Bass guitar picks

bass guitar picks

Best bass guitar picks

Many people, new to bass guitar, ask me: What is the best pick for bass guitar?
Choosing a bass guitar pick (or plectrum) depends on different factors, such as material, thickness, shape, and texture, to find the best fit for your playing style and sound preference.

Bass picks vs guitar picks

In fact, picks that only are made solely for just bass guitar, do not exist.
That’s also the case in guitar picks for acoustic or mandolin picks.

The most multifunctional product

The guitar pick is the most multifunctional product in music industry. Although, it is for guitar related products.
Whether you play rhythm or solo, acoustic, electric- or bass guitar, you may choose any pick model, thickness or material.

Is there no difference between picks?

Of course, there are several differences in picks, like extremely pointy tips opposed to rounded tips and differences in thickness and material.

In general, you might want a rounder tip for bass guitar, because you need more mass to let the strings fully ring out. Extremely pointy picks provide less volume and for bass you need a lot of power.
In general, not too pointy and it needs to be rigid in a good way.
The pick shouldn’t bend too much, because it will affect the heavy bass strings not to let ring out the way you want.

Beveled- or straight edge?

Whatever you like in a pick, for bass guitar you may also want to choose the edge that fits your needs. In general, there are 2 ways to go.

Thicker picks bring strings closer to each other

The distance between the strings on a bass is much wider than with (6 string-)guitars in general.
For picking the strings more precisely, you need to minimize the distance between the strings.

This could be achieved by using a boutique thicker pick.
Although the strings won’t change distance to each other, the thick guitar pick makes it feel more comfortable to jump from string to string. This is because there is less space left with a thick guitar pick.

Less hand fatigue

According to the above-mentioned minimizing string distance, you will feel more relaxed in your picking hand and forearm.
This might also help avoiding hand fatigue, which is a problem many guitar playing people deal with.

Where to pick bass strings

A bass guitar produces extremely low bottom-end tones, so picking towards the bridge will be better. It will help in getting more punchy tones with a clear and bright sound. Finally, this may sound better in the mix when playing with a band.
Of course, this depends on the music that you play and which other instruments are in the band.
Usually there is no good or bad point of picking with bass guitar strings.

You might be interested in our blog about “how to make your guitar sound better”.

How to hold a bass guitar pick

In general, we advise to hold it between your thumb and index finger. Hold it loose with your fingers bent at the middle knuckle. It should be pointing out at a right angle to the thumb.

The rougher the music, the cleaner the bass guitar

Where guitars may sound dirty or clean with a nice edge, bass guitars in most cases sound very clean.
Just listen to several hard rock bands and you will notice a fairly clean bass sound.
Of course, there always are exceptions like the late Lemmy from Motörhead 🙂

Pick noise caused by cheap and flimsy picks

While the bass guitar sounds clean in most “musical” situations, you definitely want to avoid any form of picking noise. Pick noise can have several causes, such as jagged pick edges.
Especially with bass guitar, softer pick materials may wear fast.
The edges of your guitar pick must stay glossy during its life time, avoiding unwanted chirps.

bass guitar picks / jagged edges

Jagged edges occur with picks made out of softer materials.
This causes unwanted noises called chirp.

ChickenPicks guitar picks definitely don’t get chipped- or jagged edges because the material is extremely hard.

The hardest material available

ChickenPicks guitar picks are made of the hardest material available called “Thermoset”.
This is a thermosetting plastic which is used a lot in electronic devices and aerospace.
For more information about this unique product in music industry read our about page.

ChickenPicks guitar picks definitely won’t chip because this material is almost as hard as steel.

Bermuda III-XL 2.1 – [The bass pick]

At ChickenPicks guitar picks customers have been asking me to make typical bass guitar picks.

The model that came up to me was the old Fender large triangle pick in the thickness- and typical features of our unique picks. The pick is called the Bermuda III-XL 2.1.

It is 2.1mm thick and has beveled edges all over. This model is identical to our Bermuda III 2.1mm, but larger.

Perfect for bass, perfect for guitar as well

Although I designed the Bermuda III-XL 2.1 as a bass guitar pick, we see many people using this it for electric- and acoustic guitars as well.

So finally, is this one a specific “and only” bass guitar pick? The answer, in my opinion should be: “No”.

bass guitar picks

Which ChickenPicks guitar picks are perfect for bass?

Light 2.2: a standard 351 model guitar pick in 2.2mm
Regular 2.6: identical to the Light 2.2, but in 2.6mm thickness
Bermuda III 2.1: triangular pick with 3 rounded tips. Thickness: 2.1mm.
Bermuda III 2.7: same as 2.1 but in 2.7mm
The Bermuda III-XL 2.1: same as 2.1, but larger.

You may also like to check the measurements of all picks at the guitar pick sizes chart.
Click on image for more information.

guitar pick size chart

Small guitar picks

How to hold a guitar pick

Place the guitar pick on top of your index finger with a little less than let’s say 6mm sticking out past the fingertip. The pick is sandwiched between the thumb and the side of the index finger.
The index finger should be behind read more…


Finally, there is no good or bad pick for bass guitar. Finding out what works best for you means that you just have to check different models, -brands and -sizes.

Usually people start with thinner (cheap) picks, but you should check out thicker picks as well as they have several benefits in relation to thin picks.

For the most comfort, a thicker pick with beveled edges will do the job perfectly, also for bass guitar.

Go for harder materials in case to avoid jagged edges, avoiding pick noise.

What others say about ChickenPicks guitar picks

Musikhaus Thomann
Chicago Music Exchange
Anatomy of guitar tone

Guitar essentials:

In guitar essentials we write about interesting things every guitarist should know a bit of, especially when you’re new to (electric) guitar.
We definitely don’t dig deep into theories or technical aspects.
You will find many scientific documents about anything somewhere on the internet.

About the author

Hi, my name is Eppo Franken and I started to make my own picks in the mid ’80’s.
In 2010 my wife Jolanda and I started ChickenPicks guitar picks, because we’d like to see if others would enjoy them as well.

I play guitar since 1980 and my favorite style is country chicken picking and some kinds of rockabilly.
Send us an e-mail and let’s talk about guitar tone and picks

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *