What Can I Use As a Guitar Pick? (Try This First!)

Guitar picks are prone to get lost. Even with extra caution like having special storage for them, it is not unusual to lose the guitar pick. Searching for a guitar pick is time-consuming and tedious.

A guitarist needs to have alternatives for guitar pick replacement. This will save them the time spent looking for a lost pick. Also investing in small storage for the picks is a great idea if you do not already have one.

You do not have to buy a guitar pick from the store every time you lose it. There are DIY guitar picks. There are also substitutes for guitar picks, that work great, or even better.

Also, see where Donner guitars are made.

What Can I Use As a Guitar Pick?

A guitarist has many options to use as a guitar pick. These include:


Some guitarist uses their fingers as alternatives for guitar picks. Using your fingers can deliver amazing guitar tricks that are rare using a guitar pick. Many experienced guitarists prefer using their fingers.

A Coin

The coins laying around in the house are not useless. They can act as a quick replacement for your lost guitar pick. Using a coin as a guitar pick has advantages like

  • It does not need to be shaped
  • It does not need to be trimmed

 The downside to using a coin as a guitar pick is that you cannot play fast songs smoothly. Coins are best suited for playing slow songs.

Credit Card

If you have a credit or debit card that is not in use, it can serve as a guitar pick. Credit or debit cards are amazing on the guitar. They have a good thickness to do the job well.

Instead of using the credit or debit card in its original size and shape on your guitar, it is better to cut it and shape it into a more desirable size and shape. To shape the credit or debit card:

  • Use scissors to cut the card
  • Use a file to carve out sharp edges

Sim Card

Old and unused sim cards are a quick alternative for a guitar pick. They are a perfect size to play your guitar.

Older sim card models are easier to use because they are bigger, as opposed to new sim card models that are too small. Save up the unwanted sim cards because they come in handy as alternative guitar picks.

Piece of Think Wood

Maybe you have thin pieces of wood you’ve been meaning to declutter. They can be used as guitar picks. However, thin pieces of wood are not a quick replacement for guitar picks because they need to be curved.

Curving out a thin piece of wood requires time. If you like DIY projects, this one can be on your list.

CDs and DVDs

CDs and DVDs can be reused to make several things, including home decor. To use DVDs as guitar picks, you need to cut them into convenient sizes and shapes.

Plastic Ruler

A plastic Ruler can make a good guitar pick. It is okay to use on the guitar strings and only needs to be cut into a convenient size.

Circuit Board

If you have an old circuit board in the house, it can be used to make guitar picks. Your job is to cut the board into the best guitar pick size and file the edges.


The best cardboard for a guitar pick is the stiff one; because it does not bend when used on the strings. Stiffening the cardboard using adhesive tape should be part of making a guitar pick from cardboard.

Plastic Gift Cards

Instead of throwing away plastic Gift cards, you could carve out some amazing guitar picks from them. Remember to file the edges after cutting.


Which is the best guitar brand for beginners?

The guitar one uses as a beginner could determine how fast one learns to play. Fender has great options for beginners. It is a beginner-friendly guitar brand.

A beginner guitar should be easy to hold. It should have a fair price because you can upgrade as you advance your skill.

How Much Should I Spend on guitar lessons?

Guitar lessons are essential if you want to sharpen your playing skills. To be proficient in guitar playing, hiring a Trainor or attending lessons is a good idea.

Guitar lessons cost 20 dollars per hour of training. However, this price goes higher depending on your trainer.

There are free online guitar lessons on YouTube. If you are on a minimum budget, online lessons could work for you as you only need an internet connection.


To avoid getting stressed and anxious when the guitar pick is misplaced, it is good to have a dozen of guitar pick replacements. This does not have to cost you money, as there are many alternatives for guitar picks.

Guitar Pick can be made from clutter around the house such as unused sim cards, old CDs, unused credit cards, and firm cardboard among others.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use if I don’t have a guitar pick?

If you’re ever dealing with a lost or misplaced guitar pick, don’t worry, you’re not the first and definitely not the last person to find themselves in this situation. If you are in immediate need of a pick and don’t have time to head out and purchase one, a quick makeshift solution can be found in your wallet. You can play your guitar with an uncut credit card or a gift card. It might not feel quite the same, but it could actually lead to you adopting a unique playing style or sound. From my personal experience, I’ve found that using cards can sometimes be slightly slippery. A little trick I use is to attach some tape on the back of the card for better grip.

How do you make a guitar pick without a pick?

When it comes to improvising a guitar pick, the main thing you need is a piece of material that’s flexible yet sturdy. A few household items come to mind; Old credit cards, gift cards, rulers, and even CDs. These can all be reshaped into the form of a guitar pick. Here’s how you can do it: For your DIY guitar pick , you’ll need:

  • A piece of plastic (from any of the sources mentioned)
  • A pair of scissors
  • A nail file for smoothing the edges.

Cut your chosen plastic into the shape of a pick and then use the nail file to smooth out the edges. If you'd rather avoid the whole process, you could purchase a pick puncher, a fun little device that punches out guitar pick shapes from your chosen plastic material.

What is the best thing to make a guitar pick out of?

In my personal experience as a guitarist, I have found that credit cards, gift cards, plastic rulers, and undamaged CDs are great materials to create a homemade pick. The best solution, in my opinion, is to buy a pick puncher. They work just like a hole puncher, but in the form of a pick. It saves you from the hassle of manually cutting the plastic piece into a pick. Many times, I’ve had friends over and we’ve punched out picks from old gift cards, turning what could have been waste into something of value. It’s fun and environmentally friendly too.

Can I use a coin as a guitar pick?

You might be tempted to use a coin as a guitar pick in a pinch and yes, it’s possible. Peculiar as it might sound, playing a guitar with a coin even has its fans. The sound produced is quite different; crisper, with bright tones. There’s a caveat, though. Playing with a coin can damage your strings and the finish of your guitar body (if there’s no pickguard). I’ve tried it myself for the fun, unique sound it produces but it’s not something I’d recommend as a regular option because of the potential damage. I would still go for a traditional pick or one made from plastic.


I'm Johnny, the guy behind Guitar Manifesto. I've been playing guitar since my teens and now that I'm in my 40s, I'm all about sharing what I've learned to help you become a better guitarist.

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