How To Get A Pick Out Of A Guitar – The Ultimate Guide

Learning how to get a pick out of a guitar is a frustrating process – Let us help take the stress off with this free guide!

how-to-get-a-pick-out-of-a-guitar

In this free lesson you will learn…

  • 3 effective ways to get a pick out of your guitar
  • Why pick materials matter
  • How to avoid dropping your pick in your guitar
  • Why finding the right pick for you is important

Every Guitarist Needs To Know How To Get A Pick Out Of A Guitar

“CLACK.”

That’s the sound of your pick falling into the sound hole of your guitar.

Sometimes you can hear the tiny clatter of your pick landing in your guitar, and sometimes you can’t be entirely certain whether your pick landed in the guitar or on the floor until you either look on the floor or shake your guitar.

Although this seems to be an embarrassing circumstance, rest assured that at some point, every single guitar player on earth who uses a flatpick has said flatpick fall into the soundhole of the guitar.

how-to-get-a-pick-out-of-a-guitar

One adult student of mine showed up to class once with half a dozen picks in her guitar because she couldn’t figure out how to get them out.

  • I had to take the kids’ guitar class students’ picks away from them because of how hilarious it was to drop picks into the guitar.
  • It’s important to know that you are not alone, and that dropping picks into your guitar is a common occurrence when you’re learning.
  • In time, you’ll develop the habit of holding your pick so that it doesn’t drop into your guitar; in the meantime, here’s a lesson on how to get a pick out of a guitar.

To start with, why not watch this video featuring our very own Mike Kennedy detailing the process here.

how-to-get-a-pick-out-of-a-guitar

Why Are Picks So Hard to Get Out of Guitars, Anyway?

It seems like a huge design flaw that picks get stuck inside guitars so easily, and yet are so difficult to extract from them.

  • Unless you are a child, it can be difficult, painful, and not great for the health of the guitar strings to try to reach in between the strings and take the pick out.
  • Trying to shake the pick out of the guitar – well, that can make anyone feel just the tiniest bit foolish.

For something that’s not a very useful guitar pick holder, the guitar sure seems to enjoy holding the picks inside once they’re in there.

how-to-get-a-pick-out-of-a-guitar

The strings are definitely in the way of getting the pick out of the guitar with your hand, if you can even see your pick in the guitar.

  • Also, the guitar has strips of wood on the inside bracing the body, so you can shake the guitar trying to access the pick and wind up getting the pick stuck in an inaccessible section of the guitar.
  • The fact that it takes some trickery to figure out how to get a pick out of a guitar is not your fault!

Here’s what your guitar looks like from the inside, and why it’s so confounding to try and get the pick out.

how-to-get-a-pick-out-of-a-guitar

To shake the pick loose from some hard-to-reach area of the guitar, you’ve got to get the pick over those bracing strips of wood.

  • It can take a minute to get the pick to a place where you can see it, but that is the first step in figuring out how to get a pick out of a guitar.
  • You can hear the pick rattling around in the guitar, and you have to make the pick hop over those bracing strips of wood.

It helps tremendously never to have to do this in front of an audience, but of course, that’s never when it happens, is it?

how-to-get-a-pick-out-of-a-guitar

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How To Get A Pick Out Of A Guitar – The Best and Most Foolproof Way

If you want to know the quickest and easiest answer for how to get a pick out of a guitar, ask a children’s guitar teacher!

  • You do not need any tools, nor do you need the assistance of a tiny person’s hands.
  • With this technique for how to get a pick out of a guitar, you’ll be able to shake out any pick in no time.
  • The first thing you need to do is get the pick into a position where you can see it, like sitting on the inside label.

Gently shake the guitar until you can see the pick on top of the label. It’s important that the pick be right where the sound hole is, which is where the label is.

how-to-get-a-pick-out-of-a-guitar

You should be holding your guitar on your lap so that the sound hole is facing up, and you should be able to see the pick.

  • For the next step, it’s very important that you’ve cleared the area around you of people, stands, other chairs, and other guitars.
  • Holding the guitar securely at the bottom and at the neck, you’re going to use one swift motion to flip the guitar upside down, so the soundhole is facing the floor.
  • The key to learning how to get a pick out of a guitar effectively is to do it smoothly, without letting the pick slide around.

The pick will land either on the floor or on the strings, and voila! Pick problem solved.

how-to-get-a-pick-out-of-a-guitar

Pro-Tip: Although this is a foolproof method for getting a pick out of a guitar, it can take a little practice to get the smooth and swift flip.

Like Julia Child flipping eggs in a pan, you have to have courage to learn how to get a pick out of a guitar efficiently.

If it doesn’t work the first time, make sure the area is clear, and try again!

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How To Get A Pick Out Of A Guitar Using A DIY Tool

Look, all over the internet are pictures of people pulling all the strings of their guitars over to one side so they can reach in and grab their picks.

  • That’s just not how to get a pick out of a guitar. Many of us have had to learn that lesson the hard way, but you don’t have to join our club!
  • Pulling the strings over not only detunes the strings, it also subjects them to breaking and puts the frame of the guitar under some pressure that it’s just not built for.

Don’t do it. If you are against the swift flip method above, here’s how to get a pick out of a guitar with a DIY tool.

plectrum-stuck-in-guitar

You’ll need two things to learn how to get a pick out of a guitar this way: a piece of scotch tape and a pencil, skewer, or chopstick.

  • First, make a tape bubble out of a couple inches of tape. That means making a circle so the sticky side is out. You need the sticky side.
  • Second, attach the tape bubble to the eraser, the thick end of the chopstick, or the non-pointy end of the skewer. You’re going to try to grab the pick with the tape.
  • Third, holding your guitar on your lap with the sound hole facing up and the pick where you can see it.

Get in there between the strings and the side of the sound hole like the surgeon of rock and roll that you are and grab that pick!

Finally, slowly take your tool out of the guitar, hopefully with the pick attached.

You can keep the tool in your guitar case, in the event this ever happens again!

plectrum-stuck-in-guitar

Prevention, the Best Medicine

When figuring out how to get a pick out of a guitar, it’s not a bad idea to figure out what causes your pick to fall in there in the first place.

  • When you’re learning to use a pick, one thing that takes some getting used to is how tightly or loosely to grip your pick.
  • Hold it too tightly, and you create a lot of friction with the strings, and sometimes the pick wins. Other times, the strings win and well, you know what happens then.
  • With time, you’ll ease into the right grip – not so tightly that your wrist tenses up, but not so loose that your pick spins all over the place.

Eventually, you’ll find that months have gone by without you having to dig around figuring out how to get a pick out of a guitar.

lost-pick-in-guitar

The angle of the pick is also a factor in creating friction with the strings. If you put the “point” of the pick directly into the strings while strumming, that creates a lot of friction.

  • Also, if you strum with the pick at a right angle to the guitar, this results in a raking sound more often than a pleasing brushing sound, and more friction.
  • When you’re holding your pick, face the point of the pick toward the bridge of the guitar – inward – so that you’re using the point but also the side of the pick to address the strings.

When you’re strumming, use a little twisting of the wrist (like turning a doorknob) so that the pick is brushing the strings at an angle instead of digging into the strings.

lost-pick-in-guitar

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How To Get A Pick Out Of A Guitar – Pick Materials Matter!

We’ll be discussing elsewhere the different types of materials your pick can be made of, but it’s worth looking into as a matter of keeping your pick out of the sound hole.

There are a lot of pick materials available, but what matters to you for these purposes is that picks have different surfaces.

Some picks have a glossy surface, and some have a matte surface.

Writer’s Note: I can never keep a glossy pick between my fingers, but they stick well to some people’s fingers.

There are also picks with holes cut in them or adhesive print to help them stick to your fingers a little better.

Learning how to get a pick out of a guitar also means finding the right pick that won’t fall out of your fingers.

The thickness of the pick also makes a difference as to how easy it is to keep it in your hand.

  • Thinner picks tend to create less friction on the strings and can be easier to grip, but they are also easier to break or slip through the strings.
  • Thicker picks may be harder to get used to at first, and they can be more difficult to grip.
  • As you develop a good middle-of-the-road grip on your pick however, they stay put more easily.

Once you find the right pick, you won’t need these tricks for how to get a pick out of a guitar as much.

Try experimenting with different types of guitar picks to see which thickness, material, and finish stays in your hand most comfortably.

Pro-Tip: For more information, and to keep your guitar pick from falling into the sound hole, check out our lesson on how to hold a guitar pick in 3 easy steps!

Share the Love! Show Others How to Get a Pick Out of a Guitar

Accidentally dropping a pick into the sound hole is a common bond between guitarists.

  • Our students gasp in horror as I drop my pick into the sound hole on purpose, just so I can show them how to get it out.
  • You’ll be doing a service for your fellow musicians by getting good at this and showing them how they can do the same!

If you’re still stuck on how to get a pick out of a guitar, check out our very own Mike Kennedy explaining the process in this video here!

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