When I first started playing, I was advised to use a pick (or what is more formally called a plectrum), and I tried to, but the rhythm sounded clipped so I abandoned it. Personally, I think it is better to use a pick because strumming with fingers doesn’t sound as good, plus almost every instructor I’ve watched uses a pick.
A month ago, I decided to give the pick a try again, but I couldn’t find my only pick. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to the shop where I had gotten my first pick, and the one I found online, which would have been delivered in 2 days at least, was ridiculously expensive for a pick (I got the first one for free). Finally, after hours of searching for my lost pick, I gave up, went online, googled “how to make a guitar pick?”, and found that I could make one from my old debit cards. Now why hadn’t I thought of that?
Anyway, I got to make my own picks, and here are the steps. I had finished making the picks before it occurred to me to write this, so I won’t be able to show step by step images of what I did, but the instructions are pretty easy to follow.
What you need:
A pair of sharp scissors, super glue, a cut-out of a pick (I didn’t use this), the picture of a pick (I used this), and a strong metal nail file (or in my case a wall :)).
What to do:
- Position the corner of the card to be the pointy edge of your to be pick, and cut an arc from one edge to the other. You’ll end up with a rough sector shape.
- Now, study the shape of the pick you want to use and gradually cut the edges into that shape. If you have a cut-out, you can place it on the sector and cut along the edges.
- When you have your pick shape, test it. Play a few notes and see how it feels: too thin, too small, too big, etc.
- Adjust your pick to your heart’s content. If it’s too big, just trim it starting from the sides, but if it’s too small, you’ll have to start over. If it’s too thin, bring in the super glue and repeat steps 1 to 3. Using your first pick as the cut-out, cut out new pick shapes to fit the current shape.
- Join the second shape to the first with the glue, and test it by playing some notes. I had initially made a 3 layered pick, but one layer came off when I was testing, and I found I liked the 2 layered pick more.
- Finally, file the edges till they are smooth, and file down the tips of each layer towards the other to close up the spaces between.
And there you have it, your own home made pick!
Incidentally, my first (tiny E) string snapped a few days after I made my picks; I had to go back to the shop to get new strings and I got another pick. The funny thing is I like playing with my home made picks more.
Till next time.