Can You Use A Coin As A Guitar Pick

M Andrew

Can You Use A Coin As A Guitar Pick?

Are you a guitarist looking to enhance your tone and technique? If so, then this article is a must-read for you! In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the fascinating world of guitar picks and explore the effects they have on your overall sound. From the traditional to the unconventional, we will discuss various materials, thicknesses, and shapes that can significantly impact your playing. But there’s more – we’ll also uncover the truth behind using alternative picks, such as coins, and whether they cause any potential damage to your precious instrument. So, whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting your musical journey, join me as we unravel the secrets of selecting the perfect guitar pick and discover some surprising alternatives along the way.

How To Hold A Guitar Pick

When it comes to playing the guitar, one of the fundamental aspects to consider is how to hold a guitar pick. The way you hold the pick not only affects your technique but also has a significant impact on the tone you produce. In this article, I’ll walk you through some essential tips on how to hold a guitar pick, allowing you to achieve the best possible sound and optimize your playing experience.

Finding the Right Grip

The first step in mastering the art of holding a guitar pick is finding a grip that feels comfortable and secure. While everyone has their own unique approach, there are a few key pointers that can help you develop a solid foundation.

  1. Find the correct orientation: Start by holding the pick between your thumb and index finger. Ensure that the pointed tip of the pick is facing towards the strings. This position allows for a clean attack and optimal control while strumming or picking individual notes.

Remember, holding the pick with the pointed tip facing the strings is crucial for precise and accurate playing.

  1. Maintain a relaxed grip: It’s essential to strike a balance between holding the pick firmly enough to maintain control and applying excessive pressure that hampers your playing. Avoid tensing up your hand and fingers, as it restricts your dexterity and can lead to fatigue.

A relaxed grip promotes fluidity in your playing and prevents unnecessary strain on your muscles.

  1. Experiment with pick thickness: Picks come in various thicknesses, ranging from thin and flexible to thick and rigid. Try out different thicknesses to find the one that suits your playing style best. Thinner picks offer more give and are ideal for strumming, while thicker picks provide better accuracy and control for intricate picking patterns.

Finding the right pick thickness allows for a personalized playing experience tailored to your preferences.

Techniques for Different Styles

Depending on the style of music you play, there are specific techniques and grips that can enhance your performance. Let’s explore a couple of popular styles and the corresponding pick-holding techniques.

Strumming and Rhythm Guitar

If strumming and rhythm guitar are your main focus, a looser grip on the pick is ideal. Holding the pick towards the end allows for more flexibility and a lighter touch when striking the strings. This technique helps produce a softer and more blended tone, perfect for strumming chords and creating a rhythmic foundation.

By holding the pick towards the end, you can achieve a warmer, mellower sound, ideal for strumming chords or playing acoustic guitar.

Lead and Solo Playing

For lead and solo playing, a more precise and controlled grip is necessary to execute intricate melodies and fast-paced runs. Holding the pick closer to the pointed end provides better control over each note and allows for crisp articulation.

Holding the pick closer to the pointed end facilitates precise and articulate playing required for lead guitar solos.

Pros and Cons of Alternative Picks

While traditional guitar picks are the go-to choice for most guitarists, it’s worth mentioning alternative options that some players prefer. One popular alternative pick is a coin. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of using a coin as a guitar pick.


  • Distinct sound: Using a coin as a pick can create a unique and gritty tone, especially favored in rock and blues genres.
  • Inspiration from renowned guitarists: Musicians like Brian May and Billy Gibbons have famously used coins as guitar picks, contributing to their signature sound.
  • Versatility: Coins come in different sizes and materials, allowing for experimentation and customization.


  • Different feel: Coins as guitar picks may feel unfamiliar and take time to adjust to.
  • Increased string stress: Coins can put more stress on the guitar strings, potentially resulting in quicker wear and requiring more frequent replacements.

Ultimately, the choice between a traditional pick and a coin comes down to personal preference and the desired sound you want to achieve.

Remember, using a coin as a pick can create a distinct and gritty sound, but it may take time to get used to the different feel.

In conclusion, mastering how to hold a guitar pick is crucial for every guitarist. By finding the right grip, experimenting with different techniques, and considering alternative picks like coins, you can discover the approach that resonates with your playing style and desired tone. Remember, practice and persistence are key to developing your technique and honing your unique sound. So, grab your guitar and start exploring the world of guitar pick holding possibilities!

Table: Pick Thickness Options and Their Applications

Pick ThicknessApplication
ThinIdeal for strumming and rhythm guitar
MediumVersatile option for various playing styles
ThickExcellent for lead and solo playing

Different Things That You Can Use As A Guitar Pick

Guitar picks come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, but have you ever thought of using something other than a traditional pick? In this article, we’ll explore the world of unconventional guitar picks, focusing on one interesting option: coins. Let’s delve into the effects using a coin as a pick can have on tone and technique, and consider whether it might be a viable alternative for your playing style.

Coins: An Unconventional Choice

Coins, those small pieces of metal we often use for transactions, can actually double as guitar picks. They offer a unique and distinct sound that sets them apart from traditional picks. While some guitarists prefer the classic tone of plastic or molded picks, there’s a niche audience that appreciates the gritty sound produced by a coin against the strings.

Quote: Using a coin as a pick can give your playing a raw and edgy quality that may be just what you’re looking for.

Tone and Technique

When it comes to strumming chords and picking notes, coins offer some benefits. They are typically the perfect thickness and have a somewhat smooth surface, making them ideal for achieving a balanced sound. The thickness of a coin allows for comfortable strumming, while also providing enough precision for picking individual notes.

Quote: Coins strike a great balance between strumming chords and picking individual notes, making them versatile for various playing styles and genres.

The Coin Guitarist’s Dilemma

While coins can provide a unique sound and versatility, they do come with a few drawbacks. First and foremost, using a coin as a pick puts more pressure on the guitar strings compared to a regular pick. This added pressure may result in accelerated wear and tear on your strings, so it’s important to regularly replace them regardless of the pick you’re using.

Quote: Remember, keep a close eye on your strings and replace them as needed, regardless of the pick you choose.

Another challenge with coins is their texture and handling. Coins can be harder to hold onto compared to traditional picks, and it might take some time to adjust to their feel and resistance. It’s important to exercise caution and ensure you have a firm grip to prevent accidentally dropping the coin or injuring yourself.

Quote: Be mindful of your grip when using a coin as a pick – you wouldn’t want to accidentally drop it mid-performance!

Beyond Coins: Exploring Alternatives

Coins are not the only household objects that can be repurposed as guitar picks. If you find yourself without a traditional pick, everyday items like credit cards, paper clips, toothpicks, and even folded paper can all serve as makeshift alternatives. Credit cards, including old membership cards or expired licenses, are particularly popular due to their similar density and stiffness.

Quote: Don’t limit yourself to just coins! Get creative and experiment with other everyday objects to find your own unique sound.

Famous Coin Pick Users

Believe it or not, some notable guitarists have embraced coins as their preferred picks. Icons like Brian May from Queen and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top have incorporated coins into their playing style, contributing to their distinctive tone. These musicians demonstrate that it’s not just the pick that matters, but how you use it to express your own musicality.

Quote: If coins were good enough for legendary guitarists like Brian May and Billy Gibbons, they’re definitely worth exploring for yourself!

Safety First: Cautionary Measures

Before you start raiding your piggy bank or searching for loose change in your pockets, it’s crucial to exercise caution and be mindful of safety. Coins, especially with sharp edges, can potentially cause injury if mishandled. Take care when using them as picks, and if you find yourself uncomfortable or at risk, it’s best to opt for safer alternatives.

Quote: While coins can be fun and offer a unique playing experience, always prioritize your safety and well-being.

In conclusion, coins present an interesting alternative to traditional guitar picks, offering a gritty and distinctive tone. They can be a great choice for players looking to experiment and develop their own unique sound. Just remember to be mindful of their impact on your strings and take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. So, why not give coins a try and see how they shape your tone and technique? Happy playing!

Does Using A Coin As A Pick Cause Any Damage?

When it comes to guitar picks, there are a multitude of options to choose from. From the traditional plastic picks to more unconventional alternatives, one question that often arises is whether using a coin as a pick causes any damage. As an experienced musician and writer, I have delved into the world of guitar picks, exploring their impact on tone and technique. In this article, I will address the potential damage that using a coin as a pick can cause and provide insights based on my expertise and experimentation. So, let’s dive in and explore the pros and cons of using a coin as a pick.

One key consideration when using a coin as a pick is the metal-on-metal contact between the coin and the strings. This friction can wear down the strings more quickly than a plastic pick would. Over time, this increased wear and tear can lead to the need for more frequent string replacements. Additionally, coins often have sharper edges compared to traditional, rounded picks. These sharp edges can cause even more damage to the strings, leading to decreased longevity. So, while using a coin as a pick may offer a unique sound and attack, it’s important to be aware of the potential harm it can cause to your guitar strings.

“Using a coin as a pick can accelerate the wear and tear on your guitar strings, leading to more frequent replacements.”

It is worth noting that some famous guitarists, such as Brian May and Billy Gibbons, have used coins as guitar picks. This adds an aspect of legitimacy and artistic innovation to using coins as picks. The sound produced by a coin can be distinct, with a scratchy and crunchy attack. If you’re aiming for a gritty tone, using a coin might be an intriguing option. However, as with any artistic choice, personal preference plays a significant role. While some guitarists appreciate the unique sound a coin produces, others may find it unfamiliar or not to their liking.

“Coins can provide a distinctive sound with a scratchy and crunchy attack, but it’s ultimately a matter of personal preference.”

Beyond the potential damage to the strings, using a coin as a pick can also pose risks to the guitar itself. The sharp edges of the coin can scratch or damage the strings, frets, and even the finish of the guitar over time. Additionally, holding onto a small and thin object like a coin can be more challenging than grasping a traditional pick. It may take some time to adjust to the feel of a coin and find a comfortable grip. This added difficulty in holding onto the coin can increase the likelihood of it slipping and potentially causing harm to your instrument.

“When using a coin as a pick, it’s important to exercise caution to avoid scratching or damaging your guitar.”

In conclusion, while using a coin as a guitar pick can offer a unique sound and may be favored by some famous guitarists, it does come with potential drawbacks. The metal-on-metal contact and sharp edges of a coin can accelerate wear and tear on the strings, leading to more frequent replacements. Additionally, the coin can scratch or damage the guitar itself if not used with care. Ultimately, the choice to use a coin as a pick is a matter of personal preference and should be made with an understanding of the potential damage it may cause.

Table: Pros and Cons of Using a Coin as a Guitar Pick

Unique sound and attackIncreased wear and tear on guitar strings
Artistic inspirationPotential damage to guitar strings, frets, and finish
Challenging to hold securely

Now that we have explored the effects of using a coin as a pick, you can make an informed decision based on your personal preferences and musical goals. Whether you choose a traditional pick or experiment with alternative options, remember to prioritize the proper care and maintenance of your guitar. Happy playing!

What Can I Use As A Guitar Pick

Are you tired of using the same old plastic or molded picks for your guitar playing? Looking to add a unique twist to your sound? Well, look no further because today we’re going to explore unconventional alternatives to traditional guitar picks. In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of using coins and other household objects as guitar picks and uncover the effects they can have on your tone and technique.

Coins as Guitar Picks

Yes, you read that right! Coins can indeed be used as guitar picks, and they offer a different sound compared to their plastic counterparts. Just ask legendary guitarists Brian May from Queen and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, who are famous for using coin picks. But what makes coins so special?

Firstly, coins have the perfect thickness for guitar picking. Their size and shape make them comfortable to hold, and their somewhat smooth surface allows for easy strumming and picking. Using a coin as a pick can bring a unique character to your playing, adding a scratchy and crunchy attack to your sound.

However, it’s important to note that using a coin as a pick may require some adjustment. The pressure on the guitar strings can be higher with a coin, which means you may need to adapt your playing technique slightly. But take it from those who’ve embraced this unconventional approach – once you get the hang of it, the results can be truly rewarding. As Brian May and Billy Gibbons have shown us, using a coin as a pick is a matter of personal preference and style.

“Coins as guitar picks offer a distinctive sound and a different playing experience. Embrace the scratchy and crunchy attack they bring to your tone.” – Own your unique sound with coin picks.

Exploring Other Household Objects

Coins aren’t the only household objects that can double as guitar picks. You might be surprised to learn that items like paper, credit cards, and even bottle caps can be used to strum those strings. While they might not provide the exact same feel as traditional picks or coins, they do offer a world of experimentation and creativity.

Let’s face it – sometimes we find ourselves without a pick when inspiration strikes. In those moments, a credit card or a well-folded piece of paper can save the day. These makeshift picks may not last as long as coins, but they can certainly get you through a jam session or rehearsal. Don’t be afraid to explore the sonic possibilities with these unconventional alternatives.

Pros and Cons

To help you make an informed decision about using coins or other household objects as guitar picks, let’s break down the pros and cons:


  • Unique sound: Coins and other objects can add a distinct scratchy and crunchy attack to your tone, allowing you to create your own signature sound.
  • Convenient and long-lasting: Coins make for handy picks that are readily available and can withstand countless jam sessions.
  • Versatile options: Household objects like credit cards and paper offer a range of thicknesses and textures, allowing for experimentation and sonic exploration.


  • Potential wear and tear: Using coins as picks can put more pressure on the guitar strings, potentially leading to accelerated wear and tear. It’s worth keeping an eye on your strings and replacing them as needed.
  • Adaptation period: Using a coin or unconventional object as a pick may require some time to adjust to its feel and technique. Don’t be discouraged if it feels unfamiliar at first – give it a chance to grow on you.
  • Guitar maintenance: Coins, with their potentially sharper edges, can scratch or damage guitar strings, frets, and finish over time. It’s important to exercise caution and take appropriate measures to protect your instrument.

“Coins and household objects offer a world of sonic possibilities and artistic innovation. Embrace their unique sounds, but remember to take care of your guitar.” – Unleash your creativity, but safeguard your instrument.

Final Thoughts

In the realm of guitar playing, it’s essential to explore and experiment with different tools and techniques. Coins and household objects provide a unique avenue for sonic exploration, allowing you to break free from the confines of traditional picks. While they may require some adjustment and care, the distinct sounds they produce can add a touch of authenticity and innovation to your playing.

So, next time you find yourself without a pick, reach for that spare change, a forgotten credit card, or even a folded piece of paper. Embrace the unconventional. Let your creativity soar. And remember, the world of guitar picks is not limited to what’s sold in stores – it’s a vast realm waiting to be explored.

“Embrace the unconventional. Rediscover your sound with coins and household objects as guitar picks.” – Dare to be different and make your mark on the music world.

Why Brian May Prefers a Sixpence Coin for Playing Guitar

[youtube v=”xUedJpofbGE”]

In this article, we uncover the unique guitar pick preference of legendary musician Brian May—using a sixpence coin instead of the traditional guitar pick. Brian May’s journey to discovering the benefits of this unconventional choice has spanned over four decades. So, let’s delve into why he finds this alternative so captivating.

The Pursuit of the Perfect Pick

Brian May initially experimented with flexible picks, hoping to achieve a fluid and fast playing style. However, he soon discovered that he preferred harder picks as they allowed him to feel more of the action in his fingers. One day, he stumbled upon the sixpence coin and realized it offered an unparalleled connection to the strings. Despite providing zero flexibility, the sixpence coin gave Brian the ability to feel every movement on the strings, from the subtlest vibrations to the serrations on the coin’s surface.

“To me, I feel everything. I’m in total contact with the strings. There’s nothing that happens that I can’t feel in my fingers.” — Brian May

Versatility and Control

By holding the sixpence coin loosely, Brian achieves the necessary flexibility while still maintaining a firm grip. Adjusting the angle of the coin provides him with a wide range of tonal variations. When held parallel to the strings, the sixpence coin delivers a clean and precise single-note sound. However, angling the coin at varying degrees produces a distinctive spluttering effect, akin to the unique articulation of a human voice.

“I love that ability to make it kind of splatter—it’s a kind of consonant sound.” — Brian May

Durability and Cost-Effectiveness

One of the key advantages of using a sixpence coin is its long-lasting nature. Unlike traditional picks, the nickel-silver composition of the sixpence coin ensures it doesn’t wear out easily or harm the strings. Additionally, the cost-effectiveness of this alternative pick is noteworthy. Brian May boasts a collection of a thousand sixpence coins, reinforcing their affordability and easy availability.

Adjustments and Preferences

Transitioning to using a sixpence coin as a pick may require some time for adjustment. While the unique sound and enhanced control make it appealing to guitarists seeking innovation, the distinct feel and potential stress on the strings can feel unfamiliar. Nevertheless, musicians have the freedom to experiment with different materials and objects for picking, such as credit cards, paper clips, toothpicks, and folded paper.

The Legacy of Famous Guitarists

Brian May is not the only renowned guitarist who has embraced unconventional picks. Guitarists like Billy Gibbons have also experimented with coins, adding an element of authenticity and artistic innovation to their playing. The distinct scratchy and crunchy attack that coins provide can bring a unique character to the sound, but personal preference remains pivotal.


While using a coin as a pick may not be the conventional choice, it offers a distinct and gritty sound that some guitarists, including Brian May, find captivating. However, it is essential to exercise caution due to the potential for accelerated wear and tear on the strings and the increased likelihood of slippage. If you do decide to experiment with unconventional picks, ensure you prioritize the care and preservation of your guitar.

“Using a coin as a pick is a matter of personal preference and should be done with caution.” — Expert SEO Content Writer


How To Hold A Guitar Pick?

To hold a guitar pick, place it between your thumb and index finger. Make sure that the pointed end of the pick is facing outward. Experiment with different angles and grips to find what feels most comfortable and natural for you.

What Are Some Different Things That You Can Use As A Guitar Pick?

Aside from traditional picks, there are several household objects that can be used as alternative guitar picks. Some common examples include coins, credit cards, paper clips, and toothpicks. These objects can provide unique sounds and textures when used as picks.

Does Using A Coin As A Pick Cause Any Damage?

Using a coin as a pick can potentially cause damage to your guitar. The metal-on-metal contact between the coin and the strings can wear down the strings more quickly compared to using a plastic pick. Additionally, the sharp edges of coins can cause more wear and tear on the strings over time.

Can I Use Anything Else As A Guitar Pick?

Yes, there are plenty of alternatives to traditional guitar picks. In addition to coins, you can use items like paper, credit cards, bottle caps, old DVDs, plastic rulers, and metal coins. These items can produce unique sounds and textures, allowing you to experiment and find your preferred tone.

What Can I Use As A Guitar Pick?

There are various options for guitar picks, including plastic picks in different thicknesses, shapes, and materials. Some popular materials used for picks include nylon, celluloid, and Tortex. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and experimentation to find the pick that suits your playing style and desired tone.

Leave a Comment