The Pros And Cons of Using Metal Guitar Picks
Although most guitarists use plastic guitar picks, they do come in a variety of other materials, and of these it’s probably metal guitar picks that are the most popular. Let's take a look at why many guitarists like to use metal guitar picks, as well as some of the disadvantages they have.
Advantages of Metal Picks
Ice Pix Brass Guitar Pick
Metal guitar picks basically produce a much brighter sound than picks made from other materials. This bright timbre is favoured by some guitarists, especially those who are experimenting with different tones and are trying to produce a sound that sets them apart from their contemporaries.
Metal guitar picks are also, unsurprisingly, relatively heavy in the hand, and many guitarists see this as an advantage also. This is especially true of those who find that plastic picks can be hard to keep hold of.
Metal plectrums can be made of different metals; stainless steel picks are very common, although some guitarists also use picks made from brass, silver, and even gold. As well as traditional plectrum-shaped picks, some guitarists also use metal finger picks, which attach to the end of the fingers and which many find to make fingerpicking easier on steel string guitars.
Disadvantages of Metal Picks
Guitar picks made from metal do have their disadvantages however. A metal plectrum is more damaging than the plastic variety, both to the strings and to the guitar itself. With repeated use, guitar strings will become worn down more quickly if you're using metal plectrums, so they'll need replacing more often.
Using a metal pick to play the guitar can also result in the guitar's finish becoming damaged easily if the pick should happen to slip - as can often happen when strumming the guitar.
Metal guitar picks can also make a distinctive clicking sound as they hit the strings, which can be an issue, especially if you're recording your guitar. This is true of picks made from various other materials as well, however.
The choice of metal guitar picks is often more limited too, since they’re less popular and thus less widely produced than their plastic counterparts. However, there’s still a decent variety available, and as well as using commercially produced metal guitar picks, some guitarists also opt to use other metal objects, such as small coins. Prominent guitarists who have decided to go this route include Brian May from Queen, who famously uses an old English silver sixpence coin as a plectrum.
Overall, metal guitar picks are certainly worth experimenting with, but just be aware that they are harsher on your guitar and strings, so more care is required when using them.
More Information About Guitar Picks
- The Dunlop Ergo Guitar Pickholder
Most guitarists know how frustrating it is to lose guitar picks, especially in performance or recording situations and being so small, they're easy to lose too. The solution to this problem is to use a...
- Why Use Ergonomic Guitar Picks?
Ergonomic guitar picks are less widely known and used than conventional guitar picks, yet they can actually be a much better choice in many cases. Let's take a look at ergonomic picks in more detail, and see...
- Should You Use Guitar Finger Picks?
Guitar finger picks are basically plectrums that are worn on the fingers and thumbs. By using multiple picks in this way, the guitarist can play finger style techniques, but with more volume than plucking with...
- Guitar Pick Holders A Must-Have Guitar Accessory
The guitar pick holder is one of those extremely simple little guitar accessories that can really help to make your life as a guitarist a lot easier. If you use guitar picks, chances are you're well aware...
- Stone Guitar Picks Ever Tried Playing Guitar With Gemstone Picks?
Although plastic guitar picks are the most common variety, plectrums are actually available in a huge range of different materials, including gemstones. In this article well take a look at why so...
- Guitar Pick Jewelry
Guitar pick jewelry is very popular, and the designs range from simple pendant-style necklaces to amazingly creative pieces featuring multiple picks in many colours and designs. Guitar pick jewellery is...
- 5 Different Guitar Pick Materials - What Are Guitar Plectrums Made From?
Guitar picks the most commonly made from plastic, but this is by no means the only material that's used. In fact, guitar plectrums can be made from a whole range of weird and wonderful materials. Let's take...
More by this Author
So, you've found a guitar that you like, but it doesn't come with a case, and you've decided to buy one to protect it. But should you buy a soft or hard guitar case? If you're not sure, then read on and we'll take...
Ergonomic guitar picks are less widely known and used than conventional guitar picks, yet they can actually be a much better choice in many cases. Let's take a look at ergonomic picks in more detail, and see what they...
If you have a ukulele, then strictly speaking, you don’t need anything else in order to play it. As far as instruments, go, it’s pretty self-contained. However, there are still a variety of ukulele...