Author Topic: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)  (Read 3986 times)

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Offline greenlion

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Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« on: February 27, 2015, 12:45:06 pm »
I found a guy an eBay called ROBSSTRINGSHACK who lets you order custom packs of 6 guitar picks in most of the popular Dunlop lines. I've had an absolute blast the last two weeks having dozens of picks in different sizes and makes lined up across my desk and shredding a few minutes with each to compare them.

I've used Tortex and Gator Grips for years because the marketing convinced me that plain smooth Delrin picks would slip out of my grip. Well they don't, and the plain Delrin have ended up being one of my favorites as far as tone and feel. They have such a crisp, smooth release and bright tone when shredding.

I found that my least favorite has been the regular Jazz III. It sounds like a cheap piece of plastic and the front edge is almost too sharp and feels like it gets stuck on the string. The same Jazz III made from Ultex is one of my favorites. It is sharper than a normal pick which gives you more precision and a snappier release, but is much slicker than the regular Jazz III and does not have that plastic sounding plink to it. Another that I do not like the sound of is the Ultex Sharp. The regular Ultex is one of my favorites, very slick and fast, but the Sharp version has a pronounced "ping" to it that I find annoying. If it were a lot thicker, I think it would help. I wish Dunlop made the regular Ultex in a thicker 1.5 and 2.0.

The Gator Grip picks feel like they take longer to get over the string and have a more muffled darker tone. I like this for some applications as well. I'm liking these when I am learning a new pattern. The Gators feel like they are slowing your shredding down a little while the regular and Jazz III made from Ultex and the Delrins have a very slick, dry, quick release. The tips are a little more rounded on the Gators too, so they roll over the string more smoothly and feel like they stay in contact with the string longer.

The regular Tortex versions are good all-round picks, not too slow, not too fast, and have a balanced sound to them whereas the Delrin is brighter and Gators are darker. I have some more on the way, and will add these into the mix. It has been a lot of fun and certainly costs less than trying new pickups.

As far as pick SIZE, I haven't found anything thinner than .73 useful for anything but strumming chords. The .73 picks are on the verge of being too thin for the shred, blues, rock, and metal I play. I have found the 1.0 and 1.14 to be a good all-round balance for everything. The 1.5 and 2.0 begin getting really thick and feel like they take longer to get over the string than the 1.0 and 1.14. This is useful for some applications, but I no longer agree that the thickest pick you can find is best for shred. The composition of the plastic and the shape seems to effect the speed of it more than the size.

Offline greenlion

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 11:13:14 am »

** Crickets chirping **

This place is dead. I don't know why I bother posting here any more...

Offline buddroyce

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 03:47:25 pm »
Not going to lie. Stats prove that most people spend their time at this place in the pickups section. The other sections don't get anywhere near as much love.

As for picks, I've been using the 1.5mm tortex sharp picks for years, but I think I'm one of the few people that actually like them. Just to be weirder, the favorite picks are the ones I've worn in a bit so that the sharp point on them are worn in to the angle I actually play. I'll have to take a picture sometime. Never been a huge fan of the Jazz III's myself. Don't know what it is about them.
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Offline corypheus

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 04:37:51 pm »
I bought and had at one time over hundred different picks. Over the years, I've came back to one of the things I had used before. It's just the Dunlop nylon standard, 0.88 nothing fancy, but damn does it make everything sounding better and easier to play for me. With anything else I'm considerably sloppier so I think I definitely found my favorite.

I would recommend anyone, to buy loads of different ones and try, you never know what you'll end up in the end.

Offline rgand

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 10:25:42 am »
I originally started playing with a Fender medium. Over a many year search for the 'perfect' pick, I tried a lot of different ones. I have some that when I pick them up, I wonder, "What the hell was I thinking?" In the end, I settled on Fender medium. Now I just get a different color when I want something else.

Offline Mail2JackButler

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2015, 09:20:31 am »
Lately I've been using a V pick medium that is actually 2.75mm
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Offline greenlion

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 02:57:21 pm »
I've added a few more to my growing collection. I'm really liking the larger Triangle Tortex Picks. They really help highlight downward pick-slanting while shredding and if you wear out one tip, you still have two more tips. I've been using them for bass as well.

Rob (I guess??) from Rob's String Shack, who I've been getting these multipacks from, sent me a couple of extra picks to try. The Glow-in-the-dark D'Addario picks made by Planet Waves are very slick on the strings. Very low friction and very fast. The gripping surface is one of the slickest of any of the picks too, so that might not be great when sweating on a hot stage.

One that has quickly become one of my favorites is the D'Addario Duragrip line. When shredding, I actually hold a little too low on the picks for the molded-in grip surface to do much good, but I really like the material. It is very similar to the Tortex, maybe just a hair stiffer, and you can get thicker versions of it than you can in the Dunlop Tortex line. If you were chugging away at metal or strumming chords this would offer the best grip surface I've felt.

My least favorite out of all the picks is the D'Addario Cortex pick. It has a loud clicking sound when shredding and at the same time it is really sticky feeling when leaving the string (not the grip, but the string release). It feels really slow, and I feel like the pick is struggling to roll over the string and let go.

Offline greenlion

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2016, 06:21:18 pm »
I know this is a zombie thread, but I though you guys might be interested in hearing the inherent sound of different pick material in these videos.

https://youtu.be/3CZNsXE4zmk

https://youtu.be/fX-zB4j-CXs

Offline Slartibartfarst

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2016, 08:25:56 am »
I use Dunlop Max Grip Jazz III carbon fibre picks and have done for a while now. The grip is excellent and they take forever to wear out. Actually, I don't think I've ever actually worn one out, I've only replaced them due to loss.

Offline musiker01

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2016, 04:20:10 pm »
After using a lot of different picks over the decades i ended up with the Dunlop Ultex Sharp 1.14mm. Everything above that being to thick for my taste.

But: lately i found to be my favorite picks the Planet Waves Celluglo 1.25 mm (a thickness i never see by any other brand?). Really good grip and a warm tone which combines the best of the Ultex Sharp and the Dunlop Tortex.

Video soon to follow.

Offline KH Guitar Freak

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Re: Picking Picks (picks, not pickups)
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2016, 03:30:27 pm »
Interesting. I always thought the brightest Dunlop picks would be the Ultexes and Tortexes. For me, the Delrins actually sounded more rounded, especially when I'm using the thicker variants.

In short, I use the Tortex for my all-round electric guitar applications. The Delrins are great if I want a rounder tone. Usually I would use the 2.0mm version on regular solid body electric guitar with wound strings to get a jazzier tone. For hollowbodies, the same Delrins are too rounded and "muted". I use the 2.0mm Big Stubbies  when playing hollowbodies.

I also use the Jazz III XLs occasionally. Just a different useable tone. Lastly, the celluloid picks are cool too. A vintage sounding pick for the lack of better words. Works great with acoustic too