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Different Pick Worked Wonders for Me

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Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 128
Topic starter  

Now that I have my position down (see this thread: ), I started noticing that my picking on my acoustic had a real harsh edge to it. I was using medium picks. I had read somewhere that lighter picks were good for strumming, so I had bought some Dunlop Nylon .46 mm picks. I had played around with them for strumming, so I decided to give picking a try.

You'd think I had found the holy grail. Choking up on the pick so that about 1/4" or less was showing, and (I can't find the words to explain it properly) my index finger kind of sits behind the pick giving it a little extra stiffness at just the right time. I tried picking out my pentatonics, and wow, what a difference. Notes sounded smooth, with no harsh ringing on the attack. It sounded more like something you'd hear on a recording. I was sold.

Then I tried the same pick on my electric - again, nice and smooth, no fussing with exactly the right angle to hold the pick, etc. No matter how hard or soft I played, I never felt like the thinness of the pick was limiting me in any way - it just eliminated the "noise".

If you've never tried a lightweight pick, give it a shot sometime. I doubt I'll ever use anything else. :D

Learning requires a willingness to be bad at something for awhile.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582

Oh yeah, I agree with you. Over the years I've tried just about every pick out there. But for the last year or so I've used the Fender Standard Thin picks.

Fender Standard Thin pick

For years I have been working on increasing my picking speed. I was using heavy picks. To play really fast you have to choke up on the pick as you described. This is great for fast picking, but very edgy and clunky for strumming chords. I usually had to move my grip to the outer edge of the pick to strum smoothly. Then to pick fast I had to quickly choke up again. I got pretty good at moving the pick around in my hand like this, but sometimes would have a problem.

But with these thin picks I can choke up the whole time. I like that there is a little flexibility in the tip. I have found I can actually play faster with a little flex like this. And strumming is smooth, the pick does not hang up on strings.

The only downside to these picks is they don't last very long. If you play really hard they tend to snap.

Picks are a very personal thing. Glad you found a pick that really works for you. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4338

Thins are the only picks I use. :D

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Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 848

A long time ago I used a variety of picks, until eventually I settled on heavy. Just felt more in command with a .96mm than anything else. The flex just plain bothered me, although I think I might give some new picks a try since my main guitars have changed. Never know...

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038

Nope. Stiff, unyielding and pointy here. All the variable flex and control is in my fingers and hand. I can play with a light, even touch using a heavy pick, but there is no way a thin does it when I need to dig in -- no matter how much choking-up I do.

I can use a thin, but it feels so uncommitted. But that's me. You should always do what works for you.

-=tension & release=-

Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 14

I seem to switch my picks every few years or so. It makes my guitar feel like a new guitar, and it's cheap and fun. The material, thickness and shape all change the feel of the pick, and all of those things change the tone I get from my guitar. It's always seemed strange to me how one day, a certain guitar pick is the only one I want to use, and then the next day, I'm totally excited about a different pick. I love that.

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Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459

I've gone through some changes in my picks lately after predominantly using heavy picks for the past few years. When I started I had a hard time keeping the pick in my fingers and I would drop it or get stuck in the strings, so I changed to a very thin pick. I used that for a few months, tried some really tiny ones where just the very tip would show and eventually worked my way up to the heavy picks.

I used them for the past few years until a month or so ago when one of the guys that I play with left a few medium picks at the house and I've been using them ever since. They seem to have a good balance for both lead and rhythm and since I was mostly playing rhythm the worked out fine.

I don't think I'll go back to the really thin ones again but I might go back and use the heavier >1mm again.

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Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 1196

I mostly go with medium, but I have some heavies around for the times I use one for the bass. Also, somehow I have a couple of thins around I experiment with for different uses.

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