When playing the guitar, a pick is often used to pluck the strings. There are many different types of picks, but most players use either a heavy or light pick. A guitar pick can help you play faster and more accurately. It can also help you create a wider range of sounds.
In this article, I’ll take a closer look at some of the reasons why you might want to start using a guitar pick.
So without further ado, let’s just get straight into it, shall we?
Increased Playing Speed
If you want to play the guitar faster, a guitar pick can be a great tool.
With a little bit of practice, you can use a pick to achieve speeds that you wouldn’t be able to reach with your fingers alone.
This is because picks allow you to pluck the strings much more quickly than your fingers can.
Although playing with a pick isn’t the only way to play the guitar fast, it can certainly help.
Guitar picks also make it easier for you to play more accurately.
If you hit a bad note while strumming with your fingers, there’s no real way of knowing exactly which string was plucked incorrectly.
This makes it very difficult to correct any mistakes that might occur.
Hitting a wrong note when using a pick is much easier to fix because you know exactly what string was supposed to be plucked and which one actually was plucked by the pick.
You can thus simply adjust your picking accordingly and continue playing without having to stop in order to re-strum or re-pluck the string.
This makes it much easier to play fast and accurately over a sustained period of time, which can really help you improve your overall guitar skills.
Creates A Brighter Sound
Another benefit of using a guitar pick is that it can produce a brighter sound.
If you listen to many famous players such as Eric Clapton or Carlos Santana, you’ll notice that most of them will be playing with a very light gauge pick (thickness/weight).
This allows their notes to ring out clearly and brightly, creating the crisp sound we all associate with these great players.
A harder plucking motion (i.e., using your fingers) creates lots of other frequencies in addition to the one you’re intending to pick which muddies the sound a little bit.
This is why picks are often used in genres such as rock and metal where a brighter, crisper tone is desirable.
Gets You Into The Groove
Lastly, using a guitar pick can also help you get into the groove more easily.
When you’re playing with your fingers, it’s very easy to get distracted by all of the different things that are happening on the fretboard.
This can cause you to lose focus and make mistakes.
However, when you’re using a pick, your hands are largely freed up from having to do anything else but hold on to the pick.
This leaves your hands and mind free to focus on the groove and the overall feel of the song.
Is it necessary to use a guitar pick?
When it comes to playing the guitar, there is no one true “right” way to do things.
While picks can definitely be very helpful and provide a number of benefits, they aren’t necessarily essential.
If you’re just starting out playing the guitar, you might want to try both methods (finger-plucking and pick-plucking) and see which you find more comfortable and beneficial at first.
Both your fingers and a pick will feel awkward until you’ve had some time to practice using them properly.
Every person is going to develop their own unique style over time as they become more experienced with the instrument.
However, if you want to play fast or accurately for long periods of time without worrying about losing focus, chances are you’ll want to experiment with using a guitar pick sooner rather than later.
Why do people play guitar with a pick?
People play guitar with a pick for a variety of reasons.
Some players find that they can play faster and more accurately with a pick, while others prefer the brighter sound that a pick produces.
Additionally, using a pick can help you get into the groove of a song more easily.
Ultimately, it’s up to each individual player to decide whether or not they want to use a guitar pick.
As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to using a guitar pick – it ultimately comes down to what works best for you as an individual musician.
FAQ – About Guitar Picks
Q: What is the best material for a guitar pick?
A: Guitar picks are made from a variety of different materials, with most being made out of either plastic or tortex. Tortex is usually reserved for heavier, thicker picks that can produce a brighter tone when plucked. Plastic guitar picks are often more flexible and thus create a slightly warmer sound.
Q: What size guitar pick should I use?
A: Typically speaking, the bigger the pick is, the brighter it will make your tone. However, some players find that they have a better technique when they play with smaller-sized picks due to them being more accurate and easier to grip/handle during long gigs/sessions.
Q: Why are thins picks better than thick ones?
A: Guitar picks that are very thin generally produce a warmer sound than those which are thicker. Thinner picks can also be easier to play with as they bend and flex more easily, making it easier for you to perform certain techniques such as bending strings or playing bass lines.
Q: How does guitar picking technique affect sound quality?
A: If you’re playing with a pick, the sound that your guitar makes will be affected by how you play and where on the pick you pluck. For example, if you place the tip of the pick on the string and pluck from there, your tone will have a slightly brighter sound than if you were to pluck closer to the middle or back end of the pick.
Q: How does my picking technique affect speed?
A: In general, people who are more skilled at using a guitar pick can play faster because they have greater control over their hands and fingers – this is especially true when it comes to scales and arpeggios. Harder-to-master techniques such as sweep picking tend to be more difficult to perform with a pick.
Q: What skill level should I be at before using a guitar pick?
A: Before you decide to use a pick, make sure that you’re already comfortable with your ability to play cleanly and accurately with either hand. Most people find it easier to get the hang of playing with their fingers first before transitioning over to using a pick.