I'd like to touch on a topic which I get a lot of questions and and that is regarding the best fingerpicks for guitar. When it comes to the world of guitar picks, I'd have to say that I hold the view that fingerpicks are the least known and least used of all the different varieties and types of plectrums. The reason for this is not because fingerpicks are a bad choice but rather due to the fact that fingerpicks are generally used for specific types of music. That is why we very rarely seem them used by mainstream musicians. This article covers the many regularly asked questions surrounding finger picks as well as reviewing the best fingerpicks that you can buy.

What are finger picks?

Fingerpicks are a specifically made guitar pick that are designed to slip over your picking fingers. These picks are made for your index, middle and ring fingers to help finger picking on guitar. The fingerpicks are not to be confused with Thumbpicks which as the name suggest, are made for the thumb. However, finger picks are very often used in conjunction with thumbpicks. Fingerpicks come in different materials and brands. The shape and style of these picks are generally the same however can different between brand. See below for examples of the best finger picks.

The Advantages of Finger picks?

Due to the fact that fingerpicks are so specific, it is hard to compare them to regular guitar picks. However one should rather think of them in their own class. For that reasons we're not looking at what makes fingerpicks better but rather we're looking at what advantages you can have by using them. These include:

  • Using finger picks makes the guitar string ring louder as it amplifies it more than bare fingers.
  • They're brighter when compared to just using your fingers which can sometimes sound dull
  • These eliminate the need to grow your nails.

The Disadvantages of Fingerpicks?

  • Fingerpicks are generally better suites for acoustic guitars and acoustic music
  • I find them to be quite hard for beginners and intermediate players to grasp and get used to

What materials are Finger picks made from?

The two most popular finger pick materials are definitely celluloid (which is a type of plastic) or steel. Nylon is also a popular material for fingerpicks but not quite as popular as celluloid or steel. It comes down to preference as to which material you prefer the sound of as they both sound different tonally. As one would imagine, the steel finger picks produce a more metallic sound with more higher end which results in a brighter sound.

1) National Fingerpicks Steel

national finger picks for guitar

National NP1-8B Thumb & Finger Pick Pack - Stainless Steel/Black - Large

My number one choice for the best finger picks for guitar have to be the ones made by national. What I believe separates these finger picks from the rest is that have been ergonomically made to improve the guitar playing experience. As an added bonus, you also get 1 extra finger picks and 2 thumbpicks. These fingerpicks feel good on the finger and are comfortable to wear. But most importantly, they sound good too. They're a top contender for the best acoustic guitar picks that I've tried.

2) Dunlop Finger Picks

dunlop finger picks for guitar

Dunlop 9020TP Shell Plastic Finger & Thumbpicks, Large, 4/Player's Pack

The Dunlop fingerpicks are what you would consider to be your regular or "common" fingerpick style. It's made out of plastic however to be more specific, the type of plastic I believe is celluloid. The Dunlop's come in three sizes (small, medium and large). This set of fingerpicks also comes with a thumbpick to complete the set.

3) Open Finger Picks

finger picks for guitar

Open Design Metal Finger Picks

These open fingerpicks are seriously epic. If I must be completely honest, these are the most fun to play. The reason I find them the most fun and easiest to play is because of its open design. The open design means that you're able to touch and feel the guitar string. What this does is give you more control over the strings you're picking without compromising anything. These are very similar to the Butterfly picks which I have featured in a separate article. The open finger picks are made from stainless steel.

4) Fred Kelly Fingerpicks

fred kelly finger picks for guitar

Fred Kelly Picks D7FF-L-3 Delrin Freedom Finger Pick Large Guitar Pick

When it comes to innovation and guitar picks, Fred Kelly has to be up there as one of the front runners. Their innovation carries over into the design of their Freedom fingerpicks. They're completely different to any other finger pick I've seen on the market. They come three different sizes and you have the choice between getting these in the delrin material or the polycarb material. For more information on these epic fingerpicks by fred kelly check out my article here.

5) Dunlop Nickel Silver Finger Picks

Dunlop 33P.0225 Nickel Silver Finger & Thumbpicks, .0225", 5/Player's Pack

The nickel silver finger picks buy Dunlop have been a mainstay in the finger pick world ever since I can remember. These nickel picks are available in either 0.15" or 0.20" in size. You can expect a high quality pick from Dunlop as they're the leading pick manufacturer in my opinion.


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