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View Full Version : What pick thickness for playing fast and picking each note?


Webfoot
02-15-2007, 02:08 PM
I am beginning to try to play faster things where you need to pick each note. I am using either 9's or 10's for strings. What pick thickness works the best?

Do thin picks get you speedier but thicker picks get you tone?

rotren
02-15-2007, 02:11 PM
I use 2.0 mm Dunlop picks. I find thin picks are very difficult to play fast with, because they bend as you play. Best advice is to try different thicknesses, and see what works best for you.

ryanformato
02-15-2007, 02:12 PM
Skill makes you play faster. But, most faster people pick with heavier picks (1.0mm-1.5mm) because it cuts through the string faster. The lighter picks tend to bend. Honestly, speed doesn't "come" from the pick though.

yZe
02-15-2007, 02:48 PM
I love the .088 med/heavy

not to flimsy, not too thick

Highway Jones
02-15-2007, 04:28 PM
I am beginning to try to play faster things where you need to pick each note. I am using either 9's or 10's for strings. What pick thickness works the best?

Do thin picks get you speedier but thicker picks get you tone?

I get what you are saying...a thicker pick will give you more control over individual strings....get a few Dunlop tortexes between 0.8 and 2.0 and do some alternate picking exercises. You should be able to zero in on two that you like. I like the 1.0 blues and the next thinnest (green).

Thwap
02-15-2007, 04:40 PM
I use 2.0 mm Dunlop picks. I find thin picks are very difficult to play fast with, because they bend as you play. Best advice is to try different thicknesses, and see what works best for you.

Same here 2.0

dkaplowitz
02-15-2007, 04:44 PM
http://www.elderly.com/images/accessories/PK/PK417P-150.jpg

brad347
02-15-2007, 04:51 PM
it's not necessarily only about the thickness but also about the point.

I play with a really thick pick but with a very round point, and it's not conducive to blazingly fast runs. But a great sound. And with practice I got used to it and can play probably as fast as I ever have. I've used them for about 5 years or so. Looks like this:

http://www.suncreekmusic.com/images/dun-477r207.jpg

rotren
02-15-2007, 07:36 PM
Brad, what brand of picks are those? Look interesting.

KRosser
02-15-2007, 10:33 PM
I play with Fender Extra Heavies. I feel I get a clearer, more present note out of them, better picking flexibility/dexterity and wider tonal options with the various pick angles.

DreamTheaterRules
02-15-2007, 10:37 PM
I certainly haven't tried every type of pick but I've tried a lot of them. I do a lot of quicker stuff and pick every note. One thing that has not been mentioned is pick angle, and this is important. Turning the pic at the right angle to the string allows it to "Cut through" the string rather than dragging it. Try somewhere around 45 degrees. Experiment. Get a good feel for it, and if you change pick styles, experiment again. I've spent countless hours over the years with a with several big fishing tackle box trays full of sorted pics, trying them all for different things. I won't claim to have it down to a science, (because no two players are the same) but I have different picks for different things.

That said my favorite picks for playing fast are Pickboy Edge Carbon Nylon models. They are thin and fast but stiffer than other picks of the same thickness. I also like the tone of them and yes, it makes a difference. My two favorites are .75mm and .88mm. Second would be the Dunlop Jazz Tortex (lime green). Again a sharp point. Very good but not quite as good of playability or tone as the Carbon Nylons.

You can do fast with the regular points too, and you might even prefer them for some things or all! Heck when I was at my best (and fastest) as a player ( before I quite playing for years) I played the little Odessa nylon picks that are even smaller than Jazz size. I loved those things. (I have a bunch of the sames things now, made by Clayton. SMALL and thin. Mediums were the heaviest I every played, but thins were what I used). I still RARELY EVER play a full size pick for anything but strumming acoustic, although I own many different kinds. If I'm playing some lead on acoustic though, back to the smaller sharper picks. For some reason, big picks feel clumsy to me when trying to really rip. I find I can move the smaller picks around better between my fingers changing pick angle at will.

Sorry for the ramble.

It is practice though. But several technique things can make it easier to go faster. IF you haven't messed with pick angle, I think that will help a lot.

snacker
02-15-2007, 11:30 PM
I like dunlop ultex 1.0 - at first heavier picks can seem a bit clunky when trying to play fast if you're not used to them, but if you ease up on your grip a bit and let the pick pivot between your fingers instead of relying on a thin pick to bend, you end up with a lot more control
cheers!

brad347
02-16-2007, 12:18 AM
Brad, what brand of picks are those? Look interesting.

It is a Dunlop Jazztone 207. I started using them and fell in love with the way they sounded... it's like halfway in between a regular pick and a thumb, if you angle it just right. Perfect for what I like. Really dark and smooth.

But if they get scratched up it's terrible. I find myself throwing them out and getting a fresh one often. I buy 'em by the bag.

Recently someone told me that Rosenwinkel also uses them. I don't know if that's true or not.

rockinh
02-16-2007, 12:32 AM
I usually use Jazz IIIs for electric and Dunlop 1mms for acoustic, but recently ordered some V-Picks. They are nice, especially the rounded corner, it's darker but it's fast. I ordered a 1mm for my acoustic and one round corner and a pointed in the regular "small" V-Pick size. They are really thick!

ChickenLover
02-16-2007, 06:59 AM
If you haven't tried a smaller pick like a Dunlop Jazz III then I think you ought to at least try it. I was surprised how much I liked the smaller size (yet thick). It must be a Jazz III or it won't have a sharp enough tip (for me). And it's gotta be red...'cause red sounds better.:NUTS