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Fig. 1. Picks are available in a variety of shapes and thicknesses.

– The Guitar Pick (Plectrum as it is sometimes called) is used to pluck individual strings or swept across 2 or more strings to sound a Chord.
– The Pick produces a crisp sound.  A more gentle or muted sound can be produced by using your fingers to pluck or sweep the strings.
Fig.2. A Fingerpick (Thumb pick) may be used to sound bass notes when fingerpicking.
– Picks come in varying thicknesses.  It’s a matter of personal preference but generally thinner picks are for faster playing and thicker picks produce a louder sound (I prefer a 0.5 mm Pick).
– Some picks are better suited for various picking techniques such as RAKING (Sweep Picking).
– Most picks are plastic.  Other materials such as rubber, metal, stone or felt are also used but are far less common.
(I prefer a plastic pick with a texture on the surface for better grip).
– The Pick is held between the Thumb and Index finger.
Fig.2. How to hold a pick.
– There are various picking techniques such as up-picking, downpicking, alternate-picking, muted picking, raking and pinch harmonic picking.  Downpicking is slower than alternate picking but creates a “heavier” sound.  Up-picking creates a crisper (treble) sound.  You can also instantly get more treble by picking closer to the Bridge.
– For picking accuracy, try anchoring your Pinky & Ring Fingers under the high “e” string.  This creates a Reference Point which will give you more precise control of your Pick.  Also try resting your palm on the Bridge to create the reference point.
Fig.3. Resting fingers under the High e provides a reference point which improves picking accuracy.
– Some guitarists modify their pick by sanding it.  Sanding helps increase picking speed.
HAT Trick Revealed
– To quickly remove a pick which is accidentally dropped into the sound hole turn the guitar over so the hole faces the ground and Shake (it usually takes about 10 seconds for the pick to drop out).


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