First of all, I don't really know about the difference between both picks, but as far as I know, the bass pick is slightly wider.

Can I use it (the bass pick) as a guitar pick (for guitar, of course)? Will it make different tone? (Yes, I know, but what kind of tone, is it thick, thin, or anything?).

  • Thicker picks dont strumm as nice though.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 11:44

5 Answers 5


There is absolutely no rule for this, and it depends entirely on the sound you want. A thicker pick allows for more precision because it does not bend (as much) when you pick a string. This goes very far; Brian May is known for sometimes using coins as guitar pick.

A bass pick is also 'wider', with a larger surface than a normal pick. This gives you more leverage, which is nice on a bass's thick strings, but I can imagine that it is not that handy when playing the guitar. If anything, using a bass pick on a guitar would feel a bit clumsy.


Anything you use to pluck a guitar/bass string will affect the sound. A thick pick will give a thicker sound than a thin one. Fingers and finger nails will give different sounds again. Really, you need to try it. It certainly won't hurt either instrument, but personally I can't think of a reason for using a pick with bass. Slapping and popping become impossible, and there's hardly any variety in tone that one gets using one's fingers and thumb.

A felt pick was (is?) available for bass playing, but I imagine it would sound awful on guitar. Wooden picks are supposed to make a guitar sound different, and there was a certain player who used a coin...

  • Felt picks are available (often marketed as ukulele picks) -- I have not found them useful on guitar; they tend to "grab" on the thinner guitar strings and just produce a dull, muffled tone.
    – Dave
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 12:20

There are sooooo many different picks to choose from and every thickness and size will make a different sound. For me, I play bass and I prefer sharp guitar picks: for some reason these are the most comfortable for me and I like the sound.

A bass pick will generally be louder (well, you'll notice when playing acoustically) and have more attack on your strings and a higher gain from your guitar signal, but if its more comfortable then there are actually thin-medium sized bass picks (like just the fender ones) that will give you a very similar tone to guitar.

I think in general, the tone will change based on the thickness of the pick and sharpness of the edge. I haven't seen sharp bass picks, they tend to be the normal rounded edges. So if you pick a similar thickness, just in bass pick size, I can't imagine you're messing with tone too much.

Picks are an easy thing to experiment with to find your best comfort zone while playing and your best tone (though it is not by far the defining tone factor) that are really cheap. If you think a big pick would be more comfortable for your playing, go for it! Try em out.


I remember trying that out myself. There wasn't so much difference in the sound, but it was kind of harder to play with a bass pick on a guitar.

That is mainly because a bass pick is wider (since the bass strings are bigger) and the guitar strings are small.

But the simplest thing you can do is to try it out. Picks are almost free, so getting a bass one and trying it on guitar won't hurt your budget.


You can use anything as a pick if it's comfortable for you. I'm not a guitarist but I tried coins, wood picks, metal picks, bass rubber picks, plastic picks of different sizes and a lot more. I even tried a violin "pick" (whatever it's called) and a glass pick and also different possible variants. My friend a guitarist made himself some bone picks and a silver pick even and they both sound great.

Indeed every pick can create a different tone and of course some are good for strumming like 0.2 to 0.7 sizes and others are good for solo. The shape and extra attributes like bumps or holes male them either less comfortable or more.

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