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Picks

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by jdolecek70, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. MDMachiavelli

    MDMachiavelli Tele-Afflicted

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018

  2. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Because I’m a nerd, I’ve made picks out of all sorts of materials, including Tagua nut, forbon, various woods, bone, horn, uhmwp (stuff that white plastic cutting boards are made from), casein, and vespel, the incredibly expensive plastic blue chip picks are made out of. I did a thread about making vespel picks a few years ago.

    I like thick picks, nothing thinner than 1.5 mm. At that thickness, my conclusion is they all sound a little bit differnt, but the material and even the size are WAY less important than the shape and the bevel. A pointy pick with a small bevel sounds different from the same size and material pick with a rounded tip and a wide, smooth bevel. The whole magic of a pick is in the shape and the bevel, not the material. If you really like a certain pick, i’d say it’s the bevel that really matters.

    In making dozens of picks I’ve found tha the be the hard part. I have a pile of about a dozen same size vespel picks sitting on my desk, and they all sound a little different, because of the bevel.


    Ps my favorite is the Tagua nut and the vespel but because I always lose the damn things I mostly use the purple Dunlop tortex in jazz iii size
     
    imwjl and P Thought like this.

  3. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    Thank you. My own inner nerd didn’t go that far but tried picks that aren’t the common ones you see at most stores every day.

    I also tried modifying some when I thought it was the bevel or tip that made such a difference. The harder materials were better at that. The modification lasted.

    It was good luck to get a used Blue Chip. That Vespel really does stick with fingers but some not so expensive picks do too. Red Bear’s cheaper picks that are back get that credit. Wegens with holes and semi-rough finish are good.

    The thing about Wegen Bluegrass model that’s stayed with me is the package of a few is still a lot less than other premium picks. They have a good shape and bevel you can modify and I feel it stays that way better than other basic plastic picks.

    The one thing I kept with my experiments is big probably most like an ES-335 with .011 string set electric is really nice with less point and Vespel doesn’t make the clanky noise on strings that casein does. You’ll not hear that with an amp turned up but it’s pleasant when you’re alone with your beloved guitar I a quiet house.

    My advice for trying other pick stuff and not breaking the bank remains Wegen or maybe the return of Red Bear’s cheaper picks. Know that John Pearse sells casein picks for much less than others.

    :)
     

  4. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    This is a useful thread for me, thanks. As I'm learning, nothing is carved in stone, as yet. I've been playing with a variety of picks of various shapes, sizes and thicknesses and I'm pretty clueless as to what is best or even what I prefer.

    For acoustic, I've bee using a thin and springy thing that allows me to strum up and down without the string resistance ripping it from my fingers. However, I don't know if I'm strumming too lightly, my grip isn't strong enough or whatever.

    For electric, I tend to be a bit bolder and use a 0.8 to 1.2 thickness. however, I've seen rigid wood and thick plastic (3mm?) options but I'm presuming that these are relatively unusual?

    My strings are standard gauge at .009 or .010. How long did it take you to come to a firm preference for pick type / thickness?
     

  5. MA6200

    MA6200 Tele-Meister

    243
    May 12, 2017
    Maryland
    I just bought a ton of different picks
    and tried them out. I settled on Dunlop primetone jazz 3 XL 1.4mm ones after trying a ton of stuff.
     

  6. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 9, 2015
    Seekonk, MA

  7. cdb1961

    cdb1961 TDPRI Member

    78
    Feb 15, 2016
    Jacksonville, FL
    About a year ago I tried the Thalia Rosewood picks, love the Thalia Capos so I gave them a try and was very surprised by the noticeable warmer tone. I was very surprised they didn't slip between the fingers. They are pretty rugged but they do wear fast than Everly Star Picks I still use.

    upload_2018-1-12_9-30-20.png upload_2018-1-12_9-36-53.png
    https://www.thaliacapos.com/collections/picks
     

  8. Televised

    Televised Friend of Leo's

    Apr 26, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I use a few different picks depending on what I'm playing and if I'm picking or strumming.
    For my Tele I primarily use Dunlop "Ultex" .73. It's very firm and easier to do leads with.
    For my 6 string acoustic I usually use a "V-Pick Screamer" which makes for a very bright and chimey tone.
    For my 12 string acoustic I tape two Ultex picks together with clear duct tape with the tips of the pick slightly off set. This gives a nice 12 string tone.
    On all of my picks I apply a 3/8 inch piece of round green felt so that I can hold the picks easier and in the case of the V-Picks, see the picks easier.
    Nothing is set in stone and I interchange all of these picks depending on what kind of picking or strumming I'm doing or in most cases when I'm too lazy to pick a pick.
    The plectrum does make a tone difference for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018

  9. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Holic

    800
    Aug 5, 2015
    Santa Cruz CA
    My pick preference has changed over the years. It was a Dunlop 2.0, then a 1.0 , now it is a Fender medium celluloid pick. I don’t ever use the point, no matter what pick I use I always pick with one of the round corners and try to always stay at an angle. It really gives a nice tone. Who knows what pick I will be using next year.
     

  10. viccortes285

    viccortes285 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    728
    Jan 14, 2017
    Phoenix
    I enjoy playing with wooden and stone picks IMG_3366.JPG
     

  11. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire

    :lol: I've worked hard to avoid any such preference! I switch picks--shapes, sizes, thicknesses, materials--all the time.
     

  12. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Holic

    957
    Jun 25, 2016
    Midwest, USA
    After tryin out dragons heart picks, I can't use others anymore. They're amazing! It has 3 different sides fo3a different use. First, the normal pick side, 2nd, the rounded side for rhythm. 3rd, is the sharper pick for speed picking/soloing.

    http://www.dragonsheartguitarpicks.com

    [​IMG]
     

  13. xland

    xland Tele-Meister

    387
    Mar 26, 2015
    Central Illinois
    I'm always messing around trying new picks but I always come back to Dunlop Herco Vintage 66 Light picks (measure about .88). Occasionally I will play with Dunlop Celluloid Mediums or .71 Gator Grips.

    Capture.JPG
     

  14. xRockOveRx

    xRockOveRx TDPRI Member

    Age:
    28
    91
    Jan 28, 2017
    Cheektowaga
    Great topic. It's amazing how much effect the pick you use can have on your sound and playing. I used to use very standard picks. You know, like Dunlop.68 or .73(orange and yellow tortex). I used a pick one day that was around the same thickness except it was really pointy and sharp. I liked it way better than a rounded tip pick. Then I tried a heavier pick one day. 1.5 millimeter dunlop. It took a while to get used to but I started really liking it. I played around and found that 1.38 millimeters is the perfect thickness. And Nylon is my favorite material. I found these dunlop jazz 3 stiffy picks and tried them out. They were not as sharp as I wanted so I sharpened them with sand paper until they were sharp enough to hurt you lol. Now I can't go back to thin, blunt picks. I like my pick to be thick and have just a slight amount of snap when you really dig in. It makes you play better after time and you won't turn back. So that's my opinion. 1.38mm and very sharp. Material is optional but I like Nylon.
     

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