The basics of using a
pick on the guitar
by Shawn Bradshaw

If you watch 10 different guitar players, you are going to see 10 different ways that they approach picking. If you take 10 different guitar lessons from 10 different teachers, you are going to learn that the "correct" way to pick can very greatly. With that said, I am going to write about what I feel is the best way to approach your right hand picking technique. Just remember that the 9 other teachers/players may disagree.

Choosing a guitar pick

First, what kind of pick should you use? This is really a matter of personal taste. After you have been playing for a little while, I would start experimenting with different shapes and gauges. But if you are just starting out, I would use a standard size, and a medium thickness. You may want to look for a brand of pick that has a little bit of a texture to it. If a pick is glossy and completely smooth, you may have trouble hanging on to it. Especially if your hand sweats. The pick will just slide around between your fingers. Another option is to take a piece of fine sand paper, and "rough up" your picks a little. This will give you a little more grip on the pick.

Here are some other things that you might look for in a pick. Look for smooth edges. Sometimes poorly made picks have a rough edge. You can see excess plastic or nylon hanging off of it. This will just cause your picking to have a rougher sound. Make sure the pick is flat. You will find that some picks are warped, so give them the once over to make sure that they are flat.

Standard size - Medium gauge
Standard pick shape

Picks come in all sizes and shapes

Picks

Picks

Picks
Picks

Page 2, Holding the pick

 

The basic of using a pick a pick on the guitar
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Choosing a guitar pick
Holding the pick
Right hand picking position