The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #16  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:14 AM
Goat Whiskey Picks's Avatar
Goat Whiskey Picks Goat Whiskey Picks is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Bristol, TN
Posts: 3,614
Default

For me the main thing is the wear factor. I can totally destroy a 1.5 Primetone in one or two gigs but a Vespel pick won't show any wear at all a year later. Another thing is smoothness and speed on the strings. The majority of the boutique picks on the market are made from industrial polymers that are designed for high temperature / high performance bearing applications so they are also self-lubricating. If you are trying to pick fast runs or even do fast strumming the lubrication factor makes them glide across the strings much faster and with less effort. These factors speed things up quite a bit. And really buying a $35 pick isn't expensive if it means you don't have to keep buying new picks every month or so. But like everything else, some folks will love them and others will say it's all smoke and mirrors.
__________________
'59 Gibson J-45 "Spot"
'94 Taylor 710
'18 Martin 000-17E "Willie"
'15 Martin 000X1AE
'16 Ibanez AVC6DTS
'17 Farida OT-22W
'12 Partscaster Blueburst
More to come later...

Mick Kyte - Head Pick Flunky
http://www.goatwhiskeypicks.com

Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:29 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SWPA
Posts: 6,211
Default

I don't understand how people who spend so much on guitars and other associated gear can wear them down so much. I don't break strings and I don't wear down picks. My technique is all in the wrist. I lose more to the lint trap that I do to wear and tear. I've had some picks for decades; they keep turning up like a bad penny. They're usually plastic ones from big box stores or name brands.

Back to the topic at hand, gray/black nylon Dunlops are pretty much all I need. I like the black 1mm ones or the .88mm ones. I don't like a glassy attack sound and prefer a little flex. I admit that I have a couple of "bad penny" plastic picks. One is day glo green that I like to use when I'm playing outside; I tend to lose things easily.
__________________
~ Neil (sofa player, shower singer and basement whittler)
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:34 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 2,188
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jklotz View Post

So what's up with all those expensive picks you guys keep going on about? I'm not poking at anybody, just curious. What is it you get out of them that I seem to be missing?



It felt way too thick and there was almost no attack to the note. I handed it right back and thanked the guy. Maybe I'm just plain dense?
Not dense at all, just the opposite. You have a sound in your head and you found the pick that helps you produce that sound. It's hard to do better than that.

I have a different sound in my head. I suspect what you call attack I call pick click. Not right or wrong, just different preferences.

I like to amuse myself with short runs of fast notes. When I was auditioning picks I found that Blue Chip picks provided the fastest, cleanest runs given the same technique.

I think it's worth noting that, even for the people who appreciate expensive picks for the tone, it's a subtle difference to any audience (if they can tell at all). I use the pick for my own enjoyment. And as always, if you don't hear and/or appreciate the difference - don't pay for it.

I almost never do strictly strumming for any length of time, assuming I understand the term. If I did I imagine I would opt for a thinner pick.

We don't all wear the same shirt or drive the same car, no reason we should all use the same pick.
__________________
Keith
Martin 000-42 Marquis
Lowden S 50
Taylor Classical
Alvarez 12 String
Gibson ES345
Fender P-Bass
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:42 AM
brandall10 brandall10 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 138
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jklotz View Post
I played it. It felt way too thick and there was almost no attack to the note.
I think one thing is some people like the control of a heavy pick but don't like the sound of picks in general - at least that's my impression for the use of materials like casein, it's to sound more like flesh.

I like the sound of a Fender medium for the softer attack, which I use for electric, but the feel of the heavy on an acoustic due to the extra string tension. So I have a Pearse fast turtle on the way.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:48 AM
redir redir is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Mountains of Virginia
Posts: 4,826
Default

Like 20 years I was using Fender picks, the heavy ones, and for one reason or another stopped using them. Probably because I mostly only finger pic acoustic guitars and liked heavier picks for electric. But just last year I sort of rediscovered them so I bought a huge batch of Fender heavy pics.

So I agree, I think they are great. They do wear out fast but that's probably has something to do with the feel and the tone they produce. Kind of like a race car tire they grip well but wear out faster then normal. Reasonable trade off.

Besides, I've tried expensive pics and I always loose them. So often times by the time a FEnder heavy pic wears out it's gone anyway
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:49 AM
raysachs's Avatar
raysachs raysachs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,186
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil K Walk View Post
I don't understand how people who spend so much on guitars and other associated gear can wear them down so much. I don't break strings and I don't wear down picks.
In a similar but opposite vein, I don't quite get how folks who spend so many thousands (in some cases, TENS of thousands) on guitars can get all bent out of shape about spending $35 on a pick. Obviously if someone tries expensive picks and doesn't feel or hear a difference, they may decide to go back to their Primetones or Fenders or whatever. But to reject the very IDEA of a $35 pick when playing a $5000 guitar doesn't compute to me. I have three electric guitars and one acoustic and i think I have about $5000-6000 in my whole setup, including amplifiers. I looked askance at $35 picks until I tried a few - now they're whats for dinner, so to speak. I probably have a total of about $300 in picks, could probably sell a few and get that down to $200, and I may never have to buy another one if I continue not losing them.

People who don't play guitar think it's madness to spend $1000 on a guitar, people who do play gladly spend three or ten times that much if they have the money easily available. I've been through it with bicycles and cameras too - if you know what you like and you know the difference, you often get what you pay for. Obviously a great guitarist will sound better on a cheap guitar than a mediocre guitarist will sound on the best guitar on earth, but if the mediocre guitarist has the $$$ and can appreciate the difference between an OK and a great guitar and the great guitar will inspire him or her to play more and enjoy it more, more power to them. Same with picks, I say, which are a relatively tiny expense compared to most expenditures in this hobby/activity/profession...

-Ray
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-09-2019, 07:00 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Exeter, UK
Posts: 6,761
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jklotz View Post
I've been playing for years. Ever since I was old enough to take lessons, I've used Fender heavy picks. Mostly on electrics, but over the years I've gotten used to them on acoustics too. I don't know why, they just sound and feel right to me. Every time I pick up something else, I immediately know something is off.

So what's up with all those expensive picks you guys keep going on about? I'm not poking at anybody, just curious. What is it you get out of them that I seem to be missing?

For reference, somebody handed me a $40 pick in a shop one day. I played it. It felt way too thick and there was almost no attack to the note. I handed it right back and thanked the guy. Maybe I'm just plain dense?
No, you're not dense! I have found most of the 'boutique' picks far too fat for my liking, leaving my tone dull and uninspiring. My preference is for picks in the .88-1.00 range, and few posh makers do any in those sizes. My go-to are Dunlop Ultex.
__________________
Martin D-18, 2018
Guild Jumbo Junior flame maple, 2019
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-09-2019, 07:00 AM
boneuphtoner boneuphtoner is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Maryland
Posts: 215
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slothead56 View Post
Yup, Fender Mediums for me since 1974. No curiosity whatsoever.
Same here! Now I'm primarily a fingerstyle player and I rarely get out a pick, but when I do I haven't found anything yet that I like better than plain old Fender mediums. Although I haven't tried any of the premium picks, I have tried most of the Dunlops and keep coming back to the Fenders!
__________________
Taylor 317e
Martins: HD-28, DSS-17, Backpacker
Eastmans: E1D, PCH1-GACE

Last edited by boneuphtoner; 05-09-2019 at 07:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-09-2019, 07:10 AM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 157
Default

New guitar player here. Over the past two months, and after much experimentation, I definitely prefer the brown one over the red one that I have.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-09-2019, 07:47 AM
jklotz jklotz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 626
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deliberate1 View Post
New guitar player here. Over the past two months, and after much experimentation, I definitely prefer the brown one over the red one that I have.
Funny you mention that. I only play white or bright colored picks so when I drop them on a dark stage I can see them. :-D
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:01 AM
erhino41 erhino41 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 361
Default

I like heavy fender celluloid picks as long a they have what I consider a proper bevel. They tend to be bright but can deliver some warmth and roundness to the tone as well. The amount of brightness can be dialed in by varying the tip shape, the sharper the point the brighter it will sound. Very useable range of tones with some experimentation in attack.

I also like a lot of other picks a well. If a thirty dollar pick works for someone else what do I care?
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:12 AM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 157
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jklotz View Post
Funny you mention that. I only play white or bright colored picks so when I drop them on a dark stage I can see them. :-D
So, you are saying that I need a white one? Jeesh. This guitar thing is getting expensive.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:40 AM
619TF 619TF is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 331
Default

If you don't think that pick material makes a difference I'd invite you to check out the Taylor "From the Factory" podcast they just recently put up. Apparently Taylor is expanding their branded pick line and they used some new compund they call Thermex. Well they played the regular plastic (cellulose) pick and some of the Thermex ones and wow...what a difference (no I do NOT own Taylor stock nor do I work there)! Even with different Thermex materials ("Ultra" vs "Pro") it was pretty easy to hear the differences in tone and warmth.

Based on the above I purchased a set of the Ultras. Coincidentally to this thread they are the heaviest pick I've ever used. I started playing a few years back with mediums, then my guitar teacher recommended something a little heavier (.9s) for more individual note control (until then I was mainly a strummer) and have now moved to these new Taylors. The Taylor pick that felt and sounded the best to me (the ones I bought) are 1.25s which are probably double the thickness of my originals. The sound though, oh the sound...like I had a new guitar as it brings out the bass while toning down the famous Taylor brightness and hilighting the mid range just perfectly (to my ear anyway) while practically being silent on the strings (no pick noise AT ALL really).

I lent the new pick to a friend and their first statement was shock at the thickness of this pick. Then, they played a little and said exactly what I did ....it's like a totally different guitar (this, on a Martin). They completely fell in love with it instantly and I ended up giving them that pick since it was under $3. Guaranteed I wouldn't have been able to do that with my paycheck and a $35 pick.

So yes, now I'm a believer that pick material (as well as thickness) most definitely plays a role in your sound. The trick is to find what works for you and I think I may just have done that. YMMV.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:48 AM
beninma beninma is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 628
Default

You don't necessarily need or want any fancy boutique picks but the idea is to be open minded about trying stuff.

To just try out the first pick you get without putting thought into it and continue to play that for years and years as you spend lots of money is kind of nuts. I got told to play Tortex Yellow "just cause" when I got my first guitar.. that's a pretty terrible pick for me it turned out. It took me a while to realize it. I have fairly bright guitars, so the Tortex yellow just sounded pretty brittle and scratchy. They wear out fast, and they are really slippery on my particular skin chemistry.

Picks really really change the sound of guitars.. sometimes for acoustics I feel like the picks can make a bigger difference than different guitars.

I have hundreds of cheap picks and a handful of expensive ones.. in the end I don't know if I will be stuck on expensive ones, but it was important to try them. All the expensive ones I bought are a fraction the cost of another guitar. Maybe about as much as a single effect pedal.

No two players are going to necessarily prefer the same thing and you're not necessarily going to prefer the same thing on all or most of your guitars.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 05-09-2019, 09:03 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,890
Default

Picks are probably the most economical and most immediate "tone changer" you can buy.

I am a fan of thick picks...generally not a fan of expensive picks

I've been using 1.5mm D'Andrea Pro-Plecs for about 5 years now I I've never been happier. Used correctly, a thicker pick can do everything a thin pick can do, and a bunch of stuff a thin pick can't.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=