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Old 12-20-2012, 03:25 AM   #1
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surprised with difference in picks

I stopped at a local music store to get some picks, as my favorite pick is just about egg-shaped. They had Fender picks, which I've been using, and other brands, so I bought a few different brands and sizes.

I wasn't expecting a difference in sound from one brand to another, but there certainly was. The .80 mm Clayton was "twangier" than the similarly thick Fender. The 1.26mm Clayton gave a sound that's really hard to describe, but definitely different from what I'm used to hearing. The no-name medium thickness picks had a sharp, tinny sound.

As if there aren't already enough variables to deal with, I now have to test every brand of pick I can find to see which sounds better with what song.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:16 AM   #2
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You don't really need to use different picks for different songs, just pick one that you like the feel of and gives the tone you want. I switched from Dunlop Tortex .73 to Dunlop Jazz III XL and prefer the Jazz III because it has a sharper tip, so it feels like there's less resistance from the strings, which makes it easier to play quickly. It's also thicker, so it doesn't feel like I'm holding a flimsy piece of plastic. The extra thickness also gives it a meatier tone, which fits my genre of music (hard rock). I also have a couple of other .73s, but the material doesn't really give you a good grip because it's kind of glossy so I don't like using them.

Last edited by socrfb : 12-20-2012 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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Most acoustic pickers go through a period of experimentation where they try everything they can get their hands on. The pick is actually pretty important in terms of tone production.

I've gone through dozens... But years ago settled on the Dunlop nylon .88 mm jobs. They wear like iron, are dead cheap, readily available, and sound good for the type of playing I do.

Thicker, more rounded picks tend to give a more muted, "mellow" tone... Thinner, sharper picks a more "ringing" sound that many strummers prefer...
Then you have the guys who are willing to plunk down 30 bucks or so for some of the high-end custom picks.
I just tried some sample Graph-Tech picks (the guys who make Tusq material) and they're quite nice, but it appears that they will be short-lived compared to my nylon Dunlops.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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I like those fender heavy's with the Eddie Van Halen colors. And Clayton 1.52mm - sharpen the tip with a file so it looks like a shark tooth. Thats a great pick. I dont like those the way they come though. Has anyone tried picking with a shark tooth?

If you sharpen a pick you have to file the edges too - dont just leave it flat on the sides or it sounds terrible. I think they call that beveling?

Last edited by Andy Pollow : 12-20-2012 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:42 PM   #5
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Google "V-Picks."

I really like 'em. Thick and easy to hang on to!
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:29 PM   #6
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its dunlop jazz iii for me, other than that ive tried jazz ii, alice 1.5, alice 0.8. i like a thick and small pick for my alternate picking.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by socrfb
You don't really need to use different picks for different songs, just pick one that you like the feel of and gives the tone you want.

That's not true, at all. Try playing a Morbid Angel song with a .50mm Tortex pick. Different picks, do different things. I mostly switch between a Dunlop Gator Grip 1.14, carbon fiber Jazz III, and Tortex sharp 1.35s . The Gator Grip is my all-around pick. The Jazz III is for solo work, because it's good with arpeggios and pinch harmonics. And the Tortex Sharp is for extremely fast playing. I can't pick as fast, with any other pick.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:59 AM   #8
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Personally for shred (alternate picking, sweeping, etc.) I like the Jazz III XLs. The Ibanez Paul Gilbert ones are pretty good too but they wear out fast.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:03 AM   #9
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I'm finding that, as I play different songs, I try several picks, and one works well for one song, but another sounds better for a different song.

I'm having a hard time adjusting to the difference in length between the brands of picks, as I trip the wrong strings with the longer ones. It might be a good idea to find one, and stick with it, at least for the time being.
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