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Thread: Picks!!!

  1. #1
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I, like most guitarists, am neurotic about lots of little details. In this case, I am referring to picks.

    I used to use the Dunlop 1.5mm delrin picks. After about 2 years of using them, they started gluing them together out of alignment, leaving a little overhang that catches the strings and drove me nuts. I had to switch.

    I happened upon the jazz picks; the pointy kind. What I like about them is that they make LITTLE pick noise when playing. Tha downsides are: they grab a little too well and create a little more resistance to the strings, and they have a rather dull tone. Since switching to mostly single coils, it works out well, but they sound like total crap on an acoustic.

    Anyway, for me, picks are always a compromise. I have never found one that I am totally happy with. Regular shaped picks are too raspy for me, no matter how carefully I play, plus the attacks aren't defined enough for my taste. When someone ELSE plays, I LIKE to hear to hear some pick noise, but when I am playing, it bugs the hell out of me. (must be getting too much steel wool on my diet)

    So, what do you guys all use, and what do you like/dislike about them? Is anyone else as neurotic as I am about them? Or are all of you happy with yours?
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    No, it sounds like you're just neurotic [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
    I didn't even know picks were glued together.
    I use these yellow Daddario medium .027 with raised lettering on stage, but they wear out and get grooves in them after 4 or 5 songs so I'm switching to some kind of heavy gauge pick that'll hopefully last a set.
    I've found fender heavy picks to sound good on a strat, but for faster picking I still like a medium.

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    One more thing-since switching to the jazz picks (1.14mm I think...dark purple), I haven't worn out a pick at all! If I don't lose them, I can use them for ages. I bought a half gross about 4 years ago, and I still have about 40 that I have never touched!
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    That's probably cause you use steel wool to keep them smooth [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
    I buy these friggin Dadarrio's by the bag of 100's and use about 4-5 a night, even during rehearsals. maybe it's time to check out those picks you mentioned.
    Who makes them, and are the smaller gauges as tough, or do you have to use them as thick as a quarter?

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Hmmmm...steel wool on the picks...GREAT IDEA!! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

    The picks I use are made by Dunlop; they come in 3 gauges, and I use the heaviest of the 3. They also make that shape from nylon, which you may like a little better if you prefer some flex to your picks. I prefer the nylon ones for a little brighter attack on acoustic, but I need to buy some of those, since I seem to have lost them all. The nylon come in black and red, and I think Eric Johnson and John Petrucci use the black ones. I am not sure of the exact gauges, but I think the thinnest ones are in the 'medium' range.

    They are made of Tortex, with the little turtle on the face. They start with that sticky coating which wears off quickly, but I actually prefer them more once they're smooth. Also, I have found that I play them long enough to warp them to fit my hand; if I held it turtle-side down, it would feel funny. Of course, I don't do a whole lot of hard picking; my attack is on the lighter side, so if you are one to pound the strings, maybe they'd still wear out right away.

    The regular shaped picks of the same material do seem to wear out fast though, so the pointy part must have something to do with the wear and tear resistance.
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    06.23.17 @ 09:49 PM
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    im using peavey tortex thins ....i like thin picks for some reason even though i hit the strings hard..i get harmonics easy and can pick faster...i feel that because the pick bends and conforms to your fingers its a little more exspresive or "squishy" if that makes sense.....if im play korn or some detuned metal with my bro s ill use heaveys or ,sometimes a quarter even ! quarters are awesome for pickslides, thins unfortuneately are not [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    I really am tired of using those shitty D'addarios, so I'm gonna pick up up a few of the picks you guys mentioned and try them as well. Experimentation is even better when it hardly costs anything.
    Is it my imagination, or do you find that your attack changes depending on the guitar you happen to be playing. I didn't think about that till AVH mentioned the way he gets different attack on different guitars depending on the strings and tension, by using different picks.
    After picking up a couple of guitars, both electric, with different necks and feel, I realized they have to be played different to make them sound the way you feel they should. A simple thing if you think about it, but I tend to use the same picks for every guitar, and that could really be a mistake on my part.
    I think part of getting a bigger sound out of a strat could have something to do with the quality of a heavier pick as well.
    It seems to have less effect on a guitar with high output humbuckers, where a thinner pick will help with speed and not affect the sound as much as it would with a single coil. The material would probably make a difference as well, like you guys say.
    I guess I never gave enough thought to the way a pick reacts to affect the overall sound.

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tribb:
    Is it my imagination, or do you find that your attack changes depending on the guitar you happen to be playing.

    -----&gt;I have noticed it as well. I think a lot of it has to do with the strings' vibrational energy being different due to the structure and materials of the guitar. My Hamer has a smoother, duller attack no matter WHAT pick I use, and my Strats have a lot of 'bounce' to the strings. I think the bridge has a lot to do with it. My guitar with String Saver saddles has a different response than one with regular steel ones, and a Floyd Rose is a different beast altogether.

    I think part of getting a bigger sound out of a strat could have something to do with the quality of a heavier pick as well.
    It seems to have less effect on a guitar with high output humbuckers, where a thinner pick will help with speed and not affect the sound as much as it would with a single coil.

    -----&gt;I'm sure a lot of the thickness of my Strats is due to the picks I use. I always try and balance the components-Strats have a thinner sound, so I use the Texas Specials for more midrange, and the heavier picks add a lot of meat as well.

    I never gave enough thought to the way a pick reacts to affect the overall sound.


    ----&gt;EVERY part of the guitar and amp setup has an effect on the overall tone. Add up a bunch of LITTLE details, and you get a BIG change in the final result. I have been researching all sorts of little modifications to make to improve things, some of which I already use, others are in the 'theory' stages. Eric Johnson thinks this way, but he really goes a LONG way to achieve his goals. (maybe even down to which brand of steel wool makes for the best playing frets [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]) And then of course the bulk of the sound STILL comes from the player.

    ----&gt;A buddy of mine used to have the worst rig I have ever heard: an old Boss preamp, an ART f/x unit, a MosValve amp, and a Randall 4x12 cab. He used EXPENSIVE Ibanez guitars. He came over to my place a few years back and played through my humble but faithful rig. It still sounded like HIS stuff when he played through it. Since then, he has spent about $15,000 on gear to improve his sound. While it HAS improved to some degree, it isn't all that far removed from the sound he used to get. So, after all that, it comes down to the player more than anything.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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  9. #9
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    05.12.06 @ 06:39 PM
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    I use Peavey 1.21 mm picks. I am real fussy about picks. I can't stand when they aren't thick enough. Even the Fender Heavy picks are too light imo. The 1.21 mm's do the job for me [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    [ May 11, 2001 at 08:30 AM: Message edited by: Unchained Wolfie ]
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I can't use thick picks, I torture my strings as it is. I also use thin to medium Dunlops or Gators. I play lead alot more so the thinner, the better. I tried heavy picks but couldn't get the feel and kept screwing up, trying too much to be careful.

    (I can just imagine someone using them Dorito's picks somewhere right now, I got a kick outta those). [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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    12.14.17 @ 01:28 PM
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    I use the black (2.0mm) Gator Grip picks. I don't know how I started using them, but once I did, my picking really opened up. I can't play very articulately with a thin pick anymore. Oh. . .I also have a superstition I have to have my pick in my hand for at least 30 minutes or more before the show. I kinda twirl it and move it back and forth in my fingers while I'm getting ready. Strange but true. I always play the entire show with one pick. . .never breaks and I never drop it. call me crazy.
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:00 PM
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    Ok you're crazy. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    Normally I can make it through an hour show on one pick, most of the time. Sometimes I will tap something and if my hands are real sweaty, I might drop it when I tuck it away under my middle finger. When I find a pick I really like, I beat it to hell until it's chewed to a bloody pulp. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

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  13. #13
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:00 PM
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    I use to play Fender Hard, but I was destroying strings, so I switched to Fender Mediums about 5 years ago, and the string-breakage is much less for me now.
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    05.12.06 @ 06:39 PM
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    I don't drop picks often, I tap with my middle finger in songs [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Well we gigged Sat. night, and I had a pile of new picks to try. The other guys in the band thought I was a little nuts cause I kept switching picks every couple of songs, and sometimes halfway through a song. The only one it bothered was the singer cause he thought it interfered with "the flow" of some of the tunes, but singers aren't really musicians anyway..lol, so what the heck. I figure if you're gonna try something, do it in a situation where you'll find out quickly whether it'll work or not.
    Like Unchained Wolfie, I tap with my middle finger, and don't lose many picks that way. Because of the music we do, I have to do a lot of tapping as well, and then pick in between, so if a pick's gonna screw me up it'll be during a song like hang'em high, or hot for teacher.
    After a full night of switching back and forth, I have to agree with the guys here that use heavier picks. Of course I'm only speaking for myself. If you're happy with a medium or light pick that's fine too. I've ripped and chopped up more guitars than I can remember for me and my friends over the years, and experimented on(ruined?), probably at least 130-150 pickups, but strangely enough I never thought of experimenting much with picks. Strange huh?
    I found out years ago that Ed used these yellow Daddario's around the time of the carnal knowldge tour and figured, if they're good enough for him.....without any experimenting for myself. I've also got 10 picks(Fender mediums) that Ed used before he had his logo picks made, and of the VH logo picks I have, they all seem to be mediums as well.
    I've gotta say that a heavier pick sounds and feels better, and articulation isn't a problem either cause I play with a light touch anyway, unless I'm doing a false harmonic, in which a heavier pick works good too. Just angling the pick a little more compensates nicely for speed picking.
    I didn't break any strings and the heavy picks didn't chew up as quickly and felt smoother in the attack.
    The Dunlops had that coating that was nice, but it wears off quickly, and the others were too slick feeling cause for the last 10 years or so I've been using picks with raised lettering. To get around that I used an engraving tool earlier on and engraved some circles on the sides of each pick before the gig. It worked fine. I don't know exactly what pick I'm gonna settle on, but I know it'll be a heavy gauge. I looked for picks with a "Gator Grip" but wasn't able to find them.
    Jape Man, are they called Gator grips or are they made by another manufacturer, and refered to as a pick with a gator grip?
    Anyway, thanks for your input guys. It made a difference. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

 

 

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