The shape, quality, texture, and thickness of your guitar pick, among other factors, can have a huge impact on your guitar-playing experience. In fact, if you are a beginner, you still have to figure out the type of pick that suits you the best, and hence why you should start with a variety pack. The following best cheap guitar picks in 2021 have been chosen by our team for their excellent build quality, durable well-gripping design, gorgeous colorful appearance, great shape, and offer an excellent variety so you have a pick that perfectly matches your needs.
Any veteran guitarist knows that a guitar pick makes playing a guitar so much easier. We know that with so many options on the market, however, it can be hard to know which one to choose, so our buying guide is here to fill you in on everything you need to know.
Most important features of guitar picks
There are some important considerations you need to make before purchasing a guitar pick. You’ll need to consider what material you want your guitar pick to be made out of. The most common materials are celluloid, delrin, and nylon. Celluloid is a type of plastic and probably the most commonly used material for guitar picks, so you can’t really go wrong with this one. Delrin is also a type of plastic, but it has a slightly duller finish than celluloid, which makes it a little easier to grip and use. The last commonly used material for guitar picks is nylon. The raised grooves can provide an even more stable grip than delrin, so if your hands get sweaty while playing, a nylon pick might be ideal for you.
While delrin and nylon might offer you a better grip, there can be a trade-off with having a more-textured guitar pick because it will change how the pick comes off of the strings. With picks that have a smoother surface, the tone is a more natural and cleaner one. Picks that allow you to have a better grip will likely create a rougher tone that has more grit to it.
You will be able to find guitar picks that are made out of other materials, but these are more so for professional guitarists and special occasions. On the hard end, you’ll find bronze and steel. On the softer end, you might encounter picks made out of felt, leather, and even rubber.
Guitar picks are not only generally made out of three different materials, but they typically come in three different sizes as well: small, large, and standard. Small picks are ideal for those who are looking to use a guitar pick for speed. They are sometimes referred to as jazz picks because of the speed and accuracy that their size makes you play with. Large guitar picks are easier to hold, while standard guitar picks are the most common type of pick out there.
There are also different guitar picks based on thickness, but they typically come in four different sizes: thin, medium, heavy, and extra heavy. Thin picks produce brighter tones because their thinner striking surface emphasizes higher frequencies. Because thinner guitar picks are more flexible, the volume you can achieve using it becomes limited. This smaller dynamic range also makes it ideal for playing an acoustic guitar.
Because thicker picks are, well, thick, they tend to produce mellower tones by emphasizing more of the bass and less of the treble. As opposed to thinner picks, they offer a greater dynamic range by giving you more control over volume. Thicker guitar picks are also great for electric guitars not only because you can play with greater speed and accuracy during fast solos, but because they’ll help produce distorted sounds with the separation and clarity they provide between different notes.
You’ll also want to be aware of the ends of your guitar picks: are they rounded or are they sharp. The difference can be very noticeable. Guitar picks with rounded points create a mellower tone and are ideal for strumming. Picks with sharper points tend to create a brighter tone that work great for solos.
What works best for you will ultimately depend on your hand size, style of playing, and what’s most comfortable for you, so make sure to consider each of these important factors before choosing a guitar pick.
Why should you buy a new guitar pick?
You can buy a new guitar pick whenever, really, but the general rule of thumb is that if you play your guitar regularly with a pick, you should change that pick every two or three weeks. This might change depending on the quality of your guitar pick and how you are using it, but we recommend changing it at least a few times throughout the year if you’re planning on truly sounding like a rockstar. Required here to decide if you should get a new guitar pick is an understanding of your budget, the type of pick you have, and how comfortable and easy your picks are to use after they’ve become worn down.
What is the price range of guitar picks?
Prices can vary for guitar picks because they aren’t all exactly the same. With that being said, guitar picks tend to be relatively inexpensive and are probably the cheapest thing you’ll buy when it comes to playing the guitar. Some, however, can be relatively more expensive because some manufacturers might utilize proprietary material that requires highly precise milling, which is more expensive. Overall, guitar picks tend to be on the lower end of the price spectrum, which is good because you might have to invest in a few. If you frequently misplace your picks, then having a few spare ones on hand is a good idea. If you’re looking to change your pick a few times throughout the year, you’ll have to consider that into your final expenses. Even though your budget might not be a big factor when it comes to choosing a guitar pick, it is something you might want to keep in mind when making your final decision.
By Jack Stoneybrook
Jack has been a touring guitarist for almost 20 years, playing in a number of country music and rock bands. Jack loves the road and defines himself as a never-ending student of the guitar and other important instruments or tools that make a musician.