plectrums for guitar

plectrums for guitar

im looking for the perfect plec. allrounder…for strumming and picking…what kind of plectrums do you use?….i use dunlop .53 put find them 2 quiet sometimes…i like planet waves red but they break in half on me..ive heard clayton are good….

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Re: plectrums for guitar

I use several types. All depends on whether im strumming, stringpicking or even soloing and keep them in a handy plec holder on top of my guitar. I tend to use a light for the strumming, medium for stringpicking, and a medium hard for soloing. There is also a pick you can get which has 3 sides on it with different gauges. Im sure you can pick them up on ebay.
Why is the planet waves one breaking on you??? You must be using 13 gauge strings or wholloping the guitar too hard!!!!

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1mm Black Dunlop

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My all time favourite is PlanetWaves red. If they break on you, check if you’re not playing thrash metal. I also use a bit thicker one (orange) for soloing.

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Try the Dunlop Tortex range

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I don’t use plectrums but I do know about wig glue.
Hair Hat Araldite is the best although if you’re in a hurry you can’t beat SyrupStik. I also have an interesting red rubber hot water bottle (one of my HWB collection) that used to belong to Matt Munroe.

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I’ve used 1 mm black Dunlops for several decades. They used to make a red 1 mm that was just a bit stiffer. I liked it for diddley tunes, but it’s been discontinued. Bringing together the right plectrum, attack, grip, hand/arm posture, etc. can be a long and frustrating journey. When you’re trying different types of plectra, try to give each one a fair chance. It might take days or weeks to adjust your grip, attack, etc. to a new plectrum.

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Wegen teardrop 1.2 mm. Also Dunlop Tortex yellow, green, and blue.

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Fender mediums, when I have the money. Cut-up credit cards when I don’t.

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John Doyle, best strummer, uses .60 mm nylon Dunlops.

Tommy Emmanuel, best melody line flat picker, uses Wegens, at least 2.5 mm thick.

Tone is greatly affected by pick/plectrum thickness, so decide what sound you like.

Ain’ no perfick plectrum, ain’ no perfick guitah, ain’ no perfick blooz lyrix, but this heah’s the perfick bar. O, I gots ‘em, them perfick plectrum blooz.

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fender light for strumming. fender medium for picking, or strumming if it is noisy and amplification is minimal.

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I use Dunlop Jazz 3 XL’s mainly, but sometimes the big stubby (3mm) although they’re a bit too rounded. The thicker the better, I find I get the most control both strumming and picking when the plec doesn’t flex.

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I use recycled credit cards (try and get the holographic visa eagle emlem in the center of the pick). I trace around a dunlop .60 mm with a sharpie and cut it out with sissors. :)

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oops, I meant "…emblem…". I really should proofread my entries before posting.

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Ciaran, I’ve used the thick Dunlop Jazz picks, too, and the 3mm one. The only downside I had with them was how much room the pick took up between the strings—like it filled the space, with little room left over for actually picking.

No doubt I didn’t stick with it long enough (went back to the Wegen 1.2mm). But do you have any thoughts on how your pick motion accommodates the thicker picks? I’d sure like to hear them, thanks.

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Dunlop Tortex manufactures a 12-pack for picky pickers. Also a 72-pack if you’re really adventurous.

Of course Tortex picks have the clicky-clacky sound to ‘em.

I use a .60 mm for everything.

Take your pick and good pluck to ya.

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"Clicky-clacky"

That’s one reason I really like the speed-bevelled Wegen picks—smooth against the strings.

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Go to a locally owned guitar store, go to their pick display, and buy two of each. Try them all. Eventually, you’ll find one that works.
The best I’ve found for flatpicking were made by John Pearse, but I’m afraid I may have to look for a new plectrum when I run out of those, since Breezy Ridge seems to be shut down since his passing. However, even if you found a place where you could buy them by the gross, you might easily find that they weren’t the best for you. So try the dunlop orange and the Clayton and all the others, but the only way to find the right one is to try them all.

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Dunlop .46 for everything.

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Mine are red with little turtles on them, pretty lightweight, I think they are Dunlop Tortex—they last forever, bought a dozen of them almost a decade ago, which is why I forget the details about them, I still have a number in reserve!!!

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Oh, and isn’t the plural of plectrum plectra?
Say that three times fast.

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I, too, favor the Wegan 1.2mm picks, either triangular or teardrop shaped, for playing melodies. For strumming, I like the somewhat obscure Dava control nylon picks. They are stiff and clean-edged enough for a sudden turn from strumming into melody playing, and generally sound better than any other nylon picks I have tried. I order them directly from the maker in Albuquerque, New Mexico - www.davapick.com

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Miss Lonelyhearts

I spent an unhealthy amount of time working on technique when I was playing lead guitar. In my experience, once you get used to it, the thicker pick allows you to be light in the same way as a thin pick, but also allows you to go way beyond the attack range of thins, (they just flex too soon, you don’t get the bite). I recall it took me a few months effort to make the switch, but it was well worth it.

Motion is hard to explain. Minimum movements, mainly at the wrist keeping a relaxed arm, and strict alternate up down picking. I found the best things were developing cross string patterns, concentrating mainly on only two strings. Go in between, and outside of the strings while crossing. And really, really, slowly for a few weeks, concentrating on keeping a strict rhythm, and relaxed hand. Eventually you build the stamina to speed up, and it sounds sharp at higher speeds.

There’s lots of relevant lessons on youtube nowadays, though mainly for rock. I suppose it would be feasible to pull a few licks from reels and apply those notes to the same picking patterns.

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Ciaran, thanks for the exploded diagram of your picking motion. I teach, and use the same string-pair picked outside and then again inside sort of patterns (usually within tunes) to help students cover all the angles. But I may have given up too early on the 3mm pick. Will give it a go again. Thanks.

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years ago i use to use any ol’ thing (even fragments of oystershells) before settling for Dunlop meds on acoustic and small black Fender meds on electric

now marks mate sends over these blow-away american ones _ Clayton .63mm (med whites with an oddly green bald eagle on), best i’ve felt in a long time _ apart from a shiny silver metal one a friend gave to me to try on the bass, but i’ll try it on grunge electric (rarely do plec on bass, only thumb and fingers)

like Greg the Piano Tuner, i still use cut-up-credit-card backup as they are hard to beat for ever-ready functionality and volume albeit with a rough edge; jasonburnfield is right too about design selection (from the card) as it does make a difference to sound, feel and looks better

finally, it is a sad fact to state that i thought the best ever were genuine ‘tortoishell’,which thankfully are no longer available in line with strict protection laws safeguarding these ancient marine reptiles that grace our oceans

just seen ciaranbradley’s observations on ‘pick attack dynamics’ (thick verus thin on the electric) and it’s absolutley true, with pratice, it really doesn’t matter what you use

… back to the sea-shells

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But which of these plectra is the most traditional?

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Isn’t the fingernail the oldest version of the pick? Can’t believe that cat gut or whatever was used in olden days would hold up to a heavy Fender pick whacking away!!!

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I use 1.5mm triangle from D’Andrea. I bought a dozen a few years ago and haven’t lost them all yet. I used to use Dunlop Tortex picks, the green ones, I think they were .88mm.
For a while I used .88mm on guitar and 1.5mm on mandolin but for some reason the difference in pick thickness (pickness) bothered me more than the difference in instruments. Now I use the 1.5mm for everything. Someday I’ll buy some Wegen picks, I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.

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.60 mm nylon Dunlop

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If you can get your hands on them, try and get a Herdim plectrum…. good grip with 3 gauges on one pick

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I use a Blue Chip pick. The pick is good for both strumming and picking. The pick is fast off the strings and has very little pick noise. I think the pick is a subsitute for tortise shell. I have had one for a few months now and no wear what so ever to the speed bevel. The thing I really like about this pick is it does not slip out of my fingers. The down side is they are expensive, but I am told each one is handmade. If you compare the cost to tortise shell then it does not seem like alot of money. I highly recommend them.

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Fender 358 celluloid jazz guitar picks - heavy. 25.4mm (1") long, 17.7mm (0.7") wide and 0.94mm (1/27") thick. I order them from the States by the gross.

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‘Isn’t the fingernail the oldest version of the pick?’

Some time ago I had my thumb nail removed and I used it as a plectrum for a few months until it went a bit mouldy and fell apart. Sounded pretty good.

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my answer to Lingpupa’s question ‘which plectra is the most traditional [of these]? is ‘none’, but Dunlop gets a look in

the first recorded plectra were made of ‘quill’ which strummed the first metal fretted and wire-strung guitars of the 17th-century, the earliest being a 1627 Chittara Battente by Giorgio Sellas ( _even the word ‘plectrum’ first appeared itself in 1626)

but earlier, a distinctive ‘figure-of-eight’ guitar-like instrument emerged out of southern europe with 13th and 14th-century artwork showing possible quill plecs in use

it would appear the most trad plectra (away from fingernails) were fashioned from natural quill, horn, ivory and i’d include bone and wood, followed by tortoiseshell, plastic and metal

as for the yellow-board context, it’s as long as the guitar’s been around in irish trad and i’d give it to the long time, widely available yet cheap and faithful Dunlop

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.60 Nylon Dunlop (the grey ones with the grip). I’ve been using these for several years - indeed it took me several years to find the one that really suited me best.

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I have some of those Wegens and I like them pretty well, except I wish they were just a millimeter or two taller. In fact, most picks are a tad too short to suit me.

To anyone troubled by plectral slippage: Dip your pick grip in Plasti-Dip. It gives you a secure, non-sticky grip and it’s no thicker than a coat of paint. Double dip it if you want more thickness. If you don’t like it, just peel it off.

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Jaysus Bob, when I started to read your advice about slippage, I thought I’d accidentally landed on a porn website!

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Oh, sorry, I thought this *was* a porn site.

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.60mm Dunlop "riffs" - the bright orange ones.

I have a few of them but I always use the same one and have used it for years.

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aroun .46 no further than .60. guitars are only backers keep it lower than the melody makers

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my all-time ‘great’ is the same as No Cause For Alarm

and last night, bizarrely, i picked one up off the floor of a foyer in the ‘National Film Theatre’ _ a gift from Ken Campbell?

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Based on old and in the way’s mention of Blue Chip picks, I ordered one and it’ instantly became my favorite flat pick. I’m using it on mandolin and guitar, for back up and soloing. Wonderful full tone, little to no pick noise, nice tacky feel in the fingers, and its speed over the strings is simply astonishing. At $35 USD each, I spent more on one pick than I have in the last 10 years of picks, but it was worth it. And the testimonials make it sound like this thing will last a lifetime. I intend to find out.

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