1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Surprised how thicker picks really change the sound.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Revelation, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Revelation

    Revelation Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    166
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Location:
    PA
    I preferred med picks and used the standard ones for over 20 years. However with playing with a Hillsong type worship band I found they were playing iejt heavier picks like the blue tortoise picks and it really changed the sound I was getting, especially with the Tele. That country twang is really reduced and you get a thicker sound. So depending on what style your playing not only is the amp settings important but the pick you choose as well.
     
  2. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,285
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    I've been playing heavy 2 millimeter picks for years. I play modern church music also, but one thing you should try are the herdim blue picks from Germany. Those are the ones The Edge from U2 uses, and that's where a lot of his sound comes from. People spend a ton of money on equipment and effects to get that sound, without even thinking about the picks. I had a package of these and they really made a difference. Then I played a gig at a barn and left them there by mistake, never to see them again.... rats!!!
     
    brobar, JustABluesGuy and Revelation like this.
  3. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,457
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Mt. Holly, NC USA
    Makes a HUGE difference. If you think it makes a difference with your Tele, try it on an acoustic sometime.

    Mostly an electric player, over the years I’ve gradually adopted heavier picks. I just prefer the feel, and believe it gives me a greater control over articulation and dynamics. That’s just me.

    Anyway, I always just used the same pick for acoustic playing, cuz hey, why not? But one day for one reason or another, I picked up a Fender medium for strumming my acoustic, and holy cow, it really seemed to wake up the tone. Specifically, it made it sound brighter, with a sharper attack and with more high harmonic overtones.

    I still prefer the feel of a heavy pick (Big Stubby 3mm), but when I switch to acoustic, I use a medium for the sound.
     
  4. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,254
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Location:
    S. CA
    1.5mm is the smallest I play, usually 2mm. I like a pick which doesn't flex.
     
  5. jamieorc

    jamieorc Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    694
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    I found out last year from my teacher how much difference in sound picks make. I was using standard medium picks. He handed me this thick, rounded pick a lot of jazz players use and I was shocked at the tonal difference. But then, using fingers vs pick changes the sound too, so upon reflection, I was less shocked about it. I'd just never thought about it before.
     
  6. mrmousey

    mrmousey Tele-Meister

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    471
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    Largo, Fl
    I use medium picks on acoustic because They give more Twang on the bass strings.
    On electric I use a heavy because the high strings sound fatter.
    My big secret (which I have never before divulged) is I cut serrations on one edge of the pick. The serrations give a more trebly sound on the bass strings and more "edge" when I really want to "dig in".
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.
  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,725
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    In space with Ziggy
    I first noticed the massive difference between different picks on acoustic. I'm working towards playing with fingers only and you can manipulate the sounds using skin and nail. Fast runs are a now slower and sloppier but it keeps things interesting.
     
  8. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    2,965
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Thickess and materials matter. Some picks are brighter and some warmer, depending on the material they are made of.
     
    lasrup likes this.
  9. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    3,861
    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I transitioned from playing with a flat pick to finger style a few years back. You'll get your speed back, I promise. There are things I play finger style that I just can't play with a pick. I'm not as fast hitting notes in series on the same string with my fingers as with a pick, but for anything combining notes on different strings, finger style is faster, easier, and more precise for me. You should know that I play country music and solo mostly off chords. This lends itself to finger style. Regarding picks, I still use flat picks, typically 0.88 or 1mm, especially with the bridge pickup on my Telecaster. I have a few harder Dunlop picks I like. I also like Tortex picks sometimes to blunt the attack. In my experience, the material a pick is made from has more of an effect on tone than the weight of the pick. Heavy picks just feel funny to me and if I don't like how a pick feels in my fingers, I won't use it.
     
  10. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,339
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Location:
    Earth
    I experimented with different picks and have ended up deciding I'm happy with .70 picks on both my guitars. I sunk some money into fancy picks, for example I have a Blue Chip. A lot of the big picks are also the bigger triangular shape and I've decided I don't like that, I like the teardrop shape.

    My acoustic is a smaller bodied Taylor, it is plenty bright, the big thick/rigid picks actually make it brighter/more metallic and contribute much more pick noise. It's not an improvement, particularly for strumming. The big picks seem to allow you to put more energy into the strings and it's probably overdriving the top or something? I could where this could have an opposite effect if you have a big dark voiced guitar and want to brighten it up. I'm playing the acoustic more with my fingers (no long fingernails) and bare fingers have the opposite effect of moving to bigger/more rigid picks, the brighter guitar becomes warmer and the attack is softer and it sounds amazing.

    On my Tele the big picks likewise seem to require more care not to put too much energy into the string so don't seem like an improvement. This could be related to me using the standard 9-42 strings I guess. Likewise fingerpicking the Tele is very interesting too, lots of crazy sounds in there that you can get with your fingers that you don't necessarily get with a pick.

    Maybe if I forced myself to use these thicker picks for months I'd adapt and start to get some better sounds out of them but it's hard for me to want to do that when on initial use for almost any music I play they sound worse on both guitars.
     
    karpis likes this.
  11. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    3,245
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Location:
    Meiners Oaks CA.
    I've gone to the blue .96mm gator picks from Dunlop. I had been using the heavier 1.5mm green ones.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  12. kubiakl

    kubiakl Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    370
    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I went from those red Dunlop Tortex picks (super thin) to a mandolin pick (fairly thick, rounded, Dunlop Americana), to those Adamas graphite ones. I was surprised at the difference too but really like the thicker pick now.
     
  13. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    1,627
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    Reston, Virginia
    I only use Wegen picks when I play electric, and when I play electric you can believe it's a telecaster....

    [​IMG]

    not sure why they call it a bluegrass pick, but it's hard as a rock and there is no bend when you play. They can last me years, yes, years they are that good. Yes the point gets a bit dull after about a year but that doesn't bother me....I love em'....ymmv....

    RJ
     
  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    54,858
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
  15. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    1,917
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    I had the exact same experience with my Guild D-40, which has a lot of bottom end.

    I've been using Fender Heavy picks forever but had to switch to Mediums on the D-40, which balanced things out perfectly.

    But, like you, I still prefer Heavys on most of my electrics though...

    '
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  16. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,810
    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Picks are like shoes my friends. Don't use your hiking boots at the beach, and don't mountain climb with your tennis shoes...

    Tool for the task, yada.
     
    JustABluesGuy and karpis like this.
  17. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,825
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    I've found different kinds of guitars sound better with different kinds of picks. My resonator guitar, which is my main acoustic, sounds and feels best with the Wegen Bluegrass picks (1.2 mm I think?). Electric guitars like a thick pick with a sharp point. I'm using Jazz III XLs. I agree with the point of this thread, that the kind of pick makes a huge difference in sound.
     
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    23,144
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Hahahaha I tried a variety when i learned to play and settled on the white Fender heavy.
    I couldn't really get much of any sort of sound out of thinner picks on my acostic with a .013 set.
    After a couple of years Fender changed the plastic in the white fender heavy, and I was all in a panic because the new formula wore fast, dragged on the strings, and sounded "off".
    For a few years until the modern aftermarket pick boom, I protected that one remaining white Fender medium with my life!

    Now I use a pickboy metacarbonate, which is a three ply laminated stiff slippery pick that suits my needs.
    I don't think in terms of the sound of the pick as much as the ability to get all the sounds I need with it.
    If pickboy stops making them IDK what I'll do!
     
  19. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,664
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Location:
    not houston
    for years i used nothing but the .88 green tortex, but then got some red jazzIIIs and really liked them.
    then i tried the jazz III XL, and it is all i use now.
    i tried to use a green tortex the other day and it felt too big, lol.
    IMG_20170522_232347.jpg
     
    asnarski and Chunkocaster like this.
  20. karpis

    karpis Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    790
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    Lithuania, Vilnius
    Heavier picks for electric and lighter for acoustic. On electric I settled for Dunlop Ultex 0.90, they feel stiffer than other and lasts for a long time.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.