How to Reduce Pick Noises When Playing the Guitar

Written by zach dexter
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How to Reduce Pick Noises When Playing the Guitar
Too much pick noise can inhibit your guitar's sound. (playing the guitar image by egirldesign from

The sound of a pick striking a guitar string is often a desirable part of a guitar's sound. When recording, sometimes an extra microphone is placed by the picking hand specifically to pick up this sound. Too much pick noise, on the other hand, can obscure the sound of the actual notes being played. You have several remedies at your disposal to reduce this part of the guitar's sound, if necessary.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Hold the pick at a roughly 45-degree angle relative to the strings as you pick them. This reduces the surface area of the pick that comes in contact with the strings, thereby reducing the slapping noise made as the strings come in contact with the pick.

  2. 2

    Turn down the bridge pickup if you are playing electric guitar. If you are playing an electroacoustic guitar, turn the "Treble" level down on your guitar's EQ.

  3. 3

    Turn down the treble on any amplifier EQs through which the guitar's signal might be going.

  4. 4

    Route the guitar's signal through a compressor and attach an EQ to the compressor's sidechain inserts. Turn the high frequencies up, and the compressor will apply more compression to these frequencies. This greatly reduces pick noises on a recorded guitar track.

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