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Old CGS Forum > The Players Lounge

Picks- What's your preference?

posted Apr 21, 2014 15:06:24 by stanton.kramer
It amazes me as to how much the pick contributes to playability and sound, yet they are rarely discussed.

What caused me to post this is that I seem to have migrated to a VERY small pick (pictured on the left). I had gone from medium to stiffer "normal" picks but then was introduced to the Jim Dunlop fatboys (don't remember the real name). One of my friends was playing the small one on the left, but it seemed so small and just plain weird.

Little by little I would try it here and there. As I got used to it I found myself being more accurate and quicker, finding pinch harmonics a bit easier. Now, after about a week of really playing with that particular pick I find it cumbersome to return to a regular size pick. It's not just the size, but the way it moves over the strings. It is a little harder to play rhythm with it and dig in because you can lose the grip as you have to hold it very lightly. But for solo playing it has become my go-to pick.

Also, that Dunlop 208 (far right). It feels too big now, but it is very fast and provides a very "dark" tone. The tone change is quite noticeable. Nice for mellow jazz. I think I'm going to search for a smaller version.

So what's your choice in picks? Any anecdotes or experiences to share?
[Last edited Apr 21, 2014 16:06:12]
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14 replies
MichaelWamback said Apr 21, 2014 15:40:06
Softness of the pick and the type of material it's made of makes a big impact on tone. I use several different picks, depending on what I'm in the mood for.

Van Halen uses a metal pick, which he keeps in the little change pocket in his jeans. He also holds it in his mouth when he fingerpicks. He ended up getting cancer on his tongue, as well as on his thigh where the change pocket is. It was from the metal pick.
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stanton.kramer said Apr 21, 2014 16:05:14
He ended up getting cancer on his tongue, as well as on his thigh where the change pocket is. It was from the metal pick.

eatmydoo said Apr 21, 2014 16:33:39
Ive been through quite a few over the years (17 of them i spent playing with my fingers as a bassist ;) )

For Guitar though i have used the JD 2.0mm stubbys and Jazz III's but for the past few years ive tended to sick to the Dava line of Jazz picks

Mostly the Poly gel or Derlin tips as i find they tend to glide through the string a lot easier & the rubber body/grip also allows a few gauge's of flex from the same pick,well worth checking out

I also tried the SikPik trial multi packs,nice idea i guess but not for me.
Jason said Apr 22, 2014 03:29:16
Being a big fan of Dream Theater i started using the Dunlop Jazz III picks a few years back and haven't looked back.
I have tried the John Petrucci signature picks and dont like them.

Of all the picks i have tried the original sit the most comfortably for me.

stanton.kramer said Apr 23, 2014 16:57:35
I forgot to inclue the Ultex picks. I alternately use the 1mm. Much faster than the Fender pick (shown) though the same thickness. Also a bit warmer sounding. Tried the Fender today and it felt like it was hanging up on the strings rather than gliding thru. Then I picked up the Ultex and thought "ok... that's different".
eatmydoo said Apr 23, 2014 18:37:18
hufschmid has some very interesting handmade picks id love to try and while they are quite expensive id be willing pay to try them but the real thing that kills it is that he wants 12 euro's for shipping! ive imported guitars from the EU to UK for less than that.
ChibsonsandMore said Apr 25, 2014 17:07:20
I started out using Ultex from Dunlop and just recently transitioned to Dunlop's Hetfield Blackfangs. Even if you're not a fan of "signature gear" you should check one out. The tip on that thing is amazing.
ParéjJózsef said May 01, 2014 07:08:57
I'm using dunlops, 1.14's, and saving money for a Hufschmid...
Just call me Joe ;)
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Rob said May 02, 2014 16:53:59
I have many different types laying around right now and I am not picky. I use medium or heavy picks. Plastic works for me. I even used light picks for a short time.
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GrandSpector said May 03, 2014 11:24:31
good old Dunlop Nylon picks here...
SteveTebble said May 11, 2014 19:00:04
I use a PickPunch, so I can make my own picks out of anything I find lying around. I've even made a lead one!

My favourite material comes from out of date credit cards. Which, according to my digital caliper, are 0.7mm thick.
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
NickJohnson said May 16, 2014 00:17:29
Dunlop tortex reds. Very thin. Usually for acoustic stuff but i feel very comfortable with my tremolo picking with them.
angev2 said Jul 23, 2014 15:07:34
I use the Dunlop Jazz III XL's and non-xls. Use the Reds for the XL's but occasionally use the standard ,black ones. I use all three sides when strumming and doing some light jazz or hybrid picking.

Also use Dunlop tortex 0.88's when strumming the acoustics.

[Last edited Jul 23, 2014 15:09:56]
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stanton.kramer said Jul 23, 2014 18:22:08
I now will vary which pick I used based on which guitar, music style and how much pick attack I want to hear. When I leave the house I usually carry one of each type.
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