Slippery Slipping Guitar Picks

I have moderate to severe problems keeping my pick in a proper position while playing. I can minimize the problem by using Dunlop picks (they have a textured grip), but I prefer playing with small picks as I get better pick control. My favorites are the small white Fender picks, but sometimes I find that halfway through a song, the pick has rotated nearly 180 degrees and I'm trying to play lead with the side of the pick! The obvious answer - hold the pick tighter - doesn't work well for me because it binds up my entire hand and I lose speed. Plus, it leads to cramps. Any tips?


Super glue sand paper to the pick on the two sides of the half of the pick you hold leaving the bare plastic tip you pick with exposed.   Then you'll have the textured grip you need.

Bob, Gman ( o )==#

Love your page, I love your tips and think they're great. I read one there about the pick slipping. I wanted to draw your attention to 'Herco' picks. They are great! They're like a thumb pick only with a real pick. Have to see for yourself. You can strum, pick and the pick stays in place for as long as you need it.

Thanks, Alex

I was just reading the "Slippery Picks" section of your site and I have a tip. Instead of sand paper, I use skateboard grip tape. It works just as good and you don't have to mess around with any super glue. Just stick it on. You can usually find it at skate/surf shops. Great site!

Donated by Stefan

There's something you can get in the drummer's department:
Use "Gorilla Snot" !  Apply it to your fingers and your pick won't slip away anymore!
Note: If you have got too sweaty fingers, use a wee bit more!

Greetings from Tim

I wrapped a small balloon around the top portion of my pick and secured it down with super glue.


I use a hole punch to punch a hole in my picks.  This works great to keep the pick from slipping and rotating too.


Hey Gman,
I have had a problem with slippery picks for about 5 years now.  For as frustrating as it gets, I guess it's surprising I still play but I guess I always kept the faith that I would find a remedy.  I've tried everything - gorilla snot, cutting a hole in my pick... you name it, I tried it but I think I've got it figured out (holding my breath).

The pick is wedged (loosely enough for flexibility) between your thumb and index finger.  Holding too tight cuts down on speed and flex.  As one strums, it is natural to really concentrate on the down stroke.  It's a power thing that comes natural.  *** The Key***  On the upstroke we think we're pushing up but we may be just dragging the pick with the thumb while the index finger adds some superficial grasp but is really just in tow.  I think the key to this problem is concentrating on the push and pull between these two points.  Think about the presence of the index finger and the positive and negative force between the thumb and index. 
Seems really obvious but it's easy to picture the correct way and practice bad habits without realization.
Hope this helps somebody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Matt F.


I saw the tips on slippery pick remedies, and I've got another one.  An older man I play bluegrass with has arthritis real bad, but he loves to play, so he uses double stick tape on both sides of the pick and it doesn't go anywhere the whole time we play.  Hope this helps.



I just happened to pass by your guitar site today and I think its excellent. Keep up the good work, I think your site is a wonderful acoustic guitar resource. I have a suggestion regarding holding picks. This topic was brought up in the "guitar tricks" section. Some other people suggested using sandpaper or other adhesives. I had problems holding picks at first also, but I now modify my picks by simply taking a screwdriver or knife (or some similar tool) and scratching or "scoring" the surface of the pick on both sides. This means I simply run the knife or screwdriver tip across the plastic making deep indented lines, and this provides small grooves or texture on the pick which I find helps me hold onto the picks much better. Maybe you should run this idea on your website as an alternative idea.

Fred B. Tran

I solved this problem years ago by placing Sportsman's GOOP on each side of the pick.  A little goes a long way.  Do one side, let it dry, then the other.  Place the pick(s) on a non-porous service so it peels off easier.  It will level out some due to its water-like characteristic.  It dries to a rubbery consistency. If it comes off later it can always be redone.  Another thing I've done is picking up the pick prior to it drying completely and "imprinting" my thumb or index finger into the GOOP which gives a pocket-like effect. (Not recommended for people with criminal tendencies since your fingerprints are imprinted on the picks.) I do this to all of my picks. It works 

Bill Elwell

Hi, my husband found your site and sent me to check it out. Cool! Love it!

I just started learning to play a year ago, and I have half of two of my fingers missing on my right hand. My index and ring fingers.  Also my middle finger is bent at the first joint due to the accident, so picks are a real big problem for me. 

After months of cutting up everything made of plastic to create a pick that would not spin after about 10 strokes, I thought of the stick down tread made for bath tubs. They are rough enough for a good grip, but thin enough to use on one side of the pick on the upper half.  They already have the adhesive on one side and are easy to trim to the exact shape of the pick, and you only need grip on one side anyway. No big mess with glue to deal with either.

My other solution was to dip the wide end of the pick into liquid rubber coating made for tools.  About half way down the pick works for me.  Of course I also have to use the largest picks, but it works for any size.

Sue V.

When I was young my flat picks used to fly out of my hand! I used narrow Gibson plastic thumb picks held with my finger as well as the thumb-ring.  Another thing that came to mind is I have seen plastic picks with thickish cork on both sides, a good way of keeping grip and also good for us arthritis sufferers!  What I love now is the "Wirething".  This is a small bent piece of wire-three different types.  I use the copper/beryllium- set in a nicely designed plastic plectrum style grip.  The power in this pick is great- it gives you great control over the attack as the curve of the wire goes over the string.

Chi Allen

Gman, Thanks for keeping such an informative site. I'm new to guitar playing and your site has helped through the confusion. I want to share that I use a hot glue gun on my picks to keep from slipping. I simply squirt a little bit on both sides of the pick and use the tip of the glue gun to smear it around, usually in a circular motion. It takes about 30 seconds to dry and it's done. It produces a very durable grip. Try different glue patterns to find what's comfortable. The best part is that if it just doesn’t feel comfortable between my fingers I just take the hot glue gun tip and reshape the cooled glue.
Thanks again,  Vince Curto 

Hey Gman,
Nice site, just found it.
I have a tip for a slippery flat pick.
I use 1/2 inch wide medical tape (first aid kit) and wrap it around
the gripping area.
Also, those little white hole repair stickers used on note book
paper work really well, even though they don't seem to hold up as
long as the first aid tape.

Dickie Sanders

Use a band-aid on both sides.  Use only the two ends for each side of the pick and cut off the excess with scissors.  The cloth helps it to not slip and gives a nice soft feel to the fingers.  I made two today to check and I love it.  You must use only the stretchy cloth type band aid.  NOT the clear plastic one.  My band-aid also had tiny holes which makes it even better.  Hope others like it too.

Ravi Devalapura

I believe I have the best pick traction solution.  Perhaps you can put it on your site.  I use just the "hook" side of peel & stick velcro.  It comes in round "dots" of various sizes, or you can cut it however you like from strips.  Once attatched it never comes off.  It's much more comfortable than sandpaper.  I virtually cannot lose my grip, & the pick never rotates out of position while I'm playing.


Here's a way to stop that slippery pick. Pick up the soft rubber key cover made to identify your keys on the key ring. Make sure you get the ones that cover the key top, not just an o-ring type. It will expand to the size of the pick and will stay snug as a bug. It covers just the right amount of the pick. It cost about $2.50 for a pack of four, but very reusable. It works great for me. 

Dan C. (Dannograph)

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