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Posted (edited)

Hi, I know I'm opening myself to lots of people telling me it's up to the individual and to try it for myself. But I figure it's nice to chat about things rather than buy and try and buy again.

I haven't used a pick since I was a rhythm guitarist, but want to open every possible door I can into the instrument so I'm going to get me one.

So if you have anything other than 'it's a matter of individual taste' or 'but really it is a matter of individual taste' then let's talk.

Do bass picks have to be bigger that git picks?

Is there a minimum pick thickness below which bass strings are too fat?

What weight or thickness or however this stuff gets measured do you like, and why?

 

Edited by stewblack
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Posted (edited)

I'm pretty sure Bobby Vega uses a standard Dunlop .73mm pick.

I tried a few variations but could never find a pick tone that I liked with any combination of thin / thick, small / large.  I gave up in the end.  I'll follow this thread with interest to see what recommendations you get.

Edited by PJ-Bassist
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Posted (edited)

I use the Dunlop Tortex Triangles - essentially due to its shape you get three points on it, so 3 picks for the price of one. I`m a confirmed pick player, used 1.14mm for years, then dropped a bit to 1mm. I`ve now reduced again to 0.88mm, I find them a little bit easier to do intricate riffs with plus, and a rather strange one here, I`ve always like the sound when using the nail on my index finger to play with, and the 0.88s are the pick that sound nearest to that, so I have two reasons to use them. They also have a very cool tortoise on them.

image.png.c40007bfa61d040e5a83a138f2d8feeb.png

Edited by Lozz196
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11 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I use the Dunlop Tortex Triangles - essentially due to its shape you get three points on it, so 3 picks for the price of one. I`m a confirmed pick player, used 1.14mm for years, then dropped a bit to 1mm. I`ve now reduced again to 0.88mm, I find them a little bit easier to do intricate riffs with plus, and a rather strange one here, I`ve always like the sound when using the nail on my index finger to play with, and the 0.88s are the pick that sound nearest to that, so I have two reasons to use them. They also have a very cool tortoise on them.

image.png.c40007bfa61d040e5a83a138f2d8feeb.png

Brilliant! thank you. I know exactly what you mean about the finger nail sound so this could be a straight bullseye 

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I was forced into pick use about 4 years ago after a bike accident left me unable to play finger style. I experimented with all sorts of picks, but settled on 3mm Dunlop big stubbies. Zero flex, so it's like playing with your fingers, I find picks that bend mess up the timing. 

I now have to check the date of recordings of my bass playing to see whether they were pre or post accident, as I can't really hear the difference now.

The only drawbacks of the big stubbies are that they scare guitarists if they ask to borrow a pick (actually, that's not a drawback at all!) and that they are quite hard to find (especially if I've already been there, as I tend to buy them all 'just in case', though in the 3-4 years I've been using them I have not worn one out nor have I lost any).

There only other drawback is one I hadn't considered until I saw Lozz's post - they don't have cool tortoises on them, which is definitely a serious drawback.

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1 minute ago, FinnDave said:

There only other drawback is one I hadn't considered until I saw Lozz's post - they don't have cool tortoises on them, which is definitely a serious drawback.

Yep. You can adapt your technique infinitely, but you can't magic a tortoise. 

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My current projects are fingers only, but in previous bands I'd settled on Tortex .88s (regular shape).

I still have them around for recording guitar parts. On either instrument I find any thinner too floppy, and any thicker too stiff.

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I am not good with a pick and I am still learning.

I had found an e-shop (don't remember the name) where it was possible to buy picks separately and I had bought a mix of various types and sizes, from 0.73 to 3mm (tortex, ultex, stubby....). Conclusion : I prefer the big triangle (tortex or ultex) 0.88 or 1mm.

 

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My turtle picks have arrived and I have been bashing out some rocky stuff with them. I'm just worried they might damage my lovely strings 😃

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9 minutes ago, stewblack said:

My turtle picks have arrived and I have been bashing out some rocky stuff with them. I'm just worried they might damage my lovely strings 😃

When  I was younger all my bands required pick tones, and bloody heavy ones at that. I can honestly say that string life, breakages, or whatever was no different then to what it has been in the 15 years plus that I've been 99% fingers. 

Dig in fella!

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57 minutes ago, stewblack said:

My turtle picks have arrived and I have been bashing out some rocky stuff with them. I'm just worried they might damage my lovely strings 😃

Never had any string damage caused by a pick and I use 3mm ones, no lightweight rubbish here! In fact, the only string damage I can recall in all my years of pretending I can play bass was caused by a drum kit when my bass fell through it during a set break.

 

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I used to file Dunlop .73s to a point until I discovered that they made them like that. I'm not a metal player or anything, I just liked the attack of a sharpened 73. Oddly enough I used >=2mm picks on guitar but .73s on bass.

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Posted (edited)

I use picks but normally use them the wrong way round  on either of the top edges of the pick,i don't like the flex using them the right way around

 

Edited by stu_g

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I have a theory that the sound/technique relates to the ratio of pick thickness to string size - so if you change strings to a lighter gauge set, to truly compare them you'd also need to adjust the pick thickness you use.

However it kinda falls apart when you realise you use the same pick for (for example) all the strings 0.100" to 0.040"!

Anyway.....its down to personal preference, but I use 0.60mm for guitar and 0.73mm for bass. It seems to feel similar. And I've found I'm quite, errrr, "picky" about the thickness too - it makes a big difference to the comfort/feel of playing (IMHO).

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When playing guitar, I used to (and still do) gravitate to heavier picks, sometimes up to 2mm. When I initially used picks on bass, I just used these as I was a firm believer in the “thicker the pick, the better the tone” school of thinking. However, after seeing a clinic by Bobby Vega and discovering that he uses a .73mm upside down, I thought I’d give them a go in that manner; game changer. I now use these (or sometimes marginally thicker) all the time and hold them a la Bobby, the “wrong” way up.

Buy a mixed pack of different gauges and find what feels and sounds best for you, would be my advice (which you know anyway).

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Posted (edited)

1mm seems ideal for me. Stiff enough to be able to attack the strings  hard, but just enough flexibility to give me some feel. That's  my two penneth. I use 100's BTW.

Edited by Bassfinger

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1 hour ago, Bassfinger said:

1mm seems ideal for me. Stiff enough to be able to attack the strings  hard, but just enough flexibility to give me some feel. That's  my two penneth. I use 100's BTW.

I'm curious about that - I find I have more feel using a very stiff (3mm) pick, if the pick is flexing, I find that reduces the feel.

I'm not trying to start an argument about which is best (whatever works for the player in question is obviously best for them), I am interested in how differently we define 'feel'. 

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Posted (edited)

Well, indeed.  What works well for me might make Mark King turn pale with shock, but that's my personal preference. In my defence, I can cite many examples where a just a little flexibility helps the operator feel what is going on, from car tyre sidewalls through to the soles of running shoes.

Edited by Bassfinger
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That's an approach I haven't considered. Coming from a background of always playing finger style for 40 years until an accident buggered up my right hand, I am relatively new to using a pick,, and started off with .75 mm guitar picks, 'progressed" through sticking 2 or 3 of them together to eliminate flex and have been happy fr the last 2 or 3 years with 3mm picks. I felt that any flexibility should be in my fingers rather than the pick, and with the 3mm ones, any flex is down to how tight I hold the pick.

No need for any defence, I am genuinely trying to find my way through this enforced pick playing and am open to anything that might be an improvement on my current heavy inflexible approach. Most people shudder with horror if I offer them one of my picks, but I don't understand what this works for me when it seems I am very much in the minority, to the extent that it can be difficult to find 'my' picks in the shops.

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Posted (edited)

Oh, and meant to mention, I'm another Tortex Triangle man.

 

I recall watching a programme with Brian May and he's very much of your school of thought.  He uses a coin (a shilling?) as a pick,  and the same as you he likes all the flexibility to be in the way he holds it.

Edited by Bassfinger
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Grey .73 dunlops for me. I mostly play with fingers but love playing with a pick sometimes. Just enough bite with plenty of give to jump between strings. In my humble opinion Bobby Vega has chosen wisely. 

 

IMG_20200422_203432.jpg

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I love playing with a pick and I think it’s much underrated outside of rock/metal. For me I prefer it to slapping for funk and it can be every bit as funky (e.g. Bobby Vega).

Having tried a number of different picks, a medium, around or just below 1mm suits me best. I agree with getting a mixed bag - you may surprised about what feels most comfortable. I believe a bit of flex in the pick helps as it means there is a bit of give when playing faster, which aids with fluidity. 

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