Bass Pick Vs Guitar Pick | What’s The Difference?

Bass Pick Vs Guitar Pick | What’s The Difference?


  • Guitar picks and bass guitar picks are both good options for bass guitars, as many bass players rely on guitar picks as a preferred type of pick. 
  • This does not go in the other direction, as thicker picks for bass are too large to use with guitars, despite offering a softer attack. 
  • Bass picks tend to be more durable than guitar picks, as it takes a lot to crack them or cause them to break.

If you are new to the world of musical instruments, you may look to compare bass picks vs guitar picks. Some of the best guitars, after all, are actually basses, and these instruments integrate nicely with a wide variety of picks. So why compare picks used with the best bass guitars, and which type is best for you and your playstyle? Keep reading to find out.

Bass Vs Guitar Picks

Once you have found the best beginner bass guitar, you will want to look at bass picks. Bass guitar picks and guitar picks are very similar, just like when you are comparing a 4-string vs a 5-string bass. The primary difference is size and thickness, though just about any pick works with the best bass guitar kits. Here are more contrasts between the two so you can grab a pick and play it with your Gibson bass or any other model.


This one is obvious. Bass strings are thicker than guitar strings, so it makes sense that the picks would also be thicker. The average bass pick is 0.046″, or 1.17mm thick, while the average guitar pick is 0.035″, or 0.89mm. You may notice that this is not a huge difference, and you’d be right. As a matter of fact, many bass players simply use guitar picks, as they are easier to find. Additionally, many players use their fingers to pluck bass strings instead of using a pick at all.

It is worth noting that the thinner form factor of guitar picks makes them available to use as bass picks, but the reverse is not exactly true. Thick bass picks don’t really sound great when used with a standard electric or acoustic guitar, though they have their uses.

Overall Size and Dimensions

Bass picks tend to be larger and blunter than guitar picks to suit the instrument. If you are used to the size and feel of regular guitar picks, there will be something of a learning curve when switching to bass picks. This increased size, however, does allow for a slight increase in bass response when playing the instrument.


Guitar picks break, particularly picks that are on the thinner side. Bass picks, on the other hand, are virtually indestructible no matter how long you sweep them across the fretboard.

Guitar Pick Vs Bass FAQs

Can I use guitar picks for playing the bass? 

You can, though you will sacrifice a beefier tone in favor of a mellow tone when bass playing. This depends on your playing style, of course, as fingerstyle playing creates a different tone than using a pick. 

How do I choose the right pick for bass and guitar?

Honestly, the best option here is to try out a whole bunch of different sizes and types to arrive at your perfect pick for guitar. Plastic picks might do the trick, or you might prefer sharp guitar picks, triangle picks, wood picks, or any of the other types of picks.

Do different guitar picks make a difference? 

Different picks allow for tonal variety. For instance, plastic picks create a different sound than a heavy guitar pick, as heavy picks allow for a thicker grungier sound. The same goes for flexible picks, normal picks, and rubber picks.


STAT: “Paul McCartney, Chris Squire, Roger Glover, Mike Dirnt, Matt Freeman, and many others are admired for their powerful pick playing.” (source)

TIP: Bass picks are also available in a variety of thicknesses and sizes, just like guitar picks.


Bass Pick Guitar Pick
Thicker X
More Durable  X
Easier to Handle X
Lighter X



Picking vs. Fingerstyle–Guitar_Picks

Lawrence Bonk
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