I've been playing for like 3 months now and I'm not really sure what I should be looking for as far as string size. My Ibanez has 12-60 DR drop tuning strings because I wasnt sure how heavy of a string I needed to play in different drop tunings, but the 60 gauge string shreds the end of my fingers. I just put some DR Hi Beam 11-52's on my Schecter and I mostly play in Drop D or C. Could I use a lighter set of strings or is that about right?

My second question is about pick shape. I know it's mostly personal preference but is there a different sound from different shapes? I've been using Clayton Duraplex rounded triangle picks and they don't seem to give off as much of a crunch as the standard shape.
The 11s you are using are probably ok but you could go lighter if you really wanted to, i understand the schecter and ibanez are 25.5 inch scales, so 10s could work, its just up to your personal preference on how stiff you want your strings :


Yes there is a sound difference from different pick shapes, most of it has to do with attack or how loud and quick the initial note is produced, generally pointier, harder picks will give more attack than rounder, softer picks
A 52 low string is fine for D through C tuning, some would recommend a 56 for C, but it's personal pref, you could just tighten the action instead. 60s a good baritone low string, use that for Bb through G#, might be a little tight on B, but maybe that's how you like it, whatever.

Sounds like you're using fairly light strings besides the low, so I wouldn't worry about the rest. Personally I use a wound third 52-12 for D standard tuning, and it's comfy enough, the low's normally the one that's going to cause the most problems in general, so just watch that one.

Also with picks, dw too much about shape or material, that's a personal pref thing, guage is the only really important thing. You want something in the ballpark of 1mm for what you're doing, but you've got a wide margin of error with this stuff, you might prefer heavier or lighter.
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Last edited by EqualOfHeaven at Oct 7, 2013,
Seeing as you haven't been playing that long try out as many different gauges as possible. I see nothing wrong with using 10s for Drop C as long as you have a guitar that stays in tune for more than 2 minutes. At 3 months of playing, your hand strength may not be entirely developed and using 12s may hold you back, 10s may be good for a gradient into thicker strings. I think its much better to get used to the instrument with thinner gauges, and then work up to what you feel comfortable with.

As for picks, I swear by Jazz IIIs. I have friends who use huge floppy picks for metal style playing, but I just can't do it. Material makes a difference, I have a pick made of buffalo bone which has a lot of attack. The shape is cumbersome though, so I returned to Jazz III. As said above, pointier picks generally produce more attack and provide less resistance.
Strings and picks are whatever you're prepared to get use to. If you try different strings/picks you'll eventually find your favourites.
Strings and picks are by preference, but as Equal stated I'd really go with a heavier 1mm pick or bigger for shredding. You can shred with a thin, but life is much much easier with a thick pick.
Ok so I figured most everything out. I'm still on the hunt for a pick though. I've tried a million different picks and I like Dunlop's Celluloid medium picks. The only problem is that I played through one song and shredded the pick... Anyone know about how thick the medium gauge picks are? I'd like to get some Clayton Acetal picks since they are bulletproof and thats what I was using before, but I dont know what gauge to get.