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How do you pick the pick?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by rooboo, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

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    All of us guitarists know that the pick we use have large inpact in the sound. But eventhough we all know this it's largely overlooked. I for one have used a couple of different sizes and thicknesses over the years. But every time I've changed it has always come down to playability. Never sound.

    How do you guy's approach this?
    a) as me, play the pick that feels right and once in every blue moon change to another size/brand/thickness that suddenly felt better
    or
    b) play a lot of picks and really listen to what sounds the best.

    Just curious…

    I play more and more with bare hands, but when I pick it's with Jazz III's.


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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  2. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    It can be surprising how much difference different materials can make to the plucked sound. I used the celluloid plastic picks, med or heavy, for a long time, then I read a thread like this where some were saying how much they liked tortex or other types, so I decided to sample a bunch of different materials and thicknesses... nylon, tortex, delrin, ultex, etc.
    I’ve mostly settled on these, but occasionally experiment with others:

    3D830505-431B-418F-9A95-036370F00E8D.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  3. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

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    As a learner, the impact that a pick can have on how I play and the sound you get surprised me. I started out with a very light and flexible pick but have sort of settled on a Dunlop Max Grip 0.88mm - at least for now.

    I suspect I'll chop and change a bit as I improve.
     
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  4. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like thick picks that don’t flex and don’t have a ‘pick click’ sound. I don’t mind trying different picks, but these 2 criteria are crucual for me and somewhat limiting.

    Nothing smaller than 1.5mm. Usually 2.00 is what I play.
     
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  5. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've gravitated back to mostly using bare fingers and thumb although I still sometimes use a plastic thumbpick. On occasions where I use a regular pick, it will probably be a Jazz III or similar.
     
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  6. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

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    Dunlop makes my got to pick, the dark orange tortex 50 mm and when I wanna digin I use an
    ultex jazz 2 mm
     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I love Dunlop EJ Jazz IIIs.
    They “sound” best, to me.
    They are lightweight, and are great for strumming or soloing.
    They have a “warm” string attack, and don’t click or flex.
    I also like Dunlop Ultex Jazz IIIs, and John Petrucci models, but the EJs are my “go to” pick.
    I cant stand the celluloid or nylon picks, but sometimes use thin nylon picks for fast acoustic rhythm parts.
     
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  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I played the same pick for decades, then grabbed a handful of different types and ended up changing. I now have 3 or 4 preferences depending on what i'm playing.
    The only rule is they need to cost under a buck fifty each.
     
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  9. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted

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    My local shop has a bucketfull at the counter. Buy them as cheap singles.

    When I go in there, I'll rifle through the bucket. Find a nice thick one and go to flinging it on the counter. I like one that has a nice musical plink on the counter.

    Sometimes I leave with several, take them home. The last time I did that, I went to the store the next day and bought a pack of one of the ones I brought home. I now use that pick exclusively and LOVE it.

    You'll never know until you try them out.
     
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  10. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

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    This is just as me. More and more fingers, but when pick I play a Jazz III.


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  11. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

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    Hmm… I play regular Jazz III's. What's the difference in the Eric J version?
     
  12. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I do the same but use the jazz 3 with the grip. That grip is extreme when you use a new one. Acoustic I use a few different picks depending on the sound I want.
     
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  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    They are significantly lighter weight, and have Eric Johnson Tx embossed (raised) on one side.
    Makes me play just like him.;)
     
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  14. WideAwake

    WideAwake Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Anita Bonghit

    Anita Bonghit Tele-Meister

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    I use Cool Picks {thin} for rhythm and V Pick Switchblade or Blackhole when its time to burn. The V Picks are very long and pointy, works for me.
     
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  16. Les H

    Les H Tele-Holic

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    I played rock with Fender 351 extra heavy for years and when I got into playing country with a tele I read an article with Bill Kirchen stating he started using Fender mediums because he noticed with heavy picks he'd hit the strings so hard his notes would sound out of tune. I too noticed that once it was pointed out. So I went the medium route as well.

    I was given an orange tortex .60m pick by my drummer a couple years ago. Normally I wouldn't use a pick that thin but I accepted his gift and I fell in love with that pick. The tone was so much brighter compared to fender mediums and playing country I wanted that bright twang on the bass strings and that Orange pick did it in spades.

    I'd read a lot about the Herco Flex 50 and 75 picks I bought dunlop's offering. Don't know how they compare to the original but I don't care for the tone for country but do like them for rock.

    This week a received a pack of D Andrea 358 medium jazz picks and man they are tiny but they have a tone brighter than the Orange tortex that I really like but I have a gig coming up this weekend and I'm not sure I'm ready to use yet because I'm still getting used the small size. If D Andreas 351 medium pick is as bright as the jazz pick I'll be sold on them.
     
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  17. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    When I started playing I used Tortex picks. It took me a while to find them but I kept dropping the darn things. So I used fingers. Jeff beck, Richie Blackmore. All the country guys.

    I then picked up mandolin. You can’t really fingerpick a mandolin so I started looking for picks. I love v-picks. And dawg picks. And tortex.

    I kind of collect picks and scrabbling round for a pick I picked up a thin one. I didn’t like it. Interesting isn’t it. It makes a massive difference. Maybe inlybthe amp and the pickups make more of a difference.
     
  18. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    I started using Fender (tortex?) picks medium or heavy because that's what my brother used. About 78 or 79 he must've gotten a black 1mm Dunlop nylon by mistake, or maybe I bought one to try. At any rate I liked the Dunlop because it didn't wear out so dammed fast.
    40 years later I still use the same Dunlops and my brother still uses the Fenders. Through therapy we've finally started taking again.
     
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  19. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I use V-Picks, Snake 4mm thickness. Anything less than 2.75mm seems foreign. I have tried different thicknesses and for now have settled on this one. The reason I like it is that I use almost no pressure on it to hold it and all 3 points are the same so it can be used without paying attention to the orientation of the pick.
     
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  20. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Afflicted

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    Have the usual amount (50-60) of various store bought picks lying around, but over the past few years have gone to making my own. Cut/grind to the general size (jazz 3) and mod to my liking...concave area for my thumb and slot for the index. Current favs are made out of old nickles, the other out of bone and then lignum vitae. Like my picks stout, about 1.5mm, smooth bevel, balanced feeling and able to hold on with a light touch.
     
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