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A guide to Plectrums, Flat Picks, Finger and Thumb Picks

These are some of the brands of Flatpicks, Finger & Thumb Picks  that we supply. ProPik, Steve Clayton, Fred Kelly, Perfect Touch, Jim Dunlop. Eagle Music explains their popular uses, how to choose them and things you need to know about them.

Plectrums also Called Flatpicks

Plectrums or flat picks as they are also called, are the most popular ‘tools’ for striking your strings on your instrument, and enable you to pick the strings on your instrument without any wear or tear on your fingers or nails!

Most ‘plectrum players’ experiment with different shapes, thicknesses and materials. EG. Nylon picks give a softer sound, the harder the pick the “chunkier” the sound. Remember this brief note: the closer you pick to the bridge, the harder the sound. The further you pick from the bridge, the mellower the sound.
The “old masters” prefered to use a tortoise shell plectrum: I prefer to see the shells on the backs of the tortoises!

Fingerpicks

Finger picks likewise come in all shapes, sizes  and forms. Nylon/plastic finger picks give a softer sound the harder the pick the “chunkier” the sound. Remember this brief note: the closer you pick to the bridge, the harder the sound. The further you pick from the bridge, the mellower the sound. eg. bluegrass banjo players would always choose metal finger picks which give them precise attack and increased volume.

Size of Finger Picks

Something to note is that in most cases you don’t choose finger picks by ‘size’ you choose them by ‘thickness’ they are available in different blade thicknesses and in some cases different angles on the blade, but regarding the size .. you can open them out or bend and mold them to fit smaller fingers.
Again, experiment with different types.

Thumbpicks

Thumb picks likewise come in all shapes, sizes  and forms. The plastic and vinyl types are kinder to your strings than metal ones. Nylon thumb picks give a softer sound, the harder the thumbpick the “chunkier” the sound. Remember this brief note: the closer you pick to the bridge, the harder the sound. The further you pick from the bridge, the mellower the sound. Again, experiment with different materials and designs until you find the one that suits you best.

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