Little Things: the pick

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by seward, Dec 27, 2017.


  1. seward

    seward Member

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    I was kind of unsatisfied with the clean sound of my SG Standard neck pickup (57 Classic). I like the warmth and mellowness, relative to more "modern"-sounding pickups, but I felt that things were a bit muddy...not enough note definition? I moved the pickup up and down, couldn't get exactly what I was looking for.

    Then I used a thicker pick than my usual (Fender Thin).

    Apparently, my guitar has excellent cleans.

    Just saying.

    (The whole story: after getting back into playing guitar a few years ago, following a decade or so away, I'm finally in enough control of my strumming and picking that I can use the heavier picks without ruining everything.)
     
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  2. monty

    monty Member

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    Funny how that works eh? Does wonders for technique when you find the right one too.
     
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  3. Wildwind

    Wildwind Member

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    Not affiliated in any way, but switching to V-Picks and later Gravity picks was a revelation for me. I had used small, heavy picks for years, but these were game changers. Years later, I continue to reap great results. Major technique improvements, and that after playing for well over 40 years at that point in time.
     
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  4. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Oh yeah! Your pick choice is incredibly important. I switched to V-Pick's and it changed my life - seriously. Now... although I've moved to Dunlop Primtone triangles it was a direct progression from the V-Picks.

    Gotta have control over that string. I nice thick pick is a must. Also, for me the triangle shape creates the right amount of "dip" into the string without getting caught like normal tear drop shapes. I try all the time to use standard picks and although I can make them work, I'm much more free with the triangle shape. BTW - I like the primtone 1.3mm with grip and I use a fingernail buffer to make the pick smaller - more like a V-Pick medium size.

    Why did I switch to the Primtone - to loose the chirp V-Pick's create. It used to not bother me, but after trying more traditional materials I realized it did bother me a bit. Still - V-Pick's are amazing pieces of gear and I highly recommend trying them out. The thick, hard pick is actually *super* fast.
     
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  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I guess so. Thin picks suck. I don't know how you could hear anything over the flippity flapping.

    Try a regular Fender Medium.
     
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  6. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    I typically use mediums. I got some thins as a stocking stuffer though and given that I needed picks badly, I'm using them at the moment. I've found that turning them so that you are using the wider edge (or shoulder) rather than the point can net good results. They feel a bit more firm this way and the pick gets more contact with the string which can create some other sounds as well.
     
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  7. seward

    seward Member

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    I think the thin Fender picks made me sound more tolerable as I was rebuilding my strumming/picking and fretting skills (and general arm/hand strength). Now that I'm a little better at both, I can use a heavier pick and get the upside - richer tone - without the possible downside of bad sounds that poor fretting and undisciplined strumming can generate.
     
  8. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    I like having a range of picks to choose from. I even practice with a "pick" that looks like it was meant to be a necklace pendant - those picks were being given away at a memorial for the late Robert Goldstein (guitarist for Urban Verbs). I'm still most comfortable with thin picks for practicing rhythm guitar work, like Steve Cropper riffs.

    I had a Robert Conti pick that was so thin, it felt like a piece of paper. Obviously didn't stop him from busting out fast bebop licks on big body jazz guitars. I have yet to develop chops like Conti, but messing with that pick helped me refine my picking technique so I can get decent volume (if desired) out of that pick. It requires the right balance of relaxation and control.

    My current thickest pick is the Snark that was packed in the box with my Snark tuner. It makes my .009 gauge string guitar sound like it has .011s. The material and construction is a bit unusual though.
     
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  9. ninjaaron

    ninjaaron Member

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    I was using V-Picks for a while, but I'm on Dunlop Ultex Jazz III these days. I kind of like how Jazz IIIs aren't really that thick, but they are really hard and pointy.
     
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  10. Mysterionn

    Mysterionn Silver Supporting Member

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    Just ordered a couple of V-Picks. Can't wait to try them out.
     
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  11. Thwap

    Thwap Member

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    Started with V Picks, but the chirp just about drove me crazy.
    I loved the grip they gave though.
    Went to Gravity, and really like them, much better for me than the V picks.

    Yesterday got a Dragon Heart GT, and I've only been able to play with it for a day, but I think I'm done, this will do it.
     
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  12. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Thinner picks bring more clarity to a sound ...
    Especially when playing rhythm... IMO
    However thicker pics kick the sound out a little more ...
    Though I still go back & forth between them ...

    In the long run ... Pics are instant EQ
    I keep a variety of sizes on my amp ...
     
  13. frdagaa

    frdagaa Supporting Member

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    Note also that when you change the stiffness of the pick it can affect how you grip the pick. The tightness of grip is a big factor in R hand technique. With a stiff pick, you can adjust the grip (hold less tightly, also can adjust where you hold the pick, though that usually gets standardized) and with more give in the grip you can get a softer attack. When guitarists talk about "digging in", they are talking not just about playing louder but also about attacking harder and that usually reflects a tighter grip on the pick. Thin picks don't give you as much flexibility to control pick attack with the grip as thicker, stiffer picks do.
     
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  14. seward

    seward Member

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    This is what I'm finding to be true...but I had to get to the point where I could grip a thick pick loosely and still control my strumming. I find that thin picks allow a bit more "touch" - I have more options re: attack - but at the cost of some tone (depending on the sound I'm going for).
     
  15. rmora88

    rmora88 Member

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    Dava Grip Tips (The multi-Colored Packs).... BEST pick I've EVER used.... Hands down.... kind of an unknown company, an old ex friend of mine from 2005 turned me onto this brand but not a specific type of this Brand. I bought these and I've NEVER looked back. I like their 3 position capability and using them will give you different stiffnesses. BEST picks. Try em out.


    P.S. Not to mention they have the best sound I've heard yet from any pick. Really makes the music more 3d rather than some picks making your tone "fatter" but in a muffled way. Amazing picks.
     
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  16. Tootone

    Tootone Member

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    Many (most?) realise this early in their "guitar journey".

    Thin picks are like baby food. They help get you through the novice formative phases, where, your motor skills are not developed enough to control picking strength and accuracy.

    They are OK for untempered bombastic acoustic strumming. So if three cowboy chords is as much as you ever want to learn, fill your boots.

    I would advise starting with and persevering with heavy picks as soon as possible. You will learn faster, and sound better.
     
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  17. mikefair

    mikefair Member

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    It occurred to me a few years ago that picks and speakers are the most overlooked part of the signal chain, but they might have more influence over your sound than anything else. I know that sounds like a ridiculous exaggeration, but I don't think it is. After I tried almost everything, I found Herdim nylon picks. I love them. They're light but a lot stiffer than other nylon picks. It was like putting a nice tube compressor in your chain but without extra gizmos. I get plenty of dynamic range with them. Seriously. Try them.
     
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  18. the tourist

    the tourist Member

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    i use blue herdim picks (or hercos if I'm low or out of herdims) almost exclusively. For the way I play, there's no pick more dynamic.
     
  19. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Thin picks are great for recording non-bombastic acoustic guitar parts.
     
  20. Narwhal0514

    Narwhal0514 Member

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    I've been steadily moving towards thicker and thicker picks over the last few years. I can't play comfortably with anything under 2mm now—if it's any thinner, I notice the give of the pick on the string...
     

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