The guitar pick is vital tool for every guitarist, almost as important as the guitar itself. The pick has a massive impact on the feel of the instrument. It effects how you play as well as your tone. So what is the best guitar pick out there? You already know the answer to that is "it depends". I know from experience that if I don't have my trusty Dunlop Jazz IIIs, that I shouldn't even try picking up a guitar. That won't hold true for every player however, so Let us present you with this Top 10 list of best guitar picks to at least get you pointed in the right direction.
This list focuses on Dunlop, our top selling guitar pick brand by far. It is not all about the picks I play because I simply use one pick and have been for years now. This list is tailored around what I think are the best picks out on the market for a range of players. From beginner to professional, from strummers to full-on shredders, this list will have something for you! I will include some brief thoughts about each pick and why it made the list.
Quick note: picks made the list based on the series of the pick without regard thickness. Most guitar picks will be available in multiple gauges. When selecting a pick it is important to try different thicknesses to figure out what works best for your strumming or picking style.
1. Dava Pick Derlin
These picks have a unique design that make them very versatile. Under the outer grip the pick is wedge-shaped then on the grip is three lines. Think of these as cheat lines. If you hold the pick at the farthest back line it will act as a thin pick, the middle line acts as a medium pick and the front line acts as a heavy pick. This makes it easy to get smooth strumming and tighter picking out of the same pick. Plus a rubber grip that helps keep it from slipping.
2. D'Addario Acrylux
Made from Acrylic these are obviously going to sound different when making contact with your guitar strings than other materials of picks. By nature they are thicker making them more common for electric guitarists but I've seen acoustic players use giant wood picks so it wouldn't be the craziest thing in the world to try. Known to have a bright and cutting tone if you are having trouble being heard this might be worth trying.
3. D'Addario Dura Grip
The Duralin line of picks is one of D'Addario's most popular, and in that line is the Dura Grip. The Dura Grip is a re-design of a classic pick. Available in many standard sizes with a fantastic grip making hanging on to your pick much easier.
4. Dunlop Nylon Standard
Available from .38mm to 1mm, these picks are very popular among acoustic guitar players because of the extra thin gauges. The .38 is almost as thin as a piece of card stock making strumming seem almost effortless and very bright. However, if you choose to use picks this light you may want to stock up seeing as they can break more often.
5. Dunlop Ultex (mention JazzIII and sharp)
The Ultex line is becoming more and more popular with its many shapes and sizes now available including "Sharp" and my personnel favorite "Jazz III". The Ultex material has a different feel in the hands similar to acrylic and is brighter as well as more durable.
6. Dunlop MaxGrip
If dropping picks in an issue for you MaxGrip may be the solution. Available from .60mm to 1.5mm and Jazz III's it can be a solution for acoustic and electric players alike.
7. Dunlop Tortex III
A hybrid between the standard shape and the Jazz III using the classic Tortex material, the Tortex III's are great for precise picking without being to small that you lose them in your hand or drop them. Ranging in sizes from .50 to 1.5 if you are strummer or a shredder or fall somewhere in the middle you can find one that fits your needs.
8. Dunlop Gator Grip
The Gator Grip series doesn't have a rubber grip that will wear off in time or sandpaper glued on, but the material the pick itself is made from has more texture than the standard Tortex, Ultex or Acrylic pick would have. Another nice feature of the Gator Grip series is the beveled edge. This shows up even more on the thicker gauges of picks. Gauges are available from .58 - 2.0 and even has the option of a Jazz III shape.
9. Dunlop Nylon Jazz III
Ironically I have never seen someone use a Jazz III for Jazz (I'm sure they do) but have seen tons of rock, hard-rock and metal players use them because there stiffness allows for a lot of control and can keep up with extremely brisk picking passages.
10. Dunlop Tortex
Tortex is by far the most popular pick material Dunlop uses and probably the most popular on the market. Dunlop makes so many versions of the Tortex line now I would still guess that the standard Tortex picks are among the top sellers! If you don't play the Standard Tortex currently there's a high chance you have at one time!
As guitar players we all like to try new gear see if we can get new tone somehow, and what easier way then with a guitar pick? So if you see a pick on this list you haven't tried steal one from your buddy or stop down to your local music store and grab one! Drop a comment below of your favorite pick so I can try it myself!