pick nitpickery

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by mexicanyella, May 5, 2016.

  1. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    I would like to hear tdpri-er's thoughts on what guitar picks they prefer, and why. Why does one like a particular thickness, material, shape...are you sensitive to how it grabs/releases the string(s) as you play? Are you sensitive to the frequencies it generates/attenuates due to its material or texture and finish? Do you favor a particular shape because of some grip-related reason? Do you not give a squit about pick type and feel like this is navel-gazing hooey?Discuss.

    Here's me nerding out on pick thoughts:

    I have been alternating between the roughly triangular Fender heavies--both white and tortoiseshell celluloid--and the slightly more triangular Dunlop Ultex 1.0mm picks for awhile now, and noticing that the Fender tort heavies feel too slick to me and sound thinner and wimpier. I really like the sort of "round" sounding attack of the white Fender heavies, and whether this is due to gentler-shaped points or the texture and material I'm not sure. The Dunlop Ultex, with their sharper points, make picking accurately a little easier for me but they don't sound as nice to me. The Ultex material is pretty rigid and strumming smoothly requires a looser grip because of this.

    I am miserable with any pick I've tried that's much thinner than 1.0mm, though. I like to dig in. And the triangular shape preference of late is mostly due to noticing that my hands have gotten a little stiffer and more arthritic as I bumble my way through my later 40s. The larger, three-pointed shape is a little easier to hold onto and seems to fit my short, stubby-fingered and increasingly stiff hand.

    Finally, a major tonal thing I find myself shooting for in pick choice is that I want my single-note and double-stop playing on the plain strings to be reminiscent of pedal steel tone. I use a pick-and-fingers approach, I like the picked notes to be as similar in timbre to the finger notes as possible, and I like a pretty clean amp that's kind of loud. Of the picks I've tried, the white Fender heavy triangles with their kind of gently pointed corners seem to get me closest to that with whatever picking technique I have.
     
  2. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

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    My pick of choice is the grey nylon Dunlop .88. When I first started playing I tried a few different thicknesses and I found .88 was the right balance between having a little give for light playing and strong enough to stay firm when you really dig in.

    It's probably just what I'm used to but the nylon feels nicer to me than plastic, tortex, etc. My one gripe would be I wished they lasted a bit longer. I haven't really considered tonal properties.

    Dunlop .88 - feels like home :)
     
    Tony474 likes this.
  3. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Whatever thickness my thumbnail and pinky nail are... ;)
     
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  4. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I just use my. . .never mind
     
  5. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I thought Fender Mediums were required by law?

    Actually I recently switched to Herco medium flat thumb picks. I've always like the thickness of a medium. In the last few years, I started to hybrid pick much more often. The old trick of slipping the pick between the thumb and side of the palm didn't work for the style I was playing. So a thumb pick was logically, but the typical thumb pick shape did not work for me. The flat pick style thumb pick filled the gap nicely for me.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  6. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Mine are so light when I pluck a note it comes right back to hit the string on the back side. If you blow on them you can
    see them quiver in the air. Dunlop nylon .38 Absolute lightest. Talk about pinch harmonics..
    Now acoustics are another story.
     
    moosie likes this.
  7. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    My recent go-to has been an old credit card and a 351 pick punch. For some reason, gift cards / old credit cards have the right stiffness for me. Plus, as a bonus, if you punch the pick with the raised numbers at the top, it makes them easier to hold on to.
     
  8. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]

    Variety is the spice of life!
     
  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I prefer Dunlop Eric Johnson Jazz IIIs.
    They are stiff, but light, small and easy to manipulate.
    I use em' exclusively, no matter what guitar or style of music I play.
    Love em'!
     
  10. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    Where does one get a pick punch? What a great idea!

    I have tried Jazz IIIs and liked the stiffness and feel of the material, but the size/shape didn't work for me. I tried Stubbies and Big Stubbies and liked them for single-note stuff but strumming felt weird to me.
     
  11. Zachevans3

    Zachevans3 Tele-Meister

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    I like Dunlop Tortex .88's because they just feel the best and have just the right amount of give, also they have a turtle on them. :)
     
    Flaneur likes this.
  12. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't care about neck sizes/radii and I don't care about pick size/thickness/materials. I am easy that way. if I need a pick any will do, fingers are fine too.
     
  13. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Cool Jazz for electric. I like the smaller size, pointy end, and grippy texture.
     
  14. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  15. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Jim Dunlop Nylon Standard .88 mm. I need a thick pick to be able to live up to my name.:D
     
    Tony474 likes this.
  16. YellowBullet

    YellowBullet Tele-Meister

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    I prefer fingers but ultex .73 are the ones i find in my pockets usually in case i need a pick.
     
  17. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Ultem, pretty stiff ones, and a couple Blue Chips for acoustic. Took me some time to figure out the Blue Chips but now I just love 'em.

    Played jazz pick heavies years ago but think my arthritic hands just can't grip 'em right anymore. I've tried but no go.
     
  18. mitchfinck

    mitchfinck Tele-Holic

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    I use Dunlop Gator Grip 2.0mm and Dunlop Big Stubby 3.0mm typically.
    I also have a pick punch that I use on whatever seems hard and thick enough. Innuendo unintended.
     
  19. axlej11

    axlej11 TDPRI Member

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    Dunlop John Petrucci Jazz III's. I like their size, stiffness, and grip. Became my favorite after using Fender heavy's for a while.
     
  20. justin.ramsey

    justin.ramsey Tele-Holic

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    .88 tortex sharps
     
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