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11

You are right that picks are generally thin, medium, heavy. Some picks are by mm, but it's really just a different measurement of the same thing. Some manufacturers will add super / extra thin or heavy. You do get a different sound with different picks. There is a maximum amount of force you can apply with a pick, given it's thickness. This will affect the ...


9

Yes, you can make do without a pick if that is your preference. Use or non-use of a pick (or plectrum) tends to vary by musical style. Flat picks are not used in classical guitar playing (to my knowledge), nor are they used in fingerstyle playing, for example (although fingerstyle guitar players may use a thumb pick). It is true that picks are commonly ...


9

Thicker picks (tend to) remain in contact with the string longer. The impulse provided to the string is of longer duration. A longer duration pulse imparts more lower frequency and less higher frequency content. Imagine the thick pick, at an angle, coming in to hit the string. It strikes the string, which starts to move along with the pick, but the pick ...


8

First, sound is perceived when things bump around in your ear, which is generally caused by air bumping around. Moving your pick through the air therefore causes sound, and striking the strings is amplified by the guitar, creating even more sound. Thus, pick sounds are unavoidable. That said, there are various things you can do to lessen the sound. One ...


7

There is absolutely no rule for this, and it depends entirely on the sound you want. A thicker pick allows for more precision because it does not bend (as much) when you pick a string. This goes very far; Brian May is known for sometimes using coins as guitar pick. A bass pick is also 'wider', with a larger surface than a normal pick. This gives you more ...


6

Oh god yes it makes a difference. And thickness, shape, and material all make a difference. You can easily do tons of home experiments on this. Go buy a selection of picks at your local music store and then find some coins. Coins have been used as picks by some famous guitarists and have a very distinct sound. The science (a little bit at least): A good ...


6

The sensitivity of your playing is both more precise than whatever measuring tool you might be using and it's also the most important measurement of the usefulness of the pick. Who cares what some ruler says? If the pick is not pleasing you, toss it to most attractive person in the crowd and grab the next one! I sometimes ditch picks that haven't lost any ...


5

Anything you use to pluck a guitar/bass string will affect the sound. A thick pick will give a thicker sound than a thin one. Fingers and finger nails will give different sounds again. Really, you need to try it. It certainly won't hurt either instrument, but personally I can't think of a reason for using a pick with bass. Slapping and popping become ...


5

They definitely produce different sounds. A harder pick will give you a harsher sound, and a softer pick will give you a more mellow sound. It's generally easier to play softly or slowly with a soft pick, because it will bend and allow you to move smoothly across the strings. Likewise a hard pick allows you to play more loudly because less energy will be ...


5

It sounds like you're playing chords by plucking strings one at a time. Unless you're playing arpeggios, that's not the best way to do it: Try strumming them all in a row, in a fluid motion. Keep in mind that some pick noise is inevitable, even desirable. In the studio, I do everything I can to emphasize incidental noises like the pick hitting the strings, ...


4

I guess these are what You are looking for... The JAmKat or the Flip Never tried them myself as I keep the pick under the scratchboard.... Jam Kat Flip! EDIT: I stumbled upon another little device today...


4

Are there significant differences in the types of plastic used for different types/brands of pick? Yes. If, for example, you compare the material properties of the nylon family to the polyoxymethelene family (Of which delrin (or ‘tortex’) belong) you will see they vary considerably. The main properties that influence how they perform are: Friction ...


4

As @RockinCowboy pointed out, for most of the tapping sequences he simply tucks the pick into his palm and holds it there with his 3rd finger. Retrieval is simple, as you can see at 0:40, in fact at around 3:10 you can see very clearly how he just uses his 3rd finger. There is a sequence around 1:35 where he holds the pick normally and taps using his 3rd ...


3

If the pick is held too tightly, the sound of it will show up. Sometimes, that's the effect needed. Ordinarily, a pick is feathered (rather like the windscreen wipers on a car), so it glides more smoothly over the strings. Heavier picks will often make more noise than thinner ones. This presumes strumming is of more than just one string - usually most of ...


3

There are a few techniques that require the use of a pick (especially ones with "pick" in the name, such as "sweep-picking"!)... Also, there are obviously techniques that don't require the use of a pick, such as fingerstyle and slapping/popping(/whatever it is that Victor Wooten's brother does!). I have found it useful to play with and without a pick. ...


3

Here are two reasons you might want to use a plectrum. Your goal is to make the kinds of sound that a plectrum makes You want to broaden your insight into music, by which I mean you don't want to perform with a plectrum, but you want to incorporate what you learn from practising with one into your finger-picking repertoire. For strumming, the main effect ...


3

Easy strumming was probably the market reason for the creation of the so called plectrum banjo. For strumming you don't need a pick for each finger, and because of the metal strings the most natural choice is a flat pick. And, with a flat pick you can also do soloing or combine melodic lines with selectic pluking of two or more strings (a kind of guitar ...


2

You might try going halfway and investigate hybrid picking. You hold the pick between just the thumb and index finger and pluck with the middle and ring fingers. It works for travis-picking like Blackbird, and adds emphasis to the bass in Stairway. When the song changes gear, you've already got the pick ready. There are other pragmatic reasons why you ...


2

Beyond what is said, there's pick angle. I tend to get more of the click when I play with the pick hitting parallel to the string, so I try to hit with a little bit of an angle. Another trick is compression. My Boss CS3 has knobs for attack and sustain, and by turning down the attack, you'll control that picky pop a little. Plus, of course, legato. There'...


2

Generally, for lead playing, people use 0.7 - 1mm picks. If the picks flex too much, it's harder to play faster picking runs. If you're an acoustic player who strums a lot, you might go with a light to medium thickness. I personally only ever use heavy picks, around the 1mm mark.


2

There are sooooo many different picks to choose from and every thickness and size will make a different sound. For me, I play bass and I prefer sharp guitar picks: for some reason these are the most comfortable for me and I like the sound. A bass pick will generally be louder (well, you'll notice when playing acoustically) and have more attack on your ...


2

Whether you use a pick or not really just comes down to personal goals, preferences and tastes. If you want to learn rock, jazz or other genres that mainly use electric guitar, then you would probably want to learn to use a pick. If you want to learn classical or fingerstyle, then you can just use your fingers or a thumbpick. I don't think it would be ...


2

When you have a lighter pick, it will bend more against the string before releasing, so the force on the string will be less, and the angle will be more like stroking the string rather than plucking it. The lighter sound comes from a combination of the strings being easier to strum, and the softer sound made when you use a lighter pick. The downside to ...


2

"... lead players should play with thicker picks ..." I believe it doesn't help to think of such statements as rules. From my experience it's true that many players prefer thicker picks for playing solo lines than for strumming, but that's not necessarily the case for you. Just to give you an example, I use two different picks for playing acoustic guitar: ...


2

There are a variety of finger picks available, in metal and plastic. These picks are so long that the technique (hand/finger motions) involved is different from what you get with your fingers, let alone that the tone is significantly different. For me, metal picks on electric guitar was unacceptable. Alaska Pik provides an option that is closer to just ...


2

I would say your thoughts are mostly right. Playing with a thinner pick will produce a quieter sound, but there is a trade off where you may not get the tone you want. So this is not always an option and will only get you so far. The best point is about your grip, and you are spot on. Playing with a looser grip will make you quieter. There is a trade off ...


2

I can understand what you are experiencing because I used to have the exact same problem. It took some time to overcome the issue and I tried several things before discovering what works really well for me. While there is no doubt that an ultra thin pick will make it impossible to play as loudly as you can with a thicker pick, the feel of a thin pick is ...


2

Thicker picks, in and of themselves, do not produce a darker sound. What happens is that thicker picks allow for a more rounded shape which releases a string smoothly, which has the effect of exciting fewer harmonics. You can sharpen a thick pick, which will produce a brighter sound. Thin picks cannot be made dull. That is to say, they cannot be made more ...


1

In your question you asked "how does one learn to adjust their strum so that there's not so much sound of hitting the strings". The type of pick you use will definitely have a noticeable effect on pick noise - as will the type strings you use. But your strumming technique can also be a major factor in how much pick noise you get when you are strumming. ...



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