As lead guitarists, one of our desires is to play using a metallic pick at least once in our life. They sound unique, have firmness, and offer sharpness to your music. However, do metal guitar picks damage strings? Well, this is something that almost all lead guitarists debate about, yet you won’t find a proper answer to it.
In short, it is true that using a metal guitar pick damages your guitar strings. Metal picks are sturdy and have negligible flexibility that makes your guitar out of tune so often. Along with it, with time, the metal pick sharpens, and it can be hazardous for both you and your guitar.
Hence, if you are eager to know more about metal guitar picks and how they are bad for guitar strings, we are here for you. Below, we will offer you a deep insight into metal guitar picks and the merits and demerits of using them.
How Does Metal Guitar Pick Damage Strings?
One of the most common and worst damages of metal pick for your guitar is that the strings start to wear out faster than ever. The metal pick has no flexibility like plastic or nylon pick, and this affects the tension and stretch of the string.
Along with it, with a metal pick, due to high stretch and low flexibility, the guitar will go out of tune faster than your expectation.
Also, it must not go without mentioning that when a metal string is hit by a metallic pick, the pick sharpens, and continuous usage will start cutting the string, eventually reducing its average life.
Advantages of Playing With Metal Guitar Picks
It is true that metal picks damage your guitar strings, but there are some amazing merits of metal picks that will compel you to use them. So, if you want to know some of the most amazing benefits of metal picks, follow the details below.
Offers a Bright Tone
You must know that when we shift from nylon strings to metal strings, the sound of your guitar turns bright and sharp even if you are using a plastic pick. So, when you use a metal pick on metal strings, the sound will shift to its extreme brighter side.
This is the type of sound that metal and rock music lovers love to create and listen to. So, if you want to create a sharp and bright tone out of your guitar strings, the metal picks will help you do so.
However, you must be an expert in using metal picks. Because using metal picks at the wrong angles will ruin the sound of your guitar. Also, if the metal picks are used badly, the guitar will start to buzz.
Perfect For Lead Guitarists
As a lead guitarist, you always want to articulate the notes well so that every note is heard loud and clear. For this, there is no better combination than metal strings and metallic picks. Unlike wooden or plastic plectrums, a metallic pick offers more sturdiness and creates a sharp sound.
So, if you are a lead guitarist and want to experience loud, sharp, and fresh music, it is suggested to use a metal pick on stainless steel strings.
Durable than Plastic Ones
One of the main issues we guitarists have is fragile guitar picks. The plastic picks that we use usually are not durable enough to last long. And, if you are using plastic picks on stainless steel strings, they will break even faster.
Though the picks are not so expensive that you won’t be able to get them if they break, changing a pick so often is what we guitarists do not prefer.
Once a pick is set on our hands, we don’t like to leave it. So, for this very reason, a metal pick is what will be at your rescue. A metal pick does not break, creates amazing sound, and above all, they offer you a firm grip. So, when it comes to durability, there is no second option but metal picks.
Demerits of Playing the Guitar with Metal Picks
Now, if you know the merits of a metal pick, it’s time to go through some of its flaws. So, keep up with us, and we will help you understand some of the most threatening demerits of metal picks.
Damages Your Guitar Strings
The worst thing about a metal pick is that it devastates the strings of your precious guitar. A metal pick is tougher and sturdier than a plastic one, and when it hits your guitar strings, the pressure on the string is great, and they stretch more. This lack of flexibility ruins the strings so fast that their average life is reduced to almost half.
Strings are the soul of your guitar, and if your guitar has lousy strings, the guitar will not sound well. So, if you are using metal picks, you will have to change your guitar strings more often.
Starts to Sharpen
It is a natural phenomenon that when metal strikes, one starts to sharpen. So, if you are using a metal pick on stainless steel strings, the pick will sharpen and start cutting the strings slowly.
Along with it, a sharp-tipped pick is hazardous for your hands too. While playing, we do not see where our hands are and how we are holding the pick. This is how you can hurt your hands if the pick is sharp enough.
Guitar Quickly Goes Out Of Tune
Now, you know well that metal picks are less flexible than plastic ones. So, when they strike your stings, the strings are stretched more than they usually do. This loosens the strings of your guitar, and they go out of tune more often.
So, if you are using metal strings for your guitar, this is what you will have to face regularly.
Damages The Body Of Your Guitar
While playing, no guitarist is going to notice how they are striking their pick against the guitar. And if you play rock, there is no way you will care about your guitar while playing. On stage, there is only one feeling, and this is to rock and make your enjoyment to its best.
So, when you are strumming with a metal pick, it is sure that you will hit the guitar body with it too. Though there are pickguards, they do not protect the entire body of your guitar. Therefore, using a metal pick carelessly will damage the body of your guitar.
Are Metal Guitar Picks Better Than Plastic Ones?
Well, this is what depends entirely on a guitarist. If you are looking for an aggressive, bright, sharp, and fresh sound, there is no better option than a metal pick. They are sturdy and help you produce loud and clear music. This is what most lead guitarists demand, and for them, a metal pick is always better than a plastic one.
However, if you love to create a soft and soothing sound with a bright tone, you would always call a plastic pick better than a metal one. A plastic pick helps you produce a soft and soothing sound with no issues faced.
The plastic picks are flexible, too, so no matter how hard you play, they will bend and won’t create a sharp sound. So, being good or bad of a pick depends on a guitarist’s choice and not on picks.
What Material Is Best For Guitar Picks?
Well, there are a lot of materials with which a guitar pick is made. Some guitarists prefer wooden picks, and some ask for metal ones, but the pick that everyone demands and owns is a nylon or Delrin pick. A nylon pick is one of the most in-demand picks that you will find in the guitar world.
A nylon pick is flexible as well as sturdy. So, for both lead and acoustic guitarists, a nylon pick is the best option. Along with nylon, Delrin picks are famous too. They are crafted with the help of acetal resin and are easily available in the market. The Delrin picks also work similar to nylon picks, and this is why both of these picks are two of the most used guitar picks in the world.
To conclude, we can say that this article answers perfectly whether a metal guitar picks damage strings or not. Above, you will find both merits and demerits of having a metal pick for your guitar. Some may find them good, and for some, metal picks will not work at all.
So, it is you who will decide if metal picks are good for you or not. Along with it, we have also answered some of the commonly asked questions relating to guitar picks. However, if you need any additional information, do let us know. We would love to help you.