What is your plectrum history, and your choice today?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by ASATKat, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    Picks are so personal, we choose for good reasons and everyone's reasons are different.

    I've been playing for 55yrs and in the 80s, when I got serious, I settled on the Fender extra heavy, that lasted until the turn of the century when I discovered Dunlop Tortex Gator Grip 1.5, I really liked the way they didn't make pits on the bevel like Fenders do.

    Last year I discovered my favorite pick so far, the new Dunlop PRIMETONE pick 1.5. The pick always feels like I have control, it doesn't slip, it's better than the Tortex for grip imo, and the nicely beveled edge feels almost lubricated in that it glides over the string so sweetly. They're a bit more expensive than Tortex.

    These picks have cooled my jets as far as picks like Blue Chip. I still want to try one but,,,

    So what's your pick history?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
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  2. reckless meanie

    reckless meanie Tele-Meister

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    I have pretty much always used a Fender heavy with the stamped lettering. I bought a bag of like 500 I don’t think I’ll ever go through them all.
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    In high school Herco Lights (gold), Herco Heavy (grey), Fender Heavy, Fender Medium, Clayton Jazz .91(?), Dunlop EJ Jazz III, Dunlop Ultex Jazz (like Jazz III, but bigger).
    I went with a bigger pick again, because I dropped the EJ’s too much.
    The Ultex is working out well.
     
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  4. Edsel Presley

    Edsel Presley Tele-Holic

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    Random stuff for the longest time. Then Dunlop Jazz IIIs to Fender 351 Heavy to Fender 346 Heavy and now back to Jazz III Max Grips.
     
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  5. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Fender mediums at the start, then the box of misc picks, until landing on Jazz III picks. I now go with the Dunlop John Petrucci picks which are slightly larger than the Jazz picks, but perfect for my playing.
     
  6. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Pretty early on, I settled into four different picks with only one update over the years:

    Acoustic - Dunlop Tortex .050 Red
    9s Electrics - Dunlop Tortex .060 Orange
    10s Electrics - Dunlop Tortex .073 Yellow
    Surf Guitar - Dunlop Ultrex .073

    Caveat: I'm becoming more of a fingerstyle player these days for both acoustic and electric guitars.

    And yes, I carry three different picks wherever I go.
     
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  7. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    I started with yellow Tortex, then Fender Heavies, used Gator Grips for a few years. For acoustic, used whatever at first, then eventually D'Angelico Xcells. Eventually, my first long-term teacher changed my pick grip and also put me onto Dunlop Tortex Jazz picks, which I still use. My favorites though are Dunlop Ultex Jazz and the aforementioned Prime Tones. Now I play with my fingers about half the time.
     
  8. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    These in 1.0mm for guitar
    pickboy-vintage-pick-t-shell-cellulose-guitar-picks-10-pack-pb55p05-thin-50mm-6.jpg
    Gator Grip 2.0mm for bass
     
  9. stanger

    stanger Tele-Meister

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    Used nothing but genuine tortoise shell picks for many years. When they became unavailable, I settled on the blue Dunlop Tortex picks after they were invented, but I've used lots of others too.

    I've always had dry hands, so I've always lost a pick while playing once in a while, but as I'm aging, my hands are now ever drier, and finding a pick with some grip on it was really hard.

    Just recently, I came across some new-to-me Dunlop nylon picks with a heavy crosshatched gripping texture on them and really like them. They grip the fingertips solidly when I pinch my thumb and finger on one, so I expect I'll be using them more and more.

    Dunlop Max Grip. They come in heavier gauges than their other nylon flatpicks and feel like they have a different nylon compound as well. The feel harder than a typical nylon pick.
    regards,
    stanger
     
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  10. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    When I started playing Dunlop nylons were fairly ubiquitous. I tried 60, 73, 88 and 1mm. Decided 88 was the perfect balance of flexibility and firmness. I've been using then ever since.

    I've tried various others here and there but nothing felt any better. I once tried some Gibson plastic picks and they literally disintegrated between my fingers while playing metal. :)
     
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  11. TLR_

    TLR_ TDPRI Member

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    As far as I can remember. And I'm not sure of the correct numbers -
    Gibson 351 Mediums
    Fender 351 Mediums
    Dunlop Tortex .88
    Dunlop Jazz III (a bag of them sent to me by a generous member of this forum many, many years ago)
    Dunlop Jazztone 204
    Fender 358 Extra Heavy
     
  12. Iago

    Iago Friend of Leo's

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    The first picks I noticed I really liked were nylons... regular shaped and about .88-1mm thick. Before that I was playing stiff, plastic picks, thin picks, pretty much everything.
    Then I tried Dunlop Tortex green, .88mm. I liked the apparent extra brightness and volume. I took me a year or two to notice there were a couple things I didn't like about it, though: it would wear down fast and it would slip between my fingers once the fingertips started getting sweaty. I dropped picks EVERY gig or rehearsal then. And also, I didn't like the "clicky" sound it made when hitting the strings - or at least after I noticed that, it seemed to become louder evey time time I played hehe.

    About 10 years ago, I tried small, teadrop-shaped celluloid picks (Fender heavies, actually) for the first time because I noticed Roy Buchanan, Jim Campilongo and Danny Gatton used those. Loved it. It helped me to play faster and more accurately and it didn't "click" like the Tortex did. Still, there was a problem: they would wear down even faster than the green Tortex (at least by then I had learned to sand the holding portion with a rough piece of sandpaper to give it more of a grip). ;

    A couple years later, I found about the Dunlop Jazz III Carbon Max Grip - which had been out for 1 year, if memory helps - and some claims of it being super resistant and grippy. I knew about Jazz III picks but had never used one. The reviews were definitely right and to this day, this is my favorite pick. I still dig the old, regular Dunlop nylon picks (mostly for strumming) and other Jazz III variations (like the regular red Jazz III and the Eric Jonhson one).

    I think my pick history has to do a lot with my development as a player - after playing for 5 years or so, I focused on playing the lead parts much more, which brought me to a search for more control and precision when picking. I found that small, sharp pointed, stiff picks help me a lot in that aspect.

    I found I do like nylon as a pick material and the "carbon" stuff Dunlop uses because it produces little pick noise when I hit the strings and it's "warm" sounding. I very rarely play other picks/materials nowadays.
     
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  13. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    Maybe it's a coincidence that I have been obsessing about picks for the last few days. Maybe it isn't a coincidence because there are a lot of threads about picks.

    My picks, Fender Mediums, have been spinning between my fingers a lot for the last couple of years and it is a real nuisance trying to keep them straight while playing. I've been doing a lot of experimentation and I think my favorite picks will be D’Andrea Snarling Dog Brain Guitar Picks. 1.0mm thickness.
    [​IMG]


    I've read that they are very grippy but not annoyingly so. I haven't tried one yet but right now my favorite pick is a 1.0 mm nylon pick with 400 grit sandpaper glued to both sides of the BRAIN area. It is comfortable and really grippy.

    If the BRAIN isn't grippy enough, Cool Cat Tongue's are even more prickly but they are probably overkill.
     
  14. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Dunlop 1.14 Max Grip.
     
  15. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    1. Fender Extra Heavy torts.
    2. Dunlop Tortex blue and purple
    3. Mostly Tortex blues, but also playing more with whatever hard plastic I grab that isn't too thin, and has the standard pick shape. Sometimes the really cheap-o hard plastic personalized music store picks feel great, if you can find one on the thicker side.
     
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  16. SixgunElectric

    SixgunElectric TDPRI Member

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    Not a very exciting or interesting history....

    Started out with Fender heavies, just by default I suppose.
    Tried a few different things here n' there but always stayed with the Fender heavies until I discovered the Dunlop Tortex .88 (greens) and I've used those for the better part of 30 years until very recently when I switched to the yellow Tortex picks.
    Ive had to switch to lighter guage strings (9-42) and the thinner yellow Tortex helps me to compensate when I am a bit too heavy handed for the .009s.
    lulZ
     
  17. bb_matt

    bb_matt Tele-Meister

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    A variety of Dunlops I now never use and didn't much anyway, so Sharkfin by landstrom (http://www.sharkfin.eu/about_sharkfin/) is the only pickup I now use.
    They have been quite difficult to get hold of in recent years (in the UK anyway), but my wife got me 50 for Christmas last year, which - unless I start gigging again - is a lifetime supply :D

    I do a lot of finger picking too, but not with finger picks, I keep three nails on my right hand long, being lucky enough to have very strong nails which grow quickly.

    That does mean if I don't have a plectrum to hand, I can still play, but obviously there's nowhere near as much power with accuracy.
     
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  18. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Holic

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    Oh...history. Can't remember which pick I started with. Any at hand.

    Later on as I played classical guitar with having to have nails on my picking hand:

    1. As large surface as possible, so nails didn't get in the way. Fender medium heavies.
    2. Then Jim Dunlop black "stiffos".
    3. Pointy and sharp edged for pinched harmonics in distorted metal. Ibanez. Large ones but with sharp pointy tip.
    4. Since I discovered that you can alter sound the most, by changing picks, I used extremely thin (plastic bag thin) Landstrom Sharkfin pickups, the red, green, and white ones sometimes. The serrated edge to. Perfect for strumming on acoustic 12 string. And when playing jazzboxes with flatwound strings and neck pickup only: stone picks, "MIND" stone picks. Took some 4-5 years to master grip on stone picks. But the tone I got. The tone. Whacked the **** out of the strings. The Pat Martino years of mine... :)

    So for a while I used everything and anything in between these:

    stonepick.jpg

    and these:

    sharkfin.jpg

    Depending on purpose. Strumming, shredding, sweeping, alternate, and the kitchen sink thrown in too. If needed.

    5. Later on when I gave up classical guitar, and got rid of the nails (kept breakin' them all of the time in everyday situations anyway) I finally nailed (ha) in on focusing on one or two a) shapes b) thickness/hardness c) tip more rounded. Formerly I thought Dunlop Jazz II and III where for girls, and too tiny but since I got rid of nails I use them now, almost exclusively.

    6. I had a period of teardrop stonepicks, because it resides between the fingers without dislocating. I don't like when string cause the pick to alter angles before it has that slingshot effect on the string/pick. Teardrop keeps it in place because of the lever effect.

    7. Stone picks never have consistency, and if you drop one, or get rid of one, you can't ever buy exactly the same. So if you have spent years on honing in on ONE pick only, you can't buy another one that's exactly the same. But this is/was - still - the pick I got the most mileage out of. It's a little too chirpy on acoustic guitars, but the tricks, and uses on electric is pretty unlimited. If I want a "softer pick" I just lighten up the grip on it, and it starts to flex like a soft pick anyway. You can do heavy metal slides along the string to no end, without it wearing, and do a lot of bagpipe effects by tapping with the pick on its side and use it as a fretting device. Also numerous other "chinese koto sounds", bird, and seagull effects because it's hard and can act like a "miniature slide". To top it off, there's not any other pick that can take the same amount of shredding without wearing out. The stone picks was where I could play the fastest on, once honing it, since it had a very polished surface, and rounded tip, so the strings slid off more quickly.

    8. But as time wore on, if I changed stone pick, I was back to square one. And I thought I can't rely on a pick that - if lost - will give me some woodshedding time again. So these days it's the Dunlop EJ II red ones, which feels and sounds the best. The black ones seems to snag, bind when doing fast alternate picking, the red ones rolls off pretty effortless. And I even notice a difference in angle attack if the "signature" Eric Johnson print logo is faced down, and the Jim Dunlop brand logo is faced upwards.

    It's funny that I think these works for acoustic, jazz, metal, blues, hard rock just as well. I've come to think that pick is just as an important thing as a violinists violin bow. You may sell your stradivarius, but if you lose your bow, it takes 4-5 years to hone in a new one. These picks can be consistent although they wear, and if I get new ones, they perform the same. There are huge difference in feel, between the regular red Jazz II and III (the modern ones) and EJ signature ones. The EJ's have a little different ... flange ... to them at the tip so to speak.

    But still if I have to strum and bang hardly on any acoustic jumbo, for comping chords, the black big stiffos are my best bet.
     
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  19. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Holic

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    The story of Landstrom Sharkfin picks is that old Yes stalwart Trevor Rabin used them exclusivley. When in London in the 80s he heard a rumour that they were about to go bankrupt, so he panicked and went out to buy all of them in any shop, and emptied their stash of them. Probably was that what kept them going out of business (not even probably). Landstrom scrathed his head here in Sweden, and wondered ... wtf... and then probably a sigh of relief... ;-)
     
  20. DFB1

    DFB1 Tele-Meister

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    Fender medium to Tortex 1mm to V-Picks.
    I use a few different V-Picks, mostly Trad and Stiletto.
     
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