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thin picks rule

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(@scrtchy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 106
Topic starter  

I should point out that I let only a small amount of pick stick out, like when playing pinched harmonics, and I angle the pick so that it doesn't hit flat on the string.

http://www.daughtersandsons.net -Cincinnati CEA Award winners for best original RnB/Funk band! (Bragging is in the user manual and encouraged)(Hi Mom)


   
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(@rmorash)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 108
 

First off, what is the definition of "thin"? I've had a Jim Dunlop Nylon 45 mm for years although it periodically goes missing for months on end and then re-appears - definitely my favorite. Having said that, I guess I would be a "soft" player anyway as I generally don't like to pound away on the strings.

Some of the answers on this thread are almost like mindreading as I've moved to a "medium" pick but find I don't like it as much as the "thinner" pick for strumming. Conversely I like the thicker picks for playing bluegrass and lead lines. BTW this is strictly based on acoustic playing.


   
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(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1435
 

I keep switching back and forth between thin and heavy. One thing I do when using thin is use a hole punch to punch a hole in the middle of the pick, that way when I'm holding it, it doesn't slip around in my fingers. I don't seem to have as much of a problem with the heavies, if I do, I'll need a stouter hole punch.

Bass player for Undercover


   
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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi,

In this house, picks don't rule at all - thumb and fingers rule. :P

Tommy Emmanuel, an awesomely quick and talented guitar player, had this advice about thin picks - "Burn them!". So I guess you can mark him down as a thick pick man... :)

I've tried all sorts of picks - from different thicknesses of plastic, to wood, felt and wire, and they all seemed to have their own particular character and advantages/disadvantages. One day I'll go back and learn how to use them properly, but for now I can't go past the feel and versatility of the old thumb and finger combo... Fingers also have the advantage that I always know where they are too - just follow the arm down. The digital approach rules... :wink:

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 827
 

One thing I do when using thin is use a hole punch to punch a hole in the middle of the pick, that way when I'm holding it, it doesn't slip around in my fingers.

Dunlop Gator Grip picks solved this for me. There's a light texture on the surface of the pick that prevents it from rotating.

Recently stepped down from 1.14 (blue) to .96mm (purple) Gator grips. Are those what most of you call heavy or is that medium?

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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(@daniel-lioneye)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 234
 

"Thin Picks Rule"

I disagree!
For acoustic and i use .73 or .60 tortex picks(orange or yellow).

For electric it's all about the dunlop jazz 3 picks(1mm or something)
I love them for all the control i get, which is especially nice for soloing and speed runs.

My second favorite picks for electric are the purple .96 gator grips aswell.

Guitars: Electric: Jackson DX10D, J. Reynolds Fat Strat copy
Acoustic: New York and a Jasmine.
Amps: Austin 15 watt, Fender Deluxe 112, Fender Champion 600 5w, 0ld 1970's Sears 500g.
Effects: Digitech Whammy, Big Muff Pi USA, MXR, Washburn Distortion.


   
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 Noff
(@noff)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 101
 

I use Planet Waves .84mm that I carve lines into with a knife for better grip (I heard Dimebag of Pantera did this, and I think it's a great idea). I don't like thinner picks for playing individual notes, and the only thicker picks I've tried (Dunlop) have been pretty bad quality imo. They have mold marks on the edges and it makes them really asymmetrical.


   
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(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

Yea, it's hard to tell what heavy or light is without having a few details. Acoustic or electric? Lead or rhythm. As an electric rhythm player I use modified Dunlop nylon .46 (for bass I use .73). Don't think I'll be getting any love on this thread. But I like the thin picks for rhythm as it glide through the strings easily. I don't hear the "clickiness" because I generally have my amp up a bit on clean or dirty. For arpeggiating, fill or solo I do find a thicker pick would be useful.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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(@scrtchy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 106
Topic starter  

It's of course all subjective, I was being sensationalistic with my title. I have definately heard others get amazingly great tones with super heavy picks. I think Brian May probably uses the thickest pic of all time and he has always sounded great, though I can't think of many instances where he played with a clean tube amp sound and that is where the difference is most obvious to me. Stevie Ray Vaughn had great tones, I think he used extra heavies. Interestingly, with a thin pick Little Wing sounds alot more authentic, I read somewhere that Jimi used a medium, but to me it sounds like a thin pick, my gear set up is alot like his but with a Fender amp.

I am using Fender thins for acoustic and electric, believe it or not; the bigger the string the more control I get with a thin pick. I felt the same way alot of you feel about the control issue, when I went from heavy to medium I thought I was being politically incorrect! I have to say that I have more control now with a thin pick, but it took alot of doing to uncover how to use that extra spring you get with them. At first I was trying to lighten up my attack, but it was when I just went ahead and played with a normal attack that I really started understand how much easier it is to get intricate speed picked lines out of thins. Arpeggios, string skipping, violin concertos, machine gun blues scaling, sweeping... it all became so much easier for me to do, I feel more in contact with the strings and all of the heavier handed stuff didn't get degraded, I have a much bigger dynamic range. I guess I'm like, you know, wierd. This is probably what everyone else gets with mediums and heavies, I'm just trying catch up with the rest of you and I'm so strange that I have to do it with thin picks.

I should say that I am an economy picker, as opposed to strict alternating, and I like to turn my amp up and play with a more varied picking hand dynamic... I sound like am hitting the strings alot harder than I am so when I do hit heavy, I can get real loud, it keeps me real relaxed feeling on stage, so I can get into more trouble!

http://www.daughtersandsons.net -Cincinnati CEA Award winners for best original RnB/Funk band! (Bragging is in the user manual and encouraged)(Hi Mom)


   
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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

I started off buying a pack of Fender thins, meds and heavy and experimented with them. After a while I ended up trying some mauve gator-grips. .58s, and like them. I think they're somewhere between thin and medium. I also bought a pack of the purple ones. Although I like the sound from them better, I've been too lazy lately to spend some time with them to get the feel I need. I think that time is coming near though.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@scrtchy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 106
Topic starter  

If you open a pack of Fender thins you will find that they are all not the same thickness, you see this too when you look at a pack of all white thins, some are more see through than others... I end up gravitating towards thicker ones in the pack and I think that is probably like .64-.68 when it gets up to .73 I start to not like the sound at least in the nylon Dunlops, it is too thick for me. I tried to go with some measured picks but I didn't find any Dunlops I liked (tortex doesn't agree with me) and when I tour I don't like to not be able to find my picks in a store, so everyone has Fenders and I do like the sound of them.

Man, I love talking about guitar and finding out what other people use and how they feel about it, this forum always makes me have to get my guitar on my lap.

http://www.daughtersandsons.net -Cincinnati CEA Award winners for best original RnB/Funk band! (Bragging is in the user manual and encouraged)(Hi Mom)


   
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(@ibanezplayer86)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 17
 

this is without a doubt down to personal choice... and IMO style of playing... i can't see sweep picking for example, going down well with a thin pick - in saying that sweeps are not my game :)


   
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(@taylorr)
Prominent Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 736
 

Personally, I use thick picks. I use the purple dunlop ones. Usually 1 mm or more.

aka Izabella


   
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(@jwing)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 8
 

I'm with you, scr@tchy.

Picks thicker than about .75 yield a dull thud for me. Picks in the .50's and .60's seem to make sound leap spritely from my strummed acoustic guitar. However, the thinner picks in this range produce (for me) single note lines that are somewhat thin (as you can imagine from something that leaps spritely), so my favorite compromise are picks in the .65 to .71 range.

As for the baseball card in the spokes effect, that is just the pick slapping against the adjacent string. I've learned to control that pretty well. I angle the plane of the pick so that the edge closer to the headstock strikes the string first. That reduces the flappiness and directs it at an angle - not directly down to the adjacent string.

Being a novice, I can't say whether or not thicker picks are better for more skilled players, but I find it interesting that at least one long-timer thinks that skills favor thin picks.


   
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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

I should point out that I let only a small amount of pick stick out, like when playing pinched harmonics, and I angle the pick so that it doesn't hit flat on the string.

I'm a thin pick guy and I do exactly that.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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