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Bill Yellow

Stubby trouble (a plectrum questrum)

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Look, I really don't need to hear about everyone's favourite bass pick, but I do want to know what I might need to experiment with.

When I first picked a pick for bass use, it was the Dunlop big purple triangle. But moving to a different genre, I tried a number of other types. What I found was that I really got on with the Big Stubby shape, with the indented thumb grip. I imagined the thicker ones would be right but the best feel and flex for me was the 1mm hard red Big Stubby.

Now, I'm finding these are prone to split in half after a week or so of use.

In recognition of this weakness, it seems Dunlop have re-engineered the Big Stubbies in grey nylon. Same positive feel, but lacking the crisp click of the boiled sweetie material.

So, is there a plectrum out there that has the sort of contoured thumbgrip of the Stubby (not just a bit of texture on a flat surface), flexes a little in use, is in a bright sounding material, and won't snap on me?

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I don't know but you've just spurred me on go try some new picks. Going to order some red big stubbys after using the black nylon 1mm for years. 

Edited by Jonse

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Thanks for that, Oops. I'll put Dava on my checklist. I like the look of their Rock Control ones, too, with delrin tips.

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Surprised you managed to break one of those picks to be honest! You referring to these ones?

24473300017.MAIN.jpg

I did find the edge to wear down quite a bit with those though:

I use these:

23431100006.MAIN.jpg

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On 12/09/2019 at 11:23, Bill Yellow said:

Look, I really don't need to hear about everyone's favourite bass pick, but I do want to know what I might need to experiment with.

When I first picked a pick for bass use, it was the Dunlop big purple triangle. But moving to a different genre, I tried a number of other types. What I found was that I really got on with the Big Stubby shape, with the indented thumb grip. I imagined the thicker ones would be right but the best feel and flex for me was the 1mm hard red Big Stubby.

Now, I'm finding these are prone to split in half after a week or so of use.

In recognition of this weakness, it seems Dunlop have re-engineered the Big Stubbies in grey nylon. Same positive feel, but lacking the crisp click of the boiled sweetie material.

So, is there a plectrum out there that has the sort of contoured thumbgrip of the Stubby (not just a bit of texture on a flat surface), flexes a little in use, is in a bright sounding material, and won't snap on me?

 

Big Stubby ones are the ones I like on bass, but I go for the 2mm and even 3mm ones. I find they give a better thicker attack. I doubt those would break. However, if you want the picks to flex, these won't do it.

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I'm another user of 3mm big stubbies. They're the only pick I've found that works for me. Played 2 1/2 - 3 hours last night, Ibanez six string bass and one of the pair of big stubbies that live in my pocket. Despite the length of the shows we play, and the round wound strings, my picks show no sign of wear at all.

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I like the sound of my Wegen gypsy pick on my bass but I don't use it that often as they're kinda expensive. Very sharp attack despite the bevelled edges. They're 5mm and have an innovative contour / crosshatching that means they're not going anywhere once they're gripped (even lightly)

Edited by DanOwens

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You can make a pick more resistant to slipping by drilling a hole in the centre of it. Allows a bit of skin to skin contact and increases grip.

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I've tried quite a few picks, and the ones that stand out for me are the Ernie Ball Prodigy picks.  They grip well like the Dunlop tortlyte picks, but the bevelled edge is such a simple idea that works really well.   Thicker picks are a lot easier to use as they bounce nicely off the strings, and no chance of the picks bouncing out your hand.

The only downside is the cost, and the bevelled edges eventually wear down.

Everyone I've lent one to hasn't given it back and my son is forever pinching them , so it's costing a small fortune (slight exaggeration ). 

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Well, I've just got hold of the Dava picks. Nice rubbery grip and a hard pointy tip. But I can't live with the scratchy noise they make on the strings.

They do work quite well on my acoustic guitar though, with a crisp-but-dark sound!

Lord Yellow's search for a new bass pick.    Continues.

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Well that's a bugger, apologies if I led you astray there. 

I cant say I've ever noticed the noise you refer to, but then again I don't like bright strings so maybe that's why I can't hear it.

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Like you, I started out using stubbies in whatever thickness it was that allowed a bit of flex but found that they broke too easily. I then changed to tortex jazz picks but eventually got fed up of the scratchy noise they made on the strings. The best compromise I've found are standard fender heavy picks that give a nice bright round tone and are very resilient. The only downside is that they are flat and smooth so don't offer much grip - not a problem for me so much but might be if you have sweaty fingers.

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1 hour ago, Jonse said:

I've settled on grey 1mm nylon stubbies. 

They're my next try.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the journey of discovery and it's only pennies!

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