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Guide to guitar picks

Buyers guide to Guitar Picks

Guitar plectrums or picks come in a dazzling array of sizes, gauges and materials. Take a quick look at our guide and let us help you make the right choice.


One of the first things to consider is the gauge or thickness of the plectrum. They come in thin or light gauges through to thick or heavy gauges. The gauge that you choose will have a direct bearing on the tone you produce.

Light gauges - .38mm - .60mm

Picks of this gauge are quite bendy and are good for strumming. They produce a nice bright sound. Also good for beginners as they offer less resistance than a heavier pick, making strumming a bit easier and are gentler on the guitar strings!

Medium gauges - .65mm - .88mm

These picks are a little more rigid and will produce a thicker sound. Can be used for single note or solo playing or for a beefier strumming tone

Heavy gauges -  .96 - 3mm

Because there less flexibility in these picks they lend themselves best to rock rhythm playing, soloing styles and bass playing. The heaviest guitar picks are not good for strumming


Having decided on a suitable gauge, the material that the plectrum is made from will also have an effect on your tone. Here's a rundown of some popular ones.


Celluloid - very popular material for guitar picks. Has a smooth surface and warm sound 
here to see more celluloid plectrums
Nylon - a very smooth surface, quick release, suits strumming styles 
Click here to see more nylon guitar plectrums
Matt celluloid - a slightly textured feel to enhance grip. Also produces a warm sound 
Click here to see more matt celluloid guitar plectrums
Embossed picks - a raised area on the surface provides good grip 
Click here to see more nylon grip guitar plectrums
Stubby - usually made from material such as lexan. At least 1mm in gauge, their rigidity means they lend themselves to single note lead styles 
Click here to see more stubby guitar plectrums


**The information on this page is intended as a guideline, please be encouraged to actively research and experiment to find the products which suit you best.