Brian May’s Sixpence Guitar Pick

In the very early days, Brian used a regular plastic pick, that based on his statements, was on the lighter side. Eventually, he switched to using an English sixpence, and never looked back.

I used to use very bendy strings because I thought they were better for speed. But, I gradually discovered that I wanted more and more hardness in the pick. The more rigid it is, the more you feel what’s happening in the strings at your fingers.

Brian May -Talks about his Red Special, Picking, J.Deacon & Stereoscopy -Radio Broadcast 03/10/2014

Brian also explains how he likes the serrated edge on the coin, as this provides him with more unique ways to hit the strings and make unique sounds.

I play with an English sixpence. It’s a coin made of soft metal with a serration on the edge. I hold it loosely between the thumb and the first finger, with the first finger bent down.

Interview with Brian May “Guitar Player” magazine – January 1983


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