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Should I use a light pick for this song?


(@irideflatland)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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I don't know if you guys have heard it, Again I Go Unnoticed by The Dahsboard Confessionals, if there is a way to post a clip let me know. But it is really fast strumming (at least for me). It's faster than 120bpm I think, and the strumming pattern is 1-and-a-2-and-a-3-and-a-4.... etc. When I try to play that fast with my medium weight pick, it is really loud even though I don't try to play loud. Should I use a lighter pick?

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(@artlutherie)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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If your just strumming a lighter pick will help but if you have to pick single notes you won't get much sound. Maybe try holding your medium pick looser not enough to let it fly away just enough so your attack isn't as hard.

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(@kingpatzer)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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A lighter pick will make it harder to do what you want and control dynamics, not easier.

The lighter a pick is, the more flexible the pick is. The more flexible a pick, the less energy is transfered to the string and the more variance in the amount of energy transfered to the string. The more variance in the energy transfer, the less control you have.

Playing fast and accurately is about both hands having good technique. Find the stiffest pick you can hold comfortably, and simply work on building up to the speed you need to play at. You have to train your muscles to do what you want. Gear won't fix that.

However, using a lighter pick will make it harder, not easier, to do what you want with control and precission.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@irideflatland)
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Topic starter  

Well, the song is all strumming and not really much dynamic change. If I hold my pick loosely, I drop it when I strum.

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(@kingpatzer)
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Who said anything about loosely holding the pick? If you hold the pick loose you can't control it. You need a comfortable grip on the pick that allows you firm control to do whatever you need to.

If you have a strong right hand you can play as fast or as slow as you want and how you hold the pick shouldn't change.

As for not having a lot of dynamic problems ... you wrote it is really loud even though I don't try to play loud

Controlling loudness is usually called "dynamics."

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@amnesia)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 58
 

Sometimes I get so lost in a song when playing, I forget about the pick and I drop it :S

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(@irideflatland)
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Topic starter  

Who said anything about loosely holding the pick?

art&lutherie did

As for not having a lot of dynamic problems ... you wrote it is really loud even though I don't try to play loud

Controlling loudness is usually called "dynamics."
I play loud even though I don't try to play loud.

I also wrote that the song doesn't have much dynamic CHANGE, so I just need to find a way to play more quietly.

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(@kingpatzer)
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Well, while you're developing that control, if it's an electric, get yourself a volume pedal.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@artlutherie)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I didn't mean loose even though I said it What I meant was relaxed try a more relaxed strum. Hope that helps as for the pick thickness they're cheap enough buy a couple different thicknesses to see if one will work for you.

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(@jtb226)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 106
 

i'd say a light pick for that song. i know it pretty well, and a light pick will help your chords blend together and be a little more percussive. a heavy pick won't glide over the strings as well. for those of you that don't know the song, it is a very fast, strummed, acoustic emo song.

"Heavy decibels are playing on my guitar
We got vibrations comin' up from the floor
We're just listenin' to the rock
That's givin' too much noise....
Rock and roll ain't noise pollution"
~AC/DC


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(@greybeard)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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If you're holding a pick correctly, only a very small amount of the tip is actually in contact with the string. The result is that a light pick loses a lot of the bass. The sound is thinner and more trebly. A heavier pick keeps a much more rounded sound.
Try a 1mm Dunlop Jazz pick.
I'm currently using a 1mm modified Pickboy Edge pick, that's just right for me - the raised pattern, on the pick, stops any slipping and the new "jazz" shape is really effective (it's my mod, not pickboy's, by the way).

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
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(@maxrumble)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 447
 

You can also try strumming with your thumb. I find it a lot easier to keep the volume lower when my wife is sleeping.

Cheers,

Max


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(@misanthrope)
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I don't know that song, so I'm not being specific to that one - just my generalised ramblings... :)

I hate thin picks with a passion. If it bends, even the slightest amount, I don't like it. I use 3mm Dunlop 'Big Stubby' bass picks. If I need a little less attack, I relax my grip on it a little (it has grooves to keep it in your hands when you're not holding it tightly)

*edit: Found a pic so you can see what I mean about the grooves... It's the one on the right*

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(@irideflatland)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Topic starter  

i'd say a light pick for that song. i know it pretty well, and a light pick will help your chords blend together and be a little more percussive. a heavy pick won't glide over the strings as well. for those of you that don't know the song, it is a very fast, strummed, acoustic emo song.
What thickness do you recommend? I think I'll ask my band teacher tomorrow if he can get some (it would be quicker than ordering them) but I don't know what size. The ones I have now are just "medium", they don't specify a thickness.

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(@homchz)
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I suggest Jim Dunlop .60 picks.

They are nylon so they have nice flex when held at the middle and sturdy when held near the tip.

They work great for eveything I do, but when I need to quiet down I move the pick to the back of my hand form my picking position like I was holding the pick and strum with the side of my thumb.

If you are into a smaller pick, The Jim Dunlop Jazz Tortex work in the same fashion.

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