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View Full Version : How do you know when a guitar pick has 'worn out' ?


GibbyPrague
10-19-2010, 02:26 AM
Ive tried many, many types of picks and have pretty much settled on the Dunlop Tortex 60mm and there are many of them lying around my place.

But i just realised that i actually dont really know when its time to say, yep, this ones worn out and move to the next one.

I have sort of picked up new picks unconciously but with a few exceptions when it was really, really worn, Im not really been able to determine when its time to go for the next one.

So, how do you know when a pick has had its day, do you look and feel the sharpness, wear on top etc ..?

Is there an average a number of hours a pick of say 60mm should work before its 'retired' ?

cheers.

Bob Womack
10-19-2010, 05:09 AM
I use Dunlop Tortex as well. What typically clues me in is when I begin a lead run and start missing notes for no apparent reason. I usually look down at the pick and see that the tip has begun to round off. I need to invest in a trash can for my guitar room because for some reason, these picks have a hard time throwing themselves away... ;)

Bob

Xcalith
10-19-2010, 05:17 AM
I replace a pick when it breaks. Personally, I like the feel and sound of a really worn pick as it gives a rounder and warmer sound than a new pick that gives that bright snap.

GibbyPrague
10-19-2010, 05:19 AM
I use Dunlop Tortex as well. What typically clues me in is when I begin a lead run and start missing notes for no apparent reason. I usually look down at the pick and see that the tip has begun to round off. I need to invest in a trash can for my guitar room because for some reason, these picks have a hard time throwing themselves away... ;)

Bob

Got it ! Thanks for the insight Bob. This solves a few things, because i thougth that when i started missing notes on lead runs it was becauase of my crap ability. But it was obviously a worn pick issue ... ;-)

ricks
10-19-2010, 05:55 AM
My main guitar pick is the Dunlop Ultex in 1.14 thickness. I have yet to really wear one out and they do seem to last a long, long time. The slightly bevelled point seems to keep it's shape I have not noticed any fall off in tone or playing with them. I usually end up grabbing a new one when they get so old and worn on the gripping surface that I start to lose my "grip". When the Rhino is worn off they get replaced. But usually not tossed as they still work just fine.

I can't use a thin pick at all and tried with no luck. They wear out or break way too easily for me.

I also use both Red Bear and Blue Chip picks, but mainly on the Mando. The Red Bear's will wear out or break after extended use. I have gone through a couple of them now. The Blue Chip seems to keep going and nothing seems to faze it. Pretty much all I use on the Mando now.

JJO
10-19-2010, 06:56 AM
For me there's no real rule... depending on the guitar and my mood, I use big Ultex 1.14, V-Pick ultra lites (which aren't actually that thin ... .80 mm), and sometimes a Wegen bluegrass pick. I use them until they break, or I notice that it's not playing as accurately as it should, or until I decide a new one sounds better.

But like Bob W., I almost never actually throw one away ... they just kind of circulate around the house like pennies or paper clips or something.

bbshriver
10-19-2010, 07:08 AM
I use Dunlop gator grip .58...
The tip starts to get "flat" like it was cut off... that's when I replace them.

I also use the Dunlop Celluloid XH and have yet to see any wear on one..

GibbyPrague
10-19-2010, 07:15 AM
I use Dunlop gator grip .58...
The tip starts to get "flat" like it was cut off... that's when I replace them.

I also use the Dunlop Celluloid XH and have yet to see any wear on one..

If i may ask how many hours do you think you get out of the gator grip before it goes flat ? And what sort of playing do you mainly do, strumming, picking ?

cheers.

PorkPieGuy
10-19-2010, 07:28 AM
I usually lose them loooong before they wear out.

Or better yet,

Other guitar-playing friends usually "lose" them for me. :sick:

kerrinsdad
10-19-2010, 07:32 AM
I usually lose them loooong before they wear out.

Or better yet,

Other guitar-playing friends usually "lose" them for me. :sick:


or my wife throws them out with the other crud in the lint trap

wkbryan
10-19-2010, 07:46 AM
I use Dunlop Tortex as well. What typically clues me in is when I begin a lead run and start missing notes for no apparent reason. I usually look down at the pick and see that the tip has begun to round off. I need to invest in a trash can for my guitar room because for some reason, these picks have a hard time throwing themselves away... ;)

Bob


Ha, I must be some kind of cheapskate or have a deep-seated psychological problem throwing them away! I keep an emery board in my gig bag. When pick tips get too rounded I just spend a few seconds using the emery board on them and they're good as new (but a little smoother where I grip them).

HudsDad
10-19-2010, 07:52 AM
Well, I've been using the same Fender 351 Heavy since 1996 on my electrics and it's still just fine. I figure it's got at least 40/50 more years in it.

And I imagine my grandkid's grandkids will be using my Wegen 1.4mm picks one day.

arie
10-19-2010, 08:33 AM
When I was in my gigging prime (punk and death metal) I'd wear down a 2mm Gator grip in about a day whether playing on a stage or at a rehearsal.

Since I'm less active now these picks will last me a couple of months. The texture gets smooth, the gator wears off, the tip becomes blunted, and the edges get beveled.

For acoustic stuff I'll also use the 2mm Gator if I'm pretending to be Al DiMeola but usually I'm playing the Dunlop Ultex 1.14 tri tip for everything else. They sound clearer to me for some things. Being made from Ultem which was GE's high-end thermoset engineering resin and plasticizes at about 700 F, they're extremely tough. I've had the same ones for about 6 months with not much wear at all. They just get a little shiney and smooth on the edges.

jay7347
10-19-2010, 08:59 AM
I also use both Red Bear and Blue Chip picks, ... The Blue Chip seems to keep going and nothing seems to faze it. Pretty much all I use on the Mando now.


Thanks Ricks, I've been wondering about my BlueChip. Its been a year now and it plays as well as it did when I got it.
-jay

bbshriver
10-19-2010, 11:19 AM
If i may ask how many hours do you think you get out of the gator grip before it goes flat ? And what sort of playing do you mainly do, strumming, picking ?

cheers.

Mostly strumming...

But to be honest I have no clue on a number of hours...
I buy the packages of them, and when they wear out I grab a new one, and when I'm out of new ones I buy another bag.

If I took a wild guess...
Maybe 20 hours?