What can you use as a guitar pick?

What Can You Use As A Guitar Pick? -15 Things To Use As Picks

Guitar picks, sometimes called plectrums or picks, are small pieces of plastic, brass, or other materials used to pluck the strings of guitars, mandolins, and other stringed instruments to produce sound. Strumming chords with a pick is fun. Unfortunately, you may face such problems as losing guitar picks. I regularly encounter this problem. If you don’t want to buy guitar picks and want to make the best guitar picks at home to play guitars, then what can you use as a guitar pick? If you wish, you can use alternative things as a guitar pick. In this blog, I will discuss how you can quickly make guitar picks at home.

Do you lose guitar picks often?

Many guitar players lose their picks all the time. If you’re one of them, you may be looking for ways to save money on replacement picks.

You can choose the best guitar pick for your playing style. You can buy them from your local music store or online. You could even make them yourself. The most common choice is a plastic pick, which feels like plastic but has a more textured feel.

If you lose your guitar picks often, or if you want to experiment with some cool new sounds, a variety of objects can be used as guitar picks. These are inexpensive and easy to find. Let’s see our different guitar pick alternatives.

The Ultimate List Of Things You Can Use As Guitar Picks:

Here is a huge list of fifteen different items and materials that can be used as a guitar pick, and you can use them to create guitar picks easily.

  1. Coins
  2. Shells
  3. Sim Cards
  4. Credit Debit Cards
  5. Plastic Rulers
  6. Paper Clips
  7. Metal Forks and Spoons
  8. Toothpicks
  9. Coffee Stirrers
  10. Pen Caps
  11. CD – DVDs
  12. Old Circuit Boards
  13. Bottle Caps
  14. Plastics
  15. Broken Glasses

If you’re looking for something more durable picks for an acoustic guitar, some options out there are made from different materials that may be worth checking out. Here we discussed some of our other favorite picks to strum your guitar.


You probably wouldn’t consider using a coin as a guitar pick, but they make a decent replacement. Just clean them first to get rid of any residue on them. The easiest way to do this is with a little soap and water, but if you want something more thorough, you can use rubbing alcohol or go even further with a specialized cleaner.

coins can be used as guitar picks.


There’s nothing better than using something unique and different as a pick! It can be any shell on the beach or in your backyard – if it’s flat enough and has some traction, it will work great!

Shells can be used as guitar picks.

Sim Cards:

It’s a good idea to use SIM cards as a standard pick. Sim cards are the little piece of plastic that comes with your phone. SIM card pick is a great choice and comfortable for playing. They are thin and have smooth surfaces. To use a sim card as a pick, you need to cut it down to size. Once you have your sim card pick cut down and shaped properly, you’ll be able to play your guitar easily.

You can make guitar picks from sim cards.

Credit or Debit Cards:

Credit or debit card-made picks are great. Credit cards are another excellent option for making your picks. They don’t always sound great, and the edges can sometimes be uncomfortable against your fingers, but they’re very easy to make and cheap too! All you need is a pair of scissors or a pick puncher. Cut the old credit cards with the pick puncher, and you will have a custom-made pick!

A credit card can be used as a guitar pick.

Plastic Rulers:

You can use a plastic ruler as a pick. Just cut a piece off and file the edges to make it smooth. I’ve done this before, but I don’t see it being an ideal solution. The ruler is too hard and doesn’t have a very good grip on your fingers. If you want a cheap and easy pick, you should go with the old standby: credit cards.

You can make guitar picks from plastic rulers.

Paper clips:

You can turn paper clips into makeshift picks. All you need to do is straighten out one end of the clip, then bend it into a point at the other end. You will now have an improvised pick that lets you easily play your favorite songs on your acoustic or electric guitar.

Metal Forks and Spoons:

You can use forks and spoons as picks, but the biggest problem with this method is that it’s risky. You risk scratching the finish on your guitar or can damage strings when you use a fork or spoon as a plectrum — especially if you’re not used to playing with one.


Toothpicks are small and very flexible. You can use them for strumming or for playing fingerstyle.

But some guitarists don’t like to use toothpicks because they can be hard to hold when playing fast. Also, holding a toothpick between the thumb and index finger while playing can be difficult.

You also have to be careful not to drop the toothpick during a performance! Toothpicks are great for practicing at home, but they might not be practical on stage or during lessons.

Toothpicks can be a nice alternative to guitar picks.

Coffee stirrers:

Coffee stirrers are great for making your picks. They’re cheap, and you can get them in any color or size. You just need to cut out the shape. The best way to do this is with scissors or an Exacto knife. Then sand down the edges, so they don’t hurt your fingers while playing!

You can make your acoustic guitar picks from the coffee stirrers.

Pen caps:

You can use pen caps as picks. The only downside is that they’re not always in the right depth and size to play the guitar. However, if you lose your pick and need an immediate alternative, you can use pen caps.


If you have a few old CDs lying around your house, you can use them as picks. Just take one of the CDs, outline the pick, and cut accordingly. Then, sand the edges until they are smooth to the touch. Of course, you can also use DVDs for this purpose.

You can make guitar picks from old CD-DVD.

Old Circuit Boards:

You can use old circuit boards as picks. The circuit board has a nice weight and diameter, and the copper traces make for a great gripping surface. Of course, you’ll need to sand down the ends, so they don’t scratch your strings, and you will have a nice thicker pick.

You can make guitar picks from old circuit boards.

Bottle Caps:

The bottle cap is a cheap and alternative option to use as a pick. It is great for strumming chords or playing solos. You can also use bottle caps as picks if you have no other choice, but they don’t last very long.

You can make nice guitar picks from bottle caps easily.


Thicker plastics are great for making better guitar picks. You can outline your pick on a thick plastic-made board and cut accordingly to get a nice pick. It will be so easy to make picks from a plastic board.

Broken Glasses:

There are many ways to get picks for your guitar, but one method is recycling the broken glasses that occupy your kitchen. You can turn these recycled pieces into great picks; you only need what you have lying around the house.

What should I use as a guitar pick?

Picks are made from plastic, metal, or other materials and are usually shaped like triangles. They’re traditionally used for playing chords or single-note riffs. There is also a special type called the thumb pick, which is attached to your finger by a strap and used for playing lead guitar solos.

The thickness of guitar picks is important. There are many different guitar picks according to thickness and materials used; I discussed this in the Guitar Picks For Beginners: The Ultimate Guide To Guitar Picks blog.

A common question is whether buying or making your picks is better. The answer is simple: if it’s not too much trouble, make your picks, as it will be cheaper and more rewarding in the long run (if you enjoy making things). But buying a guitar pick is not so costly. You can purchase picks for $3 to $10 only, and these picks are specially made to play guitars, and you will get the accurate thickness you want.

If you don’t want to buy picks, use the materials discussed in this blog post to make your favorite picks.

How long should you use a guitar pick?

The lifespan of your guitar pick is determined by how fast you play, how hard you hit the strings, and other factors like your technique. The more aggressive your playing is, the shorter your pick will last.

The material of the pick will also affect its lifespan. For example, if you choose a plastic pick, it will wear out faster than a wooden one.

For an average player, the picks may last for two-three weeks to one month.

For professional guitarists, it can last one to two days. The more aggressive and complex the playing style, the faster your picks will wear out.

Ultimately, finding the right pick for you will come down to personal preference. Some people will like thinner picks; others will prefer thicker ones.

Hopefully, this list has been helpful for you whether you’re a beginner (which I assume you are if you’re looking at this list). Finding cool materials to use as guitar picks can be fun and cost-saving. Best of all, you can find most of these things right in your home. Don’t forget to share your experience and thoughts here. Keep strumming your guitars. Happy playing!


  1. “3 Ways to Make Homemade Guitar Picks – wikiHow.” wikiHow, 2 Dec. 2021
  2. “How to Make a Guitar Pick From an Old Gift Card.” YouTube, 17 Aug. 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCHiAQfhYC4.
  3. “Six Ways to Make a DIY Guitar Pick – National Guitar Academy.” National Guitar Academy, 12 Nov. 2019, nationalguitaracademy.com/diy-guitar-pick.