I came across an interesting read about guitar picks and thought this should be posted on the blog.
Many thanks to guest writer Enamec who has given permission for this to be used.
Cheapest way to improve your tone & accuracy – Guitar Picks Part 1
CAVEAT: I don’t claim to be a pick expert but I’m pretty obsessed and experimented with tons of picks. I find it the cheapest tone-shaper. It’s also the most influential interface between a player and his guitar!
Here are my humble findings over the years…
Expensive isn’t always better. I think this general theory applies to nearly everything. So if you’re happy with your cheap generic Fender picks, don’t feel insecure… Enjoy it! But I’d urge to try different types of picks just to open your ears to the varieties of tones and feel.
Different shape, size and stiffness will greatly affect the way you play and sound. Struggling w Pinch Harmonics? Try a small and sharp Jazz 3 pick — it’ll force your grip (thumb) to be closer to the tip, making it feel “easier” to squeeze a screamer out.
Struggling with fast funky strums? Try a thinner/more flexible pick.
Fast metal triplets/galloping riffs? Try a sharp pointy thick pick.
Sharper tip = sharper (brighter) tone. A sharp tip would also feel more “accurate” and faster when doing gallops/alternate pickings.
Rounder tip (like using the back edge of your pick – SRV style) will yield a fatter tone with less emphasis on a sharp note attack; rounds that out.
Thicker pick = louder and fuller tone. Thick picks tend to be stiffer (I’ll get to material in a bit). That offers a very instant and “quick” feel. You’ll have more control on the dynamics / volume — pick very softly and you can coax a soft thin tone; dig deep n hard for a loud fat tone.
A flexible/thin pick will have an opposite effect. Think of thin picks as build in compressors because when you strum really hard, the flexing would even out your volume. Thin picks also impart a more “plucky”/”flappy” tone, which I love for acoustic strums.
Thick picks would rock for solos / single note riff playing. Louder, fuller tone. They require higher level of grip control to handle fast strums.
Thin picks are great strummers, chords, funky strums . Brighter tone, more clarity.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Edited by Guitarbear
Enamec can be found on local classifieds website Carousell.
*photos from Jim Dunlop, Gravity Picks and Premier Guitar.