Pick gauge/thickness and technique preferences?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by rawkguitarist, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Hey guy's. Lately I've been going back and forth about what thickness of pick I really need to use. Too thin, I feel a marked difference in control of dynamics and too thick I get that control, but I feel almost too much resistance.

    For the past several years I’ve been using Dunlop Gator Grip picks. They are a fiber impregnated tortex that seem to have a slightly lubricated feel to them as apposed to normal tortex or plastic, which both seem to grab the strings. I have used the .96mm thickness but have felt a little too much resistance lately. I actually have a pretty solid picking technique due to spending hours/years working on Paul Gilbert style licks with a drum machine. But lately I’ve kinda longed for a little more give that a .71mm allows. The give that these allow, make it easy to keep my pick in a uniform position, as apposed to the thicker one actually requiring a little rise away from the pickguard to allow smooth picking.

    Just curious what everyone’s preferences are? Pro’s and Cons. Please give specific gauges and reasons for your choice.
     
  2. kovachian

    kovachian Member

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    I use Dunlop's stubby jazz in both 1 and 3 mm. The small size and pointy tip will force you to increase your picking coordination and that's exactly what they've done for me.
     
  3. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I have switched around over the years but have settled on Fender heavy's.

    I like the feel and tone, the synthetic pics have a different attack that I don't like as much. I used the Clayton's 1.0's for a long time.

    The drawback is that I can (and do) shred one in one or two tunes live, so I keep a few in my back pocket for quick changes.
     
  4. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Thanks for the reply's guy's. I'd like a bit more technical info on why you use the picks and thicknesses you do. I'm talking serious picking technique here, talking about (example) 32nd notes picked cleanly. At this level, type/thickness of pick used makes a huge difference.

    Thanks!
     
  5. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

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    Since you're into the speed picking area already and I have a great deal of familiarity with PG's stuff and have gone through his instructional vids I'd really recommend Vinni's (A TGP'er here) V-Picks.

    There has been a great deal of buzz around here amongst the more technically inclined about these picks so I went and bought a variety.

    I have to tell you, great picks that give you as much bite as you want but they just glide through the strings with ease.

    Here's a post about them:


    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=141178

    Here's a link to his site:

    http://www.v-picks.com/

    I am in no way affiliated with Vinni's company. I'm just a very happy customer.

    Martin
     
  6. anyone

    anyone Member

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    I've been addicted to Jazz IIIs for the last (yikes...) 18 years.
    They're stiff enough to give a positive attack, the tip feels great, and they can get at least a little percussive if you lighten your grip on them. They're easy to hang onto as well (once you get use to them).

    For PG though... I dunno; you may want to look into getting whatever mounts best on a Makita!
     
  7. 57tele

    57tele Member

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    I used the dunlop stubbies for some time, convinced that the thicker dimension helped me play a little faster. A little while back, I started feeling more unhappy than usual to my tone and decided it always sem to have this muffled sound that I never used to have. I wanted more brightness, sort of a cleaner edge, so I fooled around with my amp settings, speakers, etc. thinking that would do the trick. Then, completely by accident, I picked up an old Fender heavy and bang! there was the tone i was missing. So I started hunting through different pick styles and have recently settled on the Ibanez Paul Gilberts and sometime the Pyramid heavies, both of which are about the thickness of a fender heavy, but with what feels like a somewhat more polished surface (esp the gilberts). Of course, there isn't much hope for my speed anyway.:rolleyes: I also fooled around in the opposite direction and got myself some sarod picks. If you're not familar with them, they're made of coconut shell, and are maybe a 1/4" thick! Wasn't really what I wanted, at least for electric guitar.
     
  8. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Dunlop nylon 1.0 mm:cool:
     
  9. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Fender Extra Heavy in standard shape. I think that the confetti ones sound better than the tortoise ones.
     
  10. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

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    In my last band I had gotten pretty deft at palming a thin pick for certain parts while holding my main pick.........Really easy to do, the secret is just don't think about it....
     
  11. Red Suede

    Red Suede Member

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    Pickboy 75mm for me. The thickness is perfect for soloing and rhythm playing for me. A little shorter and wider than a standard Fender shape, so it stays in my hand when I play it the standard way, but lately i've been using the butt end and for some reason this lightened my touch, especially with my Steve Morse which I had quit playing because I was arching my picking hand too much. 35 years, and I finally find the right pick!
     
  12. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    Dunlop Heavy Tortoise classic celluloid's for me. I have tried the V picks and I liked them alot but for funky stuff I don't like them. Since I never know when I might throw down I stick to the Dunlop's. I do keep other picks kicking around for odd stuff though.
     
  13. regotheamigo

    regotheamigo Member

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    I like those purple picks that look like the Jazz 3s.
     
  14. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I've been using the standard shaped Fender Heavy picks since the early 70's. I use them for everything.

    This is one of those categories of 'gear minutia' that I feel no desire at all to f*ck with.
     
  15. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    That's not my experience. I find that a heavier pick makes it easier to control dynamics and attack, which makes them more expressive. Since thin picks bend so much, it's harder for me to control the attack. I don't play much jazz anymore, but my impression was that most jazz players favor heavy picks. But good on you Old Tele Man for sticking with what works for you. After all most jazz players don't play Tele's. Think outside the box.

    Martin
     
  16. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Bill Frisell...

    Nuf said;)
     
  17. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    Hey, don't get me wrong. I think Tele's make great jazz instruments. The fact remains, however, that Tele's and thin picks are not typical jazz tools. But not everyone wants the sound of arch tops, wound G's, and heavy picks. --Martin
     
  18. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    You're such a traditionalist. --M
     
  19. mikeo2

    mikeo2 Member

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    I play mostly blues and jazz and I go between different picks, but I always use something between 1mm and 1.5mm. Much nicer attack sound and better control.
     
  20. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    I like Dunlop tortex .73s...I hold them with very little of the tip exposed, so they're not too flexy. If I'm doing funky chord strumming I can relax my grip a little and expose more of the pick and it 'gives' a little more.

    I don't like the sound of new tortex picks (too much attack), but I like the sticky feel they have. After a month or so a bevel gets worn into the edge and the extra attack goes away and then they're perfect for me...until they get too worn and the process starts again.

    If I can't find my Tortex picks, I'll use a Fender heavy.

    FWIW, I used a wound-G on my LesPaul and Anderson Strat for a couple of years. It sounds better for chording to my ears...but bending was just killing me (esp. in the first few positions). Now I'm back to 10s and plain G, and playing with a lighter touch.

    Cheers,

    Kris
     

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