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How to Stop Your Guitar Pick from Slipping & Spinning

Picture this. You’re jamming out with your bandmates. Everything’s going great and you guys sound like a million bucks. You’re getting closer. Closer to that solo, or complicated riff you’ve been working on for the last few weeks.

You go to start playing and your pick slips from your hand and all of a sudden you’ve forced to stop as you scramble to find another plectrum.

It’s a nightmare. And everyone hates you.

Slipping and spinning picks are one of the easiest ways to lose your tempo and mess up your playing. But lucky for you there are ways to minimize this problem. 

Correct technique, changes to your playstyle, and plectrum accessories all exist to help keep those pesky picks where they should be. 

So let’s just get the string into it and find out how you stop your guitar pick from slipping and spinning.

Hold the Pick Correctly

Now, before we get into the fancy stuff, let’s just start at the beginning. Ask yourself this… are you holding the pick correctly?

Holding a guitar pick is usually one of the first things guitarists learn, and over time, players tend to develop their own unique style and tricks that better suit their hand size and play style. 

There are three basic pick grips that you should know:

“O” Grip

  • Start by holding the guitar pick in your strumming hand. Firmly, but not too tightly, grip the pick between the fleshy center of your thumb and the side/top of your index finger, almost like you’re making an “OK” signal with your hands.

“Fist” Grip”

  • Kinda similar to the “O” grip, but instead of using the fleshy center of your thumb, you instead want to use the first joint of your thumb while keeping your index finger the same.

“Pinch” Grip

  • This one probably doesn’t need too much explanation… to “pinch” grip all you have to do is hold the plectrum with the fleshy centers of both your thumb and your index finger, pinching the pick.

These basic grips give you a huge amount of versatility and functionality, all while giving you space to develop your own style of holding the pick. 

Find what feels comfortable, and what keeps the plectrum between your fingers and not on the floor.

Work on Your Strumming & Picking Technique

Now that we’re holding the pick properly, let’s work on your strumming and picking technique. 

For strumming, you’ll want to keep things relaxed. 

Tight or stiff playing makes for bad rhyming guitar and is likely to result in a slipped or dropped pick. Also, make sure you’re angling the pick downwards so that it’s brushing against the strings and not coming into full contact with them while you strum.

For picking though, you’ll want a slightly different approach. 

You’ll need to hold the pick more firmly than if you were just strumming as this will help you get a solid and loud sound from your strings. Also, angeling the pick isn’t necessary here as you want full contact with the string and the plectrum for that more prominent sound.

Use a Textured Pick

Pick makers aren’t clueless when it comes to their products… They know that drops and slippages happen and so, over the years, they have come up with a few ways to minimize this and keep you playing.

Introducing the textured pick. There are two types of textured picks to look out for. 

The textured material pick: uses the natural texture of the plectrums chosen material to create a grippy and textured surface. 

The textured design pick: uses a purposely designed and constructed texture to add more grip, especially in materials that aren’t textured to begin with.

Firstly, textured material picks. These plectrums use a material that is naturally rough in texture to create a feeling of grip. Think Delrin and Tortex, which have a matte finish and stick to your hands a little easier than say the smooth nylon or acrylic picks.

Textured design picks on the other hand are a direct response from pick makers to try and make their slipper picks stick to your hands a little better. 

Think the Dunlop Max Grip or Fender 351 Wavelength, these picks come with a purposely designed texture grip that makes the otherwise slippery materials stick to your fingers a little better.

If you keep dropping your picks, or losing your grip while you strum and pluck away, think about using a textured pick as it’ll surely eliminate any of these unwanted slippages.

Gorilla Snot!

If you’re looking for something a little different than your usual textured picks, why not give Gorilla Snot a try?

This gripping aid has been developed for musicians and athletes who need just a little extra help holding onto things. It’s non-gooey and made from naturally refined tree rosin, so don’t worry about it getting everywhere.

It uses your body’s natural heat to “stick” to whatever it is you’re trying to hold. Just go easy on it, you don’t need a lot or else you’ll end up like every new Spiderman when he discovers his hands are sticky…

Try to Prevent Your Hands from Getting Too Sweaty

If you’ve got your playing technique down, a textured pick at the ready, and a solid grip to boot, but you’re still dropping that plectrum, we need to tackle to root issue… sweat.

People sweat. It’s natural. And it’s even more common in guitarists both during live shows and at home jamming out. That’s why the number one thing you want to try and do when playing is prevent your hands from getting too sweaty.

You can achieve this in a number of ways. Firstly, playing with a fan or in a well-ventilated room can help keep cool air on you and stop your hands from building up a sweat. 

Another tip we give new guitarists is an easy one… relax man. 

Confidence comes with time, but if you’re stressing out, or worrying about what you’re about to play, your body is going to produce more sweat as a chemical response to that anxiety. Take a deep breath and don’t think about it too much and you’ll find your hands stay much drier than before.

Finally, just use a towel or a cloth or even your clothes to regularly wipe away any sweat so it doesn’t build up too much. A quick wipe between songs or even during a quiet break in the track can make a huge difference to sweaty hands, keeping in your hands, off the floor and your bandmates happy.


Dropping a pick is embarrassing, but we all do it. There is no way to 100% remove that possibility from happening, there just isn’t.

But taking the right steps towards reducing that risk can make it a rare, even laughable occurrence and not a daily risk to you and your band’s sound.

Give these tips a go and we guarantee that plectrum will spend more time in your hands and not on the floor.

Happy playing!