How to Hold the Pick

How to Hold the Pick

Just like guitars, guitar picks come in all shapes and sizes. And like many other aspects of playing guitar, the pick you ultimately use depends largely on what type of playing style you develop and what is comfortable to you.

picks cluster Standard picks are triangular in shape and come in various thicknesses. When first starting to play guitar, a thin pick will work well because it is flexible and accommodates strumming. As you progress into single note picking and playing lead guitar you may find that a medium or heavy pick is more suitable.

I would recommend that you work your way up to a medium thickness pick as that will be flexible enough for strumming, yet rigid enough for single note picking.

Either way, picks are cheap so grab a handful and test drive a few of them until you find something that feels good to you. I usually take a couple of different size picks with me to gigs so that I can be ready for any style of playing.

hold pick 1You will want to grasp the pick between the thumb and first finger of the right hand. You can start by curling the first finger over until the top part of the finger is parallel with the outside part of the thumb.




hold pick 4

Hold the pick between the first finger and thumb so that the point of the pick is perpendicular to the plane of the bottom part of the thumb.




hold pick 3


You will need to leave enough of the pick visible that you have sufficient surface area to strike the strings, yet not  so much that you loose your grip on the pick. This is all trial and error and will feel more natural after you     have logged some time on the guitar.



hold pick 2


Learning how to hold the pick, and the guitar, can feel a little awkward at first, but don’t get too frustrated. Before long you won’t think twice about it!

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!

Keith Dean

keith01 lowKeith Dean is founder of and a 30 year veteran of stage and studio. He toured extensively as a road musician throughout the US and Europe, was a former lead guitarist for Jason Aldean, and has shared stages with Little Big Town, Wild Rose, Winger, Confederate Railroad and more. He is a published songwriter, owned and operated a successful music store, and has instructed numerous students in guitar.

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