I started learning to play acoustic guitar several months ago, and have been mainly using Fender medium picks. I have noticed that the picks very quickly develop a sort of bevel on one side because I apparently strum with the pick at an angle to the strings instead of perfectly level.

After searching this problem, I found that this is actually a technique and helps some people pick faster because there is less friction, and it is called edge picking, I think anyway.

However, my question is, does edge picking cause strings to break more quickly?

I am playing an acoustic with standard Fender 12 - 52 non coated strings and my high e string has broken twice now within the space of less than three months. Both times it was at the bridge so it could possibly be the bridge itself (I have never gotten the guitar setup), but I am wondering if "sharpening" my pick by playing the way I do might be causing me to break strings. enter image description here

1 Answer 1



The material of the picks is much softer than the strings. That's why the pick wears away, because the string is harder.

If you were tuning at the time the strings broke, then it might be improper tuning that caused it.

If you were playing then it's less clear. You could be playing too hard or digging in too much.

I'm assuming your bridge and saddle are wood and plastic, so it's unlikely those are causing the string to break.

  • Thank you. Okay yes, I was playing when it broke both times, and the saddle is plastic. It may be the way I was holding the pick, causing me to use more force than necessary, I do grip it pretty tight.
    – NULL
    May 2, 2019 at 20:18
  • @NULL Your tone and comfort will improve if you relax your grip and try to just brush the strings with the pick. It takes practice. If you are strumming and you sometimes miss the strings, then you are in the right zone of being close without being too close. May 2, 2019 at 20:35
  • Those benefits plus breaking less strings...sounds like a win-win. I will definitely incorporate that into my practice schedule for a month or so and hopefully I can correct it. Thanks for the advice
    – NULL
    May 2, 2019 at 22:59

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