I have a small variety of Dunlop Tortex pick sizes. Normally, the 0.73mm (green) is my favorite. When I recently picked up my first acoustic in ages, I chanced to discover that the lighter 0.56mm (I think, red) sounded sooooo much more brilliant. The lighter pick seems to make it sound brighter (for strummed chords). Why would a lighter pick create a "fuller", "brighter" sound?

EDIT: I should add that my electric guitars use 0.010-0.048 EB Slinkys, while this acoustic is strung with Martin "light" gauge strings.

1 Answer 1


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 lighter picks is that you have less control playing on a single string. try playing some tremolo with a thin pick and a thicker one and you'll quickly realise that the bendiness of the lighter pick works against you.

  • I have a thin brass pick that's very stiff but still has the brilliant thin pick sound. I'm sure it has more to do with mass than flexibility. Jun 24, 2014 at 12:20
  • generally mass reduces the flexibility, and in this case since you're using the same brand of picks at both widths I'm assuming the material is also the same. Jun 24, 2014 at 12:22
  • If the materials were different between picks you could have a thicker, more flexable pick, between rubber, silicone, steel and plasic for example. Jun 24, 2014 at 12:23

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