Medium vs. Hard pick... Way bigger difference in tone than I thought.

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
9,017
Altered States
For acoustics (most of my playing) I have been using the Ultex 1.0 triangular picks for a number of years.

For electrics I used to use Tortex .88 (green) for years but for the past few years I have been using Dunlop Primetone Standard 1.5’s. Like them a lot.

After many years I have found picks I really like and see no reason to change either. Neither are textured but seem to have great grip and don’t move around while playing.

I really don’t like the sound or feel of celluloid picks at all.

Grip can be "adjusted" with very coarse sandpaper and/or a drill with small drill bit for picks that are too slick.
 

bbarott

Most Honored Senior Member
Mar 29, 2010
7,522
Marietta Georgia
The quack positions really come alive with a medium pick. Much more brightness. More harmonics. Just an overall more stratty tone.

The thicker pics are good too though. They give you a thicker, more bassy and slightly more powerful sound.

This is probably obvious to a lot of people here. But I'm just sitting here really noticing it for the first time.

It's almost like I am hearing 2 different speakers!

Yes, picks matter a lot. I use Dunlop 1.0s, not really uber heavy they just sound and feel right for what I do.
 

keys88

Strat-Talker
Apr 4, 2014
324
Columbus, OH
Picks have a huge influence on tone. Aside from thickness, different materials sound, well different.
I recently realized how true this is. I got a set of wooden picks as an add-on with a Thalia order just on a whim to try them. Not only do they stick to my fingers better than a plastic pick, they sound different. It's hard to explain but it's like my tone is more organic, less sterile if that makes any sense. It's cool. The only problem is they wear down much faster than a typical pick and they're not cheap.
 

GuitarKidToday

New Member!
Jun 7, 2018
6
Texas
The quack positions really come alive with a medium pick. Much more brightness. More harmonics. Just an overall more stratty tone.

The thicker pics are good too though. They give you a thicker, more bassy and slightly more powerful sound.

This is probably obvious to a lot of people here. But I'm just sitting here really noticing it for the first time.

It's almost like I am hearing 2 different speakers!

Yes - picks make a huge difference. I’ve been using Dunlap 46mm nylon picks since the 80’s and when I try to use a larger/thicker pick it truly hampers my picking style. I found since I play in a trio (guitar, bass, and drums) and play a lot if rhythm, the lighter puck works well for me. Trying to migrate to one of those thick picks feels like I’m trying to play the guitar with a log!
 

Slartybartfast

Strat-Talker
Aug 10, 2020
414
Ca.
For me, anyway, I feel a certain matching of resiliencies happens, pick vs. string. For example, a 10 set just works with a medium pick for me. The heavy has no flex to manipulate and the thin responds too slow.
 

dbluesmi

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 13, 2015
84
USA
Edge U2 uses the gritty side of these. Amazing how distinctive that tone is.
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Joelish

Strat-Talk Member
Nov 15, 2018
37
Houston, TX
I'm as simple as they come Fender medium for me. I love Nylon picks for strumming, but they fray easily and they're wicked scrape-y sounding on individual strings. My friend plays with jazz iii picks I don't know how you keep those things in your fingers and they're way too stiff. I would only use them if I had a really light touch. I should mention my friend is really heavy handed and those picks don't really suit him well, but he loves em, and he's loud as hell on an acoustic.
 
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kdines

Strat-Talker
Dec 12, 2019
117
San Diego
I use the red Eric Johnson Jazz III picks and really like them. Everything else feels too big and I was very surprised that when I tried other picks of the same size but different material, that my red ones most definitely sounded warmer with less treble (perfect for my preferences). I also like how grippy they are, especially as I have a very light grip on my pick and also use my index finger and middle finger to support it on the back - I feel this reduces tension on my thumb (gotta look after the joints!). I’ve been using the same one for 18 months with no discernible wear.
 

76standard

Strat-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
165
Keizer Oregon
The quack positions really come alive with a medium pick. Much more brightness. More harmonics. Just an overall more stratty tone.

The thicker pics are good too though. They give you a thicker, more bassy and slightly more powerful sound.

This is probably obvious to a lot of people here. But I'm just sitting here really noticing it for the first time.

It's almost like I am hearing 2 different speakers!
Medium pick, more highs. Heavy pick more low end emphasis. Find your happy place and play some music. The mysterious nuances of guitar exploration. Enjoy!
 

n49_50n

New Member!
Feb 1, 2019
4
NYC
i love the Dunlop Jazz III XL in Ultex 1.38 which has some nice embossed lettering for grip purposes as well as a pointed and rounded edge to use. I gradually moved from thin Fender picks through to gradually thicker super grippy but still flexi, even when thicker, Brain Picks. Then I tried the Jazz III XL and fell in love. I wish they made their carbon Max Grip Jazz 3 in XL, but that smaller form factor is my second favorite.

there def are different sounds from different materials and gauges to be enjoyed when one desires and so many glorious roads towards tone to explore!
 


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