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Plectrum

PlectraA small flat piece of nowadays usually plastic or nylon held between the thumb and forefinger and used to strike the strings of certain stringed Instruments (usually steel string fretted such as Guitar, Tenor Banjo and Mandolin Family but also Zither et al). Also known especially in America as a Pick.
Plectra are also used in instruments such as the Harpsichord, attached to the Key and jack mechanism.

Plectra have been made out of many materials, some of which are less acceptable now than they once were. Tortoise Shell, Celluloid, Metals (Silver, Brass, Steel, Aluminium), Wood, Felt, Quill, Ceramics and Stone.

Plectra come in different thicknesses and stiffnesses and the choice is one of personal preference.

Picks which are worn are known as Thumb Picks or Finger Picks.