What Can I Use As A Guitar Pick? (Alternatives That Actually Work)

I’ve misplaced so many guitar picks over the previous 10 years!

I attempt to at all times be certain I’ve a number of spares.

However I’ve nonetheless run out quite a few instances.

That’s once I attain for my trusty guitar choose alternate options.

What can I exploit as a guitar choose and nonetheless get the identical sound and really feel?

Nothing. Any various will really feel and sound a bit completely different.

However that doesn’t imply they don’t work. And generally, the completely different sound and really feel really helps your creativity.

Hold studying to study all about among the finest alternate options to make use of if you don’t have a guitar choose round.


What Can I Use As A Guitar Decide?

An array of home items can substitute for an precise guitar choose, resembling steel cash, bottle caps, outdated DVDs, plastic rulers, and so on. Most of these things can be utilized as-is, however even the most cost effective guitar picks are higher.

With fundamental DIY abilities and creativity, it’s doable to vogue improvised picks of cardboard items, chunks of skinny wooden, or plastic. Metallic is, by far, the worst materials in relation to improvised guitar picks, as a result of it might harm the strings.

The very best alternate options to guitar picks are your arms and fingers. Whether or not it’s chord play, enjoying single notes, or quick strumming, you are able to do all of it wherever and at any time when together with your arms alone.

However not everybody needs to play with their fingers and arms, and generally you simply don’t have any picks round.

guitar picks on guitar strings

It’s protected to say that each one guitar gamers are no less than considerably conversant in the “lacking choose” phenomenon. You dropped it on accident, and now it’s nowhere to be discovered.

Being so small, they’re simple to misplace. And until you could have no less than a couple of spare picks, or you possibly can shortly purchase new guitar picks, you’re left questioning what you need to use to play your guitar.

Over the course of greater than a decade, I’ve used just about something useful at any time when I ran out of picks. I’ve tried utilizing cash, SIM playing cards, cigarette lighters, bottle caps, and even pens and damaged items of plastic.

All of these things had been handy merely, as a result of I didn’t have an precise choose. However as talked about, my guitar by no means sounded precisely the identical because it did with an precise choose. It doesn’t really feel the identical, both.

However that doesn’t imply it doesn’t work. And if you wish to give it a shot, or it’s a must to as a result of you possibly can’t discover any picks, I’m going to share a few of my experiences, in order that you understand what to anticipate.



‘Fingerstyle’ is a guitar-playing type that depends solely in your fingers. You’ll be able to pull, pluck, or strum the strings precisely as in the event you had a guitar choose. Furthermore, you possibly can deliver your index finger and thumb collectively (as in the event you had been holding a choose).

The purpose that connects the nails is the closest substitute for a guitar choose I can consider. Nonetheless, this specific type of guitar enjoying isn’t for everybody. Not solely is it onerous to grasp, but it surely will also be a bit painful, particularly for newcomers.

Even so, in the event you study the fundamentals, you’ll by no means must depend on any equipment or instruments to play your guitar once more. And you are able to do some cool issues enjoying fingerstyle. Simply have a look at Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac.



coins as guitar picks

Tiny steel cash may help you in a pinch, however you shouldn’t use them as a long-term resolution. The engravings on all cash may cause extra traction, which implies that conserving a gentle tempo might be tough at instances.

Moreover, the steel will grind your guitar’s strings a lot quicker than a daily guitar choose would. This implies extra frequent damaged strings. On the very least, they are going to ear down quicker.

There are a few advantages to utilizing cash as picks, although. To begin with, they’re considerably heavier than most small-sized family equipment, which means that they’re normally simpler to manage.

Some guitarists even just like the metallic ring that coin picks add to the tone, though your cleans are more likely to undergo from it.

Extra importantly, regardless of how onerous you’re strumming, the cash received’t break the place a choose would. Nonetheless, I don’t advocate chopping or modifying your cash because you most likely received’t be capable of use them as cash later.


Bottle Caps

Plastic bottle caps are about as small as regular-sized cash. They’re flimsier however can endure years of use, though the edges will finally put on. Bottle caps are quite a bit lighter than cash, and it may be tough to position your fingers whereas assuming the selecting stance.

On the upside, you received’t harm the strings, and since plastic is way simpler to chop than steel, it shouldn’t be too tough to clip undesirable bits. In case your bottle caps are tough across the edges, a little bit of sandpaper could make them smoother.


Items Of Skinny Wooden

pieces of wood

I was a skater as a youngster, and proper across the time I picked up my guitar, I used to be breaking boards virtually on a month-to-month foundation. I’d acquire small items of wooden simply in case, and I ultimately realized that I might vogue a choose from these, too.

Breaking skinny wooden into even smaller bits ought to be easy. Use grip tape or sandpaper to make the tip you’ll maintain clean, and thoroughly examine the piece for splinters. It’s vital to make sure that the underside finish isn’t too sharp. In the event you’re utilizing heavy-gauge strings, they need to be capable of endure.



Utilizing a pen as a guitar choose is arguably one of many least sensible options, however it’s doable. Regardless that they’re unwieldy, the underside ends of pens are pointy sufficient to function a choose whereas their base was made for a cushty grip to start with.

This will require a little bit of trial and error, however begin by holding the pen as you usually would. Regulate the angle of your wrist, and attempt to place your hand within the regular selecting place. Transfer the pen a bit in order that it doesn’t contact the guitar’s physique (or the strings you don’t need to choose).

Utilizing a pen as a guitar choose isn’t an excellent resolution for fast-picking strategies, and controlling it most likely received’t be simple. It’s nonetheless an excellent possibility in the event you don’t need to threat grinding your strings with a coin or in the event you don’t have any bottle caps or wooden chips useful.


Outdated CDs Or DVDs

cds can be a guitar pick

Just about nobody makes use of CDs to take heed to music anymore, so in case you have some laying round, they might function your non permanent guitar picks.

The worst factor about this method is that CDs & DVDs are a lot greater than an ordinary guitar choose. You received’t be capable of assume the common selecting stance together with your fingers until you narrow the CD into smaller items.

Once I found this guitar choose various, I took a damaged CD that I used to be nearly to throw into the trash. Everytime you break a CD by hand, it’s going to virtually by no means break into even bits.

Decide up the smaller ones and resolve which one resembles a guitar choose probably the most. Once more, use grip tape to smoothen the perimeters, and also you’ll have a flowery instrument to serve you.


Guitar Decide Alternate options: Last Ideas

You should use absolutely anything as a guitar choose, however the recommendations above are those I’ve discovered probably the most useful and helpful. None are an ideal substitute for a choose (in fact, in any other case picks wouldn’t must exist), however they work higher than most different guitar choose alternate options.

In fact, they’re removed from the one issues you need to use. And maybe there are even higher alternate options on the market that I haven’t tried but myself. If you understand of 1, please be happy to let me know within the feedback beneath.

Now, in the event you’re into shredding, no various is actually going to chop it. You’ll need to be certain if you purchase guitar picks for shredding, you get loads of spare ones.

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