How Many Guitar Picks Should You Buy?

As an aspiring guitar player, buying your first set of equipment and accessories can be as exciting as it is overwhelming. Something many of us seem to struggle with is deciding the right number of guitar picks to buy, and seeing as how the answers to this dilemma in most online forums are mixed today; we’ll be getting to the bottom of this issue.

You should usually buy 3-25 guitar picks based on your playing style, frequency of use, and personal preferences. When you first start, getting a couple of different models is a good idea to see which you prefer. As you gain more experience, you’ll get your favorite pick in bulk.

As you can see, there really is no clear-cut answer to this question. However, below, I’ll be exploring all of its nuances so that you can make a personalized decision on the right number of picks to get. So, if you’re interested in learning more about how to go about making this decision, as well as how to narrow down your choices a bit further, make sure to read on.

How To Figure Out How Many Guitar Picks You Need

Since it’s impossible to give a specific answer on the right number of guitar picks to buy, in this section, I’ll give you some tried-and-true tips that can help you make an informed, personalized decision.

Consider Your Experience and Playing Style

If you’re a frequent player, having a large collection of readily available picks might be handy. The same goes for those who prefer thicker strings and a more aggressive playing style. Since those picks are bound to wear out quicker in these instances, having plenty of backups on hand is always a good idea.

On the flip side, if you’re a casual player working with thinner strings and a gentler style, you might get by with just 3-5 picks. Getting any more doesn’t make any practical or financial sense in this instance.

As you can see, your playing style and frequency are the first factors that might give you a better idea of where you fall on that vast range mentioned above.

Consider Your Budget

As with any other purchasing decision, your budget can decide how many guitar picks to buy. For example, if you’re on an extremely tight budget, there’s really no choice other than getting a couple of picks, especially if you’re looking for higher-end ones.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to pay more now and save in the long run, buying in bulk will be more practical.

Experiment With Different Picks

Though below, I’ll take you through some pointers on how to find picks that work for you right off the bat, chances are you’ll still have to experiment quite a bit. Even if a model is perfect on paper, you’ll never know how you’ll like it until you feel it (and use it for at least several playing sessions). 

Consider How Well You Take Care of Your Picks

This is one of the most important considerations to remember during the decision-making process. For example, if you’re not one to look after your picks too much or tend to lose them, it might be worth keeping a couple of backups around, just in case.

In contrast, those who can make do with the same pick for extended periods would be better off keeping their collection somewhat limited; otherwise, it’d simply collect dust.

Consider Your Personal Preferences

This last factor outweighs all of the ones mentioned above by a margin. Though you can logically know that a certain approach to pick-buying would serve you best, when you feel better going the opposite route, that’s probably what you will do.

For example, are you someone who enjoys having a large collection of picks? Are you the kind of musician loyal to their favorite two or three picks and would feel overwhelmed by too many choices? These are all considerations to keep in mind when making a decision.

If you’re unsure about your preferences, you can always experiment with your approach and see how you feel. For example, one week, you can get a big pack of cheaper picks (to avoid wasting money as much as possible) and see how you’d feel about buying in bulk.

Try to rely exclusively on one or two of your favorite models the week after. By the end of this little experiment, you should have a better idea of what feels more natural to you.

Choosing the Right Guitar Picks

Regardless of the number of picks you get, the model(s) you choose can make or break your playing experience for months to come. Choosing the right guitar picks is also a personal, nuanced decision, so let me take you through some of the most important factors to keep in mind throughout it.

  • Material: Plastic, nylon, celluloid, metal, and wood all come with their own advantages and drawbacks.
  • Thickness: Thicker options provide better control, while thinner ones are ideal for strumming.
  • Texture: This one’s a matter of personal preference, but grippier options tend to come with advantages over their smoother counterparts.
  • Shape: The most common shapes are teardrop, triangle, and jazz, all providing different feels and grip levels.
  • Brand: Picks from different brands boast different designs and varying quality levels, so experimenting is a must when it comes to finding a company that makes picks tailored to your preferences.

It’s important to view your options in person to see which actually fits your preferences best. If that’s not an option, make sure to experiment with different models until you find one that checks all of your boxes.


Ultimately, the decision on how many guitar picks to buy is a personal one, as it’ll depend on your playing habits and preferences. With that said, having at least 3-5 options to choose from is always a good idea, as it provides some versatility that can help inform your long-term preferences.

As you gain more experience, you’ll notice you start to favor certain models over others. At that point, it’s more practical to buy those specific picks in bulk so that you always have some on hand. Hopefully, the information outlined above has helped you reach a personalized decision.

If you found this article useful, you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board.


I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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