#1
I've used 073 Nylon picks for as long as I can remember...Mostly while not playing after becoming utterly frustrated with my sore arm and lack of speed. I come across an article on the Internet entitled why you ain't playing fast.

It mentioned PICKS and a light went off in my head. I have now undergone an extreme plectrum testing regime and it's been narrowed down to:

1.14mm Gator Grip
1.50mm Gator Grip

I like the 1.50 better...I feel less tension in my hand and I feel faster. Weirdly though sometimes if I am playing a power chord I don't always feel like I reach the last note. I often feel I am chugging heavy on just two strings unless I really watch it.

Also confusing me more James Hetfield only uses a 1.14 pick and plays at speeds well past my good self. It' got me thinking I know I am gaining speed, some comfort and the sound with a thicker pick feel bulkier to me?

Does a thicker pick = thicker sound?

But what am I losing? I know some strummability it just feels 'harder' and like I am really getting an object struck in the strings as opposed to strumming them.

In regards to 'strumming' I test everything out on this song https://youtu.be/X2u6DeXvLDM?t=15s the intro is definitely harder with a thicker pick that just doesn't move but I can still play it.

In the faster strumming bits the pick almost feels jammed? I've taken to keeping a really LOOSE grip on the picks so it's not so rigid on the strings is this correct large pick users?


Are the Dunlop Gator Grips made out of Ultex or Tortex? I am coming from Nylon...I pretty much don't like Nylon anymore...I don't think I like the pure 'plastic' kinda of picks as well...and they seem to have some bend which I am kinda not into at all anymore. The gator grip material is what I like but not sure what it actually is?

I am using 9-42 strings at the moment is a 1.50 pick going to annihilate them?
#3
I play with a 0.88mm and my speed is fine.

The pick needs to be stiff enough, I wouldn't go below a 0.5mm for example, but beyond that it's really up to what feels best for you.

Make sure that you have the least amount of pick sticking out from your grip, your hand/wrist should be doing the movement, not the pick.
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#4
Thanks for the feedback guys, probably going to keep trialling.

Extended fast strumming of power chords results in the pick moving in my hand then have to readjust mid song, maybe a 1.5 with some torque or movement or whatever might be the go.
#5
I like a .96(only because that was the thickest custom I could get), or 1 or 1.14 and those are hetfield picks, but it all depends on you man. Sure Het plays a 1.14, but Paul Gilbert plays a .60.

When I started out I played medium, so I would think it was somewhere from .70ish to .88. Had lights. Had 2 mm for awhile. Just keep trying different picks out. And if your pick is moving around you probably aren't holding it properly.
#6
Picks are really heavily personal preference and I don't think there is a better way of determining your favourite that trying any picks you find that seem interesting. It is true, though, that it generally takes less effort to play hard with a heavier pick.

Still, personally I like a brighter attack, so I prefer to use lighter picks with a sharp end in general - Planet Waves Black Ice 0.8 mm for heavier playing and a 0.55 mm for softer playing. The 0.8mm is still definitely heavy enough for metal playing and palm-muting, but it doesn't sound as dull as thick picks. On the other hand, I sometimes like the Dunlop Jazz III, as it really feels like it takes little effort even for very heavy playing and it's also very easy to hold. I could never get comfortable with any of the traditional, bigger and more rounded picks for anything.

So really, just try out different shapes and thicknesses and see what you like best and feels comfortable - there isn't much rocket science here, the "right" one will probably feel good right from the beginning.
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#7
I started out personally with 0.73 mm picks and used them for a long time. However in the last couple of years i have used 0.96 mm picks and that's mostly cos I have migrated to thicker strings. Started out with 0.09 - 0.42 and used them for over a decade but now use 0.10 - 0.52 sets for lower tunings.

Like it was mentioned earlier, the pick size is a very personal choice and a lot of factors can govern that. String gauge being one of them.
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#8
Thanks for the input guys I am still with the 1.50 and debating whether I keep this and learn to strum better with it or just go to Mr Right now which feels like the 1.14 they are both good.

Will the heavier picks destroy my 9-42 strings or it doesn't really matter?
#9
Maybe have a look at Dava Picks (http://www.davapick.com). They are variable thickness depending on how you hold it and I've found them to be really good at covering various playing styles well.
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#10
I started out long ago with bendy Fender mediums, and now I'm using 2-3mm hard plastic acrylic picks (Gravity "Razer"). I haven't destroyed a set of strings with them yet <G>. But I think that probably depends on your playing style. The Razer also has a fairly pronounced point, and I've apparently been moving that direction as well.

I'll still use the bendy picks for acoustic strumming...
#11
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
Thanks for the input guys I am still with the 1.50 and debating whether I keep this and learn to strum better with it or just go to Mr Right now which feels like the 1.14 they are both good.

Will the heavier picks destroy my 9-42 strings or it doesn't really matter?


personally to me 1.5 mm picks on 9-42 feels uncomfortable ... however like i said earlier, it's a personal thing and if you feel comfortable ... den nothing like it.

and guitar strings are strong ... a 1.5 mm pick is not gonna bust it.
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#12
Thickness is a personal thing, but when it comes to playing fast music with a lot of single not picking and simple chords I personally would use pointier picks. Thin or thick a sharp pick feels much more accurate and gives much faster pick attack. Something like Ultex Sharps (favourite) or Jazz III (standard for tiny picks, XL for normal size) or Tortex T III picks. Gator Grips are VERY rounded, they glide through the string so lightly that I can barely even feel the pick touching the string. I think they are more suitable for strumming big chords, but as usual YMMV.

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#13
i use the 2mm gator grips. i think they are made from acetal. i wear them out pretty fast though.

have you tried a blue chip?
#14
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
Thanks for the input guys I am still with the 1.50 and debating whether I keep this and learn to strum better with it or just go to Mr Right now which feels like the 1.14 they are both good.

Will the heavier picks destroy my 9-42 strings or it doesn't really matter?


seems like a good [portion of you problem isn't about the pick it's about technique. thicker pick won't necessarily make you faster at all and it may actually get in your way.

as many have mentioned already pick thickness and size are a personal thing and you need to work it out in conjunction with your technique. i use either 1mm or 2 mm picks (dunlop nylon for the most part) for most things. now if i was strumming cowboy chords around the campfire then a thinner pick may be used. but that's me. you'll find that if you look at the big picture of various guitar hero types that the picks used are all over the place.
#15
Totally personal preference just like string gauge. I play 1mm tortex on 12-54 strings. I have a strict diet of metal dropped a whole step. Pretty good bit of diversity on the posts above. Trial and error bud. 1.50mm and 42's I'd break strings constantly with my heavy hand. Depends on you tho.
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#16
What you have to lose is $3. Buy and try, it's personal preference.
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#17
1.50 is my pick at the moment and I've gone with Delrin as it slips less.

The only issue I continue to have is it jags in the strings during fast mutes...No matter how I hold it, how I practice it it continues to be an issue for me...only on this song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IxYbx4nRCw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8Svpix7I7c


Other than that I love it...It's only been a month or so I sometimes change the grip between strumming and leads especially if I have a PH coming and this causes issues too.

I've got stubbies coming as apparently they roll of the string or something but I have a 2.00mm Dunlop here and it's repulsive tbh....

I have like 200 picks here more or which I will continue using like 5, if you're in Staya I'll throw some in the mail for you...

The sharpies and the jazz's definitely feel like a lead players pick...thick is better for metal...strumming = nylon and thinner everyone knows this. I personally like Delrin material with Nylon in last and ultex before tortex...I am coming to the end of my pick discovery journey and it's Delrin 1.50mms.

For the previous 10 years 8-9 which I didn't really play I'd used Nylon 073s and can still use them...they certainly make fast mutes easier but I've grown to hate them in the face of the speed control and release of tension a 1.50mm pick gives me.

Not having issues with super slinkies or thick picks, it sounds good imo, stronger

Changing picks has renewed my playing and I highly encourage at least summarily every few years ago trials of everything...especially if you as a guitar player has changed.

End rant, end thread.
Last edited by MyOceanToSwim at Sep 7, 2015,
#18
I've been using .73 Ultex Sharps for about 8 months now and I really like them. I tend to stick to .73s because they have enough flexibility to have attack when strumming, but are solid enough to play fast and not slow me down.

On bass, I use either .73 or .60 Tortex for the same reason Nolly said on his gear rundown; when picking hard, the pick flexes and has a kind of compression effect where louder notes are more consistent.
#19
Quote by MyOceanToSwim at #33541991
Thanks for the input guys I am still with the 1.50 and debating whether I keep this and learn to strum better with it or just go to Mr Right now which feels like the 1.14 they are both good.

Will the heavier picks destroy my 9-42 strings or it doesn't really matter?



I use 1.50 and 9 - 42 strings and it definitely doesn't destroy anything
#20
Unlikely to do any harm, you might break any strings only if you pick REALLY hard, although also if you pick quite hard with thin strings it's likely they'll go out of tune a bit more, unless your guitar is really good at tuning stability. Heavy and tight strings don't give a damn how hard you pick. Everything has its pros and cons. (I also like light strings so I'm aware of that.)
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#21
Its all preference - try as many different ones as you can over as long a period of time as you can. Never realised just how heavy I like my strings and picks until I experimented with what felt best (.12/.60s in Eb/drop Db or D/drop C and Jazz III stiffs).
#22
Though it is all preference, I have noticed one thing about the thickness not always meaning firmest. A Jim Dunlop nylon 0.88mm bends a lot more than the .73mm Tortex III picks I normally use. The 0.88mm pick definitely feels thicker, but it plays like a thinner pick.
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#23
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
I come across an article on the Internet entitled why you ain't playing fast.

I like the 1.50 better...I feel less tension in my hand and I feel faster. Weirdly though sometimes if I am playing a power chord I don't always feel like I reach the last note. I often feel I am chugging heavy on just two strings unless I really watch it.

Also confusing me more James Hetfield only uses a 1.14 pick and plays at speeds well past my good self. It' got me thinking I know I am gaining speed, some comfort and the sound with a thicker pick feel bulkier to me?

Does a thicker pick = thicker sound?


In the faster strumming bits the pick almost feels jammed? I've taken to keeping a really LOOSE grip on the picks so it's not so rigid on the strings is this correct large pick users?


I am using 9-42 strings at the moment is a 1.50 pick going to annihilate them?


I found an article on the internet that promised to enlarge part of my anatomy but that didn't work either. Believe it or not, not everything on the tinterweb is 100%

The getting caught on strings thing is probably that you are digging in too far. With thinner picks they will flex more. You will need to work on your technique for that one. I had to do that when I went up in thickness (again the pick not the anatomy thing).

I'm fairly sure James could pick quicker than you (and me) with a potato chip, he's been doing it a long time!

A thicker pick does allow for a more aggresive attack which can affect the tone.

Finally, I use the same strings and a 1.14 pick with no issues. You may break a few more strings until you correct the digging in thing mentioned.
#24
A plectrum is an extension of the body, a tool of the soul. Use whatever you fancy.

Generally, thicker pics let you pick a bit faster, beefier toanz, but thinner ones strum... blandly... you want something with at least a little feedback.

I have used yellow Tortex exclusively for a few years now. I forget the size, .93?
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#25
I've got the 2.mm stubby now, grip, a sharp point makes my pinches a little bit better and it mutes better but not great still.

TBH When I play Linoleum by Nofx I switched to a 073. Nylon pick...and I can do it seemelessly and everything else is done with a 2mm stubby.

I swore I'd never go sharp points.

Basically the same old story if you know man, you try something it's better and you can't imagine yourself 'going back' to what you were kinda happy with before!
#26
1.14 feels best but this is Dunlop Delrin pick...Delrin being my fav
material for grip and feel.

I like the big stubby pick design BUT it's hot here and they become
insanely slippery upon any moisture.

The 1.14 regular Dunlop Delrin is good but it's not great for faster picking and it gets jacked on the strings when playing fast mutes as it doesn't have the tip design

I need a 1.14mm stubby but they don't make them :|

I am chopping and changing between 1.00 stubby and 1.14 delrin dunlop atm

Talk about Pandora's box

1.14mm Delrin
-Fast palm mutes
-Good grip
-Heavy enough but light enough

-Gets jagged on the strings
-Inferior compared to the stubbies for lead playing or any kinda shredding.

Big Stubbys
-1mm is not thick enough for fast palm muted songs and 2.00mm is far too thick
-Slippery upon any kind of sweat and once you're finger is out of the designed groove for it you will make some of the most awful mistakes of all time
-It's faster for leads and more accurate
-It's better for fast muted strings aka the mutes in smells like teen spirit


I've got the 1.14mm Black Fang Hetfield pick here...but it sucks...It's big and I don't like the feel bleh. I have like 150 picks now...
#27
I spent a lot of time testing different pick gauges/materials out. I like a pick that's somewhere in the middle, not so thick thatthe tone becomes abrasive, and also not so thin that I cannot articulate the pick accurately. My favorite picks are the tortoise .73mm and Ultex .94mm sharps. I use the ultex .94 for more fast/difficult riffs, because the thickness helps me hit the strings with more precision and articulation, and I use the thinner .73mm for riffs that don't require as much speed or articulation. Yet I find they both work well for most things, although each have their strengths. Thinner picks seem to get a sweeter/warmer timbre from the guitar, while thicker picks have a more abrasive sound but more controlled feel.
Last edited by andersondb7 at Nov 16, 2015,
#28
Quote by monwobobbo
Seems like a good portion of your problem isn't about the pick, it's about technique. A thicker pick won't necessarily make you faster at all and it may actually get in your way.

This is the most accurate post in this thread.

Anyway, OP, I use Dunlop Jazz III Black Nylons. 1.13mm, but really small and sharp - good for fast metal riffs/lead playing.

EDIT:

OP, I just watched your video. It's not your picks. It's your technique. You're moving WAY too much. Don't pick from your elbow.
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Last edited by oneblackened at Nov 15, 2015,
#29
I seem to find 1 mm a perfect balance. I switch it up for different types of playing.
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#30
Quote by oneblackened
This is the most accurate post in this thread.

Anyway, OP, I use Dunlop Jazz III Black Nylons. 1.13mm, but really small and sharp - good for fast metal riffs/lead playing.

EDIT:

OP, I just watched your video. It's not your picks. It's your technique. You're moving WAY too much. Don't pick from your elbow.


2.0mm pick reduces my tension and allows me to play master of puppets and fast palm mutes a heap faster...1.00mm = more movement and not possible, all in the pick.
#31
Quote by oneblackened
This is the most accurate post in this thread.

Anyway, OP, I use Dunlop Jazz III Black Nylons. 1.13mm, but really small and sharp - good for fast metal riffs/lead playing.

EDIT:

OP, I just watched your video. It's not your picks. It's your technique. You're moving WAY too much. Don't pick from your elbow.


Which video? I guess at 30 and working 12 hours a day and being self taught for 10 years it's probably too late tbh.
#32
It's all about preference. Speed is gained by efficient and proper practice. If I remember correctly, I was watching a video with Paul Gilbert where he stated that he used 0.73mm tortex picks, and he's probably one of the fastest guitarists. Use whatever is comfortable to you.
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#33
I love the jackson white tear drop picks. .88, holding the pick at an angle allows minimum traction and max speed.
Honestly. Wtf?


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#34
i like a 2.0 mm.
zero give makes my playing feel a lot smoother since i tend to pick harder than is called for a lot.
i hate that floppy <0.88 sound.