When it comes to playing the guitar, most people will start out using only their thumb to strum. It is perfectly natural for beginners. From there people typically graduate to fingerpicking with their fingertips, and then on to using a plectrum.
But, did you know that fingerpicks were more commonly used than plectrums in the past?
This was because most of the earlier musical styles didn’t include rapid strumming or power chords which require a standard pick to play. In fact, there are musical styles today where fingerpicks are a must.
Banjos and mandolins are perfect examples of the sound and tone you can expect when playing with fingerpicks.
Let’s not forget that acoustic guitars used in flamenco and other Latin-styles are also played with fingerpicks or longer nails.
However, there are subtle differences in the fingerpicks available today and finding the right ones for you involves some research and attention to detail.
So, let’s have a little look at the best fingerpicks on the market today…
Top 5 Best Fingerpicks In 2019 Reviews
1 Dunlop 37r.018 Brass Fingerpicks, .018″, 20/Tube
A long-standing design that hasn’t needed to change in decades.
These Dunlop fingerpicks are made of brass. This means that they not as thick or heavy as steel ones. These are also not as tight around your fingers as steel fingerpicks either. Fingerpicks made of brass are long-lasting, durable, and comfortable.
Brass fingerpicks are easier to contour to your fingers than steel or plastic fingerpicks. They also tend to have a more crisp sound when plucking your strings — therefore offering a more classic tone when you are playing.
There are less clicking or picking sounds when you use brass fingerpicks, as opposed to steel ones.
The gauge is 0.18 inches. This means they are rather stiff because of their thickness.
Great for blues and jazz…
These fingerpicks are ideals for those who are playing the banjo or a resonator guitar. They are also very good for steel-string guitars, especially for playing blues and jazz.
These are good for players that don’t play with too much attack. They are more suited for mellow, lazy styles of playing.
They are sold in a tube of 20 fingerpicks, which means you won’t need to head to the store anytime soon.
2 National Np-2b-4pk Finger Picks – Brass – 4 Pack
These fingerpicks are not only excellent, but they are also historical. National has been a leader in all things related to guitars for over 80 years. They are one of the oldest guitar companies in the United States.
The National NP-2B fingerpicks were actually patented way back in the 1930s. Since that time, nothing has changed for these fingerpicks. You don’t need to fix what isn’t broke.
Just so versatile…
For generations, these fingerpicks have been the top choice for banjo players and resonator players. Jazz, classical, and folk guitar players alike have also put their seal of approval on National fingerpicks.
These fingerpicks are styled and shaped to give you a comfortable fitting fingerpick that is durable and will last a lifetime. You won’t need to worry about them slipping off while you are playing.
With just a pair of needle-nose pliers, these fingerpicks can easily be customized to fit your fingers. So, if you like a slightly tighter or looser fit, there won’t be any hassle in shaping these fingerpicks.
Get yourself a pack of 4 and let National NP-2B fingerpicks do what they do best.
3 Alaska Pik Fingerpicks, Large, 12 Picks
If your preferred fingerpicking style is Travis-picking, where you mostly use your thumb and index finger, aLaska Pik has a fingerpick designed especially for you.
While most fingerpicks rest on top of the finger and nail, these aLaska fingerpicks fit under the tip of your nails. This means you have added strength and stability when picking in a Travis-style. They’re very comfortable and slightly longer than most fingerpicks.
A more natural feel…
Having the fingerpick rest under the tip of your nail gives you a more natural feel to your playing. This allows you greater flexibility in attack and dynamics.
Made from a highly-durable plastic, they are very light which gives you more speed in your picking.
Travis-style picking is perfect for mandolin, ukulele, banjo, and classical guitar. With aLaska fingerpicks you will have all the comfort, control, and speed needed to play flamenco, bluegrass, and salsa music.
Since these picks are specially designed, you will need to find out which size fits your fingers. These fingerpicks are not made to be contoured and molded like brass or other metal fingerpicks.
Sold in a pack of twelve, the aLaska fingerpicks will offer you hours of relaxed and detailed picking on any kind of stringed instrument.
4 3 X Stainless Steel
Stainless steel fingerpicks that won’t wear down any time soon.
These fingerpicks are made of lightweight stainless steel designed for hard use. They are very strong and durable, yet easy enough to bend and shape to your fingers. Snug, tight, or loose. Get the feel and fit that is just right for you.
An open design…
Another great feature is the open design. This leaves the top of your nail uncovered by the fingerpick, which in turn means less surface that can get sweaty and slippery while playing. The open design also makes these fingerpicks lighter than most stainless steel fingerpicks, allowing you more speed with less fatigue.
The edges are smooth and evenly-shaped producing a light clicking sound along with a great tone from your strings.
A perfect fingerpick for banjos as well as resonators and acoustic guitars.
A very natural-feeling fingerpick that doesn’t add any extra strain while you’re playing. With a lifetime warranty and available in three different sizes, these fingerpicks are a great choice for anyone who is new to fingerpicks.
5 Dunlop 9020tp Shell Plastic Finger & Thumbpicks, Large, 4/Player’s Pack
As durable as the ones first made in the 1960s. Dunlop has been producing high-quality accessories for all kinds of instruments. These fingerpicks are right in line with Dunlop’s commitment to enhancing your playing experience.
This set of fingerpicks includes three large fingerpicks and a thumb pick that is larger than the other ones. This means you won’t need to buy two sets of different sizes, just get one that will fit your thumb.
Made from a lightweight plastic that is durable and strong. These fingerpicks offer a warm tone and extra amounts of attack and dynamic control.
Time to boil them up…
And, just because these are made of plastic doesn’t mean they can’t be shaped to your liking. Simply drop them in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes to loosen them up and then place them on your fingers. You will be able to shape them to your fingers, and they will retain that shape after they have cooled off.
You won’t have to worry about these fingerpicks cracking or chipping. Made from a “tortoiseshell” plastic, these fingerpicks are extra strong. Hours upon hours of playing are no problem for these Dunlop fingerpicks.
Great for any kind of stringed instrument and all kinds of fingerpicking styles.
When it comes to a name you can trust, rest assured Dunlop stands by their work.
Best Fingerpick Buyer’s Guide
Fingerpicks may not seem like a purchase that requires a ton of research before you buy some, but it’s worth remembering some things…
Stand And Deliverance
Banjos and resonator guitars are most commonly played with metallic fingerpicks. If you are someone who wants to make sure your bluegrass sound squeals like a pig, a set of metal fingerpicks is for you. Metal fingerpicks are great for many different styles of music, but their true calling lies in country and bluegrass.
If you are going to be playing more jazz and blues, fingerpicks made of brass are a better fit.
So, before buying make certain, you know what you are getting into.
So, What’re The Best Fingerpicks?
As you know, all the products we looked at are fine and dandy. Let’s be honest; there are not vast differences when it comes to fingerpicks. Each and every fingerpick made is only going to pick and pluck.
That said, some are going to do a better job of it than others.
Therefore, in our opinion, the best fingerpicks are…
Made with brass and sold in a tube of twenty, you are really getting the most for your money. These can be used with any stringed instrument and offer great tone and clickiness. Easy to shape and size to fit your fingers comfortably.
The second-best choice is the…
Also made with brass, which means they can perfect for any string instrument and work well with most musical genres and picking styles. Another plus is that these are made by National, a company that basically set the standard for fingerpicks.
Now that it is all said and done, we certainly hope you found this information useful. You won’t be disappointed that you took a little time to get acquainted with the best fingerpicks.
So enjoy playing with your new fingerpicks.
And remember a little bit of knowledge will often keep you from getting caught with your pants down.