How To Make Guitar Picks
Making your own guitar picks is a great way to save money and fun!
Making a custom guitar pick is a fun and satisfying experience. You can make guitar picks from just about any kind of material. It's also pretty cheap depending on where you source your materials.
In this post I show you how easy it is to make your own picks from metal. But you could just as easily use these same instructions for plastic picks. Using guitar picks made from metal may help give your guitar playing a brighter sound and a better feel. I'll show you how easy it is.
You can follow these same instructions to make guitar picks from plastic too!
Why I started making my own metal guitar picks.
Buying metal picks at the music store was a real disappointment for me. They were always overpriced and never the right thickness/gauge for my taste. So I set out to make my own just the way I like them. When I was done I found that there is no other comparable metal pick being sold at any store. The picks I make are so awesome that I have been using them for years.
They are so easy to make and here is how you do it.
What you need to make guitar picks
Here is a list of the basic materials and tools you need to make picks. Feel free to substitute items to better fit your needs.
1) The metal - I find that sheets of nickel silver works best but copper is great too. Where to get......(see below). Substitute plastic sheets for metal if you like. Try cutting up an old credit card.
1) An existing guitar pick or other shape to use as your template.
2) A fine tip Sharpie permanent marker the darker color the better.
3) Metal/tin snips - get them at your local hardware store. These can be used to cut plastic sheet too!
4) Sandpaper or fine gauge file or a Dremmel tool for smoothing edges
5) A guitar for testing!
You might be perfectly satisfied with the metal sheets you can find at the local hardware stores or hobby shops in your area. However, after going to a couple hobby shops and and finding some pretty good copper sheets that worked well for the picks I was making, I was still not satisfied with the thickness. I also didn't like the way copper tarnished. Copper looks great at first but gets tarnished rather fast.
I researched other metals and found out about "nickel silver". Despite the name, there is no silver in nickel silver. It is a combination of copper and nickel that looks silver. Based on the gauges I had been buying of the copper, I guessed the gauge that would be perfect for me would be 0.032' and set out find it online.
This post contains my affiliate link at amazon. If you buy through them it actually helps me with costs associated with running this site.
I found what I was looking for at Amazon
2 pieces @ $19.95/piece
Nickel Silver 770 H02 Sheet 0.032"
Cut to: 6" x 6"
I was right, this was the best gauge for my taste in a guitar pick, but everyone is different so just experiment with different thicknesses. They even sell copper sheet at amazon HERE.
That covers what you need to make your new picks.
With your fine tip Sharpie marker, trace your template pick onto your metal sheet. Try to make one continuous line around the template to make it easier to follow the line when cutting.
Use your metal snips and cut out the pattern. I recommend cutting along the outside edge of your marking. If cutting around the curves is too difficult for you, just cut in straight lines as best you can then trim it down a little bit at a time as if you were trimming your big toenail.
Sand the edges
Sand the edges to make them smooth. If you have a lot of extra material to get rid of, use a Dremmel tool or file to remove it then sand the edges smooth. I sand my edges at an angle almost as if I was making a dull blade edge.
That's all there really is to it. You should now have a brand spanking new metal guitar pick you can experiment with and give new dimension to your guitar playing!
Custom guitar pick logos and imprinting
You can get a solvent based ink to stamp a custom logo or whatever else you want on your new picks!
The only other thing you need to get other than the ink pad is some sort of stamp. You need a stamp with your logo design or band's name. You can google custom made ink stamps to buy or you can make your own. It's possible to carve out your stamp design in a potato! Once you have a stamp dip it in ink then stamp your pick with it and allow it to dry. Adding gloss paint over the top helps it stay longer. Be sure to test on some cardboard or other plastic first.
Posted November 17, 2016, 8:19 am in: How to
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