Using Guitar picks takes some getting used to, and the reason why you find it hard to use a guitar pick is because you haven’t practiced with them enough.
The fact is guitar picks are tools that have to be learned in order to understand the fundamentals like strumming and precise control over the strings you play.
Most people that are used to playing with fingers may find it difficult to switch to guitar picks if they haven’t had enough practice with them.
So don’t beat yourself up, you just need to practice various elements of playing with guitar picks and you’ll be home and dry.
What to do
Granted playing with guitar picks can be difficult especially if you’re used to playing with your fingers.
The fact is using an external tool is not an easy thing especially if you’re using a thicker guitar pick.
For a beginner that hasn’t worked with guitar picks, you’re better off starting off with softer pick and then gradually level up to a thicker one because softer picks are easy to hold and don’t easily slip from your fingers.
Here are some ways you can improve your picking technique:
Use Metronome to your advantage
It’s very important that you learn to play with accuracy and there’s no better way of doing so than using Metronome to practice.
I advise that you start with slower tempos just to get the hang of using a pick.
With enough practice you should be able to start pushing your tempo higher.
Try Different Styles of Guitar
If say you’re used to playing metal try and switch to something like blues or jazz.
The more you play with different styles, the more you’ll be able to adjust and improve your picking technique.
Of all the advice surrounding picking, perhaps this is the most vital and should be something you take very seriously if your plan is to improve your ability to play with a guitar pick.
The key idea here is to practice everyday, 6 days a week can be a very good idea.
You want to practice everyday and not just when you feel like it,
because you’ll easily lose focus like that.
Make learning how to use guitar picks a part of your daily routine, and you’ll notice some improvement in your skills.
This is very vital and I always advise people having pick problems to incorporate what they learn.
Keep perfecting a what you’ve learnt, write a solo or lick and keep working at it until sounds natural and good.
The whole point is to apply what you’ve learnt.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do beginners need guitar picks?
I definitely recommend guitar picks for beginners especially those starting on bass or anything with steel strings.
Having a guitar pick won’t make you a pro in 24 hours but it will help improve and stretch the playability of your guitar.
Which means it will help you when playing melodies as well as rhythmic chord progressions.
Guitar picks are also good for improvising.
Is a guitar pick necessary?
Guitar picks are certainly necessary because they make it easier to play melodic and rhythmic patterns.
Plus, guitar picks are even more necessary for somebody that is a beginner to guitar because they can shield their fingers from getting swollen.
It’s not advisable to jump straight into finger-style play especially with steel strings because they can hurt your fingers.
Furthermore, you need a guitar pick for things like strumming which is a huge part of playing the guitar.
Is it okay to strum with your thumb?
Strumming with the Thumb will give you a much rounder sound compared to the brighter sound you’d get when using a pick.
With the down strums, one uses the fleshier part of the Thumb, but on the up strums, the nail might catch the string, resulting in a brighter and more accented up strum.
Which is better finger-picking or pick?
This is one of those situations where preference plays a bigger role because depending on what you’re used to finger-picking or using a peak can either be better or worse.
Most guitar players tend to play with picks because they can play faster with them while others prefer using fingers.
Finger-picking is best if you’re looking for a rounded sound while using a pick is better if you’re look to get a more brighter sound as well as have some room to get really melodic.
Therefore, it’s entirely dependent upon what you’re looking to do and what style of play you’re used to.
Why does my thumb hurt when playing guitar?
There are many reasons why your thumb may hurt when playing guitar.
One of them is your thumb hurts because you are pushing your thumb backwards on itself in order to support your hand position on the neck.
Another reason is because you haven’t played and practiced with your thumb for a reasonable amount of time.
You can avoid running into pain issues by using a pick or practicing a little at a time because most people over do it.
The more you practice the more your hand gets stronger.