Guitar Primer: Plectrum, Fingers and TAB

In the first part of this  primer I’m going to introduce how to hold your plectrum.

This article is part of the free online guitar lesson material that is hosted on

Choosing your plectrum.


The above picture is of the typical plectrum shape, of course there are others,

Shark Fin Style Plectrum

A lot of of plectrums though are smooth, this presents a problem with grip.

Delrin plectrums are like this a smooth plastic they have problems with sweaty fingers.

2 options that we can look at are,

Find a plectrum that is rough or has holes,

The plectrums I use are Jim Dunlop Nylons,

Jim Dunlop NylonJim Dunlop Nylon

You could also look for plectrums that have holes,

Plectrum with a Hole

The above example is a mock up but a lot of places sell plectrums like this.

Alternatively you could buy normal delrins or smooth plectrums and customize them as above using a drill(please be careful).

Or you could get sandpaper and take the shine off and rough up the edge that you hold.

Holding the Plectrum.

Holding your plectrum

The above picture shows what I would consider the correct way to hold the plectrum.

Although it could probably be a bit more relaxed as in the picture below.

Holding your plectrum

Holding your plectrum

The above picture shows another way to hold the plectrum and although it doesn’t look that dissimilar to the first examples, it is.

The plectrum is held between the flat/fingertip of the ‘Index’ finger.

The first two pictures the plectrum is held between the thumb and the side of the ‘Index’ finger.

But it is all about how comfortable you feel.

In my opinion the top two examples are the best way to hold a plectrum.

Guitar Primer:  Plectrum, Fingers and TAB (Pt 2)

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