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  #31  
Old 05-09-2019, 09:44 AM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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I'm on the opposite end of the boutique-pick stampede. I've recently migrated from thin Fender Jazz 358 picks, which can be purchased in a 72 pack, to Clayton Ultem Small Teardrops .38mm, the largest quantity of which offered for sale are 48 packs.

Picks, for me, are like breadcrumbs. I always leave a trail. You can do that when you're getting three picks for a dollar.
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  #32  
Old 05-09-2019, 09:49 AM
Shadowfox Shadowfox is offline
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If you don't like the lack of give in the bigger picks, you should try a Brown Charmed Life Pick in the .75 or .9. They are great and really added a lot of tone and fullness to my guitar.
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  #33  
Old 05-09-2019, 10:04 AM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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Questions for bufflehead in post #31: What style of playing do you use .38mm picks? I've never used any that thin. Why do you need so many picks? I use .60mm picks mainly for strumming. These are quite thin.
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  #34  
Old 05-09-2019, 10:23 AM
BigTim BigTim is offline
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Man I just clicked on this thread for the heck of it. I saw several guys say a pick may last them a day or so????? I cannot believe that but I guess we all have different technique.


I have picks probably older than some forum members here. I have one of my first picks I got with my first electric guitar. It is from the 80's and is a fender medium. I still whip it out an jam on it for sentimental reasons.

I play electric mostly and the pick I always grab first is at least 5 years old. I am a studio player too and play very often.
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  #35  
Old 05-09-2019, 11:03 AM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jklotz View Post
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. But remember that your experience represents only a single reference point, not representative of all expensive "boutique" picks.

I no longer buy any picks that don't cost $20 or more, I'll admit it. And to me, BlueChip picks are still the benchmark of what a good pick sounds like, especially for flatpicking acoustic guitars. You mentioned that you played mostly electric, and I absolutely agree that for playing electric, the pick makes much less of a difference than playing acoustic. That said, you hand me a BlueChip TD60 or a TD80 (both very thick picks), and I would give them right back to you and tell you they sound dull and lifeless. In fact, any 25-cent Dunlop Tortex 1.2 mm pick sounds better to me than a BlueChip TD80 at the whopping price point of $50 plus shipping.

But give me a BlueChip TD40, and the whole thing changes drastically. Feel and tone suddenly are very different from the Tortex cheapo pick.

Over the years, I have gravitated towards casein picks, and I can't even tell you exactly why. They do tend to sound better than the cheap plastic picks out there, but again, after having played pretty much every casein pick on the market I can say that the variation within those casein picks is quite large. Some are amazing, others are OK, and still others are duds.

I would even say that to me, a BlueChip sounds better than any casein pick I've played, but for some strange reason, I play my BlueChips not nearly as much as my casein picks. I just like the feel, the way they mold to my fingers over time, and the material they're made of. It's a deliciously outdated material and manufacturing process, and that alone makes me like those picks.

As of late, I'm getting to the point where I have started making my own picks out of catalin, an equally antiquated material, and again, I derive lots of pleasure out of the process. I can make my very own custom shape, which is not available on the commercial market, and I can make the thickness and the speed bevels exactly how I like them.

Plus, they look gorgeous, so much prettier than anything you could buy.

My recommendation, if you are interested at all in exploring the world of boutique picks, is to try as many as you can and make up your own opinion. And if in the end you decide that the hype doesn't live up to its promise, that's perfectly fine, too, and you'll know you're not alone in that assessment.
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  #36  
Old 05-09-2019, 11:08 AM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bufflehead View Post

Picks, for me, are like breadcrumbs. I always leave a trail. You can do that when you're getting three picks for a dollar.
Where I live, we call that littering.
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  #37  
Old 05-09-2019, 11:21 AM
Tnfiddler Tnfiddler is offline
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I’ve contacted a blue chip dealer near me and I’m gonna give them a try. Hopefully they’ll live up the hype. I’m trying to learn to flatpick, so any help I can get with speed and smoothness will be greatly appreciated.
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  #38  
Old 05-09-2019, 11:59 AM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnfiddler View Post
I’ve contacted a blue chip dealer near me and I’m gonna give them a try. Hopefully they’ll live up the hype. I’m trying to learn to flatpick, so any help I can get with speed and smoothness will be greatly appreciated.
If you're in a "trying stuff" mode, I strongly recommend trying something made from casein as well. I've had the best luck with casein picks from Red Bear and Charmed Life, but they aren't the only ones. I started off liking Vespel (the stuff Blue Chip uses) and not liking casein, but kept being drawn back to both the sound and feel of casein. It's worth a shot anyway...

-Ray
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  #39  
Old 05-09-2019, 12:58 PM
Jmaulz Jmaulz is offline
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I was unhappy with the tone of my D-28 before playing it with a BC TAD40, which rounded the trebles without muddying the bass, and now I love it. I never would have guessed a pick could make that much difference. Otherwise, I've always been very happy with Fender Heavy 351's or 346's.
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  #40  
Old 05-09-2019, 01:17 PM
L20A L20A is offline
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Get a dozen or so different makes and thickness of picks and have a friend help you audition them.
You play them and also let your friend play them.

Do a blind test and see which picks rise to the top.
Be sure to use picks from at least medium thickness to picks up to at least 1.5 thick.

I have graduated from .70 to 1.5 over the past 4 or 5 years.
My favorite for now is a Primetone 1.5.
Picks thicker than 1.5 haven't sounded good to me yet.
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  #41  
Old 05-09-2019, 05:02 PM
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Charmed Life Picks Charmed Life Picks is offline
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I've been a shameless pick nerd for forty years. It began with genuine TS picks I bought from McCabe's right when they became illegal.

I call the boutique pick market the "lunatic fringe." It's not for everybody, or even most people.

I don't think a lot of folks are aware of the superb value and selection of high-performance picks below $10.00.

Here are a few to try:
Dunlop Ultex, the best value in the industry, about a buck a throw: https://www.guitarcenter.com/Dunlop/...CABEgIKhvD_BwE

Dunlop Primetones: Same material as Ultex line, but some added cool features:
https://www.jimdunlop.com/category/p...s/primetone.do

Wegen's excellent pick line, prices ranging $4.00-7.50 each. Really great performance for not a lot of $$$$.
https://www.wegenpicks.com/

And my personal fave, the great value in true Casein picks, from John Pearse. https://www.stringsandbeyond.com/jopefatutogu.html

For those interested, and I say this not as a seller or a vendor, if you have never played casein picks your high-end pick journey is not complete. Really wonderful material, and the closest I've found to the genuine article in more than forty years of searching.

I don't like to "invade" pick threads with constant CLP bumping. Therefore, for questions, please PM me here. I always play it straight, and I don't favor one company over another, including my own. It's all grist for the mill.

the best to you,
memmer

Last edited by Charmed Life Picks; 05-09-2019 at 06:26 PM.
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  #42  
Old 05-09-2019, 05:15 PM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar george View Post
Questions for bufflehead in post #31: What style of playing do you use .38mm picks? I've never used any that thin. Why do you need so many picks? I use .60mm picks mainly for strumming. These are quite thin.
If you play fingerstyle and then switch to a strum without a pick, that's not much different than I'm doing with picks. These are jazz picks, very small, and not much pick surface extends beyond the finger/thumb itself. Just enough, really, to give it a slight extra pluck. And although I'm not a jazz guitarist, I use a fair amount of the jazz "glide" strumming technique, as well as palm muting. In my 30s I was doing a lot of flat picking. In my 60s I've slowed everything down a bit.

The reason I purchase picks in quantity is that I have multiple locations where my guitars hang out. My sailboat, my cabin, my bungalow. I always keep at least one guitar in each location. And there are picks anywhere I might end up playing, as well as in each guitar case or gig bag. It's not that I need that many picks, but when you can buy a 48-pack for $16, I don't really have a need to carry a pick from place to place.

I'd probably need far fewer picks if I were playing with $40 picks.
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  #43  
Old 05-09-2019, 10:11 PM
s2y s2y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
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


After cracking this nice Charmed Life in my pocket, I now put my picks in a small pouch.

My worst problem is dropping clear V Picks, which go into ultra stealth mode. I usually find them eventually.
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  #44  
Old 05-10-2019, 04:18 AM
Murphy Slaw Murphy Slaw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themissal View Post
murph what do you use?
I'm now using the Bluechip TD40 or a Wegen Bluegrass 1.0 on guitar.

On the mandolin I will use those, or I also have a few rounded Wegen 1.0 that I have a love/hate relationship with.

I have some Primetone 1.0's but they are beveled a bit sharp.

I also like the old Dunlop Ultex 1.0 with the Rhino on them.
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  #45  
Old 05-10-2019, 09:11 AM
619TF 619TF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmed Life Picks View Post
I've been a shameless pick nerd for forty years. It began with genuine TS picks I bought from McCabe's right when they became illegal.

I call the boutique pick market the "lunatic fringe." It's not for everybody, or even most people.

I don't think a lot of folks are aware of the superb value and selection of high-performance picks below $10.00.

Here are a few to try:
Dunlop Ultex, the best value in the industry, about a buck a throw: https://www.guitarcenter.com/Dunlop/...CABEgIKhvD_BwE

Dunlop Primetones: Same material as Ultex line, but some added cool features:
https://www.jimdunlop.com/category/p...s/primetone.do

Wegen's excellent pick line, prices ranging $4.00-7.50 each. Really great performance for not a lot of $$$$.
https://www.wegenpicks.com/

And my personal fave, the great value in true Casein picks, from John Pearse. https://www.stringsandbeyond.com/jopefatutogu.html

For those interested, and I say this not as a seller or a vendor, if you have never played casein picks your high-end pick journey is not complete. Really wonderful material, and the closest I've found to the genuine article in more than forty years of searching.

I don't like to "invade" pick threads with constant CLP bumping. Therefore, for questions, please PM me here. I always play it straight, and I don't favor one company over another, including my own. It's all grist for the mill.

the best to you,
memmer
I'm not looking for advice nor interested in "bumping" this nor in PMing you. I also do not expect/need a response to this post.

What I'd like to say is how impressed I've been with how you handle things here on AGF. While I do not have the bucks to actually buy one of your CL picks, if and when I do it will be the first "boutique" pick I've ever purchased and it is mainly because of your integrity and honesty that comes through on this site. For one maker to recommend checking others out and to actually state why they might be nice for someone is beyond what I've come to expect from most retailers over my lifetime. That should always be rewarded and, at the very least, noted for others.

Thanks for all you do here. I hope one day I'll play with one of YOUR picks.
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