Guitarists are among the musicians that spice up one of the most beloved things in life, music.
To give fans that melodic sound, they use several tools. Among these tools are picks made of rubber, wood, glass, plastic e.t.c.
When it comes to guitars, four main types exist; acoustic, electro-acoustic, electric, and bass guitar.
Of these, the bass guitar rarely uses picks. One thing to note is that the function of the picks is the same across all guitar types.
Despite this, the most frequently asked question is, “are bass picks different from guitar picks?”
Guitarists need to know that bass picks are different from guitar picks despite the function of picks being the same. The difference is mainly in the thickness and size.
Take a bass picks on one hand and a guitar picks on the other, and the difference will be obvious in seconds. Bass picks are bigger and thicker than normal guitar picks.
Even though this difference exists, there is no limitation to what picks a guitarist can use.
For example, a bass guitar player might decide to use guitar picks to play as long as they are comfortable and love the resulting sound.
To better understand the differences between these picks, let us look at some of the most notable differences, some of which we have mentioned above.
Differences Between Bass Picks and Guitar Picks
The number one difference, as mentioned above, is the size. The width and length of bass picks compared to guitar picks appear bigger. Bigger picks are better than smaller picks as they offer more comfort when playing. When picks are bigger, it means they have a larger surface area. As a result, the player has more control than when smaller.
On the other hand, Guitar picks are small, and not many bassists would settle for this unless for personal reasons. A player looking to play faster will settle for the smaller picks. However, the case is different for bassists as control is always a priority; therefore, the bigger, the better.
Bass picks are made to be thicker than the common guitar picks. The common measurement is 1.2mm, while guitar picks are 0.9mm in thickness. The thickness helps the bass picks maintain stiffness which is a necessary feature for bass picks. On the other hand, guitar picks are way softer hence offering the player more flexibility.
One of the facts about playing the guitar is that the bigger the guitar, the higher the likelihood that thick picks will work best for you. Big guitar strings also call for thicker picks. Anyone who wants to produce a richer quality sound will settle for the thicker picks.
Here’s a video discussing pick thickness for bass guitars:
The feel of the picks, when used on a dedicated or bass guitar, is often different. Bass picks are firm and stiff, whereas guitar picks are flexible. For bass pick, the stiffness comes in because of the size and width. On the other hand, guitar picks have a flexible feel because they are smaller and less thick.
Reasons Behind the Differences Between Bass Picks and Guitar Picks
The majority of people assume that all guitars are the same.
Well, today, you get to realize a few facts about guitars. When it comes to guitars, appearance is not enough; therefore, almost all guitars look like just one instrument. Acoustic guitars are different from bass guitars, with the differentiating factor being the size of the string.
A closer look at a bass guitar and one thing that will catch your eye, the strings are thicker. Acoustic guitars, on the other hand, have thin strings. After making this observation, you will conclude why bass guitars use thicker picks than their counterparts.
A bass guitar player requires thicker picks to ensure that the guitar’s sound is clear. Therefore for acoustic guitars, for the strings to produce a richer sound, the more slender, the better.
With this information in mind, players still have the freedom to use whichever picks they please. For example, a bass guitar player can use an acoustic guitar pick and vice versa. The negative impact is that the resulting sound might not be as richer as when the right picks are used on the right guitar.
How do Guitar Picks Sound on Bass Picks?
When using guitar picks on bass picks, you will realize that the sound is very thin. For a richer tone, a player has to employ various techniques. This means that with the right technique, a bass guitar can still produce quality sound no matter the type of picks the player decides to use.
To achieve a high-quality sound on a bass guitar with guitar picks, how you hold the picks matters. We have already mentioned that guitar picks are slimmer and smaller hence more flexible.
For this reason, if you hold the picks more firmly when playing on a bass guitar, the resulting sound will be high-end, and no one can quickly tell that you are using guitar picks on a bass guitar.
Unless bass picks are not within your reach, you must always use the right picks for each guitar. Holding picks firmly throughout a musical session must be the most tiring exercise to undertake.
Save yourself the stress by locating bass picks beforehand for a better experience. As a musician, if you do not enjoy playing your instrument, you can’t give your best effort. Always ensure that you have more control of your instrument for excellent delivery of your musical skills.
Is it Possible to use Bass Picks on Guitar Picks?
Have you ever asked yourself whether you can use bass picks on guitar picks? The answer is an absolute yes. You can use any picks on any guitar, but you need to know the resulting consequences.
When bass picks are used on a dedicated guitar, the size of the picks will make the sound way louder than anticipated. The player might experience some discomfort while using this pick since it is bigger than they are used to.
The disadvantages of using bass picks on an acoustic or electric guitar should not, however, scare you away from giving it a try.
As a musician, you are an artist, and a good artist will always experiment with both comfortable and uncomfortable tools. If you are on a mission to find a unique sound that will set you apart from the rest, you should try out new tools like bass picks on your acoustic guitar.
Bass and guitar picks are readily available in most musical shops, both online and in physical locations.
A guitarist who is not settled on the right tool to purchase should always consult with musical experts or their seller.
The intent of playing the guitar is to get the best possible sound first and then afterward experiment with various tools.
Seeking guidance from friends and family who are guitarists can give you closure on what picks are suitable for you.
As an artist, it is also wise to purchase both picks and experiment with each to find the one you prefer the most. There is no limit to what you can achieve with your skill and passion. These tools are fairly priced; get as many as you can and have the time of your life.