This might seem like an odd question to people who aren't familiar with the specific songs, but I was just wondering about steel picks, or any kind of picks for that matter that might be used in specific songs that have an acoustic guitar. I look up tabs for the songs, and try varying thicknesses of Jim Dunlop nylon picks, but I can't seem to achieve the same sound from my acoustic.

Fix You by Coldplay, when the acoustic kicks in (at 1:45), it has a very bright sounds to it, might that be a steel string pick? Many tabs I've looked up say just play a C chord, but it doesn't sound the same. Another example would be the acoustic guitar in 'Your Heart is An Empty Room' by Death Cab for Cutie' or the acoustic guitar strumming that kicks in in the Nickleback song "Savin' Me" at around 40 seconds. I've read that steel picks give that really bright sound, I'm not sure though I've never tried them.

I don't know if this is a dumb quesiton or not, I've only been playing guitar for less than a year so I'm no expert, there might be some technique I'm not familiar with, I just thought I'd ask. Thanks! (Hopefully some of you have heard these songs and know what I'm talking about ...)
hmm try other stuff..... for bright sounds...maybe strum very close to the bridge.. just try it!
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Quote by CoreysMonster
Meh, I usually just buy them off the local shaman, unless I'm in the wilderness, where I rely on raw meat to raise my HP.
Yea, closer to the bridge will give you a brighter sound. A steel pick might also do that, but that can't be good for your strings, or your guitar body, especially if you hit it.
sry i dont listen to modern music or play acoustic
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It could also be your strings, or simply how the song was recorded!
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try a different chord voicing, a different position on the neck
it might just be that.
the closer to the bridge thing is correct too.
it could also just be your guitar, or your strings actually, some strings just tend to give a brighter tone than others
Well theres alot of variables in tone. Picks do matter, the thicker the pick the fuller and brighter tone you will get. Also where you pick is important, some songs artists pick or strum off to the far right to get a more trebbley sound (Acoustic version of Angel by Hendrix is a very good example of this sound). The string material makes a difference. It's argued heavily, but many people believe Bronze strings are brighter than Phosphor Bronze and vice versa. I think it depends on the guitar. String gauge also makes a difference, with lighter strings being more trebbley and tinny, and thicker ones with more pronounced bass and projection. Another thing to point out is the way they recorded it. Theres a difference in sound between an acoustic plugged into an acoustic amp, and an acoustic that's micced up. Also they may have used a cover on the hole of the acoustic when they recorded which affects the tone as well.

There are alot of things to consider. Before I spend time checking the song out myself, look into those options and also post the tab you're using. I've seen conflicting tabs for it as to what chords are used. Are you using a capo as the tab says?


EDIT: Wow that took too long to type and I was beaten horribly on a couple things lol.
Quote by wylde_overdrive
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For the acoustic guitar section of Coldplay's "Fix You" I was referring to the following tab: (then again, I don't know if this is correct)


(I am using a capo on the 3rd fret, yes)

I noticed you mentioned a cover on the soundhole, what is the purpose of this? I've seen it on some guitars in a live performance, how is it used to change the sound of the instrument? I've also been playing closer to the bridge as I've noticed myself that it does give a brighter sound, but it's still not like the recording. Thanks for all the replies!
The soundhole cover is usually only on live performances, but if you're playing the studio version that's not really a player. It's mainly used to kill feedback. I gave the song a listen and with that tab was able to get it to sound right. I think you're just plauged by guitar envy lol. It doesn't matter the band, if they're signed they're going to have incredible guitars that have great tone, nice balance of lows, mids and highs, and just sing real clear.

What strings do you use now? How new are they, what gauge, what material, are the coated etc. Also don't downplay the fact it may be your technique. You said you're new so that's why I mentioning it, but make sure every chords is letting every note ring clear and you're not dampening any strings. Also make sure you get the strumming pattern down right

Quote by wylde_overdrive
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