Let’s Talk About Pick (plectrum) Material

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, May 9, 2019.

  1. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Jerry used a GRAPHITE pick, not GRANITE. (Modulas Graphite 1.MM)
     
  2. thechad

    thechad Tele-Meister

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    Interesting thread. I’ve never given much thought to pick materials. In my younger days I tried playing with a coin after hearing Brian May of queen used one. Maybe what the coin is matters but I had a quarter and found it to “grippy” on the string, too stiff to hold on to and very bright sounding. In a pinch I’ve played with a cut up library card. In general I like picks thinner than 1 mm and thicker than 0.6 and I find the Dunlop nylon kind last forever (they do get thinned out though but never break). I really liked the matchbook of picks they used to sell. Not sure if those are still around (see how long it’s been since I’ve had to buy picks? They honestly never break!). If I come across a wood/stone pick I’ll have to give it a try though.
     
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  3. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

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    My current favorites are Brain Nylon 1.3's (dark blue) and Gibson celluloid H. I've also made several nice picks from thick bread bag tags:

    Picks.JPG
     
  4. thechad

    thechad Tele-Meister

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    Graphite? As in the extremely soft flakey material used in pencils? Interesting...
     
  5. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Meister

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    As mentioned above get at least one Blue Chip pick!

    It's a bummer they cost so much and you'll not be sure about thickness vs. stiffness till you try it.

    I have a couple TAD-3R 50 and have reshaped one. I'm starting to think a bit stiff for electric guitar. I primarily use the un reshaped for flat picking acoustic...

    I've been playing one daily for ~2 years and no wear! Don't set it down. Watch like a hawk if you lend your guitar....

    TEX
     
  6. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Meister

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    Brian May used a British sixpence coin. Silver, I think.
    [​IMG]
    Apparently Billy Gibbons has used a Mexican Peso.
    The V-picks ghost rim (unbuffed) edge can imitate May and Gibbons, as Vinnie the owner likes to say. Gibbons plays a ghost rim v pick. 1.5 mm.
    I’m not associated with v picks, just love their stuff.
     
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  7. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Meister

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    It seems Mr. Garcia used a variety of picks at various times in his career, as evidenced by his quote in this article

    http://www.woodytone.com/2010/02/01/jerry-garcias-surprisingly-interesting-technique/

    ...which, depending on the time frame, indicates we could both be incorrect.

    I believe the article I was referring to was in Guitar Player, quite possibly in the mid to late 1980's. I'm not going to get into any further discussion on this as I was simply referencing the impetus for my own exploration and relating my own experience in regards to the OP, and not who used what or when.
     
  8. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    Unforturnately, one of the picks he used, the double edged old school Gillette razor blade, didn t work out at all. shopping.jpeg
     
  9. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I were inclined to use a coin, it wouldn't be one with a reeded (i.e., "ridged" or "grooved") edge, like a quarter. That would account for the "grippy-ness" you spoke of. And I imagine metal would be quite bright.


    To my mind, a $5 pick is an expensive pick. And so if picks made of rosewood, ebony or whatever wear down pretty quickly, I'm not interested. Such an investment would be worthwhile (to me) only if they're virtually indestructable, and create a fantastic tone.

    I've been reading up on your Red Bear recommendation, and I've been learning about the types of bevels. Following their formulas for determining which bevel suits me best, I discovered that a left- banded speed bevel would probably be best. I learned something new about my style of play today, and I'm grateful.

    Oh, and I'm curious about Red Bear's "Tuff-Tone" picks. Is that the kind of Red Bear you have?


    Yeah, the price tag is a "YIKES!" :eek: Not that I begrudge them making a living. My wife and I own/have owned a couple of businesses, and so I can readily believe that for all that goes into it, their asking price is fair for the cost of making their product. But still...YIKES!

    I haven't discovered yet from their website what material(s) they use for their picks. Do you know?
     
  10. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I use the toenails from the big toes of cadavers, closest thing to tortoise shell you can find and chemically identical (keratin). They come is a variety of colors and thicknesses and can easily be shaped to your preference.
     
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  11. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I've never tried wood or stone. Fender Heavy or the Dunlop 1 mm red Big Stubby for electric. For acoustic I like the 2mm purple Big Stubby.
     
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  12. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl TDPRI Member

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    Meta carbonite by Pickboy picks. I'm surprised so few have tried them.
     
  13. oceanblue

    oceanblue Tele-Meister

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    Wow! Checking out Blue Chip picks, they are expensive. Hard time justifying that for a pick. They all seem very thick as well?
     
  14. CCK1

    CCK1 TDPRI Member

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    Whatever the hell Vinni Smith uses to make V-Picks has been my favorite pick material for about 5-6 years now. I don't use anything else. Tried stone picks, liked 'em, tried stainless steel picks, liked them a lot, got about 4 big 'old scratches on my SG to prove how much I liked them! But now I'm a V-Pick guy.

    https://v-picks.com
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  15. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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  16. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    dunlop black nylon 1mm. I buy 'em 144 at a time. If you lose them everywhere, you can always find one.
     
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  17. fnkmstr

    fnkmstr TDPRI Member

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    I like a thick pick. Used the Dunlop 2mm. Using the Thalia 1.4mm wood picks. I like them a lot.
     

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  18. Dobronaut

    Dobronaut Tele-Meister

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    Try them all. It's a cheap and harmless pastime. Wood and Stone were not successful for me. Just not right. The trendy and expensive ones are oK, but no more than that. I've got a real tortoise shell one made from the decorative section of a cast off piece of 1902 furniture that is pretty good, but my favourites are made from old CD's. Of course Hendrix ones are best, especially if you make them by the light of the full moon. At the crossroads. And I used an old Chris Thile CD for my mandolin pick.

    Joking aside, CDs are just right for me. I can shape and bevel exactly as I like, using scissors and an emery board, and as someone earlier said the bevel is very important. They don't last forever, so I keep 2 or 3 in my pocket when gigging. I Use a splash of nail varnish for grip, especially the varnishes with sparkly bits in - they create a textured surface. I get some funny looks at the chemist though.

    There, just given away all my secrets!
     
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  19. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks, Randy. I've used Dunlop picks in the past, but nothing I recall being dubbed a "Big Stubby." :)


    I've never heard of them before now. I'll look that up.


    So you liked the stone picks, too? Any recommendations?
     
  20. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

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    I stick to the Jim Dunlop .73s for the most part. I tried a couple of different things including a coin at one point, and lots of different shapes, but I like the bend of plastic. The only other thing I've got on with are the Dava control picks.
     
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