, stiffness and true 0 wear.
You have to scroll down to see the production pick next to it's case. Yes the web site is
dysfunctional right now. A new improved web site is on it's was soon.

Regards
Jim

pic thickness

as a teacher of 35 years i can say the thin\strumming and thick\picking explanation is not correct .sure a thin pick strums softly but it has no attack. I can get the same softness in attack with a 2mm pick. The technique is to hold the pick extremely loosely allow it to give in to the strings and pivot inside the finger grip. I'm amazed few teachers show this technique. All my students use heavy pics now.

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