Looking for the best guitar picks for your acoustic guitar?
Perfect! In my latest guitar insider guide, I'm going to talk about the following:
- What are guitar picks made for acoustic guitars (are they different?)
- What are the different kinds of guitar picks for acoustic guitars?
- What to look for in the best acoustic guitar picks?
- What are the best guitar picks? (my top 5 picks based on experience)
And much more!
Below is a quick list of all my top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the best guitar picks for an acoustic guitar.
Fender Premium Picks Sampler - 24 Pack
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Chicken Picks Badazz III 2.0 mm Guitar Picks
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Dunlop Delrin 500 Prime Grip .46mm Guitar Picks
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Pick Geek TRIO Premium Guitar Picks
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Dunlop Tortex Jazz Guitar Picks For Acoustic Guitar
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My Overall #1 Rated Pick
After looking at all five of the products listed above in detail, I’ve decided to name the Fender Premium Picks Sampler as my number one choice.
This set really is great value, you get a variety pack of 24 pearl celluloid guitar picks in different thicknesses, in the legendary Fender 351 style.
They are perfect for experimenting with different sounds and styles of play. These Fender Celluloid picks are great all-rounders.
They offer a crisp attack and glide smoothly over the strings. They are brilliant for both picking and strumming.
Top 5 Best Guitar Picks For An Acoustic Guitar
In a hurry? Check out my top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these best guitar picks for your acoustic guitar.
Should You Even Use A Guitar Pick With An Acoustic Guitar?
Unless you play a nylon-strung guitar, you definitely should! Of course, if you're finger-picking, you can do so with or without a pick, but especially for those just getting started, learn to use a plectrum from the beginning. You will thank me later!
Using an acoustic guitar pick will allow you to play lead guitar lines, they will also get you strumming harder and squeezing more volume from your guitar - this is really important for acoustic guitars.
As you get better on your guitar, you'll find it more difficult to play more advanced licks and riffs without a pick.
Not only do picks make life easier when playing more technical music, but they also allow you to completely change the sound of your guitar. All with no modifications and with very little expense.
What Is A Guitar Pick Made For An Acoustic Guitar?
A pick for an acoustic guitar is a small, usually triangular tool used to pluck, pick, or strum the strings.
Most picks made for an acoustic guitar will be thin and will have smooth, rounded edges.
Thin picks are best for strumming. The flexibility helps to keep the volume of each string even, and they also help to accentuate each individual note within the chords you play on your acoustic guitar.
What Are The Different Types of Guitar Picks For Acoustic Guitars (Are They All The Same)?
Celluloid picks were introduced as an alternative to natural tortoiseshell. They match the look, tone, and feel of a tortoise shell pick, but are more flexible than the natural animal product.
Celluloid plectrums are known for their balanced tone and sharp attack.
Nylon picks are super flexible, making them great for strumming, and a favorite choice for rhythm guitarists.
If thin picks are your thing, nylon is for you. These tend to be the thinnest available plectrums and can be bought in super small gauges.
Acetal is really the family name for a group of more commonly used pick materials. Both Delrin and Tortex from Jim Dunlop, for example, are acetal.
They offer a brighter tone than other materials and are pretty cheap. This makes them a great bang for your buck.
Glass picks are extremely stiff and offer crisp tones. If you’re looking for something to help with precise picking, high-quality glass plectrums could work for you. On the downside, glass picks are very delicate and very expensive.
Probably the stiffest of all the picks are those made from metal. Stainless steel, brass, and copper are some common examples, although rarer metals like titanium and even gold have been used.
Metal picks, as you might expect, are great for shredders looking to extract maximum volume from their guitars. Be careful, though! The trade-off for the power and volume - lots of broken guitar strings.
How Much Do Guitar Picks Cost?
Guitar picks are one of the most affordable pieces of guitar kit you can buy. When I was a kid, whenever I could get to my local music shop, I always bought picks.
Every. Single. Time. Why? Because for almost no money I could completely alter the way my guitar sounded. Also, I just liked shredding with something new!
Celluloid picks and nylon picks are usually the cheapest. You can find these for a couple of cents each, or in huge variety packs for a few dollars.
More exotic materials will obviously cost a lot more. Some are $5 or $6 a piece, and some, like real meteorite plectrums, can set you back thousands of dollars each!
What To Look For In The Best Guitar Pick For An Acoustic Guitar?
Guitar picks can have a huge effect on the overall sound of your axe. As I always preach, the best guitar gear is subjective - you need to 'pick' the right pick for you.
So, when you're choosing the best pick for your acoustic guitar there are a few key areas to look for:
To alter your tone, change the gauge of your plectrum. Thick gauge picks will produce a rounded, warm tone. Thinner picks produce a clearer and brighter tone.
Want to play louder? You'll want a stiff pick. If you want volume, but don't want to sacrifice a bright sound, then opt for a celluloid or even a metal pick.
If you're all about mellow vibes and keeping it quiet, go for something flexible - when I'm strumming my acoustic guitar in the house I like to use a Dunlop nylon pick in 0.60 mm.
Pick shape is the biggest factor in changing the attack. A sharp, pointed pick will achieve a sharp attack. On the contrary, a rounded pick will result in a softer and more rounded attack.
My Reviews Of The Best Guitar Pick For Acoustic Guitars
These are high-quality picks that provide a wonderfully warm and rounded sound, perfect for acoustic guitar (or electric guitar for that matter).
- Premium feel
- Attractive colors
- Great sound
- Text rubs off easily (difficult to tell gauge)
- No shape variety
3 x Chicken Picks Badazz III 2.0 mm Guitar Picks
These picks have been known to last years, so while the price might seem off-putting at first, remember that as long as you don't lose them, they should last a long time.
People compare these plectrums to the legendary Dunlop Jazz III for both strumming and lead guitar pieces, so, if you're a fan of a thick pick, you'll probably love the Chicken Picks BadAzz III.
- Ultra-premium quality
- Get different sounds simply by turning the pick around
- Max grip texture
- Not everyone will like the extreme thickness
If you're looking to get as many good picks as you can for as little money as possible, you can't do much better than this 72 pack of Jim Dunlop Delrin 500s with Prime Grip.
The textured center area ensures a firm grip in all conditions, they produce a wonderfully fat tone, and the ultra-thin gauge, at 0.46mm, is perfect for getting a snappy response from acoustic guitars.
This is not a variety pack, all 72 picks are a standard shape and the same gauge. So if you already know what you like, and these plectrums fit the bill, they are a solid choice.
- Great value
- Phenomenal grip
- All 72 picks are the same size, gauge, and color
- A little too light for solo work
As well as the variety I've already mentioned, you will also get metal, Delrin, and Celluloid pick materials, so this variety pack really does have something for everyone.
- Excellent variety
- Cool designs and colors
- Premium packaging
- No guarantee of specific picks in the pack
- High cost per pick
These picks have been the number one choice of some of rock's biggest stars for decades. Their medium gauge makes them a great all-round choice for anybody who enjoys playing a number of different styles.
- Predictable wear
- Thick enough for lead, thin enough to strum
- Small size doesn't favor those with large hands
- Can become slippery during use
My Top Pick: Fender Premium Picks Sampler
Once again, the Fender Premium Picks Sampler is, in my opinion, the best of the bunch. Yes, some of the other picks we looked at are more premium quality, but the Fender 351 picks help me to get the warm sound I like, across a range of styles, and do so without breaking the bank.
I can use, abuse, and lose these picks, and not get too upset about it! When I run low, I can just order another pack without thinking too much about it.
Final Thoughts On Picks For Acoustic Guitar
I've said it once, I'll say it again, choosing the right pick for you is a game of trial and error, and that's why sampler packs are such a great idea. You can buy one set of picks and try them all until you find one (or more) that you love.
Once you know what you like, you can order more of those specific types, or, you can then narrow it further down to a preferred brand.
Above all else, have fun with it. Mixing up your picks can help you to achieve all sorts of new sounds from your old guitar, and it may cost you less than a dollar to do so!
And there you go.
Have a question? Drop a comment down below and I'll do my best to answer.