When Do You Toss Out a Pick?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by tele-rain, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. tele-rain

    tele-rain Friend of Leo's

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    As I continue to critique my progress, trying to pinpoint why the mistakes I make happen over and over, my pick use is now under scrutiny. Many times I am hitting the right notes, but the pick doesn't make contact with the string. I have now been trying to hold it such that more of the pick is extended out, but that's not always comfortable, I don't have as much control. I am also wondering if it's a matter of the pick wearing down and the tip rounding off, so it doesn't hit the strings exactly each time. Which brings me to my questions, do you typically toss one out once it shows signs of wearing down a bit, or just wait until you inevitably lose it and grab a fresh one?
     
  2. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Friend of Leo's

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    I use either a Herco 'thumbpick/flatpick' ( exactly what it sounds like), Tortex teardrop ( for electric, .73) or Fender teardrop- ALL gauged Medium and use them until the point looses its edge and becomes a 'circle'
    Nothing last too long, but I love the feel and tone
     
  3. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    I wouldn't use a rounded down pick but I honestly can't remember the last time I threw one out. I bought a bulk box of 70 picks a few years back but mostly I go to my box of used picks which has about 10 - they are all pretty usable but sometimes I'll be more or less fussy than other times.

    Also, doing pick scratches (sliding it along the length of the string) can kill them. I've thrown out a few of those.
     
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  4. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    I never throw picks out. They just kind of disappear and I pull a new one out of the package.
     
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  5. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I tend to lose mine before they wear out.
     
  6. Atiron

    Atiron TDPRI Member

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    I use Blue Chip picks. They last for years and I never throw them away. At $35 apiece, you wouldn't want to throw them away. If you haven't yet experimented with higher quality picks, then it could be an eye opening experience. But you don't have to jump onto the Blue Chip wagon right away. There are more reasonably priced choices, such as Dunlops Primetones that offer many of the benefits of the high-priced models. Many players find that a standard pick that is worn to just the right amount creates a bevel on the edge that makes it easier to pick with. Many of us have gone through a phase of shaping standard picks (typically with nail files) to find the perfect bevel. But it doesn't last long before the bevel gets worn down too much. The boutique picks typically have a bevel like a worn standard pick but they don't wear out so the bevel stays the same for a very long time. Picks of different thicknesses have different sounds (thinner ones are brighter, thicker ones take some high end off) and many players find their dexterity increases when they use thicker picks.
     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yup!
    I lose at least one at every gig.
    I used to wear Fender celluloid picks fairly quickly.
    That’s one of the reasons I quit using them.
     
  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I play mostly finger style and amputation isn’t really an option. For the times I use a pick, Dunlop for my acoustic and Annie, and Tortex for my Fenders and SG, there are plenty in the case and plenty more in a dish next to my amp. I rarely lose one unless my wife tosses it in a cleaning frenzy and I rarely wear one out. My wife can dump the dish in the casket with me. Never know when I might need one.
     
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  9. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Bit like socks.
     
  10. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I hold a pick (when I use one), with a minimum of the pick sticking out, as I tend to think of the pick as an extension of my nails, or in my case , of using one when my nails get too worn or damaged.
    Also I feel I have better control, and better feel/feedback from the strings.
     
  11. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Holic

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    “When do you toss out a pick?”
    When, and only when, the ladies in the front row have earned it.
    But seriously, I’ve never consciously discarded a guitar pick. When they get tired of my crap they leave on their own.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't know where they go, but I replace them often, but not from ever throwing them out.

    I know that I typically accidentally leave the nicely broken in ones while in music stores.:oops::lol:
     
  13. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    Right after I find one I connect with.
     
  14. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    You might like to try different shaped, textured and/or sized picks, in different gauges, as the pick you use may be moving around between your fingers, excessively, or flexing too much, under stress.

    To answer your question, I only throw away brittle, celluloid type picks and only when they have broken into pieces. :) Tortex types seem to last for ages and if the wear pattern gets too jagged, I'll sand paper them back into service.
     
  15. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    774F3719-BD39-40FF-8630-8A84869945BF.jpeg This pile of socks has been forming behind our dryer for some time now.. I suspect there as many picks in it as well... I’m not going in after them..
     
  16. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Afflicted

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    never thrown away a guitar pick, usually just lose them. you can buy them by the gross on amazon once you find one you like.

    I've got 3 or 4 types I use, but mostly stay with Delrin material, different thicknesses, 1.5mm and 1.17mm - thicker pick will give you more control, less flexing. also try cutting hash marks into your pick with a razor blade, that will give you more surface area and more contact points to grip the pick, giving more control.

    try playing with your finger instead of a pick and see if you are hitting the notes, you may be playing too fast and using your finger will slow you down a bit.

    unlike the illustrations in most basic guitar books, you shouldn't be holding the pick and only exposing a bit of the tip, you should have a firm purchase at the top of the pick and lots of the picking tip exposed and ready to hit the strings.

    course, whatever works for you, is in fact the right way...

    https://www.wikihow.com/Hold-a-Pick


    upload_2019-7-3_11-49-39.jpeg
    hashed up fender thin (to me) don't usually use these too floppy.

    upload_2019-7-3_11-52-46.jpeg
     
  17. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    Whether you stick it out a lot or a little, you'll still miss notes. Your brain is trying to hit that string with a specific point on the pick. Sometimes you miss. Physics implies that you'll be more accurate with a short pick. I use plain 'ol 351's and toss them when the business end almost matches the other corners. Oddly enough, practice helps.
     
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  18. Brian J.

    Brian J. Tele-Afflicted

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    I have never owned a pick long enough to throw it out, they just vanish
     
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  19. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mine start to "knife edge" then I toss them. Some get rounded tip but they are usually gone before that. I using Nylon picks forever now, I hate when a pick breaks in the middle of a song so compromise with nylon.
    I like Tortex style but they seem to get "serrated" like raspy sounding edges fast. I use medium picks though...not thick.
     
  20. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Meister

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    I've given some away, but I've never thrown one away because it wore out. I still have picks I bought in the 1970s and others I inherited from my mother, who played in the 1950s, and none of them show enough signs of wear to be called worn out.

    Holding a pick properly is much more difficult than it seems like it ought to be, and all anyone can tell you about how to do it is "keep trying different things until you find the grip and posture that works for you." Just don't blame the pick.
     
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