I’m not trying to be “picky” but… plectrums are important.
They are the ones responsible of translating our amazing right hand ability to our strings, and we can never have enough of them.
I’ve decided a few weeks ago to buy all sorts of different picks, I’ve always played with Gibson’s medium/heavy until I discovered the Dunlop Tortex (1.14) they are for me the best picks available, they are very rigid but not thick… the strength of your picking action translates straight to the string without much effort and they last a lot longer than other normal picks, and most importantly they just feel right for me, and that’s the key here… It’s not about what someone else uses it’s about what makes you feel comfortable because when you are on that stage and the pick falls out of your hand in the middle of the solo… You are pretty much living every guitarist’s nightmare.
But… What is it that is right for us? guitarists are usually very mood dependent, anything wrong with our rig can throw off our mood for that perfect solo.
There is a great variety of picks out there, and it’s very hard to choose, so just buy them all! fortunately picks are cheap (compared to your vintage TS9!) and we can test them out as we please.
This is what I got from Ebay.
From left to right and top to bottom:
Carbon Fibre Dunlops, Bone, Beehold (back and front), Coconut shell (back and front), Dunlop Tortex (1.14, 1.0, 0,9 and 0.79)
They are all different and yes… They produce a different sound, I was very sceptical of this but different materials affect the tone.
The Dunlop Jazz carbon fiber: They are very hard but too small… They have a pattern that helps you keep them on your fingers, but because they are so small they are not very comfortable and it’s very easy to drop them.
Bone (made by Steve Clayton): I really liked these the sound is so warm and natural… but you can still get harmonics…they are good for blues and any kind of strumming… so I’m sure they must be a killer for any acoustic guitar, really worth a try!
Beehold (made by Steve Clayton): I didn’t liked them as much.. it’s got an hexagonal hole to enhance grip but the hole it’s too high for me… the actual pick quality is decent… but the sound you get is a bit trebly and the pick is flimsy.
Coconut (made by Steve Clayton): it’s ok… I think it might be good for acoustic guitars, the main issue is that it’s curved, they are gorgeous though.. but it takes some time to get used to them and they are fairly big.
And finally my favourites!
Dunlop ULTEX Sharp: oh man, these picks are incredible, I prefer the 1.14 they are very stiff but thin, you get great control of the pick because the size is just right and it’s very hard to wear them out. If you want an ULTEX but you are more of a soft/medium pick guy/girl… I recommend 0.73 or 0.9 they are great as well.. but too soft for my taste.
So there you go, get a few picks and try them out, don’t just settle with the ones you get for free at the music store, picks are important to your tone and it will help you shape your signature sound.