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Plectrums (Picks)

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A favourite plectrum is just coming to the end of its useful life. Is it just me that feels a sense of depression at the thought of finding another one you feel comfortable with?

After using one for a few weeks it seems to hit a perfect stage where it is comfortable to use and it feels like an extension of your fingers. New plectrums never feel right to start with until they wear in, some of them never wear in or feel perfect. I’ve never managed to break a plectrum whilst playing so it is always down to either wear and tear or I lose them somehow which ends with me looking for a replacement. 
 

It doesn’t matter how much you spend on them either, sometimes a cheap one will feel great and a more expensive one will be horrible to use. I have even made a few myself out of various bits, some of which have been great for me, others have been like they have beeen made out of rubbish, which they were if the truth is known 😀

Anyway now to find a new one to love

 

Jon

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I like to use a plec carved from the toenail clippings of giants.  It's a bit difficult unless you have some magic beans with which to grow a beanstalk.

In the meantime, have a search within the forum for "plectrum" and "pick".  There have already been lots of discussions and suggestions that may be of interest.

Jack

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Can’t particularly relate as I’ve always preferred the feel of a brand new pick and intentionally use ones that stay feeling that way for a good length of time.

Since ‘brand new’ is a much easier state to return to than ‘perfectly worn in’, I’d probably invest some more time and money into trying to find one that feels alright from new and then stick with it - bulk buy and treat them as more of a disposable item. Or I guess maybe find another player whose ‘worn out’ is your ‘perfectly worn in’ like some people (equally confusingly to me) do with roundwound strings!

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I have a favourite type of pick ( Jim Dunlop .88) and I like them new.... so no issue you would think. Problem is I keep playing them even after they go past the best (rounded) - cannot get the habit of throwing them out.

This stems from younger days when I would always lose picks before they rounded off - nowadays I rarely lose one.

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I liked the 3mm stubbies, back when picking was a large part of my repertoire. Lasted a good amount of time because there was so much material to wear through!

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I buy mine 144 at a time with the band logo on from in-tune GP. I use the large three-sided ones, takes about five years before I reorder.

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You can lightly scuff up the bit you hold with a brillo pad if you want to get a bit more grip on a new one. 

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It never entered my mind the nuances of the feeling of a pick, I'm a finger style player, so im open to education. I get  the genre of music plays a big part. Maybe I should try. 

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2 hours ago, Cat Burrito said:

You can lightly scuff up the bit you hold with a brillo pad if you want to get a bit more grip on a new one. 

That’s so obvious and I’d never thought of it. Thanks

Jon

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Until recent years I'd always been a pick player. I'm now trying to use fingers just as much. The only picks I ever use are dunlop sharp picks. I find the tighter point makes playing fast easier and excellent note consistency/clarity :)

Edited by Bassman666

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14 hours ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

My fingers always feel comfortable, and never wear out. 

Unfortunately, two of mine have worn out so thats why I tend to pick play (Tortwx Triangle 1.0)

Edited by Bassfinger

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I love a Tekpik aluminium thingy. Properly aggressive tone and last forever.

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6 hours ago, paul_5 said:

I love a Tekpik aluminium thingy. Properly aggressive tone and last forever.

That's got to be a hard alloy of aluminium to last any length of time.  How do those do on wear and tear on both the plectrum and the strings?

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On 17/10/2020 at 07:48, Newfoundfreedom said:

My fingers always feel comfortable, and never wear out. 

The skin does wear out - but it regrows! 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you  . . . the self-repairing guitar-brain interface.   I call it "The FingerTip". 

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I am primarily a pick player too.

I am perfectly capable of playing with my fingers, and I primarily do so when I play electric guitar, but for bass I much prefer the specific tone you get from a pick, that signature snappy emphasis of the attack.

Personally I prefer a relatively flexible one and found the Dunlop USA Nylon .73mm just about perfect for me, and since those picks are ready available and cheap I will never face any problems with finding a new pick, and I got no issues with brand new picks either. 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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I use a pick about 10% of the time (Jim Dunlop 1mm) and for certain rhythms a pick is really pretty essential to get the right feel.

Take this, for example:

 

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