Guitar Pick Materials
Also, I have been playing with Fender Tru Shell Extre Heavy ( modified ) and Gravity Picks Acrylic Sunrise 1.5mm ( modified ).
1. Gravity Acrylic Pick ( Modified )
The two picks perform excellently. The acrylic pick needed a lot of playing to achieve fast playability and is an ultra fast pick thereafter.
2. Fender Tru Shell Pick ( Modified )
The Fender pick is more interesting. I am not sure whether I am right or wrong, but, after modification, the pick has to stay for a while to “ harden “. Because the pick is made of proteins, this may be true. Similar to other organic materials, say, bread. When bread stays for a long while, bread hardens. This MAY BE the case with the pick too.
Anyway, the pick has been made to replicate the real tortoise shell pick which is now illegal. I have never seen a real tortoise shell pick, but, there is a possibility these were not very fast and were slightly scratchy on the string and, thus, not ultra fast. The Fender pick is super fast, but, I do not know whether this has been the goal of Fender. Again, the main goal of Fender MAY have been to replicate the original tortoise shell pick with all the advantages AND disadvantages and not to make a faster pick than the original.
Who Uses What :
1. Yngwie Malmsteen :
Dunlop Delrin 500 1.5mm
2. Eddie Van Halen :
< 0.6mm in the 80's
Brass and Copper before
3. Steven Vai :
Ibanez Steven Vai Signature pick, 1.0mm Heavy
Fender Extra Heavy Picks with a lot of plastic in them?
Dunlop Herco Flex 75 Nylon Pick
6. Ritchie Blackmore :
Tortoise Shell, custom shape, one side squared, the other, pointed.
What kind of picks and strings do you use?
I use tortoiseshell picks, one end squared, one end pointed. I have them specially made for me because you can't get them at all. I use tortoiseshell because plastic is too soft; I like them brick hard. I've used this shape ever since I was 11, and I just cannot play with those round things everybody plays with, because when you jump a string you tend to hit the other string on the way. With this pick you can be more nimble. I use Picato strings; I've always used them. They're the best; Eric Clapton turned me on to these. He's now using Fender - I don't know why. Why Ernie Ball has the monopoly on strings I'll never know. The gauges I use are .010, .011, .014, .026, .036 and .042.
Help the Pick :
In some cases, with some picks, one may increase the speed by twisting the picking hand ( right hand is assumed ) to upper and slightly to the right.
I have updated the document with the new picks.
Also, I have purchased and received the Teflon pick. 1mm is too soft for Teflon. Even 3mm may flex. Must be >= 3mm, best be 5mm not to flex. Otherwise, may be OK. Cannot say for sure because the pick flexes a lot.
I have switched from Dunlop Carbon Fiber to Fender Tru Shell for now. The Fender Tru Shel pick self healed the sides, the top and the bottom of the modified tip to be smooth and lighting fast. No scratching sound. Maybe, light and heat from fingers ( 36.5 degrees Celsius ) did the trick after played for a while. An amazing pick! Ritchie Blackmore is right with everything : pick and strings!
Fender Tru Shell picks can also be easily unwarped, when they are heated by the fingers to the human heat of 36.5 degrees Celsius and then finger pressure is applied in the direction opposite of the warp. The pick, although extremely hard, gives under the pressure.
There have been many updates in the file since the previous post.
An important point :
Some people wrongly think the pick can be compensated for by playing techniques. This is not true. The pick drives the strings to make sound. The pick is an important piece of the chain. The only technique to compensate for a slow pick is to play by fingers. Now, there are pieces where the pick does not influence the play as much ( usually, slow pieces ) and pieces where the importance of the pick is extreme ( usually, fast pieces ), but, there is always an influence. In other words, a good pick is also good for slow pieces, yet, the importance is not as high. Why use a bad pick for slow when a good pick can be used as well. The good pick influences the slow play too, I. e. the slow play is performed better with a good pick, yet, the difference between the slow play with a good pick and bad pick may be insignificant. Even though, better is to play with the good pick.
Regarding ultra-fast, I prefer celluloid picks, thickness: 0.8 - 1.2.