Guitar Picks for a Pedal Steel Guitar

Learn what kind of picks you should use with a pedal steel guitar in this Howcast video.

Okay. So, how do you use the finger picks? Well, first of all, you should use
finger picks. There are a few cases of people playing with their fingers
and whatever suits you is fine really, but finger picks, they produce a
louder sound and overwhelming majority of steel players use them. The great
majority of people use three picks. One thumb pick. Two finger picks. Some
use three finger picks. It’s not really necessary. Again, the majority of
people just use three.

You want to use finger picks that are on the harder side. You do not want
finger picks that are going to bend easily. You want a good, firm gauge.
The 25 gauge, 025 gauge are the ones I use. Dunlop makes a pretty good
version. Older picks by National are prized. They are sort of, the granddaddies.
Again, you want something solid. Now, because of the angle of your
hand, you’re gonna want to probably bend the picks a little bit, especially
the middle finger here because your hand is gonna be sort of, crooked like
this.

The ideal attack for the pick is as much straight-on as possible. So since
your hand is not actually coming at a straight-on angle, probably want to
bend this slightly over toward this way to accommodate, so as to have the pick
be aligned as straight as possible, as you can. This applies really to
everything you’re gonna do with a thumb. Again, as straight an attack as
possible is gonna produce a better sound. Clean, even strike.

Thumb picks very subjective. I prefer a lighter one. You can get all sorts
of different kinds. Some are much heavier. They sort of, clasp your thumb
with more grip and there’s just more plastic. Maybe that’s what you like. I
found that, after awhile, it was a little unwielding and that a lighter
pick just made things a little more nimble. Again, picking technique is a
very subjective thing, but these general guidelines will stand you in good
stead.