I decided a few months ago to challenge myself and my guitar skills by introducing a thumb pick into the mix. I started out playing guitar as a finger picker and then I moved onto a regular pick. However, I had never found the need or the desire to try using a thumb pick. Naturally, I found myself with a lot of questions surround the thumb pick before I started. So, I decided to answer a few of these frequently asked questions about thumb picks. Furthermore, I will be reviewing and discussing some of the best thumb picks for guitar that I have used.

What Are Thumb Picks?

Thumb picks attach around your thumb which relieves your index finger of having to hold onto the pick (like your normally would have to using a regular pick). This enables the guitar player to be able to play multiple strings at one time.

The Benefits of Thumb Picks?

The loudness and clear sound of the strings are enhanced by using a thumb pick. Especially the bass notes. You also don't have to worry about dropping your pick as it is attached to your thumb. You can get different gauges and sizes so finding the right thumb pick for you will be a breeze. The use of a thumb pick also eliminates the need to grow ones finger nails. Many classical guitar players will grow their fingernails and use them as picks however using a thumb pick means you don't have to.

What Are Thumb Picks Used For?

Thumb picks are mainly used by acoustic guitar players to enhance the sound and clarity of the guitar strings as well as improve the guitar players ability to finger pick by freeing up other fingers. Thumb picks are especially popular among slide players as well as banjo players

The Best Thumb Picks for Guitar

1) Dunlop Ultex Thumb Pick 

Best Thumb Picks For Guitar - dunlop ultex
Dunlop Ultex Thumb Pick

The best thumb pick that I used and that suited my guitar playing style & sound was the Jim Dunlop Ultex pick. Aesthetically, this thumb pick looks exactly like the Dunlop plastic one further down below. However, what makes it different is the Ultex material which is exceptionally durable but also produces the clearest and sharpest tone. These are available in two sizes being medium and large. If you have tiny thumbs then I suggest looking at the Ernie Ball thumb picks below. The Dunlop Ultex thumb picks are also only available in one heavy gauge.

2) Ernie Ball Thumb Picks

Best Thumb Picks For Guitar - ernie ball
Ernie Ball Thumb Picks

Thumb Picks by Ernie Ball are probably the most widely used and popular among guitarists. They're available in an assortment of colors including yellow, blue, red and white. You have the choice of different sizes including small, medium and large. However, these sizes refer to the wrap-around of the thumb pick. The only downside to the Ernie Ball thumb picks is that they can only be purchased in the medium gauge. These are made from the celluloid material.

3) Golden Gate Ivoroid Thumb Picks

Golden Gate Thumb Picks

I'd have to say that the Golden Gate thumb picks were definitely the most comfortable to wear out of all the thumb picks that I tried. Not only are they comfortable but they also felt the best to me when the strings were striked. The tone that comes from these is quite interesting and I'd say is definitely on the mellow side of things. They're made from Ivoroid and are available in small, medium and large sizes.

4) Herco Thumb Picks

Herco Thumb Picks

I was reluctant adding the Herco thumb picks to this list. The reason for this is because I was not sure if it could definitely be classified as a thumb pick. However, after some deliberation I decided that due to the fact that it attaches to your thumb with a wrap-around design, it could certainly be considered a thumb pick. What separates the herco thumb picks from the rest is that it combines the traditional thumb pick with a flat pick. So, essentially you have a regular guitar pick that can be attached and wrapped around your thumb. This is exceptionally handy as it offers the best of both worlds. The Herco thumb picks are available in a variety of colors, sizes and gauges. These Herco thumb picks are made from nylon.

5) Jim Dunlop Plastic Thumb Picks

Dunlop Plastic Thumb Picks

The plastic thumb picks by  Jim Dunlop are yet another popular choice for thumb pickers around the world. They're known for their simplicity and neutral sound. If you are a beginner looking to get into thumb picks then I'd recomend going for this Dunlop plastic one as you simply can't go wrong. Other than that, not much more can be said about these Dunlops.

6) National Thumb Picks

National Thumb Picks

National thumb picks have been around for a very long time and are definitely considered to be a true classic when it comes to thumb picks. They have been designed to fit and work ergonomically and you can definitely feel how comfortable they are when you put one on. You're instantly able to see why these Nationals are such a classic thumb pick. You can get them in black, white or tortoise shell as well as small, medium and large. The durability of the National finger picks is questionable however.

7) Fred Kelly Thumb Picks

Fred Kelly Thumb Pick

Fred kelly produces some of the most innovative and greatest thumb picks on the market. I'd like to go into detail about these however I already have a comprehensive article on these as well as other thumb picks by Fred kelly. If thumb picking is something you want to take seriously, check out the full Fred Kelly thumb pick review here.

8) Delrin Thumb Picks

Delrin Thumb Picks

Delrin as a guitar pick material is the most popular around the world so I had to add a delrin thumb pick to this list as it would otherwise not be complete. Other than the fact that these are made out of Delrin, there is not much that separates these from other thumb picks. I however, tend to like using these on my electric guitar. You can get these in small, medium and large sizes.

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