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  1. #1

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    My hands tend to be dry and with the relentless washing of them nowadays (covid-19), I find myself having trouble gripping picks. (Jazz III is my go to.) I'm not dropping them but they do tend to move around more than I'd like and my grip just doesn't feel as secure. It's bugging me.

    I'm 61, so age is a factor.

    Suggestions?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    My hands tend to be dry and with the relentless washing of them nowadays (covid-19), I find myself having trouble gripping picks. (Jazz III is my go to.) I'm not dropping them but they do tend to move around more than I'd like and my grip just doesn't feel as secure. It's bugging me.

    I'm 61, so age is a factor.

    Suggestions?
    There are both the black and red Jazz III picks with added grips on them. They do as advertised. You will have a hard time dropping the pick with the added grips. They sound exactly the same as their "regular" counterparts.

    MAX-GRIP(R) JAZZ III STIFFO PICK - Dunlop
    MAX-GRIP(R) JAZZ III NYLON PICK - Dunlop




  4. #3

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    I found small pieces of masking tape help for a while, but now use self adhesive 'Monster Grips' which help do the job.

  5. #4

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    These get grippy as your fingers warm them up. Something that happens pretty quick. I think the material blend is designed for that purpose. In my experience it works quite well even with dry hands.

    Dunlop Jazztone

    VPick (acrylic)

    Gravity (acrylic)

    Blue Chip

  6. #5

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    After my neck surgery 18 months ago I ended up with right grip problems. The shark tooth pick has been a great tool for me as I gradually get some thumb and forefinger gripping back after a series of placental extract (stem cell) injections. Google sharktooth guitar pick. You can even put your Fender medium in one if you like.
    Attached Images Attached Images Picks for players with grip issues-489_sharktooth_package_frontside_web-jpg 
    Last edited by Easy2grasp; 05-26-2020 at 06:01 PM.

  7. #6

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    I use Wegens for my Gypsy playing, and the thumb grip indentation is great. The pick really stays in place. I also really like my Red Bears with the drilled out grip holes. The material of the pick itself is quite grippy, and the holes help a lot.

    The Wegen might be a bit too thick for most players on Archtop guitars, but it's obviously pretty standard for Gypsy guitar playing. For everything else, I use Red Bears (Style "BIG JAZZER" - Red Bear Trading Co., Ltd. - Online Store) in extra heavy with the speed bevels and the grip holes.

  8. #7

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    Given a couple of minutes, or less, my Blue Chip picks stick to my finger (or thumb) rather tightly. I can remove one finger, and the pick will remain stuck to the other, even when the pick is underneath it.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy2grasp
    After my neck surgery 18 months ago I ended up with right grip problems. The shark tooth pick has been a great tool for me as I gradually get some thumb and forefinger gripping back. Google sharktooth guitar pick.
    Picks for players with grip issues-489_sharktooth_package_frontside_web-jpg
    I have some of those! I think Ron Eschete is the first player I saw using them.
    They are good. I like them. But sometimes I can't get the angle I want with them. So I use them for a while and then stop. They are versatile and, as the saying goes, I would recommend them to a friend. ;o)
    I'll take one out later today and see how things go.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Given a couple of minutes, or less, my Blue Chip picks stick to my finger (or thumb) rather tightly. I can remove one finger, and the pick will remain stuck to the other, even when the pick is underneath it.
    I've never tried one of those. Much as I go through picks, I hesitate to pay so much for something I might not use for long.
    (I realize this thinking may be shortsighted.)

  11. #10

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    I too have noticed an increasing dryness of the skin on my hands as I have become older (I'm 68). As a positive effect it has made my strings last much longer than when I was younger.

    I have chosen to go up in pick size, though primarily for a different reason. In the latest years I have developed osteoarthrosis in my hands, especially in the right thumbs base joint, making the use of small picks crampy and painful. I now use "standard" size picks (Dunlop Ultex 1.14) where I used to play with smaller picks (Dunlop Jazztone 205). The Dunlop Ultex is not very slippery, especially not when worn in and the pick stays between my fingers even with a relaxed grip.

    Due to the osteoarthrosis I also can't use more awkward chords with wide finger spread anymore and I now rely more on shell chords. I have never used 6-string barré much but it will likely be a thing of the past for me in a not too far future. Something is lost by that, but something is also gained as it's easier to get a smooth voice leading with smaller two and three note chords than with big and complex chords and I try to take advantage of that. I don't - at least not yet - have problems with medium to heavy strings and a not super low action (relative to the string gauge) as long as the strings can be fretted from the fingers resting position without wide horizontal stretches bringing the finger joints to their outermost positions.

  12. #11

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    I've never lost one. I have several, because I put them on my xmas and bday wish lists. By far the best picks I've ever used, in every aspect.

  13. #12

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    It's funny how much more careful you are with picks you spend a bit of money on, at least in my experience. And I have found that many of these boutique offerings are completely worth the price paid. I'm certainly glad to have found something that works so well for me.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    I've never lost one. I have several, because I put them on my xmas and bday wish lists. By far the best picks I've ever used, in every aspect.
    I get that. If I only have one of something, I keep track of it.

    Maybe it's time I looked into this further.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    My hands tend to be dry and with the relentless washing of them nowadays (covid-19), I find myself having trouble gripping picks. (Jazz III is my go to.) I'm not dropping them but they do tend to move around more than I'd like and my grip just doesn't feel as secure. It's bugging me.

    I'm 61, so age is a factor.

    Suggestions?


    You could drill several small holes 1/8" or less in the pick. Your skin will tend to squeeze in and grip the holes.

  16. #15

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    We've discussed these before:

    Buy Now! Monster Grips - The Ultimate Grip for Guitar Picks and More!

    I find they work really well, in fact too well for the picks that don't ever give me grip issues, but on more slippery picks they are great. I'd rather improve the gripability of picks I like than try to find new picks that are easier to hold.

    I've never found any of the home remedies useful--looseleaf reinforcements, masking tape, drilling holes in the pick.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldane

    Due to the osteoarthrosis I also can't use more awkward chords with wide finger spread anymore and I now rely more on shell chords.
    I'm older than you and have the same issues. During this enforced break I've been going over some of the chord books I learned from back in the '50's and find that I can't play most of the forms anymore.

    Danny W.

  17. #16

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    Super Glue it in place. Works for me in everything else when I want to get my hands stuck.

  18. #17

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    I tried Monster Grips once (as Danny W. mentions above.) They were fine. I might get a few more.

    One thing I have tried is thicker picks (I have a 5 mm Dunlop, which is fine at times but it makes me realize what I really want is a pick that has SOME give and that I can FEEL it.

    When I was doing Benson picking (or trying to) I used Fender Mediums and they warped after awhile but I liked the warp. (Warpage?) But I don't do Benson picking anymore and prefer and Jazz III size pick (or something close to that.)

    Was looking at V-Picks (which were mentioned above.) I've never tried them. One of their selling points is "grippage" and that'sa big deal for me. I've always struggled with picks "turning around" in my hand. Monster Grips stopped that on regular size, medium thickness picks. I never tried them on a Jazz III, though. Has anyone??? Hmmm.

    Anyway, here a demo by Vinni Smith (designer of the V-Pick) using a Jazz III and two of his picks.
    I may try one of these. They're only $4 or $5 each, so it's not a big risk.


  19. #18

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    For me,
    gravity and V-picks are excellent. They really stick well to you hand especially if you wet them up a little.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzimprov
    For me,
    gravity and V-picks are excellent. They really stick well to you hand especially if you wet them up a little.
    I just ordered a couple.
    And some Monster Grips too. (30% off for the rest of the day. See link in Danny W's post above.)

  21. #20

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    I am awaiting delivery on some of these Black Mountain picks.
    Picks for players with grip issues-fullsizeoutput_1136-jpeg

  22. #21

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    I have never used this particular item but have used others for acoustic guitar stumming.

    Betacarb Jazz – Cool Music INC

  23. #22

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    I have some picks with a tiny square of adhesive backed sandpaper glued in the center of the pick. Sometimes, though, I touch the string with the sandpaper, which is surprising. I didn't think I was striking the string that far up the pick.

    Better, I think, is that little adhesive circle thing that I called a "looseleaf paper reinforcement" when I was a schoolboy. Now they're called reinforcement labels or similar.

    They last a long time and are dirt cheap. They don't grip your thumb like an angry crab, but they give just enough purchase that it solves the problem without calling attention to itself.

  24. #23

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    There’s a Les Paul pick with a sandpaper grip in another thread.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Better, I think, is that little adhesive circle thing that I called a "looseleaf paper reinforcement" when I was a schoolboy. Now they're called reinforcement labels or similar.

    They last a long time and are dirt cheap. They don't grip your thumb like an angry crab, but they give just enough purchase that it solves the problem without calling attention to itself.
    Last night before falling asleep I picked up a pick from the nightstand. (Of course I have picks on my nightstand.) It occured to me to hold it in a way I never had before and I thought, wow, that is one secure grip. Couldn't wait to try it out on a guitar. But I fell asleep. But couldn't sleep past 4:30. Got up and tried out the novel grip. Useless, wrong, hopeless, o well.. But it was a 351 shaped pick and I thought I might as well put some reinforcements on it and see how that works. Wound up using several because I didn't know initially where I would want it. (You can get 500 of these things for under $4: talk about a cheap experiment!)
    You're right, they aren't sticky at all but they do provide a nice gripping surface. They're easy to pull off too, though they don't slide around when used. Nifty idea! Thank you.
    Picks for players with grip issues-reinforced-pick-jpg

  26. #25

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    +1 for Blue Chip, Gravity, and V-Picks improving grip security. I always played Fender 351s and used too firm a grip until switching to mando. That instrument led me toward a much looser pick grip for better tone, which led to constant pick dropping, which led to experimenting with cork and other grip improvers, which led to boutique picks, which led to Blue Chips. My current faves are D’Andrea Radex, which are also very secure in my fingers. They are a fraction of the price of most boutique picks, and I like the dark, mellow tone of them.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz
    ..My current faves are D’Andrea Radex..

    New to me. Ordered some for a try. If you like a mellower sound, VPick pearly gates are interesting. A bit softer than full on acrylic in a well made pick with thicker sizes and different shapes available.

  28. #27

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    My old teacher would always put a band aid or something like this on his Jazz II pick .. Works really well


  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    New to me. Ordered some for a try. If you like a mellower sound, VPick pearly gates are interesting. A bit softer than full on acrylic in a well made pick with thicker sizes and different shapes available.
    I hope you like the Radex. FWIW I am using the 1.25 mm triangles. Thanks for the tip on the pearly gates. I am also a big fan of the jazz mando V-pick. This was the pick that sent me down the pick rabbit hole. I’ve heard that admitting you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery...
    Picks for players with grip issues-e2a2efb2-3b85-4e69-ae49-a65828936eb0-jpg

  30. #29

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    I just bought a set of Mojo Grip, Pickworld picks. They are terrific and do not slip! I found them on Amazon. Picks for players with grip issues-mojo-grip-pick-world-guitar-picks-jpg

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Last night before falling asleep I picked up a pick from the nightstand. (Of course I have picks on my nightstand.) It occured to me to hold it in a way I never had before and I thought, wow, that is one secure grip. Couldn't wait to try it out on a guitar. But I fell asleep. But couldn't sleep past 4:30. Got up and tried out the novel grip. Useless, wrong, hopeless, o well.. But it was a 351 shaped pick and I thought I might as well put some reinforcements on it and see how that works. Wound up using several because I didn't know initially where I would want it. (You can get 500 of these things for under $4: talk about a cheap experiment!)
    You're right, they aren't sticky at all but they do provide a nice gripping surface. They're easy to pull off too, though they don't slide around when used. Nifty idea! Thank you.
    Picks for players with grip issues-reinforced-pick-jpg
    Glad it was helpful! I use a Golden Gate Mandolin pick (I think it has a nice soft sound), which is pretty large. I tried different things and ended up with one reinforcement in the center on each side of the pick. Also, makes the picks easier to find on the floor.

  32. #31

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    When I have tried looseleaf reinforcements under hot stage lights they came off on my sweaty fingers during the first set.

    Danny W.

  33. #32

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    My V-picks arrived and I really like the feel. Vinni is right: they stick to your thumb without being sticky.

    I like this one best of the 3 I sampled.
    Picks for players with grip issues-v-pick-small-lite-jpg
    It comes in other colors. It's the closest in size to a Jazz III but it's a little bigger. A big plus is that all three sides have picking edges. In that sense, it's like 3 picks for the price of one. Great feel for me. Very happy.
    Too soon to know how I'll feel about it long term, but as the song says, "this could be the start of something big."

  34. #33

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    I hate trying to solve a similar pick issue with more gear, but I broke down and bought the MOJO GRIP from Pickworld. It was like night and day. Basically holding the pick became instantly a non-issue. I replaced the pick that came with it for a JAZZIII XL in my preferred thickness. The only limitation I can see is that the rubber sleeve is meant for a Fender 351 and a small traditional JAZZ might get lost in there.

  35. #34

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    Tried the D'Andrea Radex. Interesting what a bit of material science does for music. However, way too bright for me. Brighter than Ultex to my ear.

  36. #35

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    I have found that smaller picks are easier to hold onto; the largest pick size I like is the jazz III. I think it's because I can feel the top edge of the pick between my fingers without having to stick a lot of the point out beyond my thumb. When I grip the pick I only expose about an eighth of an inch of the tip. With the 351 size pick, there is no edge for me to feel and then the pic starts to turn around in my fingers. So my favorite pick is the D'Andrea ProPlec 358 because I can clearly feel the orientation of the pick without ever having to look at it as well as liking the tone that the material creates. My next favorite pick is a ProPlec 347 cut down to the size of a jazz III. Those two account for about 90% of my playing.

    I also have some Dunlop Delrin 500s that I've cut down to jazz III size. I like those too. The material has very little pop or pick noise when it strikes the string.

    As a result of this thread, I ordered several V Picks: the Farley, the Fusion and the Chicken Picker. They are listed as "small" pics on the website. They are, to me, enormous. Vinny compares some of them to the jazz III but they're a lot bigger than that. Thus far I am not digging them. There's a lot more ping and high end overtones, which is maybe nice if you're playing with distortion but playing for clean tone just tends to become annoying. Oddly enough, the Farley is the one I like the best out of those three; I don't usually like excessively thick pics and this one is 3 mm thick. I am going to give them some more time and practice, however, because they seem to need to be held a bit differently in terms of angle against the string than my other picks. I may be able to get something out of them that I like.

  37. #36

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    I have several V-Picks models. I typically use small picks, too, and oddly enough, one of my favorites is their "medium pearly white" [and I have a pink one my daughter selected, too!].

  38. #37

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    V-picks and Gravity picks.

    Don't miss out on Gravity picks though, they are really great picks and don't have any slight weird curvature that so many picks have that makes it hard to hold.
    They have more heft although they are the same mm as others and have a beautiful sound and great grip.
    I've been using the 4mm std ones (classic) and they are excellent!

  39. #38

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    Update: a generous soul sent me an assortment of picks to try and they arrived today. I'm stoked!

    As Cunamara posted above, I prefer the smaller V-picks. My first purchase----a shot in the dark, really---was: the Hotter Tamale, the Hole in One, and the Small Lite. I like the Small Lite best of those three. Vinni (The V of V-Picks) likens them to the Jazz III. They're bigger than a Jazz III though. That worried me. But it felt comfortable quickly. Definitely a keeper. And like they say, it sticks to your thumb without being sticky. Also, because it is triangular, you have 3 playing edges. So I think that's a first-rate pick.

    Not so wild about the Hotter Tamale or the Hole in One. Maybe their day will come.

    As for today, I received a Blue Chip 40 (which is the same size as a Jazz III---maybe a hair smaller, in fact) and man, that thing is a dream to hold. And such a great release. Comping had a great tone and feel too. Dynamite pick. I do indeed see what all the fuss is about Blue Chip picks. As the song says, "'Deed I Do."

    Another one was a Pearly Gates V-Pick. I thought, "no way, too thick, too big" but it feels great and I played it a lot. Really like that one. More than I expected too. It's got to be 3mm thick, maybe more. But it's a dream to hold. It's like you don't have to grip like at all, more like it's just there. Remarkable to have played guitar for decades and only just now discovering picks that felt this way.

    There were others in the package but I was stuck on those two.
    My lucky day!

    Thank you again, Mysterious Stranger. ;o)

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Tried the D'Andrea Radex. Interesting what a bit of material science does for music. However, way too bright for me. Brighter than Ultex to my ear.
    Fascinating, because I find the Ultex substantially brighter that the Radex. I am a fan of both. I wonder how much of this is related to grip, attack, string gauge, guitar/pickup, etc. Which thickness/shape did you try?

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz
    Fascinating, because I find the Ultex substantially brighter that the Radex. I am a fan of both. I wonder how much of this is related to grip, attack, string gauge, guitar/pickup, etc. Which thickness/shape did you try?
    1.25mm, large triangle. .013 round wound strings on a 17" solid carved (spruce/maple) through an Armstrong hand wound. Usually use thicker acrylic or Blue Chip for this guitar. Haven't tried the picks on other guitars yet. Wish they offered thicker models though 1.25mm is already thicker than most folks are looking for. Overall my favorite pick is still a Blue Chip 2.5mm large triangle but I like thick acrylic pretty well too.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Another one was a Pearly Gates V-Pick. I thought, "no way, too thick, too big" but it feels great and I played it a lot. Really like that one. More than I expected too. It's got to be 3mm thick, maybe more. But it's a dream to hold. It's like you don't have to grip like at all, more like it's just there. Remarkable to have played guitar for decades and only just now discovering picks that felt this way.
    Right! That's exactly my experience! It looks and feels huge, but plays wonderfully!

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    1.25mm, large triangle. .013 round wound strings on a 17" solid carved (spruce/maple) through an Armstrong hand wound. Usually use thicker acrylic or Blue Chip for this guitar. Haven't tried the picks on other guitars yet. Wish they offered thicker models though 1.25mm is already thicker than most folks are looking for. Overall my favorite pick is still a Blue Chip 2.5mm large triangle but I like thick acrylic pretty well too.
    I also would like it if they did a Radex at 1.5mm or even thicker. I’m playing TI GB flatwounds, 0.012 on an Eastman AR503CE.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy2grasp
    I am awaiting delivery on some of these Black Mountain picks.
    Picks for players with grip issues-fullsizeoutput_1136-jpeg
    I was disappointed with this pick purchase. Although the seller recommended 50 hours of practice to adapt to the pick, I found from the get-go that I didn't like the sound of the pick interface with the string. I have used a Fender medium for a long time, so that is the benchmark for me. The plastic that this pick is made out of is softer and more vinyl like to me - like a spatula plastic. The attack is softened and sounds muted. Maybe it is 3D printed and they don't have a hard plastic to make them like I like 'em. The arch over the thumb section was small for me. I tried putting it in boiling hot water to take some of the bend out of it, but it has a pretty good memory and would not maintain the new contour. The Sharktooth works so much better plus you can incorporate your favorite pick into a Sharktooth thumb wrap. It is Sharktooth FTW!

  45. #44

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    I have had the same problem in the past and I also drop picks occasionally. After trying everything under the sun I found that violin rosin works perfectly. I just scratch a little off with a coin, wet my thumb and forefinger a little and rub some on. You can regulate the amount of stickiness by how much you use. Works great for me. You can even make it stick to picks. Beats spending a lot of money for an expensive blue chip pick or something and then losing it. Also, sweat from your hands doesnt affect things much.

  46. #45

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    I'm a bartender so my hands are always dried out and messed up, O'Keefes Working Hands lotion is excellent and inexpensive

  47. #46

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    Have you considered ergonomic picks? I have heard good things about the Dugain carved picks: DUGAIN PLECTRUMS ERGONOMIC GUITAR PICKS

    They are not exactly cheap and I have never used them myself, but they may be worth a try.

  48. #47

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    So I have spent a few days, maybe a week actually, just using the V Picks. I have found that I don't get along with the "chicken picker." It just has too much pingy pick noise.

    However, the Fusion has turned out to be a pick I like quite a bit. It took a little shift in my picking technique to reduce the pick noise but it provides a nice, warm, deep sound that I am liking in particular on my archtop. If it was closer to the Jazz III size I would really like it a lot.

    I also like the feel of the Farley. I am surprised by this as I don't generally like picks thicker than about 1.5 mm. With the 45° bevel, the pick feels very fast. There is a fair amount of ping and pick noise although this is more noticeable acoustically than amplified. It seems more like a gypsy jazz pick. The story on the website goes that somehow this pick was inspired by a pick given to someone Vinny knows by Johnny Smith. I can't verify that, but it does make for a very smooth alternate picking and arpeggios. The tone is a little brighter than I like, but Johnny had a very bright tone.

    So all things considered, two of the three picks seem to be successful in my opinion. That's a pretty good batting average as I've been through dozens of other picks that lasted about four minutes before I gave up on them. Now, if Vinny would just stop making them so dang big.

  49. #48

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    I highly recommend the Wegen Bluegrass picks. They sound great and have holes to help with grip. They can pricey but they are well worth it!

  50. #49

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    One of these is handy to have - apply to center of pick. For really thick picks, a drill does the job nicely. But, does not work well on Min'd picks:
    Attached Images Attached Images Picks for players with grip issues-51zhmpl5ezl-_ac_sl1000_-jpg 

  51. #50

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    I've been hanging with the Blue Chip Jazz 40. Same size as a Jazz III---if not a hair smaller. 1 mm thickness, so not as thick as a Jazz III. (Blue Chip makes them that thick, I think.) What I love most about this pick is that it stays in place without me feeling I have to grip it at all. I've always had trouble with picks moving around while I played. This one does not. I'm not sure how it does that----I don't know what these picks are made of.

    I have read online that they are made of "an incredibly expensive polyimide material, Vespel." Whatever that means.

    Although the pick has a bit of give it doesn't warp against my thumb. (The way Fender Mediums do.) I can place it so that I'm actually holding very little of it but it stays in place without conscious effort. I don't know that 'give' is the right word, so let me put it this way: it doesn't feel stiff even though is solid, durable piece of goods. (Stiff picks can seem to push back against ones' grip; this pick does not.)