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6 signature and artist-favorite guitar picks you need to try

6 signature guitar picks
(Image credit: Future)

We're always on the lookout for guitar picks to make building a tone and a style that little bit easier – or, indeed, because we've dropped the rest of them into the cavity of our acoustic guitar.

Sometimes it is best to consult the professionals in this search, and today we have a six picks from some of the guitar world's best players, each offering something a little different.

1. D’Addario Chris Thile Casein 1.4mm

D’Addario Chris Thile Casein

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Casein offers a similar texture and “warm, balanced tone” of that found in the old natural tortoiseshell picks. The American instrumentalist’s signature pick has a wide triangular shape and each point is bevelled for articulate feel, no matter which side you choose to use.

CONTACT: D'Addario

2. Dunlop Eric Johnson Jazz III

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The ever-popular Jazz 3 has long been favoured by Eric Johnson, and Dunlop actually laser-scanned a vintage Jazz III pick from his own collection to recreate it. The result is a smoother tip, enhanced flexibility and a matte finish with raised logos for some added grip.

CONTACT: Jim Dunlop

3. Dunlop Herco Flex 50

Herco Flex

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Another player loyal to a specific pick is The Cult’s Billy Duffy, who has favoured this design since Johnny Thunders gave him a Flex 50 as a 16 year old after a Heartbreakers gig in 1977. Duffy grips them sideways so he can dig in harder while simultaneously having more hold.

CONTACT: Jim Dunlop

4. Dunlop John Petrucci Primetone Jazz III

Dunlop John Petrucci Primetone Jazz III

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The Primetone range features premium hand-burnished picks. The Dream Theater maestro explains his spin: “The custom bevel is based on the edge of one of my own well-worn picks,” he says. “It’ll glide off your strings with a bold sound thanks to its super-durable Ultex material.”

CONTACT: Jim Dunlop

5. Herdim Blue Heavy Nylon

Herdim Blue Heavy Nylon

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As used since the '70s by The Edge, the German 0.88mm-gauge picks have been a key part of his tone ever since – he will turn them around and use the textured grip part to strike the strings to add a bright (ahem) edge to his attack. These picks have contributed to The Edge’s most famous parts, such as the riff to Where The Streets Have No Name.

Find them on eBay

6. Timber Tones Tom Quayle Black Horn

Timber Tones Tom Quayle Black Horn

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Another pick material said to be close to tortoiseshell, buffalo horn is favoured by the UK fusion player and features a laser-engraved logo with an etched grid pattern for grip on the other side.

CONTACT: Timber Tones