As a guitar player, you know that having a pick is essential for playing your instrument. But if you're like most people, you've probably lost more than a few picks during your lifetime or have had trouble finding one when you most need it.
That's where a guitar pick holder comes in handy!
Guitar pick holders or pick carriers, come in many forms and generally have more benefits than drawbacks so it's worth considering choosing one to best fit your lifestyle needs before you buy one.
A "GPH" as we'll call them in this article, allow you to have a designated place to set your picks down which helps to prevent them from being lost.
They also allow you to take your picks with you, so you're always prepared with a pick on hand. (Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!)
Some types of guitar pick holders can be attached to your keys/guitar/gig bag, others attach to a mic stand, around your neck, or sit on top of your amp in the comfort of your home.
Worrying about not having an extra pick is a thing of the past with any of these.
In this article we'll cover the various GPH types as well as their distinct features followed by their general benefits.
After that we'll take a look at some alternatives & finally some frequently asked questions.
Related: How to properly hold a guitar pick
First let's start with the various categories of products available on the market.
There's something for everyone & although you can't go wrong with any of them, some will be better suited to your specific needs.
Here's the general categories...
A carrier of this type is usually a small pouch that attaches to your keys via a keyring.
It can hold one or more than 1 pick depending on their thickness so you never forget & always have a pick with you whenever you might need it.
Most guitar pick holder keychains are made of genuine leather, vinyl, or faux leather, and they usually have a small keyring attached.
Some models are more like plastic fobs that also come with a built-in LED so you can find your pick in the dark or on stage.
Even if yours doesn't come with a light, you can always add your own & make this combo an everyday-carry utility.
Using a keychain carrier is very easy. Simply attach it to your keys, lanyard, or gig bag and you're ready to go!
This option allows you to carry thicker handcrafted plectrums but not the best option when you need immediate access such as during a performance.
Necklace types, like the keychain versions above are a "set & forget" solution.
These are usually available with a rubber framing that wraps around standard-sized plectrums & there's also fancier ones made from metals like silver.
This options is highly portable & can be stylish to wear, however most options don't leave much room for non-traditional pick shapes other than "351" guitar pick shapes.
There are two types here & both attach to your electric guitars or bass guitars in some way.
First we have the guitar body stick-on holders which are typically made from hard plastic with a spring mechanism that allows you to stack several plecs inside.
One drawback is that these have to be installed onto your guitar via a sticker which can leave residue when removed.
However they are excellent in the sense that you have access to multiple picks in case you drop one mid-song or while performing.
The second type of "on-guitar" holders, are the string-wedge types.
These are made from soft rubber material & wedge under your guitar strings to hold them in place.
The only drawback if we could find one, is that you can only attach 2 picks at a time.
Other than that, they're cost efficient, easy to install, don't require any adhesives, and an option worth considering.
This is a great multi-purpose options where the strap not only holds your guitar, but also stocks an array of plectrums like a munitions bandoleer!
It's a stylish option that some might find enticing & if we had to come up with a drawback, it's that GPH straps are a more expensive option but that's to be expected.
For those of us who perform live, there's also the option to install a holder onto microphone stands.
These allow for easy access so you can swipe a new pick right off one of the microphone stands if yours starts to wear down or it gets lost mid-song during a live performance.
Finally, if you're in need of a quick fix before a show, then you might want to consider a guitar pick holder DIY with some double-sided tape ala Van Halen!
Again, just be aware of the residue issue, so you might not want to go extra heavy duty on the tape.
These are also useful in their own way and it comes down to preference & practicality as to what you want to use.
So what's so great about having your own pick storage devices?
Well besides being practical and easy to implement, here's a few reasons to consider before making a purchase:
1.Preparedness: If you're like most people, you've probably lost a few picks during your lifetime.
Having a designated place to store your picks is a helpful way to always have one when you need it most.
It also builds a positive habit of organizing by putting things back where they go...
no more lifting up couch cushions or digging through the laundry to find a spare pick.
2.Convenience: Most of these options easily fit into a gig bag or are attached to the guitar itself.
The utility they provide weighed against the cost makes them something to consider for your gear list.
3.Accessible & Affordable: As just mentioned, the costs vary but by no means are they expensive or out of reach.
If you want to spend just a couple bucks on a wedge-type product, that's available for everyone.
Or if you want a more aesthetic & utility-focused approach, maybe go for a guitar strap pick holder.
4. They're easy to use: From beginners to seasoned players, anyone can benefit from using this type of product.
There's no complicated procedures or modifications to do & most options are "set & forget"...
just stick them on your guitar, attach to your keys, or toss them into a gig bag.
5. Thoughtful Gift: If you're looking for a unique gift for a guitar player in your life, or maybe you just want to treat yourself & make your life a smidge easier, then consider one of these options.
These are also great stocking stuffers around the holidays & if someone already has one type, it doesn't hurt to gift a different type or one of the alternate options below.
The carriers/holders above are mostly portable & for smaller amounts of picks.
However if you're a pick collector or if you mostly play at home & find yourself in a constant hunt for a plectrum, then maybe think about one of the options below:
For those are really into getting organized, there are display cases out there that can hold dozens of guitar picks in individual slots.
This makes finding a pick super easy to find, especially if you like to use a different pick for different types of music.
Last but not least are guitar pick trays which can be made from plastic, poured-resins, and also made from wood.
Also you don't have to use a guitar-specific tray, you can always just find any tray or even a metal tin for this purpose.
For guitar-specific trays though, consider one of our precision-cut & handcrafted wooden pick trays.
We typically make these from solid cherry wood, can add a custom name engraving, and cut them into your favorite guitar shape.
If you're interested custom ordering a tray for yourself or a friend, you can learn more & buy them >here<
This varies with each category such as the wedge-type only carrying 2 but others can carry up to half a dozen.
The pick thickness will also affect the quantity & something to consider.
This will depend on personal taste & you should consider a spot that's easy to reach.
Some people prefer placing it out of sight behind the headstock, other's like theirs on the pickguard or guitar top.
We've also seen people add them near the neck joint & close to either of the strap buttons.
Also beware that they might leave some residue when removed.
Our own keychain carriers will comfortable fit a single pick up to 6mm or up to 6 thin traditional picks.
Other than that, you might be able to find a guitar strap that has bigger pockets to accommodate thicker picks.
Most stick-on types are hard plastic and will not budge for non-traditional picks.
Depends on the type but the ones that really do any "mechanical work" are the stick-on types that have a spring inside of them.
This spring causes tension on the picks so they don't fall out while taking one out.
A guitar pick holder is a great way to keep a guitar pick or plectrum with you at all times so you're always prepared to play.
It's convenient, affordable, easy to use & it doesn't hurt to have more than one.
If you're looking for a unique gift for a guitar player in your life, any of these is a great choice:
Types of Holders/Carriers:
Less portable but higher capacity alternatives:
We hope you found this article useful for selecting the right guitar accessories for your needs!
We do have our own guitar pick holder keychains available,
so check those out if you're having trouble deciding or want to weigh your options before buying one for yourself.
Here's what customers have said:
"This pickholder is both beautiful and well-crafter.
One unique thing about this pickholder is that this one is roomy.
It's a tad larger than the usual guitar pick holder so it will hold your large or odd-shaped pick without it being so tight that you need a crowbar to dig it out!"
- Donna K.
"I love this thing! At first, my reaction was "I have pockets, why do I need this?"
Yet, I gave it a fair try and I love it. It stays on my key ring and I carry several picks with me at all times without worrying if I'm gonna find them in the washer or dryer at days end.
Construction is great every pick has a tight fit, so there are no worries about losing any pick. Sometimes simple ideas are the best ideas."
- Chris C.
You can also get a free guitar pick holder if you join our rewards program & follow us on social media.
This program gives you points for purchases, reviewing our products, & referring a friend.
You can open up the main panel to join >here<
Thanks again for reading & if you found this article useful or have some ideas to improve it, comment below!
Or if you could only carry 1 pick in your pick holder/s which would it be?
Until next time!
-The Iron Age Team
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Iron Age Guitar Accessories
226 Douglas Way St
San Antonio, TX 78210
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~William A. Foster (MOH Recipient, 1945)
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