why do my guitar picks keep breaking

Why Do My Guitar Picks Keep Breaking? Breaking Guitar Picks

When someone finds themselves wondering “Why do my guitar picks keep breaking?” there are multiple reasons the player should evaluate to find a solution for their specific issue. It is time to evaluate the sound they are seeking versus the guitar picks they are using. Using light picks while seeking a heavy tone can be the issue. There is another answer for the question “Why do my guitar picks keep breaking?”. The tension the guitar player uses not just when seeking a specific sound but the strength that the player uses to perform may need adjustment. Overusing one pick without giving attention to when it is wearing down can be another reason for the guitar player’s pick breakage.

When Do Guitar Picks Break Easily?

There are some common reasons a guitar pick is breaking easily and/or more frequently than regular usage. The guitar player should commit to memory these reasons as they do the chords of a song to avoid the unnecessary irritation of repetitive pick replacement.

Choosing the Correct Pick

A guitar player should be aware of the sound they are seeking. A soft sound requires a thin pick. While the stronger notes are created with a stronger pick. Seeking a strong sound with a thin pick can only produce frequent pick breakage.

The following are guitar pick types and the sounds they create as described by Stringjoy.com, a site dedicated to guitar lovers:


  • Celluloid – These are flexible with a crispy attack. However, they are not very durable because of it thinness.
  • Nylon – This pick is flexible and offers a bright sound.
  • Acetal – A durable pick offering a strong attack with easy breakage.
  • Ultem – The guitarist can create a stiff, bright tone with any thickness.
  • Acylic – These picks are light and offered in any thickness.


  • Thin – .40 to .60 mm providing a lighter sound, designed for delicate playing.
  • Medium – .60 to .80 mm used mainly for rhythm playing.
  • Heavy – .80 to 1.2 mm gives the greatest contol when strumming.
  • Extra Heavy 1.2 mm and higher strumming a warm, mellow tone


  • Classic/Standard – great for beginners.
  • Tri-Tip – can be played on each tip and a favorite for acoustic and bass players.
  • Jazz picks – the guitarist can speed up their playing.
  • Jumbo Jazz – provides speed and provision.

Adjusting the Player’s Technique

When seeking a soft or strong sound the player who is heavy-handed with the grip and strumming of their pick may break their pick more frequently than one who has developed an appropriate rhythm for picking their strings.

Replace Your Guitar Pick Before It Breaks

do guitar picks break easily

A guitar player using the same pick without paying attention to its wear can create easy breakage. A guitar player should learn when to replace their pick based on the length of usage time. Of course, how often the player uses his guitar will determine how often he will replace the pick.

Not using a pick is definitely a solution to purchasing more picks on a regular basis. However, not everyone knows how to create the necessary sound without using a guitar pick. Knowing the signs of a worn pick especially for beginner players should save the player from breaking a pick in the middle of a serenade or performance.

Signs of a Worn Pick:

Look for sharp edges giving a clue to the triangle losing its effectiveness. The sound of the pick will change with the weariness of use. Time to change picks to maintain the integrity of sound.

Do guitar picks break easily? Yes, they do. However, with intended effort, a new guitarist can avoid this irritating experience by learning “why do my guitar picks keep breaking?”. Guitar picks come in packs from 6 in a pack to 300 within a bag. A committed guitarist would do well to stock up on your preferred choice to avoid being without one due to breakage or the usual wear and tear a pick is known to have.

The new guitarist will benefit from the expertise of an experienced player analyzing his playing style. Are you using a thin pick too aggressively? Are you seeking a strong sound with a thin pick? Are you tense when using a thin pick?

Learn your preference of sound, chord, and tone. This knowledge will lead you to the best pick for your guitar playing goals. Picks should be chosen by texture, thickness and shape to prove effective.

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