Whether or not you use a guitar pick depends on the style of music you are playing. But being able to use a guitar pick is where I would suggest starting for most popular styles of music. Then after you are comfortable using a pick you can explore fingerpicking.
If you watch 10 different guitar players play, you may see 10 different ways to hold a pick. The way I am going to show you in my opinion will give you the best control, and the most options.
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 medium thickness and standard size and like the picture below.
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 hands sweat a lot. The pick will just slide around between your fingers.
Here are some other things 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 they are flat.
Holding the pick
|Hold the pick between your 1st finger and thumb. You want to hold the pick with more of the side of your 1st finger and the flat part of your thumb.|
Things to Avoid When Holding A Pick
|Don’t close up the space between your thumb and 1st finger.|
|Don’t use the tip of your thumb to hold the pick. You will have a lot less control, and the pick will tend to slip.|
|If you don’t hold the pick with the side of your first finger, the pick will tend to slip.|
|Don’t overlap your 1st finger too far away from the pick.|
|Try to avoid holding on to the pick with both your 1st and 2nd fingers. A lot of times beginning guitar players will do this so that the pick doesn’t slip. They feel they have more control. One big disadvantage of this is that you then can’t use your 2nd finger for other things. You can use your pick in combination with your other fingers to play notes. If you get stuck holding the pick with your second finger, you can’t do this.|