Instructables
Picture of magnetic guitar picks
99.jpg
07.jpg
08.jpg
10.jpg
97.jpg
Every guitarist needs a pick, whether it's beachside strumming or arena shredding. Make sure you have your guitar picks close by making magnetic guitar picks! You can stick these magnetic picks to your strings, tuning heads, mic stand, or anywhere else you might need a guitar pick. These picks are a fun way to show your nerdy side while rocking out, they're fun and inexpensive to make.

I read this article about a company that sells magnetic guitar picks, but after seeing the price of ONE pick was $4 (not including shipping) I decided to make my own. Just super glue small neodymium magnets to the back of guitar picks, that's it! Design differences aside, picks are easily damaged or lost (even with magnets) and I wanted an inexpensive alternative to a slick commercial version

commercial magnetic picks
  • $4 for one (shipping extra)
  • $25 for 10 (shipping extra)
my picks

Just how powerful are these guitar picks? I plastered my magnetic picks on a guitar and filmed my friend shaking the neck, simulating EPIC rock moves:

These picks passed the test and can be stuck anywhere you might need some instant jamming: the fridge, your mic stand, side of your car. The locations are endless.
Grab your guitar, crank the amp to 11, and get ready to rock!

elliot54457 months ago

don they stick to the strings when you play? I'd like to make these but my dad thinks that would be a problem.

mdlmusic1 year ago
Great idea. I made a couple of these and they work perfectly.
lilrocker902 years ago
I wanted to try this, however i did it a little differently. i sandwitched the the magnet in between two picks. i wanted to melt the ends a little so i could squish the ends together to make it a single pick. little did i know, guitar picks are super flammable.
jangothor2 years ago
About the picks...not the magnets
Light or thin picks bend too much and I suppose a softer drying glue might help but my first experience is that they just fall off. Stiffer picks like those pictured might work but I don't use them.
LucDaRocka12 years ago
We needed this earlier today! We dropped a pick in my acoustic!
We?
Well I did, then my Grandpa who plays guitar too dropped his pick in his guitar..... lol
Oh I see.
Yeah
soshimo2 years ago
If pickups work off disruption of a magnetic field, will these pickups hurt or change your sound? I know there are other transducers, like peizo, but the majority of pickups are coil based. Older pickups are notorious for picking up mains hum, which is caused by a 50-60hz magnetic flux from the alternating current on main. Won't these also cause disruption?
zolfox2 years ago
One big thing to remember... THESE ARE MAGNETS and they AFFECT YOUR BANK CARDS IF YOU THROW THEM INTO YOUR WALLET POCKET...
CAREFULL NOW...
The magnetic barcode on credit cards and rfid cards is not affected by a small neodymium magnet. I have tested this with several cards/magnets. There is almost nothing to worry about. Besides most people slide the pick into a wallet pocket, so its not going to be moving around all over the strip.
With all due respect, my supermagnets wipe out magstripe cards in a single pass. But then again, I buy the premium magnets and not the standard "super magnets."
I suppose a more superior neodymium could have that potential. I admit I have not worked with the higher quality versions, so it may be possible then. While at it, who is your neo supplier? I'll have to try these.
Pfarmkid2 years ago
Got to have them Dunlap
ansil2 years ago
Very nicely done. Just one question.why would I need this since the magnet will get in the way of the pics natural placement thus hindering the playing. Great idea about putting the magnet in pick but too strong of a mag wiill cause a tremolo effect while you play
or one could say the extra texture will add extra grip on the pick

if anything i would be worried about the magnets in the pick interacting with the magnets in the pickups or attracting the strings while playing like you said

i wonder if a fridge magnet would hold a pic on some strings when not in use?
i wouldn't be worried about that interfering with anything
uncle marty2 years ago
They use to make a magnetic bow for electrics that could make some neat sounds. I wonder what effects you could produce with the magnetic picks. Also if you used a metal pic would it carry the field though it?
http://www.ebow.com/home.php
I think you may be referring to the ebow:

http://www.ebow.com/home.php
jimvandamme2 years ago
I just took apart a broken earphone and there's a teeny magnet in each one, and I wondered what I could use them for. Now I know.
studiogrynn2 years ago
Interesting idea and I think you are on to something. A couple of points for consideration:

Magnets attract and hold ferrous metals.
Sliding a magnet across a ferrous metal will magnetize that metal.
Magnetizing your strings will affect your tone and diminish your sustain.
Magnetizing your gear heads? Well I suppose that depends on what the gears behind the covers are made from . Not sure I would want iron filings grinding between my expensive tuners.
The effect of added mass on the pick might create some deeper overtones to the picked not, but I can't imagine it would be much change.

What do you think of a slight change to things? Between the peg heads, attach your button neo mags. Then put another mag on top of each. Slip a pick between each pair. The button mags should hold them firmly. slide a pick out and the mags might stay attached to each other while letting the pick move freely. I would test this myself, but I don't have any neo button mags at this time.
rhino2 years ago
My favorite guitar picks! I like your mod.
zigzagchris2 years ago
I read this thinking about what a pick that would be entirely magnetic. It would then attract to the strings possibly changing the sound ( for better or worse?)
elmo7sharp92 years ago
If you play directly over the pickup with a neodymium magnet INSTEAD of a pick,
you get a massive dirty attack to each note that sounds great when it's distorted.

Attach a magnet to a regular metal pick if your magnet is too clumsy for direct use.

While a note is sustaining, you can interfere with the magnetic field of a pickup's Permanent Magnet. Reinforcing the pickup's field makes it louder, cancelling the field out makes for an odd distortion that's partly due to the pull of the magnet on the elliptical vibration of the string. All the action occurs with the magnet within 2-3mm of the string, directly above the polepieces. The effect is more pronounced with single-coil pickups. A regular ferric-dust magnet gives a more controllable effect than a neodymium (beause it's weaker).

Beware nipping flesh BETWEEN 2 neodymium magnets - instant blood blister!
randofo2 years ago
Do they interfere with the pickups while you are strumming?
Probably not, the way you hold the picks blocks the magnetic waves.
Magnetism is normally referred to as being a "field" rather than a wave and they travel easily through flesh and bone given they have a relatively low iron content.
They should have a definite effect - after all the pick-ups are sensitive enough to detect the non-magnetised strings moving several millimetres from the pole-pieces, so a massively magnetic item like those little neodymium's is likely to register.
That said however, the effect is unlikely to be noticed because what the pick-ups detect is the change in magnetic field over time and the frequency of that change will be too low for the amp to reproduce (hopefully it should be filtering it out, otherwise it could overheat the amp or speaker).
You'll probably be fine, but I'd take a look at what you speaker cone is doing as you play, just in case :-)
Hmmm, yes, thanks for explaining.
Actually come to think of it, I guess if the magnet is moving then it would be quite valid to describe the effect as a wave.
mikeasaurus (author)  randofo2 years ago
If the magnet is close enough, probably. But the distance from the pickups to the magnets is far enough apart that we didn't notice any interference.

micraman2 years ago
Whoa that's a smart idea! Would be pretty cool if you could drill a hole in the pick and somehow stick the magnet there!
caitlinsdad2 years ago
Have you tried making a magnetic capo? Might work for custom tuning of individual strings.
depotdevoid2 years ago
Clever hack Mike, trying to keep track of my guitar picks is a constant struggle for me.
This is really cool! How did you do that green and red section?
monsterlego2 years ago
Neat idea.