Should the pick really matter?...

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by UnderTheWooDd, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. UnderTheWooDd

    UnderTheWooDd Member

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    Should your tone really depend so much on your pick? personally i play with all different picks, from jazz III to V-pick round all the way out to tortex .80's. I want to get used to every type of pick (even cruddy ones), because i don't want someone to hand me a guitar and a crap pick randomly and say play something and have to say, "sorry, i only sound good with a V-pick"... Anyone else feel this way?

    Also I'd love to hear any contrary opinions, as i posted this with the hope that someone will put my fears of pick favoritism to rest...
     
  2. dantedayjob

    dantedayjob Member

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    I can play most anything with a medium or heavier pick, thin picks slow me down a bit... but I prefer to use Fernandes Stainless Steel picks... I love that I can go from a warm, smooth, round tone to a very biting attack with just a slight rotation of my thumb and index finger... while it's a little thing, I liken it to the big picture of guitar playing; I will play fine and sound like myself on a $150 Epiphone LP Junior, but I'll sound better on my PRS Cu24...
     
  3. guitarnoize

    guitarnoize Member

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    I think the tone is affected by your pick but if someone hands me a guitar and I have no pick I can still playing with my fingers and if I have to make a pseudo-pick out of my thumb and fingernail sure it won't sound as good but who cares? If that is what you really worry about keep a pick in your pocket, or get one of those chains to put round your neck that has a pick on it :)
     
  4. Brettski

    Brettski Member

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    As a demonstration for my students, I sometimes play the same line a few times with a variety of picks to let them hear the difference between them. Then I hand a couple to them and ask them to use them in different ways. Every one of them can feel if not HEAR a difference (though most of them can).

    This isn't to say that you can ONLY sound good with one type of pick, but I think everyone ends up going through a few different types before they find one that works best for them. Luckily, buying picks is a lot less painless than boutique overdrive pedals :messedup

    For me, it's the Jazz III, black. Tried EVERY pick out there and this one works best for me. They're a little more expensive than your average Fender Medium, but very worth it in my opinion.

    YMMV
     
  5. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    fingers for me lately, thumb pick and metal picks, really like the bright tone they give and they never wear out or get soft like the plastic picks do. Now I am working with no pick, I can fingerpick and pick normally holding my thumb and index finger together, my index finger finger nail will give false harmonics, I found a pretty cool way to get harmonics anywhere last night I am pumped, thumb calous and index finger, the harmonics are so easy that way. Though not really completely figured out yet, give me a couple more minutes and I should have it down.
     
  6. AnthonyStauffer

    AnthonyStauffer Member

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    I once used a quarter as a pick because I didn't have a pick with me, and talk about bright tone. Not what I'd describe as pleasant, but it certainly had an effect.

    I usually use pretty heavy picks because I don't like to feel the pick flex in my fingers while playing, but I did try out lighter medium picks one time, and I actually thought they sounded brighter with higher order harmonics. Problem was I couldn't get the snap out of them that I wanted.
     
  7. lawl Dave

    lawl Dave Member

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    I don't think that different kinds/gauges of picks generally hinder my playing style, unless it's something like a quarter (as mentioned above). I do, however, believe that picks will often greatly affect your tone. When I'm playing through a tube amp that's on the edge of breakup, I can dig in and get a hugely different sound with one of those blue 1.0 mm Dunlop's than with one of the real thin, orange dunlops. That said, those light picks give me a much airer tone and lighter touch and feel on my acoustic, whereas the thick picks dig in for a harder hitting rhythm or lead.

    This is all just my ear though. Rivers Cuomo and Brian Bell from Weezer use thin picks (either the really thin Red dunlops, or medium-gauge grey nylon picks) and get incredibly heavy tones when they want to. To each his own, I guess.
     
  8. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    I have Ice Pix, they are metal picks, the smaller guages flex the larger guages don't, really love the bright tone have not broken a string, but I use a large guage like a 10 so that might be the reason, (everyone says they wear out the strings faster, I have not seen that and been using metal picks for 7 years.

    The ones that don't flex are harder on the up stroke, but I just hold those losely, the thin ones are great for just about everything and I am using those now or no pick at all, see previous post.
     
  9. lawl Dave

    lawl Dave Member

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    Was it a hard transition to metal picks? I can't seem to wrap my mind around how you could use those, just because I can still "dig in" and get a little bit of bend out of a thick plastic pick.
     
  10. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    I picked up some thin gauge Ice Pix last week, they flex but otherwise are like my other metal picks, very precise like a jazz pick, thinner ones flex a lot, the thicker ones less, just like the plastic picks have to find out what guage, I use 1.2mm or whatever in the tortex and I am using those now, just adapting to hold a thin pick for me now.


    I am not sure if they are going to wear out or not the techpick never wears out, some of the paint is worn away from the tip thats it. The alumimun Ice Pix have not worn out either after several years, the flexible ones are brass, or gold colored, picked those up last week, not sure if they are going to wear out or not really does bother me if they do, might file down the points to shape them if they do.

    the tone that I get is so incredible, use the tortex before then, had to use the heavy guages to keep the pick from going totally soft in couple days, tried jazz picks, just to small the hold, the metal picks all have holes so I can hang on to them and they don't rotate, or drop like so many picks do. false harmonics are just so easy with this pick, pick up a few and see what you think, paying a $1 for a pick that last years may be insane to you, its not to me, though I have all these plastic picks in a bowl not being used, damm
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  11. Lathem

    Lathem Member

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    That's certainly one way to skin the cat, but I just carry a pick in my wallet.
     
  12. Gene

    Gene Member

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    More than my pick, I can't wear a watch or have my wedding ring on my left hand when playing. The watch causes too much time issues and the ring makes my finger fell heavy. Also, my right hand nails have to be exactly buffed and smooth as it affects the tone like crazy.

    All in fun!
     
  13. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    The pick matters big time, in terms of tone. No pick is bad, you just need the right one for the job.

    I use a variety of materials from around .60mm up to 2.0mm depending on the guitar, the music, and the sound I want.

    I have a bunch on hand for any given project and will test several before laying down tracks.
     
  14. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    Gene, could you explain?
     
  15. Gene

    Gene Member

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    My reply was not to be taken seriously... But, yes, I feel the seconds on my watch mess with my inner time in performance. I feel I have to somehow resolve the polyrhythm created by the 60bpm along with whatever tempo the music happens to be in.
     
  16. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    LOL....I asked because my watch is incredibly heavy. I've been taking it off for recording and gigs.
     
  17. Gene

    Gene Member

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    Yeah, the weight bothers me too. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, right?
     
  18. lawl Dave

    lawl Dave Member

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    I've actually noticed a difference in feel, not necessarily sound or technique, when wearing my class ring when I play (yup, high schooler right here). So the watch comment could actually be an issue for some people I guess?
     
  19. xmentalpilot

    xmentalpilot Supporting Member

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    I've generally used the heavier gauge Fender big triangle pics. I do have a really cool stainless steel pick that was made for me by a local slide/pick builder. He even engraved my name on it! I haven't used it in a while since I got a line on some Wooly Mammoth Tusk picks that this old guy hand makes. I only have two of them and freak out when one disappears... luckily I usually find it in the lint trap in the dryer! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  20. Wagster

    Wagster Member

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    Good one :rotflmao
     

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