The Difference Between Plastic Guitar Picks & Wood

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Plastic and wood guitar picks are different in a lot of different ways. Learn about the difference between plastic guitar picks and wood ones with help from a Los Angeles-based guitar player in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Be a Versatile Guitarist
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Video Transcript

I'm Marcus Gerakos. I'm a studio guitarist based here in LA. I do a lot of film and television work here. Today we're going to talk about the difference between a plastic pick and a wood pick. Now I've got to be honest. I don't own a wood pick. I don't know anybody who owns a wood pick but I could tell you theoretically the difference would be a plastic pick has a bit of pliability. See it has that little bit of give to it which I think smooths out your sound, unless if I'm just playing some notes on the E string, it doesn't really have a lot of attack on it. You could give it attack if you wanted to but that comes from just how hard you're, or how much speed you are moving the string with. If you're using, a wood pick wouldn't give you any give at all, any flexibility. So it wouldn't have the same effect as far as smoothing out the attack, alright it would automatically give you a hard attack every single time. The reason why I and virtually everybody else I know uses a plastic pick is so that you minimize the amount of extraneous noise, the amount of attack. You can control the amount of attack. You're not just giving attack no matter what string you're playing or how hard you're playing. So, ideally what you want is you want control as a guitarist. You want control over how much attack you have and you want to choose a pick made out of material that gives you that kind of control, where you can minimize the attack if you want to. In fact, some people, Pat Matheny choose to use the rounded edge of the pick to soften the attack even more than it might be otherwise. But whether you're using the point or the rounded edge, a plastic pick gives you the option to vary your level of attack. I'm Marcus Gerakos and our subject has been the difference between a wood pick and a plastic pick.

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