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Thread: What Type of Pick do You Use?

  1. #1
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    What Type of Pick do You Use?

    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
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  2. #2
    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.

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
    Member bretwomack's Avatar
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    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

  5. #5
    Bridge constructor MykeWright's Avatar
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    Dunlop Jazz III, pretty much any variety - red, black, maxgrip.
    2Tek'd to the MAX

  6. #6
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #7
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    Fender Mediums, but I have been using V-Picks more and more of late...


    Jamie

  8. #8
    Senior Member Michael B's Avatar
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    Dunlop jazz 3's here!
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  9. #9
    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.

  10. #10
    DGT Club Vice President
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    Green Tortex .88s! Love them!
    __________________________________________

    mgd

    DGTs

  11. #11
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Dunlop jazz 3 and nylon .88s for electric and extra heavy thumbpicks and steel fingerpicks for lapsteel and pedal steel.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  12. #12
    HFS Lover
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    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?

  13. #13
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    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
    PRS SE 245
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    Marshal Class 5
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  14. #14
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Duncan View Post
    Green Tortex .88s! Love them!
    Yup, they just work. I've dabbled in some other shapes/sizes but have always gone back.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgRob View Post
    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

  16. #16
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    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!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dantedayjob View Post
    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!
    PRS SE 245
    PRS SE Singlecut

    Marshal Class 5
    Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue

  18. #18
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    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).
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  19. #19
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    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.
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  20. #20
    Fender Medium "cellulose" 30 years going strong.....

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