To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
14 messages

Tech: Guitar Picks

10 Jan 07 - 03:29 AM (#1932066)
Subject: Tech: Picks
From: Slag

You might want to try this. It's kinda fun to experiment with. Here in the States there are certain green plastic flower pots that are rather ubiquitous. Some are brittle and you don't want those. You want the nice tough, flexible ones. Use an old guitar pick and trace out picks around the pot and cut them out with heavy shears. Trim them up and sand them to your satistfaction. They will be slightly curved and you can turn them one way for a soft stroke or the other for a stiff stoke or pick. I think they are better than any I've ever bought.

I've done the same with an old "Handicp Parking Placard". Similar but stouter stuff. Try different shapes and sizes. You can create the perfect pick and they last a long, long time.

10 Jan 07 - 03:36 AM (#1932070)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: Jim Lad

"I've done the same with an old "Handicap Parking Placard"."
You're kidding right? So now some poor old guy has to park way at the back of the lot?

10 Jan 07 - 04:27 AM (#1932098)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: Slag

I'm the OLD GUY! Expired placard! Motorcycle accident!

10 Jan 07 - 05:39 AM (#1932132)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: Scrump

I've used a piece of half-inch or 50mm plastic pipe as a banjo pick, following advice given by someone else, but it didn't suit me.

It was a short length cut square at one end and at an angle at the other, and you fitted it over your finger (or thumb, depending on the width of your digits).

As I said, I didn't get on with it, but the guy who told me about it used them.

10 Jan 07 - 07:11 AM (#1932184)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: GUEST,Richard

Old credit cards etc. make decent picks, though a little too soft and bendy for some, but easily cut to whatever desired shape.

10 Jan 07 - 07:15 AM (#1932190)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: Richard Bridge

I must have tried hundreds of different picks, but have always found homemades are rubbish, and I always come back to Jim Dunlop 60s..

Slats I think uses 73s or 88s.

10 Jan 07 - 07:35 AM (#1932204)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: Scrump

I've settled on Dunlop Tortex picks, having tried many other types. Many I find are too bendy for me. Tortex seems to be the right balance between stiffness and bendiness for me.

The worst ones I've used, surprisingly, were Gibson - they broke within no time at all. Far too brittle for me, or I must be too heavy handed for them.

10 Jan 07 - 09:26 PM (#1932811)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: GUEST,Scoville at Dad's

I like the plain old Fenders--the regular-sized medium ones for guitar and the large thin ones for dulcimer (the ones that are triangles with the sides bowed out--easy to hold onto and too big to fall through my sound holes).

10 Jan 07 - 10:07 PM (#1932833)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: Mooh

Mostly use Dunlop Ultex .73mm for guitar and the same in 1.00mm for mandolin. Once in a while some other pick does the trick, usually also Dunlops, though a Wegan gets alot of use on mandolin. Have made them from tagua nut and various plastics just because I like to tinker, but always return to Ultex. I dislike providing store bought picks for students so sometimes they get my experiments.

I "dress" the points and bevels on my picks with very fine sandpaper to get as smooth an articulation as possible.

Peace, Mooh.

10 Jan 07 - 10:14 PM (#1932837)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Ya know, I used to use pretty darned heavy picks, like 1.00 mm Tortex, to try to get as much volume as possible out of the guitar. Then I quit drinking and smoking wacky tobaccy and discovered it was the playing style I had developed from years of playing in, mostly, altered states of consciousness that was the culprit behind my lack of volume. I found that by playing correctly I could use a lighter .73 mm pick and get more volume, better pick control, less pick noise, fewer broken strings, and have fewer picks go flying across the room.

10 Jan 07 - 11:24 PM (#1932880)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: jeffp

Dunlop .60s for me, the gray ones. One of the things I like most about them is their consistency. I used to use Fender mediums, but about 30 years ago, they changed. I didn't like the new ones and cast about until I found the Dunlops. Love them.

10 Jan 07 - 11:25 PM (#1932881)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: Slag

I've used various Dunlops and others. Each person finds what works best for them and their style. The flowerpot picks last forever (about) and yes, you can hone any pick into a desired shape but some are so short-lived that it's not worth the effort.

10 Jan 07 - 11:57 PM (#1932901)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: GUEST,DonMeixner

Tortex Whites that come to a sharp point. Blistering fast.
Tortex Red, standard shape. Great strummers for me.


11 Jan 07 - 08:22 AM (#1933145)
Subject: RE: Tech: Guitar Picks
From: Scrump

I think the ones I use now (Tortex) are around .6+mm (can't recall the exact thickness) or .73mm. The thicker ones are just too thick for me and don't feel right somehow. I tried thinner ones and they handled OK but the sound was 'thinner' too, so I settled on the above size range (still haven't decided which is better).