The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32096   Message #421716
Posted By: John Hardly
20-Mar-01 - 01:35 PM
Thread Name: Flat Pick Question
Subject: RE: Flat Pick Question
Y'know Rick, Jed, Catspaw and some of the real guitar players around here could write a book (or at least a sizable pamphlet) on pick tone, so I know this is a coals-to-newcastle offering, but I can't help but offer;

When one is asking about the picks that some guitar hero uses, implied by the question is "how does one duplicate the tone?".

There are at least two factors that are at least AS important as the choice of pick and which corner of the pick the guy uses;

1. In a continuum from Dan Crary, who is a "bridge player" to Joel Mabus who plays even a little north of the sound hole, the tone is considerably different.

If you imagine the extreme of "plucking" you could do in the very middle of the string (over the 12th fret), the string is at it's most flexible. The other extreme would be just at the bridge and the pick really "strikes" more than plucks the string. The more "striking" attack achieves the more "bell-like" tone, the more "plucky" the attack, the more "woody" and "jangly" the tone.

2. This is more arguable--
Where or if a guy "anchors" affects the tone. It does so in that it affects where a guy might strike the string as in the above example, but it also affect the part or amount of the soundboard that is deadened.

Dan Crary anchors on the bridge which theoretically deadenes the soundboard the most. Joel Mabus anchors with a pinky which will have a less dampening effect, and Doc "floats", presumably least dampening, all things being equal.