Friday, January 20, 2012

Guitar Picks - some that I use daily

The following photographic frames contain certain variations of plectrums that I have utilized. Each pick has a purpose, character, and forte. I'll express my opinion of the following products in a brief manner. My experiemental results are subjective and meant only to be a rough guide. Over the years, some new picks have curried favor while other are retired. It's a cyclical adventure for me. As this series of illustration is but the tip of the iceberg, it could be construed that I have a compulsive pick purchasing disorder.

Tortoise style picks: Fender, John Pearse, Red Bear, and D'Andrea picks. All greater than 1.0mm thick. Sound really nice on acoustic guitars.

Delrin like property picks. Wegen picks tend to be my all around go to pick. I love the GP250. Those that I use are generally greater than 1.5mm in thickness. They are not super bright sounding but there is a very low pick to string drag coefficient, .i.e., very slippery. The pick has machined channels that greatly aid grip and reduce the amount of grip tension requirement.

Jim Dunlop Tortex picks were a standard pick in my arsenal for many years. I love them because they are firm, have decent mild tone and the surface has a very good basic gripping enhancing texture. The Blue 1.0mm  was my replacement for the Jim Dunlop Nylon which I found suffered from my vigorous technique thus succumbing to attrition. Note about the pick end tips; I prefer the rounded pick end over the pointed pick end. The Jim Dunlop Nylon was my replacement upgrade for Fender Heavy 351 celluloid picks.

Jim Dunlop Nylon Jazz II which are nice but not fast enough for me. These wear down too quick on my archtop guitars which utilize heavy round wound strings.

Fender Heavy Celluliod that is my most expensive pick. This pick was retrieved from my Rhodesian Ridgebacks jaws. Razz is now gone, only he could make this pick. This pick is priceless, retired and it's perfect.

Jim Dunlop Techpick "brass" pick - Used only sparingly. Too high string to pick drag coefficient and hard to grip. Over zealous technique yields deep guitar finish abrasions. I experienced an unusual short string life while employing this type of pick. Difficult to hold but facilitates fast picking.

 Stone Pick - God knows who made this. It was given to me when I was about 16 by a high school sweetheart. It's all good, but it's hard a hell to hold! Great tone, fast picking, no pick wear, no premature string wear. If I could only hold on to it. If I was using it during a gig and lost it, I would need to change my technique and at this point I'd probably just start playing clams. This pick is relegated to home use only.

Bone picks I picked up (no pun intended) in Japan. These felt scratchy to me. Like fingernails on a chalk board but the tone is nice. Not very good for fast picking and they wear quickly.

Great Bebop pick - again, Jim Dunlop Jazztones! Not too crisp of tone, mellow flat wound type strings work well with these picks. Doing fast Charlie Parker solos? These picks will suffic if you cannot get your hand on the Wegens, Red Bears, Blue Chips, John Pearse etc.... One of the best all around picks for Jazz bebop on a budget.

This is a intriguing new pick on the market that looks promising. The FLEX-PIC is 5 picks in one.

Below is a FLEX-PIC demonstration video. This is a link to the FLEX-PIC Facebook page. Check these picks out!

Finally, not everyone has the fancy picks at their disposal. Some of the aforementioned picks are difficult to obtain or available only on-line . If you are just getting started (neophyte) then some of these fancy picks might simply be a waste of your hard earned money. The following picks are great for those just starting out on the guitar - Fender celluloid medium, Jim Dunlop Celluloid, and most Steve Clayton picks.

I must apologize for not showing any Steve Clayton picks but these have not be as accessible as the other picks I mentioned in this post. I do like the Phat-tone picks. Unfortunately, I don't have enough experience with that product brand to facilitate a strong opinion.
I urge everyone to try different picks out. You will find that some picks work very well on acoustics guitars only. Some picks will work better with thick strings but will cause premature string fatigue on thin gauge strings. All the experimentation means that you are spending more time with your guitar and that is very good! Picks are inexpensive tools that could change your technique, and increase your interest. Go buy a variety of picks and try them on different types of guitars, strings, string scales, shredding, hybrid picking, and simple campground singalongs.  You will get better at your instrument and maybe find a new favorite pick. It's all great fun!

1 comment:


I have invented a great new Pick series called Flex-PIC. Please see these below and email me. I will have you review a few of mine. Mine are truly different, you will see in the Youtube Videos. I also have an exclusive material that I use that gives us the opportunity to actually offer a warranty against wear and tear. This is a industry first.


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