Do Picks Wear Out Like Strings?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Flat6Driver, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    A few years back, I moved up to 1mm Tortex blues. For everything, electric and acoustic.

    After a discussion with some folks about acoustics, some folks use different (thinner) picks for that. I bought a sampler pack and found that I like the .73mm (or maybe .88mm) Flex Tortex. They seem to give a little more "snap" when playing acoustic. When I go back to the 1mm, it felt a little "dead" or "dull".

    At one point, I really liked the 1mm blues. Maybe my ear has changed but got me thinking do picks ever wear out? Not lose the edge, but just tire out? (I don't lose things, so anything I use tends to have been around a while).
     

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  2. logans_tele

    logans_tele Tele-Meister

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    I think its just the edge that wears down. I've never noticed any other deterioration on a pick. Well... unless you count dog teeth marks.
     
  3. pipethemike

    pipethemike TDPRI Member

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    Depends on the pick...I switched to Blue Chip picks a couple of years ago. The Blue Chip TD 35 is as thick as a yellow tortex but as stiff as a green. I love it! They are expensive, but this one i have now i've been using for about a year.
     
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  4. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    In my experience they get lost before they wear out. I've never heard anyone say that picks go 'off' like strings do.
     
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  5. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Like someone said above, it depends on the material they're made of. For years I used Fender Mediums, and I wore a few of them down to round oval shapes. Now I use the yellow Dunlop Tortex .73 and they don't wear near as fast. I do dig grooves into the side when I scrape it against the strings, something I've always done.

    Oh, and yes, I do lose a lot more than I wear out.
     
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  6. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I wear out the shape of the point, they get less pointy and worn to a bevel on one side. I use D'Andrea Pro thick picks.
     
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  7. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Yep, I usually wear a Fender Medium into a oval shape. I do not notice a difference in the attack, but that is just me.
     
  8. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    My 2mm picks last about a year before they get too rounded on the edges for me to articulate my picking correctly. My strings lasts about a year or until I get around to changing 'em. So, it's about even.
     
  9. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    "if you have to ask... then you can't afford it". if you can't visibly see that they are worn out... then I'm guessing no?
    I like all sorts... but I use stubby/jazz for alt picking fast... I don't even play that much these days but even switching around from pick to pick to fingers... a stubby is no longer sharp after maybe 2 months? It is visibly rounded off.
    for acoustic type I use thin picks... again after so much strummin' the corner gets worn flat and it's time to toss.

    not like I couldn't keep wearing them down but it's a pick... I'm so rich I can afford several of them! truly decadent!
     
  10. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Everything wears out eventually...
     
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  11. pipethemike

    pipethemike TDPRI Member

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    i haven't lost a pick since i got this wallet
     

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  12. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    take a razor blade and reshape the edges. good to go
     
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  13. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

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    Cheaper plastic ones will break in two. The Fender celluloid ones wear down over time. The nylon ones get knicks in the sides if you pickscrape. I use 1mm Max Grip Dunlop’s for electrics and the .88 version for acoustics. I almost always lose them before they show signs of wear. I also try to keep my Perri’s Leather Guitar Pick Keychain full of backups. Plus I keep a few in my wallet....and in my vehicle....and my wife carries a few just in case I find myself without keys, vehicle and wallet but WITH her and a guitar....lol, now that I type it out, it seems perhaps unnecessary.
     
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  14. Brokenpick

    Brokenpick Tele-Afflicted

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    I got the impression that the OP's question included more than the shape wear, -but also the snap. This can vary based on the types of plastics that're involved, and the type of pick(thickness and such). Manufacturers don't always use state of the art(expensive) materials for all picks. So, it's reasonable to assume that thin picks, after flexing many, many times, either become less likely to snap back to their original self- or, become less flexible, and lose that initial flex and snap capability. This is an inherent trait in most plastics.
    I favor stiff/thick picks, and am not putting THAT many rigorous hours on playing, so I don't have a lot of examples to refer to.
    But I have noticed thin picks seeming to lose a little something- and some, ultimately breaking as well.
     
  15. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, "snap". Then again the ones I use are made of Delrin (I think that's what Tortex is). I paid big money to put Delrin bushings on my race car. They are hard and the ride is uncomfortable. I'm putting a lot more force into the race car suspension than my Martin. So, maybe I have convinced myself it's all in my head!
     
  16. TheMindful

    TheMindful Tele-Meister

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    Tire out? I have no clue what that means in context of a pick. You could use one pick til it's barely a nub if you wanted. I use Pickboy Jazz 1.5mm and the way they feel and sound fresh lasts maybe an hour and then it hits a kind of sweet spot for maybe 2-3 more hours. After that it starts sounding noticeably thinner and doesn't grab the string quite as well. I probably use one pick for about a week until grabbing a fresh one.
     
  17. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    a good way to reshape picks is to rub them on carpet.
    i used to use the green tortex but then tried the jazzIII XLs and really like them. they seem to last forever. now, regular size picks feel too big. here is a green tortex, a jazzIII XL, and a jazzIII for comparison.
    IMG_20170522_232347.jpg
     
  18. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    I've been using Delrin picks for about 6 years now. Never worn one out or broke it.
    They lose a bit of their grip, after a while, so I hatch mark them with a razor knife to increase the grip

    The Dunlop JazzIII are also available in carbon fiber if you want to make sure they never break....
    Delrin is used in alot of high voltage applications, its mighty tough stuff. Wonder if they can make guitar strings out of it?
     
  19. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    I do that when new. When the grip area is smooth and the whole thing is shiny that's about when I toss it.
     
  20. Bowpickins

    Bowpickins Tele-Meister

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    I use the fender celluloid heavy picks. As far as "worn out", I just notice the edge of the pick lose it's point and sort of go flat. Normally I manage to lose them before they get to that point, but if I gig heavily, I do notice the gradual change.
     
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