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View Full Version : What Type of Pick do You Use?



ProgRob
08-18-2012, 11:10 PM
Apologies if this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find anything with the search feature... I'm just curious what y'all like to use for picks. I have been using green Tortex (.88) picks for years, but recently started to pick up a variety of other types to see if I might like something better. I found that I actually like the tone of nylon picks a bit better, but not their feel (too springy feeling for me).

This past week, I decided to try some metal picks just for kicks. I grabbed some brass ones as they were described by a few folks as being the "warmer" options compared to steel or copper. Oddly enough, I REALLY like these picks! They truly are warmer sounding than plastic picks. I haven't tried other metals to compare them to, but I plan to soon just to see how the different metals differ from one another. I was quite surprised as I thought that metal would be harsher sounding, but I was completely wrong. I have quickly found that I need to pay more attention to my attack to make sure that I hold the pick parallel to the string, otherwise there is a slight rubbing sound (mainly on the wound strings). However, the fact that they are getting me to pay more attention to the details of my technique can only be a good thing...

What is everyone else using these days? Anyone else have any experience with metal picks?

Cheers!

Rob

Poffypoffa
08-18-2012, 11:25 PM
Just got a bag of the .68 tusq picks--instant favorite for me. Nice raised grip, smooth feel and clear sound. The .68 is similar in flexibility to a traditional 1.0, IMO.

dantedayjob
08-19-2012, 12:39 AM
I also love metal picks. I use Fernandes Stainless Steel 0.8mm Extremely rigid and smooth, never wear out. I can play with a lighter touch than when I used plastic. Subtle changes of attack and position can have significant effect on dynamics and tone. Absolutely love the things. While I never used the brass one Rob mentions, I have used copper and aluminum and wasn't too happy because the edges would get rough and cause problems. I have also found that my strings last a lot longer with the stainless picks, I assume that shavings from the plastic picks (and to a lesser degree the softer metal) would get into the windings and dull the tone.

bretwomack
08-19-2012, 02:10 AM
Tortex 1.14 mm jazz shape. Small, thick, and pointy. I've tried the nylon jazz shapes, but they slip out of my sweaty hands

MykeWright
08-19-2012, 04:02 AM
Dunlop Jazz III, pretty much any variety - red, black, maxgrip.

CoreyT
08-19-2012, 05:18 AM
Growing up years ago when I played when I was young I liked the Fender mediums.
I took a 30 year break from playing, and I just got back into it this spring.

Got some Fender mediums again and also tried the green Dunlop Tortex .88 ones, and I prefer it over the Fender.
Ended up ordering a huge bag of them to make sure I have plenty on hand.

I also hold my picks sideways, I just prefer it over using the pointier end.

JMintzer
08-19-2012, 06:36 AM
Fender Mediums, but I have been using V-Picks more and more of late...


Jamie

Michael B
08-19-2012, 07:00 AM
Dunlop jazz 3's here!

kingsleyd
08-19-2012, 07:46 AM
More or less in order of how frequently I use them:

Picks & Stones Brazilian agate in a Jazz III shape
Blue chip jazz 50 (also Jazz III shape)
Dunlop Jazz III (the Eric Johnson signature version which is more like the originals although not quite 100% there IMO)
Pick boy standard teardrop, heavy

Plus a bunch of other picks for different feels/textures. Fun to experiment with different picks! And inexpensive, although the top two on my list are pricey. Which means I'm pretty careful with them.

Mike Duncan
08-19-2012, 08:18 AM
Green Tortex .88s! Love them!

swede71
08-19-2012, 08:35 AM
Dunlop jazz 3 and nylon .88s for electric and extra heavy thumbpicks and steel fingerpicks for lapsteel and pedal steel.

dantedayjob
08-19-2012, 08:42 AM
I am curious, you guys that use plastic picks, have you ever tried stainless steel or brass? If not is it because you have never had the opportunity, object to the concept, etc?

ProgRob
08-19-2012, 10:12 AM
Great replies so far... Thanks guys!

Like dantedayjob, I'd also like to hear more about anyone's experience with metal. I do plan to try steel soon and possible copper, but I have heard that aluminum is too soft and burs can form on the edge of the pick over time... not cool. I haven't head that about copper or brass though (unless you pick really hard). I also admit that in just a few days of using brass, it has also forced me to lighten my attack (I tend to pick very hard), and that is also giving me a sense of more control...

Good to see a variety of responses though. It just goes to prove that picks really are a personal preference and DO contribute to the tone we are each looking for.

Cheers!

Rob

vchizzle
08-19-2012, 10:16 AM
Green Tortex .88s! Love them!
Yup, they just work. I've dabbled in some other shapes/sizes but have always gone back.

dantedayjob
08-19-2012, 11:27 AM
Great replies so far... Thanks guys!

Like dantedayjob, I'd also like to hear more about anyone's experience with metal. I do plan to try steel soon and possible copper, but I have heard that aluminum is too soft and burs can form on the edge of the pick over time... not cool. I haven't head that about copper or brass though (unless you pick really hard). I also admit that in just a few days of using brass, it has also forced me to lighten my attack (I tend to pick very hard), and that is also giving me a sense of more control...

Good to see a variety of responses though. It just goes to prove that picks really are a personal preference and DO contribute to the tone we are each looking for.

Cheers!

Rob

I used copper for awhile, they were better than aluminum, but still wore out and would get rough edges. I found that my strings sounded good longer than when I used plastic, but not nearly as long as when I started using stainless steel. Also, copper tends to oxidize and you can end up getting green and/or black fingers from the picks! LOL

CantankerousCarl
08-19-2012, 12:41 PM
Yellow Tortex .73s, greenies were always just a bit too thick for me. I had a thin metal one floating around in my gear bag, but I think it's long gone.

I hold the pick so damn close to the end that I'm not sure it matters what I use...but now I'm curious, may try to find some metal ones - for science!

ProgRob
08-19-2012, 01:57 PM
I used copper for awhile, they were better than aluminum, but still wore out and would get rough edges. I found that my strings sounded good longer than when I used plastic, but not nearly as long as when I started using stainless steel. Also, copper tends to oxidize and you can end up getting green and/or black fingers from the picks! LOL

Thanks for the feedback on copper and aluminum. I heard that brass is hard enough to not wear too quickly, but just soft enough to warm up the tone a bit. It's noticeable warmer than tortex and nylon, but I need a stainless steel one to compare... I actually like how the brass ones are already tarnishing a bit. It quickly makes them sticky so they don't slip. Honestly, I feel that the brass slips less than my good ol' tortex, which were great, but still slip a bit at times.

Cheers!

alantig
08-19-2012, 02:04 PM
I generally use Ultex Sharps (have to check the thickness), and Jazz III XLs (the small ones get lost in my hands, and with acrylic nails, lots of collisions).

I also have an old Cymbolic - cut from cymbal brass. Very bright and chimey. But very thick for a pick. Almost V-pick-like (and I have a V-pick, too, but I'm fighting the chirp).

Mikegarveyblues
08-19-2012, 02:13 PM
The purple Dunlop Tortex ones... 1.14mm I think.

I've got a ton of the blue Tortex ones that I ordered in bulk before I made a switch to the purple ones. Been going through them for a few years now. Good for strumming or just general use, though i'll switch to the green Tortex ones when recording rhythm parts.

Jedi
08-19-2012, 02:42 PM
Fender Medium "cellulose" 30 years going strong.....

slev
08-19-2012, 03:48 PM
Green Tortex .88s! Love them!

+1

CAFeathers
08-19-2012, 04:58 PM
I use a variety of V-Picks in different thicknesses. I also turn my picks around and use the rounded side. No slipping either!!

Hopeful Sinner
08-19-2012, 08:33 PM
Yellow Dunlop Tortex .73 mm for years but recently switched to Dunlop Ultex. I recommend everybody give them a go, great picks!!!

CE-man
08-19-2012, 08:53 PM
I was using the purple Dunlop Tortex 1.14s then I went to the green Tortex .88s and because I started playing acoustic guitar a lot more, I'm using the yellow .73 Tortex picks, so I can jump from electric to acoustic without any change. Oh, and yellow shows up real good when you're constantly losing them.

LSchefman
08-19-2012, 09:00 PM
I use PRS or Fender medium or heavy celluloids, depending on what I need to do. On rare occasion, I'll use a Dunlop Jazz I or II pick.

Goldtop
08-19-2012, 09:32 PM
I use a little bit of everything. I usually, but not always, use a punch to put a hole in the middle of whatever I have. Just one small hole dead center does wonders to help the grip, and I can still use any side or end I want. I like the old standby shape (AKA Fender 351 ?). Some favorites are the light grey Dunlop .60MM nylon, Hercos or one the variations of them, and some with my own logo that I had made from ??? years ago. I usually go with them first because I have lots of them; I just have to blow the dust off of them. ;)

I've tried more materials and shapes of picks than I can remember, and the only ones I just didn't care for at all were the metal ones. Brass, steel, coins, etc.... None of those worked for me for whatever reason. As for gauge, give me mediums or thereabouts.

Goldtop

Poffypoffa
08-19-2012, 09:54 PM
By the way, don't waste money on the new Fender stainless steel picks. For some infathomable reason they textured the entire pick. It's like playing guitar with a cheese grater. Truly the worst, most nonsensical product design I've ever seen. If there's a point to playing guitar with a waffle pick, I'd love to know what it is.

MichaelSaulnier
08-20-2012, 04:23 AM
I'm a fan of the Dunlop Gator Grip... the 2mm are just feel right in my hand.

M

11top
08-20-2012, 06:21 AM
Dunlop Jazz III, pretty much any variety - red, black, maxgrip.

Me, too. Traditional "full size" picks feel awkward to me now.

Seneca SS
08-20-2012, 07:17 AM
dunlop .60

RedGuitars
08-20-2012, 08:55 AM
Dunlop Big Stubby 1.0mm (the red ones)

Proxmax
08-20-2012, 09:10 AM
Ibanez gold 1mm - celluloid
great sound but don't last long.

cjmwrx
08-20-2012, 09:33 AM
Dunlop GatorGrip .98. Have been using these from the beginning.

tmac65
08-20-2012, 11:55 AM
Cool Picks "Juratex" Jazz 1.2mm. The pick has a sand textured grip. The tone from the pick is amazing.

http://www.indoorstorm.com/acessories/cool_jurajazz.jpg

Before that I was using Dunlop Tortex Pitch Black Jazz III 1.4mm. I've also tried a variety of V-Picks. Every now and then I pick one of the Dunlop or V-Picks up and play around, but quickly realize why I was playing the Cool picks.

You have to be cool to play Cool.

crgtr
08-20-2012, 12:51 PM
Mostly the Lollar in the middle, but sometimes the other two.
http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd490/crgtr/photobucket-5956-1332269221027.jpg

Goldfixer
08-20-2012, 01:59 PM
Green Tortex .88s! Love them!
Same here

Proxmax
08-20-2012, 01:59 PM
wow, with signature!

slowro
08-20-2012, 03:56 PM
Any type of Jazz 3 and a 2.0 jazz ultex thing. somethings use a 1.14 James Hetfield sig pick to mix it up a bit

rafalstachura
08-20-2012, 04:06 PM
Black Dunlop Jazz III and nothing else.

Mikegarveyblues
08-20-2012, 04:55 PM
How could I forget...?!?

My fingers (On occasions).

Mike Duncan
08-21-2012, 02:38 PM
See? Proof!!https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/488270_10151104495327412_1403022358_n.jpg

ProgRob
08-21-2012, 06:37 PM
How could I forget...?!?

My fingers (On occasions).


Great answer!!! :D

MrKnaggs
08-21-2012, 11:01 PM
Been using elephant ivory picks for many years. Slightly larger than the red Jazz III and about 3mm thickness.

David Eaton
08-22-2012, 08:20 AM
V-Pick screamer model.

Mr-M
08-23-2012, 10:55 AM
I am new to playing the guitar so my choice may change in the future but for now, I love using the Dunlop Max Grip .88

11top
08-23-2012, 02:10 PM
How could I forget...?!?

My fingers (On occasions).

http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q99/Nancy81635/nose_picking.jpg

Mikegarveyblues
08-23-2012, 02:17 PM
"Try picking with your fingers... Dig right in for juicy...."

"Like this?"
http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q99/Nancy81635/nose_picking.jpg

"Dear God man... No!!! Tone. I was going to say tone!"

LSchefman
08-23-2012, 09:02 PM
Hard to follow that picture. LOL

I just started using Jazz IIIs again, and really like them. I like the Eric Johnson model, as it's not as slippery.

francric
08-23-2012, 09:14 PM
V-picks Screamer here...........................

LSchefman
08-31-2012, 03:45 PM
OK, this thread got me on a tear trying new picks. Went out and got a bunch over the past few days. Cheap thrills, right?

But you know, it's all about precision and tone that works, and everyone (and every guitar) is different. Over the years, I've been a pretty consistent guy using celluloid standard size picks, and occasionally, celluloid mandolin picks on acoustic guitar. I've also been an occasional Jazz I and II guy.

The past week or so, I've been working with the Red, Black and Pitch Black Jazz IIIs, and the Tortex Sharp, from Dunlop. Haven't been able to find the Ultex Jazz IIIs yet, however (I'll probably just order some to try).

Both of my current PRSes have ebony fingerboards. One thing about ebony is that it tends to make the differences in the attack of a note pretty obvious, and that means picks matter with these guitars. So here are a few pickin' thoughts:

The celluloid picks produce a "clack" at note attack. Great for twangy stuff. And they slide off the strings really well for rhythm playing. The red Jazz IIIs produce the cleanest note attack without clack, sound the best of all the picks to my ears with clean tones, slide off the strings nicely, but the material tends to slip just a little in my fingers. The black Jazz IIIs have a different material and gripping surface, and they're a good compromise doing what the red ones do well. I like these a lot on rock material, and they don't slip much.

The Tortex Sharps and the Pitch Black Jazz IIIs are made of the same stuff. This may seem obvious, given the look of the material, but the note attack is definitely more velvety and textured when the strings are struck with these picks. It's almost like listening to a sax player ramp up into a note, as opposed to a person doing a "yakkety sax" thing, if you know what I mean. Nice smooth attack. Great for jazz, blues, or when that's what you want in a rock solo. The standard size sharp and the pitch black Jazz III sound alike to me, it's just a matter of what fits your style best. Now that I'm used to the Jazz III size, going back to a regular size pick feels unwieldy, so I'm sticking with the IIIs.

I plan to use 'em all. No reason to limit yourself when you can buy a whole bag o' picks for 3-4 bucks! ;)

Albrecht Smuten
09-01-2012, 03:38 AM
Green Jim Dunlop .94mm nylon.

I just like the color =D

aduayer
09-01-2012, 07:24 AM
Medium celluloid ones for acoustic( right now I am using the PRS ones). I used to like Dunlop's black Jazz III, but I found out that Paul Gilbert's signature from Ibanez feels more comfortable to me. I also like the James Hetfiled's Black Fang .94.
I found out that I try out lots of picks when I am recording (the metal ones are great to add an extra tone) but live the Black Fang and the Paul Gilbert's are the one sI use the most.

Soul&Tone
09-01-2012, 09:01 AM
Dunlop Jazz III red and black.

bluefade
09-01-2012, 04:30 PM
CARBON NYLON-by PICKBOY- nice and STIFF & SWEET TONE !!

rocguitar
09-01-2012, 04:41 PM
V-Picks!

upl8tr
09-02-2012, 04:58 PM
Dunlop jazz 3 for me.

Jazzedout
09-03-2012, 02:59 AM
Dunlop Jazz III (Looks like it's very popular over here...)

Blackbear
09-03-2012, 06:00 AM
Fender 451 plastic, medium, love the size.