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Pick Thickness

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by jbtocino, May 20, 2005.

  1. jbtocino

    jbtocino TDPRI Member

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    For years I have been playing with Big Stubby 3.0mm picks, but the other night at a gig, I was forced to use a medium pick (like a dummy I left my bag of picks at home). I had trouble with the flexibility of it, but I also noticed that I believe I got siginificantly more twang. Was I dreaming, or does this have some validity. If so, I will try to wean myself of the Big Stubby's, even though it will take awhile. Any comments would be appreciated.
     
  2. lenny

    lenny Banned

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    i use thin flexible picks (which to me are labeled medium)for more brightness on the acoustic. i try to find ones with the most stiffness, in the least thickness.
    i found some dunlop picks that are transperent purple, labeled "jim dunlop, usa, -m-" and work great.
    i've also filed the tip of a pick like a big stubby, so it is pointier, for a brighter sound, and used more rounded ones for a more mellow sound, and sometimes easier speed
    anyway, no i don't think you were dreaming :)
    i've been using all sorts of picks lately for different results, and to expiriment... i guess i need to get out more :p
     
  3. DrewB

    DrewB Tele-Afflicted

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    I had one of those in my pick stash, and it's the one I reach for with the Tele. It seems to promote twang the best of all the picks I have. I use Clayton Ultem .94mm for all my other guitars.
     
  4. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Talk about a can of worms...

    Recently I have started going to jobs/practices with four (4) picks in my pocket - green, blue, purple Dunlops and a 1.2 mm Clayton Ultem. Except the times that a 2 or 3 mm Dunlop makes the trip as well.

    Between them I can usually find something that will keep me happy for the evening.
     
  5. tellypicker

    tellypicker Tele-Meister

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    i was going to post this on the big strings big tone thread but didn't. now it seems like the time. in my opinion, and we all know what that's worth, a huge factor in anyones tone is the pick and the right hand attack. i believe way more so than string gauge. just try it and you will see. the heavier the pick, the darker the tone. go towards medium and the brightness increases. also, how hard you whop the strings with the pick. now, for the heavy handed hard pickers and you know who you are, in that instance a thicker string will give you a more noticable tone, but i bet most average pickers, myself included are a bit lighter with the right hand. for those players, the thickness of the pick really affects the tone. again, jmho.

    pick on.

    oh, and i've used most every pick and thickness out there over the years, and have a huge jar filled with most every type and color there is. there really is a huge difference in tone.
     
  6. clayfeat

    clayfeat Tele-Afflicted

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    I got into this discussion with a guitar playing buddy of mine recently. We both like the heavier picks with the guitars that have single coils.....lighter picks for the guitars with humbuckers. I have no idea why but we both came to that conclusion on our own.
     
  7. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've noticed this as well. But regardless of how many types/thicknesses of picks I try at home I always go back to a black nylon 1mm Dunlop when I gig. About 4 songs in at the latest.
     
  8. DAVIS T. BONE

    DAVIS T. BONE TDPRI Member

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    1.0 Dunlop (purple) picks have been in my case for many years. By changing the grip or the angle the pick hits the string, I get enough variation in tone. Works for me on either electric or acoustic guitars. Hope this helps.
     
  9. teleduster

    teleduster Banned

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    Tone...

    ...gets fatter as the pick gets thicker. Applies to strings as well.
     
  10. captain gorgeous

    captain gorgeous Tele-Afflicted

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    you're all wrong!

    :D

    only kidding dude.

    this has got to me to the most subjective thread ever but i can't believe we're nearly in double figures post-wise and on-one has said ORANGE! yet.

    like anyone cares. but my but my persoanll comfort zone is orange (.70mm?) dunlop on electrically amplified shennanigans and the thinner (?mm) RED ones on acoustical strummy stuff. that or my (1200mm?) fingers...

    the good things about fingers is that you don't lose them so often.
     
  11. Joe-Bob

    Joe-Bob Doctor of Teleocity

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    Not only does pick thickness effect tone, but the material does also. Celluloid sounds different than plastic, which is different from delrin or ultex. We could save alot of $$$ on pups, tubes and speakers if we would try out different picks. 8)
     
  12. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Tele-Holic

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    I never really paid attention to the tone of a pick until I started using thick green "Gator Grip" picks. I don't know what they are made of, but they sound amazing. Can't switch back now.
     
  13. harlycarly

    harlycarly Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Ditto, Captain!!

    this has got to me to the most subjective thread ever but i can't believe we're nearly in double figures post-wise and on-one has said ORANGE! yet.

    like anyone cares. but my but my persoanll comfort zone is orange (.70mm?) dunlop on electrically amplified shennanigans and the thinner (?mm) RED ones on acoustical strummy stuff. that or my (1200mm?) fingers...

    the good things about fingers is that you don't lose them so often.[/quote]

    I almost didn't post to this because I figured I'm the only idiot in the world that feels the exact same way!! I mess around with all sorts of picks, but prefer the same Orange (50mm) and Red (58mm) Dunlops as well as those permanently locatable fingers.

    Just hope your playing isn't as lousy as mine......
     
  14. PSWoods

    PSWoods Tele-Meister

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    In the Fender celluloid spectrum (for reference) I go thin for acoustic strumming chords, medium for most stuff, heavy (flipped over to round end on strings) for jazz or anything else big round and emotionally cool.

    I find that heavier has darker rounder fuller tone, is easier to control single notes.

    For me lighter gives more brightness and expressive range, but is a little sloppier to control.

    Then there's fingers...
     
  15. Mik

    Mik Tele-Afflicted

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    Picks topic up again. I guess it's been a while...

    Picks affect picking speed and attack, and those affect tone, of course. Finally, I've come around to using several types, brands and thicknesses. Why be locked into just one? My standard is stilll the small thick stubby Dunlop Jazz II and III, black and red picks. But I rediscovered the lighter, thinner Dunlop nylon picks, .80mm I think, and a lighter thinner pick is not just for rhythm, a lighter attack can produce a sweet lead or arpeggio tone.

    And picks don't require batteries, AC or cables.

    Mik
     
  16. Fatmanstratman

    Fatmanstratman Poster Extraordinaire

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    Jim Dunlops...

    Its a USA Nylon .73mm Jim Dunlops for me (the dark grey ones). Never use anything else.

    Except of course for my acoustics, when I use the slightly thinner guage JD's (light grey).

    It's a preference thing ;)
     
  17. Ian

    Ian Tele-Afflicted

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    I too used to use the Stubby 3mm "cough drop" pick and boy, you can get an AWFULL lot of picking speed with those. At the time, I used a real Distorted tone, but as my style changed to a primarily clean tone, I found the 3mm was too clicky,and gradually changed to a Jazz III,and finally a Fender JZ X-heavy.
    I find switching picks for tone more with acoustic instruments. My Larrivee L-05 is super sensitive to pick thicknesses,I use a Fender Medium 60% of the time, but if I'm doing alot of faster picking, I'll use the JZ. The thinner pick does give a crisper sound,and is great for strumming. The Mandolin is sensitive too, for Bluegrass stuff,a thicker pick is a must for the thicker tone and picking control. However ,I use a medium for Irish/NFLD music. The medium is great for tremolo picking too.
    CHEERS!!!
     
  18. Eppo Franken

    Eppo Franken Tele-Meister

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    Homemade 3.0 mm....!!!!!!

    For the last 20 years, I think, I use my own homemade picks made of an old teatable....

    The material is called Melamine, which you see a lot in ashtrays, dishes.. etc...etc..
    And... it is very very hard stuff.

    I can't play with a normal pick anymore....!!
    It helps me create a good sound at every speed of playin'


    Eppo
    The
     
  19. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I have been using 1.14 pics for years when I read an article were Bill Kirchen said that after switching to medium pics he experienced a more open sound.
    I did it too and I couldn't believe at how much more open and twangy my sound got.
    I attack the guitar ferrociously though and I still believe that this works better for players who are really agressive.(the strings don't choke so much when you hit them HARD with a lighter pic)
    the best pics I've ever tried are the DUNLOP ULTEX 0.73 ;)
     
  20. JDC

    JDC Tele-Holic

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    Another nod to the "ORANGE" camp....I use Delrin orange (which I believe is .60mm) and I never use the pointy end of the pick...always the rounded edges.
    I also have a "spare" tucked into the pickguard of my Tele....Stainless Steel...(the pick, not the pickguard lol)
     
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