The best picks for guitars and basses on the market
- Harley Benton Nylon Player Pick Set Mixed
- Harley Benton Guitar Pick Medium 5 Pack
- Dunlop Electric Pick Variety Pack
- Dunlop Acoustic Pick Variety Pack
- Gibson Standard Pick Set Medium
- Shiwaki Fingerpick Set
- Dunlop Thumb Ring White Large
- Rosenice Fingerpick Set Medium Black
- Heallity Ring NS .025″
- Harley Benton PE1 Ebony Pick
- Dava Control Grip Tip Delrin Picks
- Maxpic No.7/351 Medium 0,8mm
- Tenacious D The Pick of Destiny at Necklet
- Pick punch
What are picks?
A plectrum, straw or guitar pick is a piece made of various materials that serves as an extension of a guitarist's or bassist's fingernails. They are used to execute a wide variety of techniques created specifically to be performed with picks.
There are now exclusive repertoires that involve the use of these tools, such as Arpeggios From Hell by the legend Yngwie Malmsteen. There are also many other compositions that were created to make specific sounds using the guitar pick, such as Surfing with the Alien by Joe Satriani, among many others.
Types of guitar picks
There is currently a wide variety of products on the market that can be classified into several types:
Made of ABS plastic of different densities. The difference between them is in the caliber:
- Extra fine: Range from 0.38 mm to 0.50 mm. Its use is rare, although some heavy metal and heavy rock guitarists tend to prefer this gauge.
- Fine nail: Covers the range of 0.51-0.60 mm. A regular choice for country guitarists.
- Median: they are between 0.73 mm and 0.81 mm. It's the most popular among guitarists of various musical genres and is also known as “M” size.
- Thick nail: Its thickness ranges from 0.88 to 1.20 mm and is preferred by Paul Gilbert and Yngwie Malmsteen.
- Extra thick pick: Its use is not very common because it has a gauge of 1.50 mm and upwards, making it quite thick and rigid.
They have a rounded shape in order to be placed on the thumb. They are mainly used by fingerstyle guitarists. It's common to see musicians like Thommy Emmanuel with one of these. They are classified according to their length, being short, medium, long and extra long. The “medium” size is the most popular, preferred by country guitarists, and they are also very good picks for acoustic guitar.
Unusual but very useful picks for banjo players or guitarists who want to explore completely new horizons. An example of them is John 5, ex-guitarist of Marilyn Manson, who is dedicated to the quest for disturbing sounds, crazy but with a great virtuosity. Another guitarist who experiments with these guitar picks is Richie Kotzen.
These made from unusual materials and with customized shapes. Some of the most common materials used in special picks are wood and bone from horns. These types of pieces produce melodies richer in nuance and harmonics because they allow a more natural sound. This type of pick also has corrugated and non-slip finishes, as well as indentations in places that facilitate grip.
Another material used is glass, although it's less common. Also various types of brass that are very popular with heavy rock musicians. On the other hand, the wooden or bone ones are preferred by jazz, funk, soul and electric flamenco performers.
There are many more types of picks but we believe that the ones we have mentioned are the most common. HERE you can see an interesting explanation on how to choose a guitar pick.
The best picks for electric, Spanish and acoustic guitars
Based on the ranking above, we have selected what we consider to be the best guitar picks today. These are presented in set format because we know that they are the most sought after. However, we also have some that are sold individually because they are quite special.
Harley Benton Nylon Player Pick Set Mixed
Comes with twelve picks of different calibers. It's a very affordable pack.
Poorly cut edges.
This Thomann brand offers a set that has twelve guitar picks with various gauges, made of nylon. For such an affordable price we cannot complain about the quality offered, as it's quite adequate.
However, there are certain details that we don't like. For example, the edges are rough and the picks show signs of having been cut in a sloppy manner. Inside the pack, you will find two units per gauge: 0.46 mm, 0.71 mm, 0.81 mm, 0.96 mm, 1.2 mm and 1.5 mm. They can be used as Spanish, acoustic or electric guitar picks.
Harley Benton Guitar Pick Medium 5 Pack
They have a great finish.
Some users have reported that they wear out quickly.
This set from Harley Benton offers five electric guitar picks that are size “M” or 0.8mm. They are made of ABS plastic and have a pearlescent finish.
Dunlop Electric Pick Variety Pack
They are excellent and the measurements allow you to experiment.
Sets from the Dunlop company are always highly desirable, especially the Tortex series, manufactured in the United States. Inside the package you will find twelve guitar picks with the following sizes: Tortex Standard 0.88, 1.00 and 1.14 mm, Flex Standard 1.00 mm, Tortex T III Sharp 0.88 and 1.00 mm, Jazz III XL, Max-Grip Jazz III Nylon and Stiffo, Ultex Sharp 2.00 mm, Gator Grip 0.96 and 1.14 mm.
Dunlop Acoustic Pick Variety Pack
Reasonably-priced and you can experiment with all sizes.
Some are quite soft.
Unlike the previous Dunlop set, this is an acoustic guitar pick set. It basically consists of the following guitar picks: Tortex Standard 0.60, 0.73 and 0.88 mm; Flex Standard 0.73 and 0.88 mm; Nylon Standard 0.60, 0.73 and 0.88 mm; Ultex Standard 0.60 mm, Genuine Celluloid Classic Thin and Medium and Herco Flex 50 light.
Gibson Standard Pick Set Medium
Great pack for an excellent price.
All are the same size.
Gibson also has high quality guitar picks, the most popular of which is the Original Gibson classic 351. This is presented as a set with fifty 0.71 mm picks in a metal box. The 0.71 gauge or “M” size is the most commonly used by guitarists. They are picks for electric and acoustic guitars.
Shiwaki Fingerpick Set
They are highly durable. You can get a sound with excellent volume.
This is a set of finger picks from a little-known company that has gained a following. The set consists of four pieces for the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. They are made of ABS plastic and have a tortoiseshell finish.
Dunlop Thumb Ring White Large
This is the best pick on the market.
This is by far the most used thumb pick by fingerstyle guitarists . It's made of plastic, has a white finish, is a size “Large” and comes in a set of twelve excellent pieces.
Rosenice Fingerpick Set Medium Black
It allows a free index finger and that provides a good sonorous variety.
The metal ones are a bit soft and this can be uncomfortable for some.
This set of guitar picks is widely used because the material they are made of is a combination of metal and plastic which provides a great sensitivity and allows a more pleasant touch. It consists of fifteen pieces for the index finger, ring finger and thumb, all in size “M”. This configuration leaves the index finger, which is the strongest, free. This way you will have a balanced volume.
Qiundar 20 Pcs Stainless Steel Guitar Picks
The material is excellent.
They need a little elasticity.
This thumb guitar pick is widely accepted because it offers a sound with good gain and brightness. It's made of nickel silver, a corrosion-resistant material. Its caliber is 1.2 mm so it's quite huge.
Harley Benton PE1 Ebony Pick
The material is first class and the finish is excellent.
We are entering the category of picks made of special materials, such as this ebony Harley Benton. It has a shape that adapts to the thumb, and on the underside, adopts the inclination of the index finger. The set includes two excellent electric or acoustic guitar picks.
Other options are:
- Bone Pick Harley Benton PB1: made of bone.
- Harley Benton PT1 Tintul Pick: from Tamarindus indica.
- Harley Benton PH1 Horn Pick: buffalo horn.
Dava Control Grip Tip Delrin Picks
They are the most versatile on the market.
They are a bit expensive.
This set consists of six units. These are quite curious because their hardness adjusts to the strength and distance of the grip we have on them. The closer we are to the tip, the harder the guitar pick will become and that is why this model is gaining more relevance on the market.
Maxpic No.7/351 Medium 0,8mm
The corrugated core is not very innovative.
This type of pick has a corrugated or sanded center for better grip. It comes in size “M” of 0.8 mm and more and more users like it.
Allows us to save a lot of money.
No control over the caliber.
Finally we come to the pick punch, which most guitarists consider the greatest invention of this century. With it you can take any plastic material that is less than 2 mm thick and cut pieces that will have the shape of a pick.
In the following video you will find an interesting sample of the sound differences between the different picks. We also recommend you check out our list if you want a harmonica, as well as the Yamaha C40 guitar review.
Technical characteristics of guitar picks
|Harley Benton Nylon Player Pick Set Mixed||Nylon||0,46 mm, 0,71 mm, 0,81 mm, 0,96 mm, 1,2 mm y 1,5 mm|
|Harley Benton Guitar Pick Medium 5 Pack||ABS plastic||0,8 mm (M)|
|Dunlop Electric Pick Variety Pack||various materials||12 different calibers|
|Dunlop Acoustic Pick Variety Pack||various materials||12 different calibers|
|Gibson Standard Pick Set Medium||Celluloid||0,71 mm (M)|
|Shiwaki Fingerpick Set||Celluloid||0,98 y 0,59 inches|
|Dunlop Thumb Ring White Large||Plastic||Large|
|Rosenice Fingerpick Set Medium Black||Metal and plastic||M|
|Heallity Ring NS .025″||Alpacca||1,2 mm|
|Atidy Correa ajustable de cuero||Synthetic leather||162 cm x 6.5|
|Harley Benton PE1 Ebony Pick||Ebony||0.60 mm|
|Dava Control Grip Tip Delrin Picks||plastic||different calibers|
|Maxpic No.7/351 Medium 0,8mm||Delrin||0,8mm (M)|