Guitar Picks

One of the tiny things that you might not think matter in playing guitar is pick selection. When I was just starting guitar (I started on acoustic steel-string) I played on whatever I had lying around, which generally meant the standard cellulose picks. They sound OK, but tend to break a lot, especially over time. After a while I got sick of my picks breaking and settled on Dunlop’s Nylon Standard picks. They proved to be much longer-lasting, but I really wasn’t satisfied with the sound I got out of them. They lacked the bite that better cellulose picks seemed to have. Plus in the end they wore down anyway.

I did find that I had one teardrop-shaped yellow Tortex pick (coincidentally also by Dunlop) that I did like and it lasted forever, but I lost it at some point and never thought much about it. In recent years, a few of my friends started using the red Tortex picks. I gave them a try, but hated them. They’re way too floppy for me, and I can’t get the kind of tone I want out of them, especially when doing more picking as opposed to strumming. By this time I had started playing electric guitar a reasonable amount too, so I needed something for picking single-note stuff. Still, the Tortex picks were definitely durable. They tended to get lost, disappear, or get “borrowed” (haha, you know it’s true) rather than wearing out or breaking. Soon after, I picked up some orange and yellow Tortex picks and they were much better. As I had remembered, but with the standard shape. The orange is slightly lighter which I like when doing more strumming on the acoustic. One annoying thing about Tortex picks though is that the printed black text smears almost immediately. Gets on your fingers. Small price to pay though.

At one point way back in high school, one of the guitarists I knew that I played with for a short stint introduced me to the Big Stubby line of picks. Guess who makes them. Hah, yeah, Dunlop. (I swear it’s coincidental!) Apparently I’m a Dunlop pick fanboy. Anyway, it was interesting (for electric, not acoustic). They are just as they sound–big fat picks that have virtually no give. Anyway, he gave me one or two, but I lost them after a while and didn’t use them much anyway since at that time I was just learning and really didn’t know how to do too much more than just strum chords. Just recently I decided to try them again, and I found that I really like them! Even for acoustic. Not for general strumming on the acoustic of course (though you can get away with it), but for single note picking stuff I really feel like it adds to the body of my tone. I haven’t used them that long yet, but I think I’ll be switching primarily to these for now. Hopefully they’re as durable as the Tortex picks.

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~ by audioreviewer on December 6, 2006.

2 Responses to “Guitar Picks”

  1. You should try the Dunlop Jazz III .

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