Skip to main content

Fender PlayThe #1 guitar learning platformTRY FOR FREE



Play

Pick or No Pick?

There's more to this question than you might think.

One of the first choices you have to make when starting to play the guitar is whether you will use a pick or not use a pick. There is not one correct answer, although there is definitely an answer that is better for each player depending on your personal musical interests.

What Do Your Heroes Do?

Examine and investigate what your favorite guitarist do. Let them provide you with the blueprint for how you will approach playing the instrument.

Can I Do Both?

It is absolutely acceptable to do both. In fact, the most versatile musicians often do. Keep an open mind and try both. You will never know which feels better if you don’t try it both ways. You may even consider a third option of hybrid picking, which is a combination of using a pick and fingers rather than just one or another. Understand it takes time to become comfortable with a new technique.

What Is Easiest at First Is Not Always Best

Sometimes a new player will opt to use their fingers because at first try, the pick seemed difficult to manage and work with. Be realistic and don’t make a decision based entirely on avoiding that which is slightly more difficult. Using a pick will become easier, but only if you commit to implementing it in your playing.

Acknowledge Your Strengths

If you enjoy one method over another and it makes you happy, pursue it. This is your journey, and you should pursue that which brings the biggest smile to your face. You may find you have a really natural ability with the pick or with using your fingers.

Whether you use a pick or your fingers to pluck the strings on your guitar, make sure you are getting the best tone you can. Many guitarists have used both methods to amazing extents.

Want to learn more about fingerpicking and alternate fingerpicking? Check out this video and this video, respectively. And if you're not a member of Fender Play, click here for a free trial.