Deep Dive on Picks

Discussion in 'General Music' started by DubV, Feb 10, 2020.

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Which color Tortex do you play?

  1. Red

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Orange

    37.5%
  3. Yellow

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Green

    37.5%
  5. Blue

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Purple

    25.0%
  1. DubV

    DubV New Member

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    I have never given much thought to pick choice. I started using yellow Tortex picks in 1996, which I continued to use to this day. I have recently been playing quite a bit and thought that doing a deep dive on picks might be a fun and cheap experiment (and it has been). I bought a pretty variety of shapes (standard, sharp, jazz I and III, jazz xl, traingles, small triangles, etc), thicknesses, and materials (nylon, celluloid, delrin, and utlex). I played them all on different guitars, acoustic and electric, and graded them on different techniques. It was pretty interesting. Alot of my preferences were purely aesthetic. For example, ultex felt "brittle," and I did not like the way that sharp jazz tips felt going across the strings.

    SHAPE- Seeing all of the folks who used jazz IIIs, and having never tried one myself, was the impetus for my experiment. But as noted, I did not like the way that any of the jazz tips felt across the strings. At the end of the day, the standard shape won out for me. I also noticed that I had, unknowingly, developed techniques over the years in which I moved the pick around in my grip and changed my grip.

    MATERIAL- I preferred delrin/tortex above the other materials. It felt the best to me. Nylon felt too slick on the strings and was not stiff enough, even at 1mm. Celluloid felt pretty good, but not as good as the delrin- it was just too slick. Outside of how they feel, delrin picks are good because they are cheap, relatively durable, and can be purchased at any music store.

    THICKNESS- This was the most interesting aspect to me. The orange tortex was the best strumming pick- it felt great going across the strings. The most noticeable difference occurs when you go from the yellow to the green tortex. The yellow is a much better strummer than the green, but during fast picking phrases, the yellow "lags" a bit, whereas the green is a great picker. This "breaking point" might account for why the yellow and green are the most popular among pros and amateurs, they are good all-rounders with the yellow favoring strumming and the green favoring picking. Moving up, I can't feel a whole lot of difference between the green and blue, they both feel really good. The purple just felt too thick hitting against the strings and was uncomfortable to strum. When it comes to "the pick" that I keep in my wallet, I want something that is definitely a good picker because I can always make do on strumming, but not vice versa. Therefore, I think my sweet spot for an all-rounder is somewhere around a green or blue tortex- I am going to put both of these through long haul tests to see if one comes out on top. I will also keep an orange tortex or two around as a strumming pick.

    I would be interested to hear anybody's preferences and how they came to it. Also, I wanted to post a poll for Tortex players: which color do you play?
     
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  2. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    The purples have been my fav for years. Recently, I tried the red tortex Dava picks. It feels like the same with a rubber coating. It's hard to drop them.
    71LDvnGwkML._AC_SX425_.jpg
     
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  3. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I've used green tortex since I was like 15, not sure why I started, but every once in awhile I'll try something else. Always go back, just something right about those green ones.
     
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  4. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I like Clayton picks... so I didn't vote. Yes I did, just now (edit)
    Orange...
    picks 2020.jpg
    Clayton picks are made of Acetal, and some other
    high tech names. What ever they are, they've spoilt
    me for almost any other kind. Dunlop Tortex are ok
    too, if I can't get Claytons. The orange variety.

    In my early days, I played a lot of bars where the air was full of
    grease and steam, tobacco smoke and girl perfume, and we often
    got sweaty working it... So I played Fender Mediums, the large
    rounded triangle, White only. The large pick seemed to stay in my
    hand on sweaty nights, and if it flew off into the shadows, I could
    find it if it was WHITE... Those were the only concerns.

    Playing better venues later, and hearing my tone in a recording
    studio later, I began to consider the pick with more discernment.
    Also, Fender Mediums have been around for a long time, and there's
    been a lot of improvements in the technology IMHO.

    So the Claytons are what sound and feel best to my
    hairy ear now. I use the .5 mm teardrops (white eagle or black raven)
    for playing electric, and I never break strings. (anymore...)
    The picks will rip first.
    I never thought I'd use a pick that thin, but the Claytons
    seem pretty stable in my hand, and don't fly across the stage.

    I use the large rounded triangles for acoustic, my fave gauge is .73mm.
    Those sound the best with the strings I use on my acoustics. The yellow
    one is made of "Duraflex" whatever that is. The Black Ravens are new,
    and I found them in .63mm which is right in between my two favorite
    gauges, so I may use them for both electric and acoustic.
    Pick tray and gear@100.jpg
    This would simplify logistics. They make the Black Ravens in the small
    teardrop shape too, and I like those for electric. Those are my vote.
    IMHO the pick is where tone begins... and they have a major effect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  5. DubV

    DubV New Member

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    I remember Clayton picks from a great little guitar shop in Greenville, SC called Palmetto Music! The point about string breakage interests me. I've heard tell of heavy picks breaking strings. Can't say that I've ever felt like I broke a string because of my pick, though. Maybe I have.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  6. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    I can (and do) use all kinds of picks, especially free store picks. I have Claytons and a few 5.00 and 10.00 picks. It's fun.
    20200210_183415.jpg
     
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  7. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    Fender 351 Heavy for guitar.

    Clayton Acetyl 1.90 sharp triangles for bass.
     
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  8. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I also like 'vintage" picks... for a very sharp and penetrating tone.
    These are very hard on strings of course, but for some kinds of
    stoner doom music they are the only alternative.
    chert arrow heads@100.jpg
     
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  9. Didds

    Didds Well-Known Member

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    My pick of choice is thick chunks of bloodied timber from the crucifix of Jesus Christ. Tonal bonus if it has a nail in it
     
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  10. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    My buffalo pick..
    20200211_122422.jpg
    I also have an agate pick.
     
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  11. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    When I use one, and that's pretty rare these days, it's the orange turtles.
     

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