Picks/Plectrums Discussion

Discussion in 'Studio & Stage' started by JSanta585, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Been happy with the Blue Chip Jazz IIIs for electric, in three thicknesses from 35 to 50. I use the large BC Jazz III for acoustic, along with a couple of other BC shapes, depending on the track I’m cutting (i.e., a single note line, strumming, etc.).

    Sometimes I’ll still use a celluloid pick when I want that clacky sound on acoustic, and for bass I’ll use a Tortex or Ultex Jazz III because I like that tone.

    I bought my first Blue Chip pick 3-4 years ago, and have bought probably another dozen.

    Not one has shown any sign of wear. That’s almost creepy! :eek:

    I used to have to replace my Ultex and Tortex Jazz IIIs after only one session.
     
  2. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    No wear? That is creepy!

    If I can't wear one down, I personally challenge myself to melt the tip off at least one pick per week on Megadeth night or Dream Theater night.
    (Or Winger night! :D:D:eek:)
     
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  3. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I'll send you one. You'll fail. They're indestructible!

    This one...just because I can tie Winger and Dream Theater together with the name of the song!

     
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  4. walrus

    walrus New Member

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    Yikes! You must play hard! The Ultex picks usually last me a few weeks to a month...
     
  5. Ovibos

    Ovibos No, YOU'RE a New Member!

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    The PRS 1.14 purple delrins are my current choice, otherwise Clayton 1.0 acetals.
     
  6. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    My wee lad got given a Dunlop teckpick in brass as a freebie in our local music shop about 2 years ago. I started using it and haven’t changed since for electric. Just works for me, not everyone’s cup of tea, but then a pick is as personal as anything else guitar related.
     
  7. garrett

    garrett Not a New Member

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    After this crew enabled me, I got a Blue Chip Jazz LG 35. I've used it almost exclusively for a few months and there are some surface scratches, but not one rough edge. I don't think the tip has worn at all. I just bought a second one with their little pouch to keep in my gig bag. I forgot to grab the Blue Chip for a gig a few weeks ago and I was sad all night using the Tortex TIII again.

    I'm still scared to do pick scrapes with the Blue Chip, though.
     
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  8. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    I converted to V-Picks a month ago and got the Dimension Jr Ghost Rim model. I used to alternate between Herco Flex 50s and Jazz IIIs, so this model seemed like a really good fit. It's got one pointy jazz tip and two rounded traditional tips, with a raw edge around it to add character and tame the acrylic chirp a bit. Love how it feels in my hand, it just tucks right into my circle grip without digging in at all, and at 4mm it's almost effortless to grip. The rounded tips are surprisingly warm, and the jazz tip is brighter with extra articulation. The thing I like the most besides the feel is how the acrylic material gives me drastically more dynamic range than nylon or delrin. I added my own scratches on the smooth gripping surface to let me know by feel which way is "up" for the jazz tip, because stock it's a total crapshoot with 2:1 odds against to know which is the pointy corner. Gonna have to get some sandpaper soon to rough the rough edges back up, otherwise no wear at all so far after about 50 hours of playtime.

    As a side note, it's too thick to fit into most pick holders. It tucks neatly into the headstock under the bass E on my '90 EG, but won't quite tuck in the same spot on my '08 SC250. Go figure, huh?
     
    #48 Lee B., Dec 1, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  9. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    Let us know how you like it after you've had it for a while. I got into the V-picks a few years back and was soon on TGP in the pick threads telling everyone how great they were. I could fly with them, but after a while, the universal issue across every electric and every acoustic I had was, I could not get rid of that chirp. And worse, the more I heard it, the more annoying it was. I tried to notch frequencies, lower presence controls, and only ended up losing more tone and still had the chirp. I get one out every once in a while but never really play them any more.

    I'll say again, if you are a speed picker, they have some models that you can fly with. I've just found others since that allow that speed without that chirp. Ironically, many (not all) of them, have their own sonic signature of which an "objectionable" tone of some form is often there to some degree. But none are as bad as the V-pick chirp. If you find one that doesn't have it, I'd be willing to try another one... but skeptical for now...
     
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  10. alantig

    alantig Santana-free since '63!

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    I've had the same chirping issue with V-Picks - not universally, though. I'm currently using the Mummy most (of my V-Picks - I'm told it's Mark Lucas's favorite, the guy who does the nstuff.com reviews), and I seem to get the chirp less with it. But I still get it. I also get it with my Red Bear picks, too. One thing I've noticed is that - it seems - if I'm at all tentative about the part, that's when I start to get the extraneous noise. Once I get the chirp, though, I can't seem to get rid of it until I change picks.

    I have a Cymbolic pick - it's a pick cut from cymbal metal.

    [​IMG]

    It has a strong attack and some brightness to it. Years ago, I recorded my version of a song that has a lot of downstrokes. I didn't catch it until I was mixing, but it has a lot of chirping to it. Because of the rhythm of the part, it just sounds like a squeaky kick drum pedal, so I left it. It worked out in that case.
     
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  11. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    Appreciate the warning. It might be how I hold my pick. I am the opposite of a speed picker. I choke it quite a bit, with just the tip past my fingertips. I use a pretty shallow picking angle, just enough rake to make it easy to play sixteenth chucks. Plus I like pick harmonics and scratchy pick noises just a little too much, so maybe I'm just reveling in those sounds popping out and not noticing the telltale chirp quite as much yet. Or maybe the chirp's frequency has gone the way of 60-cycle hum and my wife's honeydew voice... :p

    Also, I haven't tried the V-Pick on my acoustic yet (been playing acoustic style lines on my SC250 with the volumes rolled off to 3-4 lately, sort of like preparation for eventually getting a HBII or P22). I tend to really dislike the tone of heavy picks on acoustic, so that chirp might broadcast more if I try it on that. I still have a couple dozen of the Flex 50s lying around, though. Those actually sound surprisingly nice on acoustic for being nylon. Just kinda quiet is all. I have no clue how guys like Tom Johnston and Neil Young get the volume they do out of them without suffering forearm sprains, lol.
     
    #51 Lee B., Dec 4, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  12. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    I use multiple pick angles. That's one reason I don't like big (full sized) picks. Jazz size is about the biggest I can tolerate. When I was my best as a player (before my 10 year break after breaking my left wrist) I played only the little nylon Odessa or Clayton pics. The SMALL ones. Those little things let me pick flat or at any angle I wanted easily, because I can roll them in my fingers however I want to easily, due to their size. I "mainly" play the famous 'greeny" now, the lime green jazz tortex pick. But that jazz size is the biggest I'm comfortable with for most things. I do still play the small nylons some, but prefer tortex and a few others. I have some Pickboy Carbon Nylon models (various thicknesses) that I really like, and a few of the Ultex that I like. Couple versions of Jazz III and II that I like including Eric Johnson model. Jazz III 2.0 is cool and fast.

    The 205 is probably the fastest, good sounding pick I've tried. Those little suckers will let you rip. Thick and small. Some may not like them for strumming. But if you want to go fast, you should try one.
     
  13. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    p.s. I planned to do an "Old Guys Speed Picking" demo while Les and I were in the studio working on the "Old Guys Speed Metal" album, but we're still in the writing phase for that so no picking demos yet. Just remember, what's fast for an old guy is not necessarily so fast for a young stallion. :D
     
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  14. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    I'm still working on cleaning my picking up, let alone speeding it up. All that stuff I never bothered with when I was a young stallion, lol.
     
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  15. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    LOL, well, don't get carried away. This is rock and roll, you know. I mean, precision helps if you want to play Dream Theater but a little slop can make you famous if you're playing Led Zeppelin. :)

    In fact, this is one of the "delays" in getting our album done. Les wants everything to be perfect. He's not used to "powerslop" so he keeps saying "lets do another take!" :eek:
     
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  16. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    I still don't get why people call Jimmy Page sloppy. The dude is like the Stanley Kubrick of the guitar. Led Zep was just his Clockwork Orange period.
     
  17. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    Seriously, I know. It's just his style. He's very precise on some stuff. So I know he can be. But sometimes you have to ride the groove. And, sometimes you have to drive it. Page's lead style was always interesting to me. Especially live. Like a splattering of notes. I have a friend from another forum that does some VERY convincing Page style leads (a huge fan, and he's from England). What's funny is, years ago when I played it all the time, I could do that too. Now I go back to play a song I haven't played in 20 years and find I play the solo precisely enough that the real Page vibe is lost. I have to force myself to play that way, since I don't do those songs all the time anymore.
     
    #57 DreamTheaterRules, Dec 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018 at 9:58 PM
  18. Huggy B

    Huggy B New Member

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    I do, but it's all good, at the time he was cutting edge. Since then so much has happened when it comes to guitar technique that it does sound a bit imprecise but it was before Al DiMeola, Eddie, Vai, Satriani, etc. that brought speed picking, sweep picking, tapping, and all the other stuff.

    Even McLaughlin sounds sloppy at times compared to them, so it's no sin to sound a little spastic on the fretboard as a guitar artist. In some occasions, it's the vibe, sound & feel that is desired, and that's what was happening at the time. Wild Crazy Rock & Roll man!!
     
  19. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    It’s called feel in my book.

    It’s like the difference between vinyl and digital. Yeah we love the clear sound, but you can’t help put that LP if you still have a turntable, we accept the background noise as part of our heritage.
     
  20. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    Few months now, still like it a lot to the point that I still haven't grabbed another pick for anything save helping my 10-year old tune her guitar. The point wore down a bit on the jazz tip, but it's still jazz tippy enough. That "ghost rim" roughing on the pick slopes must actually tone the acrylic chirp down. I've worn the pointy tip side nearly smooth on the pick slopes and now I get some chirp, but only when using the pointy tip. I guess I had better go get a sheet of sandpaper or something to rough it back up. Now that I've gotten used to the pick's idiosyncracies, I find myself playing most often with the more rounded tips on the EG, and most often with the jazz tip on the SC. Pick-based EQ? Think I'm going to watch for a sale and order a couple more.
     
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