Can You Use A Coin As A Guitar Pick

If you are a guitarist, you know well how important a pick is in a guitarist’s life. However, this is what never stays in its place. No matter how many you have got, you will always remain short of guitar picks. Keeping this in mind, many guitarists ask, “Can you use a coin as a guitar pick?

Well, you can absolutely use a coin instead of a guitar pick. However, the sound generated using a coin will be a bit different than you listen with a plastic or wooden pick.

However, if you want to know about alternatives to guitar picks, follow the article below.


[7] Different Things That You Can Use As A Guitar Pick

As a guitarist, we have a lot of moments when we need to play the guitar, and we lack a pick. So, to help you get past such a situation, we have come up with some of the best alternates that you can use in place of a guitar pick.

1- Coin: A Good Replacement For Guitar Pick

A coin is one of the best replacements for your guitar pick. They are available in all sizes and thicknesses, and this is what makes coins the best replacement for your guitar pick.

It must not go without mentioning that some of the top guitarists used coins as their guitar picks. And one of the main names from the list is May Brain. So, if you need a guitar pick alternative, get a coin in your pocket.

2- Debit or Credit Card Work Well As A Guitar Pick

A debit or credit card or any card made up of such material is a great choice for a guitar pick. Their material is perfect to be used as a pick, they do not hurt your hand, and the best part is that they’re flexible.

One of the main things that you need to check in a guitar pick is its flexibility and tension when it hits the strings. So, if you have no pic available, a debit or credit card is going to save your life.

3- SIM Card Can Be A Good Guitar Pick Alternative

A SIM card can also be a good alternative to your guitar pick. The thing that you would love about SIM cards is their size. They are easy to grab, so using them as a pick will not be an issue. Therefore, if you need a pick for your guitar urgently, take help with your SIM card.

4. Plastic Ruler Will Fix Your Pick-Related Issues

A plastic ruler is something that you would love playing your guitar with. They are highly flexible and have the same thickness as a normal guitar pick. However, it can be hard to grab a ruler while playing.

So, if you are going to use a plastic ruler as your guitar pick, we suggest you break the 1/4 of the ruler, and you are good to go.

5- Use a Broken DVD As A Guitar Pick

If you have nothing available to use as a guitar pick, an old DVD or CD can help. DVDs and CDs are also made up of plastic, so there will be no sound-related issues.

Therefore, what you need to do is break a small part from an old DVD and start strumming. However, make sure that you are not strumming through any sharp edge of the DVD. Doing this might affect the average life of your guitar strings.

6- Cardboard Will Work Good As A Pick

Cardboard is easily available and can be the best replacement for your guitar pick. The cardboard has almost the same thickness as your guitar pick, and it is not as stiff as a debit or credit card. So, if you need smooth sound with no pick available, the cardboard will do wonders for you.

7- Use Fingernails As A Guitar Pick

There are cases when you misplace your guitar pick, and the worst thing is that you have no other alternative to it too. So, what will you be doing in such a case?

Well, if you find yourself in such a situation, we suggest you use your finger or thumbnail as a guitar pick. Most guitarists even keep one of their nails big so that they can play the guitar with ease, even without a pick. So, when you have nothing to play with, use your nails.

How To Make A Guitar Pick At Home?

You may know it or not, but it is quite easy to make your personalized guitar pick at your home. It might sound weird, but guitarists make their picks at home too. For this, what you need is nothing but a marker, a guitar pick, a cutter, and a debit or credit card.

Now, if you are going to create a guitar pick, you need to place an actual pick onto the debit or credit card. After it, put one of your fingers onto the pick and hold it firmly. Once you are done doing it, you need to mark around the pick placed on the card.

Now, what you need to do is use a cutter and cut around the pick. After it, remove the pick from the card. Once the card is removed, try to push the portion you cut. And if the cut is not firm enough to separate the card pick, cut it again, and you are good to go.

Lastly, you can also sand the edges of the card pick so that it does not hurt your fingers while playing.

Can You Strum A Guitar Without A Pick?

Certainly, it is possible to strum without a pick. You might be thinking that it will be easy when you have an alternative to your pick. However, what will you do if you have no alternative to your pick available and your nails are short too?

Well, if you are stuck in such a situation, your index finger and your thumb will help you out. What you need to do is put your finger and thumb against each other like you hold your pick. This is how you will be able to strum without a pick.

However, the thing to remember is that when you strum down, the finger will hit the strings, and while strumming upwards, the thumb will hit the strings. So, use this method when you have no pick available. Lastly, we must tell you that this process might hurt if you play for too long.

Why Does the Brain Use Coin Instead Of A Pick?

Most of us do not know, but Brain May used a coin instead of a pick throughout his life. People say different things about him using a coin instead of a pick. But, the truth was revealed by May Brain himself in an interview.

He said that he first of all likes the sound of the guitar produced when you strum it using a coin. And secondly, he said that he hated how malleable guitar picks are.

Well, no guitarist will disagree with both of these things. It is for sure that guitar picks are too malleable, and this is what we all guitarists hate.

Along with it, when you use a coin on metal strings, the sharp sound it creates is so unique that you will love playing it all the time. However, for smooth sound lovers, coins are not an alternative.  

What Material Are Guitar Picks Made of?

Although most of the picks available in the market are made up of a uniform material, there are a lot of materials that manufacturers use for making guitar picks. In most cases, a manufacturer uses plastic, Nylon, Delrin, and Celluloid.

Along with it, there are picks that are made up of hard rubber, tortoiseshell, wood, stone, and even glass. These are some of the most common materials that a pick manufacturer uses for making guitar picks.

So, it is you who will decide what material pick will help you play well and what pick material suits your playing style.

Is Fingerpicking Harder Than Strumming?

This is the most asked question, and this is what confuses most amateur guitarists. Almost all of the beginners want to play fingerstyle, too, and almost all of us have researched and asked if fingerstyle is harder than strumming.

Well, it is true that fingerstyle is a bit harder than strumming. In strumming, you do not have to pick every single note and every single string separately. However, things are totally different in fingerpicking.

When you fingerpick, you have to play every string separately, and this might get a bit difficult. So, for fingerstyle guitar playing, you will have to practice a bit harder than you do for normal strumming.


If you wanted to know whether you can use a coin as a guitar pick or not, this article must have been a treasure for you. The article above has guided you about some of the best alternatives to your guitar pick. So, you are good to select whatever suits your style of playing best.

Along with it, we have answered some of the most asked questions about using coins and other things to play the guitar. However, if you need any additional assistance, do let us know. We will be there to help you out. 

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