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  • Gain and Pick Thickness/Material

    Maybe I am completely tone deaf, however in my experience Iíve noticed that once you lay on the gain/distortion the pick material and thickness doesnít make much of a difference in tone. Itís more about how the pick feels on the strings and in your hand.

    With a very clean sound I can hear the difference between thicknesses and materials without a problem. However, once you turn on a fair bit of distortion or especially fuzz itís all out the window unless youíre flipping through extremes but I donít hear a difference really with those settings between letís say a Tortex or celluloid of the same gauge with distortion or fuzz. Add more effects and itís worse still.

    Acoustic is a completely different animal.

  • #2
    Re: Gain and Pick Thickness/Material

    99% of the time "I put the pedal to metal" (though I don't have the keys to the Lambirghini yet ), I do find a difference. for example thicker and less sharps picks tend to make my wound strings sound "blunt" or less defined and on the unwound strings they sometime make this sharp chirping sound. I guess because its not scraping but rather sliding across the string. But I'm pretty sure that once I become a proper player with decent technique I'll hear less difference between the picks...

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    • #3
      Re: Gain and Pick Thickness/Material

      Originally posted by kramer.geetar View Post
      Maybe I am completely tone deaf, however in my experience I’ve noticed that once you lay on the gain/distortion the pick material and thickness doesn’t make much of a difference in tone. It’s more about how the pick feels on the strings and in your hand.

      With a very clean sound I can hear the difference between thicknesses and materials without a problem. However, once you turn on a fair bit of distortion or especially fuzz it’s all out the window unless you’re flipping through extremes but I don’t hear a difference really with those settings between let’s say a Tortex or celluloid of the same gauge with distortion or fuzz. Add more effects and it’s worse still.

      Acoustic is a completely different animal.
      When dynamics start to disappear to extent nylon and celluloid sound the same, I consider that a symptom of too much gain. Same with effects.

      With fuzz it's pretty much out of the window as you said.
      "So understand/Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years/Face up, make your stand/And realize you're living in the golden years"
      Iron Maiden - Wasted Years

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      • #4
        Gain and Pick Thickness/Material

        I donít use tons of gain, except for soloing. But I donít choose picks for the tone. I use either a purple tortex, or lately a 1.35 mm T3 pick with the standard shape.

        I suppose I like that the delrin isnít very clicky sounding, but more important to me is the pick thickness. It changes the aspect of the distance between the strings.

        Iíve recently switched to .008s so I also went to a thicker pick to compensate.


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Re: Gain and Pick Thickness/Material

          I have been a lot less extreme on high gain settings in the last 5 years, so have definitely noticed a difference.

          Between Ultex picks, Tortex, acrylic (Gravity Picks), and the Dunlop Flow there is definitely a noticeable difference to me even with gain, @nexion218 spot on about the bluntness on the low strings.

          While string gauge makes a big difference overall, the pick material, angle and my technique are paramount to whether I'm getting the right cut and definition. Acrylic has some sharpness and click on the attack but doesn't seem to keep the note separation for me, where lately I am returning to my purple Jazz III-shaped Tortex roots for clarity and snap

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          • #6
            Re: Gain and Pick Thickness/Material

            Even on higher gain settings, I do notice a sound difference when using different picks.
            Ultex for example still has a much brighter, sharper attack than nylon.
            Harmonics is another aspect where I can hear difference between picks, even on higher gain settings.
            "You can buy muscles (steroÔds), but you can't buy "cojones". (quoted: Bas Rutten)

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            • #7
              Re: Gain and Pick Thickness/Material

              Wooden picks ONLY- for me-

              I played guitar for 17 years, until i discovered "Timber Tones" wooden picks.

              To me, they feel better- and sound TREMENDOUSLY better, than any other pick...

              Before I found them, I used "gator" 1mm and 2mm picks.



              I reccomennd you to try a "4 pack of assorted woods".

              The black ebony ones are my favourites.

              -Erlend
              If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

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              • #8
                Re: Gain and Pick Thickness/Material

                A very smooth pick, will only sound the strings if you give them a "bump"-

                but a very rough pick, will act like a "bow".

                Different woods sound and act differently in this way,.

                -Erl
                If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

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