Guitar Pick Materials

Discussion about guitar playing from a diverse group of people with different tastes and levels of experience.
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StevenStanleyBayes
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Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » October 19th, 2018, 9:59 pm

I have carried out an extensive research of Guitar Pick Materials in order to find fast, super fast and ultra fast guitar pick materials.

I have been trying to find the fastest guitar pick materials ( not design ) of picks made of other than metal material. I have spent more than a half of an year for this research.

The guitar pick material must be able to perform excellently when ultra fast tremolo is played with the picking hand ( right hand for right handed players ).

I have decided to publish the research here. The research can easily be updated with new discoveries as well as can easily be corrected in case of any mistakes.

An excellent idea would be for everyone who has some information on ultra fast guitar pick materials to write a comment with some information on the picks such as the name of the picks, a link to the manufacturer's page of the pick, availability, legality, price, etcetera.

PLEASE, NOTE : THIS TOPIC IS : GUITAR PICK MATERIALS. ONLY COMMENTS ON FAST GUITAR PICK MATERIALS WILL BE ACCEPTED!

Thanks!

Here is a link to the research document Guitar Pick Materials : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

StevenStanleyBayes
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Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » October 19th, 2018, 11:40 pm

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Posted 5 hours ago
I acquired new picks ( and some old picks ignored in the research by mistake ) yesterday :

1. Fred Kelly Fat Flat Large Delrin 085 Blue : http://fredkellypicks.com/product/delri ... lat-large/
2. Fred Kelly Nylon Flat Heavy White : http://fredkellypicks.com/product/nylon-flat/
3. Fred Kelly Polycarbonate Flat Heavy Red : http://fredkellypicks.com/product/poly-flat/
4. Janicek Picks Jazz A, D Grip, A 1.18mm, Blue, Original : Made in Czech Republic : http://www.janicekpicks.com/en/produkty
5. Dunlop Jazz III XL Series Black ( Most Likely Nylon )
6. Dunlop Ultex Sharp 1.40mm : https://www.jimdunlop.com/product/433p- ... 04254-4.do

I have been able to evaluate them for a few minutes only and here are the first impression.

1. Unmodified : Even unmodified, all of them perform well except the Jazz A. Dunlop Ultex Sharp 1.40mm performs the same as every Dunlop Ultex.
2. Slightly Modified : Jazz A performs excellently, yet, not as good as Janicek Nylon Brain picks. Needs more modifications to be able to say. Fred Kelly's perform excellently. The Blue one has never been modified and still performs excellently. Additionally, Jaz A is extremely sturdy for the thickness of 1.18mm and does not flex. Dunlop Jazz III XL has not been modified yet and performs better than the rest and even better than the tiny Jazz III Nylon Stiffo. I have definitely made a mistake to ignore this pick. Fred Kelly Polycarbonate performs superbly, probably, the best of these all.

StevenStanleyBayes
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Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » October 19th, 2018, 11:42 pm

A List of New Ideas :

1. Acrylic Picks : Gravity Picks Acrylics : https://www.gravitypicks.com/product/acrylic-picks/ and V Picks : https://v-picks.com/

2. Stone picks : https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Tooyful ... 03542.html ( There are other stone picks at AliExpress and elsewhere. ) Please, note : Stone and bone picks may not be faster than metal and may generate just as much ( or more ) noise, thus, to test stone picks may be just for entertainment purposes.

3. Winspear Picks : https://www.winspearinstrumental.com/co ... /plectrums

4. Teflon Picks

5. Dunlop Gator Picks

StevenStanleyBayes
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Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » October 19th, 2018, 11:46 pm

PLEASE, NOTE :

PLEASE, MAKE COMMENTS EXTREMELY DIRECTLY ON THE TOPIC ONLY.

AGAIN : ONLY FAST GUITAR PICK MATERIALS, PLEASE!

Please, also note : I will NOT reply to comments which are NOT extremely directly on the topic. I may reply to comments on the topic but this may take a while because I may not be available.

I also do NOT receive emails when a comment is posted.

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Alan Green
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Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by Alan Green » October 20th, 2018, 3:47 am

I think I'll stick to using my fingers; I can play faster that way
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger
"I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk

Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk

StevenStanleyBayes
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Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » October 20th, 2018, 11:15 pm

Please, be informed : there is an alternative, commercial publication on the topic : https://www.musicradar.com/news/the-10- ... -plectrums

Please, note : I only publish this reply in order to convey this piece of information. I do NOT necessarily agree with the contexts of the piece of information.

StevenStanleyBayes
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Joined: October 19th, 2018, 9:46 pm

Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » October 21st, 2018, 7:49 pm

Please, note : I have just had an idea for guitar picks made of Cubic Zirconia. Cubic Zirconia ( artificial diamond ) has hardness of 8 to 8.5 on Mohs' scale ( diamond is 10 ) and is harder than most of the artificial and real gems and stones. Cubic Zirconia is inexpensive because the Cubic Zirconia used for guitar picks does not need to have the clarity of this used for jewellery.

However, most likely, Cubic Zirconia would bring the same problems as with metals : zing. Thin picks in a pointed shape with 90 degrees side walls of the tip and the very tip vertically sharpened may have a lower zing, yet, most likely, there would be some.

I tried to search for Cubic Zirconia guitar picks and I only found guitar picks made of Cubic Zirconia into jewellery : https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/344525440219283520/

There are some picks made of Agate at AliExpress.com

In regards to the picks I have been recently evaluating, Fred Kelly's nylon is OK as most Nylons. However, Fred Kelly's Polycarbonate picks, a. k. a. Poly, are fast ( modified and with original shape ). Fred Kelly's Polies are very similar to Alice clear plastics and the one I have made of a picture frame clear plastics ( and polished well to make work ).

StevenStanleyBayes
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Posts: 11
Joined: October 19th, 2018, 9:46 pm

Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » October 21st, 2018, 7:50 pm

A List of New Ideas :

1. Acrylic Picks : Gravity Picks Acrylics : https://www.gravitypicks.com/product/acrylic-picks/ and V Picks : https://v-picks.com/

2. Stone picks : https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Tooyful ... 03542.html ( There are other stone picks at AliExpress and elsewhere. ) Please, note : Stone and bone picks may not be faster than metal and may generate just as much ( or more ) noise, thus, to test stone picks may be just for entertainment purposes. Please, note : there are Agate picks at AliExpress.com

3. Winspear Picks : https://www.winspearinstrumental.com/co ... /plectrums

4. Teflon Picks
5. Dunlop Gator Picks
6. Cubic Zirconia Picks ( may not be available ).

StevenStanleyBayes
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Joined: October 19th, 2018, 9:46 pm

Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » October 24th, 2018, 6:37 pm

This is to inform all interested I have just acquired two picks, $7.50 each, Gravity Picks Acrylic Sunrise pick : 3mm and 1,5mm. I have not played them yet. They look extremely beautiful and the material ( Acrylic ) looks very strong and slick.

StevenStanleyBayes
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Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » November 3rd, 2018, 8:26 pm

I played with the picks I last purchased :

1. Gravity Picks Sunrise 1.5mm : The material is OK. May be slightly brittle and, thus, abrasive. Difficult to tell because of the lacquer. Did not remove the lacquer with Acetone ( nail polish removal can be used too as the nail polish removal is mostly Acetone ) because the pick is very expensive and want to keep close to original. Slightly sharpened the pick horizontally to widen the horizontal angle ( not as pointed as the original ), but, very slightly. Made a very slight vertical angle, just 1mm to 2mm from the tip. Sandpapered, thus, removed the lacquer around the tip where the pick was mechanically processed. Seems to work OK. The lacquer is bad and drags the strings. Much better without. The material is OK. May need to be made very slightly softer, but, very slightly to prevent brittleness and abrasiveness. Yet, the material needs to be strong, thus, the pick is OK as is. The pick endures a lot of abuse. Acrylic may be an excellent material.

2. Gravity Picks Sunrise 3mm : Excellent shape. Did not touch the shape at all. 100% original. The pick offers inertia and strength to hit the string, overcome any possible drags and go through. Again, problem with the lacquer. Excellent, strong material as mentioned.

3. Fred Kelly Polycarbonate ( Fat Flat ) : The material is too soft. Yet, takes the pressure to some extend. Slight drag on the thicker strings because of the soft material ( like glue ) as well as on the thin strings ( the soft material catches and drags more easily ). Thicker versions of the pick take more pressure. The original shape was 100% OK. Sharpened the pick horizontally and vertically to make a thinner tip. Worked OK. Performed marvelously.

4. Fred Kelly Nylon Medium and Heavy : Fred Kelly's Nylon is excellent. Sharpened the picks horizontally very slightly to get a sharp tip. Perfect. Nylon is Nylon! And Fred Kelly's Nylon is excellent!

5. Fred Kelly Delrin Heavy ( Red ) : Did not have success here. Too soft. Too gluey. Catches and drags the strings. Tried the original shape. Did not work. Tried own shape. The same result. Gave up for now. May be in a while.

6. D'Andrea Pro Plec : Similar to Fred Kelly Polycarbonate. May be slightly harder, yet, very soft. Work OK, though. Works well with high amplitude tremolos.

7. Janicek D Grip A 1.18mm : Nothing to do with the original Brain Nylon. Totally different material. Too rubbery. Catches and drags the strings. Sharpened and thinned the pick a lot. When the tip is very thin, the pick seems to work. Managed to make the pick work OK. When the tip is very thin, the tip flexes slightly to overcome catch and drag. The price is a slight flex. Very slight.

8. Dunlop Ultex Standard 1.40mm. The same as most Ultexes. Not happy with the material a lot. Changed the shape very slightly ( horizontal angle not as pointed ). Still not good. Ultex needs to either be filed ( and, probably, washed with Acetone ) and polished well to become glassy or played a lot in order for the strings to do so. Looks like Dunlop coats them with rubbery stuff, probably for grip and against zing. Reduces the speed tremendously. Clayton Ultem seems to be faster. In some cases, such as Flow ( and probably PrimeTones, I do not have them, have only the black ones ) the Ultex material Dunlop uses may be better and may not be coated with rubber.

Although I consider Dunlop Delrin 500 2.0mm ( heavily reshaped ), Dunliop Tortex 1.14mm ( heavily reshaped ), Fender Touring Delrin 1.0mm ( ordered 1.14mm, still do not have them ), the Nylons, etcetera, I continue to use Dunlop Jazz III Max Grip Carbon Fibre ( washed with Acetone, reshaped and with glued extension handle ).

I hope this helps and I hope I can update the document, I do not know when.

StevenStanleyBayes
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Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » November 10th, 2018, 10:42 pm

1. Fender Tru Shell Extra Heavy

I am proud to inform you all I have received the Fender Tru Shell pick. This pick has been made of proteins and is, therefore, organic. The organic structure has been made to copy this of the tortoise shell. 
 
The pick, however, came warped in a factory sealed wrap. Fender claims the pick must not be in a high temperature and the pick had never been. Most likely, however, strong light can also make the pick warp. This may have happened to other warped picks I have had. 
 
I played with the original pick without any modifications. The pick played perfectly and incredibly quickly. However, when I modified the pick, the pick could not be smoothen very well. Most likely, however, the pick will become very smooth after some playing. This is because I do not have real wool to smoothen the pick. 
 
2. Gravity Picks Acrylic Sunrise 1.5mm Pick

This is what happened to Gravity Picks Acrylic Sunrise 1.5mm pick. I reported the pick seemed to be brittle. This is, probably, not the case or may be, but, does not affect playing. This is because some materials have the property to " stick " when under mechanical action. As mentioned, wood is one of these materials. The atoms and molecules get closer and strionger one to another. 
 
Thus, after awhile, the Gravity Picks Acrylic Sunrise 1.5mm pick performed excellently and is not brittle nor abrasive. Just perfect. The problem was most likely the nasty lacquer which was filed off after more play.

3. Dunlop Jazz III XL Series Black Pick

This is, most likely, made of very strong and very highly compressed Nylon. The thickness of the pick is around 1.25mm or 1.30mm, but, the pick is as strong as made of Titanium alloys. I have filed the tip to fractions of a millimetre and the tip continues to be strong and inflexible. This is one of the fastest picks I have ever seen, along with Dunlop Big Stubby Nylon. I hesitated whether to switch to this pick from Carbon Fibre and decided to stay with the Carbon Fibre material but was very close. I got another 6, though, to have 10 in possession. The shape was not bad, although, I heavily modified the pick to a faster ( I think so. ) shape.

4. Dunlop Gator Grip Picks

I tested one and disregarded the pick long back. Big mistake. These are excellent picks. They are not as durable when filed off and sanded, but, extremely durable when playing. The string has hitting effect too and not only abrasive. They seem to stick well when driven by the string. The speed is amazing. These picks are made of Delrex ( something similar to Delrin but faster ) and are the fastest picks by Dunlop made of other than Nylon plastics.

These are also a Dunlop bestseller along with Tortex and Delrin 500. Cannot get wrong to get them. Also, the Internet says these are preferred by Heavy Metal players ( fast ).

5. Janicek D Grip A 1.40mm

I got another D Grip pick by Janicek. The 1.40mm is perfect even in the original shape. I still think, however, their material is not as slick as Janicek Brain 1.60mm ( compressed Nylon ) picks.

6. Clayton Acetal

Decided to revise Clayton Acetal. These perform lighting fast after reshaping and smoothening.

Acetal, Delrin and, probably, Delrex are made of a similar material which has a few commercial name, but, the real name of which is Polyoxymethylene. I have tried to find out which one is faster : Dunlop Delrin 500 and Delrex, Fender Touiring Delrin or Clayton Acetal. I cannot find an answer. Maybe Clayton Acetal, maybe not. All of them are fast.

StevenStanleyBayes
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Posts: 11
Joined: October 19th, 2018, 9:46 pm

Re: Guitar Pick Materials

Post by StevenStanleyBayes » November 10th, 2018, 10:43 pm

A List of New Ideas :

1. Stone Picks ( in a Process to Order ) : https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Tooyful ... 03542.html ( There are other stone picks at AliExpress and elsewhere. ) Please, note : Stone and bone picks may not be faster than metal and may generate just as much ( or more ) noise, thus, to test stone picks may be just for entertainment purposes. Please, note : there are Agate picks at AliExpress.com

2. Winspear Picks ( May Be Difficult or Impossible to Find ) : https://www.winspearinstrumental.com/co ... /plectrums

3. Teflon Picks ( May Be Difficult or Impossible to Find )

4. Cubic Zirconia Picks ( may not be available ).

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