#1
I'm a fairly new guitar player, I've been playing for about a year but I'd consider myself a good rhythm guitarist, but I've been struggling getting into lead guitar. I dislike the feeling that I feel when I start picking, it feels slippery, don't know how to describe it... Is there a pick that's diverse? For strumming and picking? When I search up good guitar picks I always see the "Jazz III" but I have a feeling that those are mainly for hard rock and metal. At the end I'd probably settle for gripped standards but I'd still like to know if there's a pick that fits my playing style. Am I just over thinking this? I play psychedelic type songs if that matter.
#2
Use what you like. There is no right or wrong its all preference. The only "metal" picks out there are ones made out of metal and you can play any genre you want with them.


I just use whatever.
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#3
I don't know man... I tried the Jazz III but I didn't like them because I have to concentrate too hard on how hard I'm hitting the strings when I'm strumming open chords. You can get the same effect by choking up on a regular pick anyway.

I think everybody over-thinks picks - including me lol - but if you look at history, all the greats from back in the day were using regular old celluloid picks anyway (include some very fast players, such as Randy Rhoads).

Personally, I like the feel of celluloid, but they break too easy so I go with Ultex (feels pretty much the same but they're very durable).

I recently tried some Primetone picks (Ultex with a beveled edge to give a "well used" feel and tone) and I like them, but they're too expensive for how often I lose picks.

Ultex (and celluloid) is generally really slick though, so you may not like them. However, having the tip go in lower between the strings will add some friction.

I haven't used them in awhile, but if I remember right, Tortex picks are really durable also, but not quite as slick as Ultex.

One pick I really like (but will never buy again because of the price) is the Dava control pick. I bought the sampler pack and my favorite was the nickel/silver tipped one for feel, but I don't like the tone of metal picks. My least favorite was Derlin, which feels overly slippery to me (on that pick anyway, I've never used other Derlin picks).

If Dunlop were to make a pick similar to the Dava out of Ultex, I would never look back (or if Dava made them, I don't think Dunlop has a patent on the material or anything).

I would suggest just getting a whole bunch o' picks and keep trying them until you find one you really like.
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." -some dude
#4
I like Jazz IIIs made out of delrin (brake pad material), but I think picks are a personal choice. They probably don't matter until you can't find the pick you like and get stuck playing with something you hate, so then they matter a lot! I am very particular about picks, so I understand the struggle.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#5
James Hetfield's Black Fang picks are amazing. I seriously believe they help me, same with these ones that have a cut out star in the middle. I don't think picks are that important but it's certainly an element to playing. I'd say just try a bunch, they're super cheap at music stores.
#6
Picks are probably the most insignificant piece of guitar gear to worry about. But they do matter. There is a lot of preference with them though, which really just requires trial and error. If you are having trouble keeping a hold of your picks, I would suggest to work on technique before trying new picks. Also if your hands are gross and sweaty that will cause issues. But you should be able to hold on the non-gripped picks reasonably well with proper technique.

But presuming you have fine technique, there are a lot of picks with grips on them. Star-cuts outs as mentioned above, felt, fuzz, bumps, etc.
#7
I can say with picks I find the flimsy ones to be heinous. You know the ones that bend everytime and make that awful sound each time you strum. Oh boy. I've tried to use really small picks as well which sometimes help. Big thick ones can be alright for chugging but they don't fair well for me solo wise. It all matters how you play though.
#8
Picks are largely a matter of personal preference. But if they don't feel right, it will affect your playing.

FWIW, I use picks in a variety of shapes and materials, and I have found that the difficulty of certain techniques varies with changes in both. But that may just be me.
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#9
Quote by TROUnation
When I search up good guitar picks I always see the "Jazz III" but I have a feeling that those are mainly for hard rock and metal.


lol, that made me laugh. only in guitar would something labelled "jazz" be used for hard rock and metal

i like gator grips (1.5mm), i use them for virtually everything i'd use something thinner for acoustic, but only really because it sounds a bit better.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#10
It has recently come to my attention (by recently I mean about an hour ago) that certain pick manufacturers will send you free samples to try so you don't have to go out and spend a bunch of money on picks you might not like and end up tossing. I suspect a well crafted email would be helpful for this.
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." -some dude
#11
I've become fond of the Jazz XL size - these seem to comfortably fit my hand the best. I've been using the JP signature pics but a Planet Waves Black Ice was included with a pack of strings and it turns out I really like that one - the edge isn't quite as slick and I can get harmonics easier out of the plain strings.
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#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
lol, that made me laugh. only in guitar would something labelled "jazz" be used for hard rock and metal

Lol, yeah I see that stupidity in the comment that I made, but in my defense, I always see some shredder using the Jazz III's.
Last edited by TROUnation at Dec 16, 2016,
#13
Quote by TROUnation
Lol, yeah I see that stupidity in the comment that I made, but in my defense, I always see some shredder using the Jazz III's.


Oh nothing stupid about it, Jazz IIIs are very popular in the shreddy/metal crowd. It's just the fact that a pick apparently aimed at jazz became so popular in a genre so very "un" jazz.

That happens a lot with guitar though.

I personally love the Jazz III tortex version. The shape is still there, but it's more "plucky" because the edge isn't beveled. I tend to rely on that bit of fight that comes from pushing the edge of the pick past the string. Beveled picks glide too easily, I tend to be more sloppy with them.

To answer your question though, Id recommend a good tortex sharp pick. They are shaped traditionally at the type, so they work well for strumming, but the sharp tip helps to pick intricate lead lines better than a more rounded end.
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#14
I like the carbon fiber jazz iii's. grippy, last forever, and reasonably priced. that is exclusively what I use. I actually gave all of my other picks away except for a few that I keep around for other people to use while jamming.
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#16
Quote by TROUnation
I dislike the feeling that I feel when I start picking, it feels slippery, don't know how to describe it... Is there a pick that's diverse? For strumming and picking?


Yes and no. When I originally started playing guitar about 6 years ago, I started with thin picks. Now I'm using extra heavy picks. Why? Well, it mostly depends on the genre of music and (more importantly) your personal play style. I've read a couple of responses here saying that the pick is probably the thing to least worry about in your gear. I have to strongly disaggree. For playing open chords (folk and classic stuff) soft picks are great because they offer less resistance. They bend and rather jump over the strings. The overall sound is softer and warmer and you don't have to use much finger force to play the pick, which for most players is simply more comfortable. But on the other hand you will struggle with leads, as you have noticed. I noticed exactly the same, which was why I now use heavier picks. When playing leads (especially fast solos) a soft pick is rather problematic, because the single notes are less articulate and - believe it or not - it takes some time for the pick to get back to the neutral position after having bent. That behaviour is indeed noticable and makes playing solos significantly more difficult. As I said I usually play extra heavy picks. They offer more precision and tightness when soloing. When chugging powerchords it's no problem. But when I play open (or barre chords) I usually loosen my hand a bit (not the grip on the pick itself, just my wrist and fingers). In result you also get a softer sound and less resistance from the pick.

So generally speaking: Yes, there might indeed be something like a soloing pick and a rhythm pick, but it also heavily depends on the music genre. You can compensate with your own technique for some difficulties the pick might pose, but there are certain limits (especially to comfort). I'd just suggest you to et a mixed set of picks (consisting of extra light, light, medium, heavy and extra heavy picks). Just try all of them. Compare how well you feel playing the same passages with them and find out what weaknesses you can cope best with or compensate.

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#18
TROUnation I started using the Dunlop Jazz III Eric Johnson pics about 5 years ago and cannot imagine ever using anything else. They work for every type of music imaginable and have just the right amount of grip. Try them for a couple of weeks to give yourself time to adjust to them before giving up.
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#19
Quote by trashedlostfdup
I like the carbon fiber jazz iii's. grippy, last forever, and reasonably priced. that is exclusively what I use. I actually gave all of my other picks away except for a few that I keep around for other people to use while jamming.

Yup, same here.

The topic of picks is something I don't care much for because the Carbon Jazz III maxgrips are so perfect that I see no reason to use anything else.
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#20
I've used the Star picks for a while and they have a great grip


They're made of the same material as the Dunlops Delrin but the hole gives them a better grip. I used to punch holes with a hole puncher some of the Delrin Dunlop and Jackson pickups I had to get the same effect and it works just as well.

For blues soloing and bass work I prefer V-Picks "Freakishly Large" which is apparently what Santana plays. This feels almost like a bottle slide and they last years. The two I bought are still going strong 2+ years of constant bass playing


Gravity Picks seem to be doing similar picks to the V-Picks above in their acrylic range. For some reason I felt these thick acrylics are not very conducive to fast metal playing or I seem to be unable to, thus I moved to the Dunlop "Gels" Yellow 1.5mm which feels like acrylic and is light years cheaper
For some reason in my new band I felt that the Delrin material offered some dullness to the sound and thus I switched to the Dunlop Gels 1.5mm as it seems to have a bit more edge to the sound.

#21
Yeah picks matter. They make ones with sand paper texture. They are anti-slippery
#22
Quote by Prime2515102
It has recently come to my attention (by recently I mean about an hour ago) that certain pick manufacturers will send you free samples to try so you don't have to go out and spend a bunch of money on picks you might not like and end up tossing. I suspect a well crafted email would be helpful for this.


yeah i think there was a thread about that ages ago on here. maybe do a forum search? people were saying which companies were generous and which weren't. That being said, it's a few years old (at least) so the info might be out of date
Quote by TROUnation
Lol, yeah I see that stupidity in the comment that I made, but in my defense, I always see some shredder using the Jazz III's.


Oh i didn't mean you were stupid, I was agreeing with you that I thought a lot of shredders etc. used jazz IIIs
Quote by dementiacaptain
Oh nothing stupid about it, Jazz IIIs are very popular in the shreddy/metal crowd. It's just the fact that a pick apparently aimed at jazz became so popular in a genre so very "un" jazz.

That happens a lot with guitar though.


yeah that's what i meant
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#23
I used to switch picks so often, but I think I found the Jazz III JP models are my go-to picks. FWIW, I play shitty pop music

And to answer the question, yes but it's a personal thing - whatever works for some people may not work for you etc.
Last edited by Vantage at Dec 17, 2016,
#24
I had the Max Grip Carbon Fiber Jazz IIIs but hated the tone. Moved on to the Eric Johnsons and the tone was a lot better. Then I got a 3mm Gravity Sunrise Mini and it made the Jazz IIIs sound bad and nothing has come close to feeling as good. But I got a 2.5mm Chicken Pick Badazz III and the tone on that is really special. It doesn't feel as good as the Gravity but the sound is a lot better. I think picks are very important in terms of sound. And considering how cheap they are, it's worth it. An $8 pick sounds like a lot when you consider how much regular picks cost. But $8 is cheap when you consider how much it might improve your playing and tone.
#25
Quote by Dave_Mc

Oh i didn't mean you were stupid, I was agreeing with you that I thought a lot of shredders etc. used jazzs

Oh, don't feel bad, I mean if you did that is. I usually take things way out of context. So yeah, that's that I suppose. Hopefully you didn't get that weird cringy/guilty feeling that I get when some other person takes what I said the wrong way.
#26
^ haha no worries
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#27
Quote by Mincer
I like Jazz IIIs made out of delrin (brake pad material), but I think picks are a personal choice. They probably don't matter until you can't find the pick you like and get stuck playing with something you hate, so then they matter a lot! I am very particular about picks, so I understand the struggle.

Wrong, the tortex ones are made out of delrin, the reds are made from nylon, blacks are graphite and nylon. That's the main one's that people get wrong.
#28
Those are the ones I use..the Tortex ones. Not the red ones.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#29
I use the Ultex sharps. Usually 1.14mm. They don't bend, they don't slip in my hand and you can single pick notes pretty fast with the sharp point. It fits me perfectly.
#30
As far as the thickness of the pick is concerned I get a better muted sound with a thinner pick. On tempo numbers like "Long Train Running" (Doobie Brothers) I wear the hell out of some picks, down to the bloody nub...plastic dust all over the guitar. Is THAT normal, BTW?
#31
donaldcash840
Depends on the material & the maker. I bought a pack of Ish carbon fibers and liked the tone and stiffness, but they left black powder everywhere. So I haven't used the rest of them.
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Log off and play yer guitar!

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#32
Quote by Dave_Mc
lol, that made me laugh. only in guitar would something labelled "jazz" be used for hard rock and metal

i like gator grips (1.5mm), i use them for virtually everything i'd use something thinner for acoustic, but only really because it sounds a bit better.


The Seymour Duncan Jazz is a very popular pickup for metal too.

Maybe we are onto something here.
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#33
More pick fun, I got a bunch of John Petrucci sig picks for Christmas. They are the perfect iteration of the Jazz picks. Nice and sharp, a bit larger (longer), and the material is grippy.
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#34
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
The Seymour Duncan Jazz is a very popular pickup for metal too.

Maybe we are onto something here.


Funny, it isn't a very good pickup for jazz, though!
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#35
If you believe the marketing for all these different companies, then yes, things like picks, cables, and strings used are important.

I don't believe they have as much impact as they try to tell you, other than personal preferences
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#36
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
The Seymour Duncan Jazz is a very popular pickup for metal too.

Maybe we are onto something here.


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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?