The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1
    Hi,
    I haven't explored picks and am interested in improving the tone I am getting. Have always went with Fender extra heavy but not loving it at the moment. Also use the heavy Dunlops they sell at Guitar Center. I am looking for a less tingy/thin sound. What should I order to try out? I play both my nice sounding cheapist Squire Tele and my Gibson 90's Es-175.

    I appreciate it!

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I find the Jazz iii classic red nylon gives me the best tone, but theyvareca bit slippery. The xl versIon in ultex has the best combination of tone and grip. I'm sure there are hundreds of others just as good, but life (my life, anyway) is too short to go on pick safari. I'm very happy with the Dunlops.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

  4. #3

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    Gladders

    I have kept going back to the red Dunlop Jazz111's since they were first launched.
    Just thought I'd like to add that they can be a bit slippery unless you come across a
    batch that have a deeper "Jim Dunlop USA" imprint on them.

    I thought it was just me, like Jim Hall used to say "no you can't play today" LOL
    Then I realized if I got another J111 my RH picking became more relaxed and accurate.

    So by trial and error I found that batches would vary [probably as the die press wore at the manufacturing plant.]

    I found the way round this was to go to a physical store and literally try out each pick.


    I'd put a mark with a Sharpie on my own pick so they couldn't say I was trying to purloin some picks....
    - I may be cheap, but not that much.
    I'd ask the shop assistant first of course and empty their stock of red Jazz111's on the counter and have
    a keep pile and a discard pile.

    - It was quite a revelation as to the variance between individual pieces.

    What a carry on you might say, yes a pain in the ass....but since these picks last so long
    once I found 20 or so "good ones" they'd keep me going for maybe a couple of years or more.

    Of course you can't do that if you're ordering online....so you just have to take what you get.

    My pick hold is really straight forward, I grip the deeply grooved Jim Dunlop USA imprint side with my thumb....and hope that I can groove deeply.

    Try-See

  5. #4

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    I’ve tried a lot of different picks that I fall in love with for a little while, but I always come back to and decide that none of them beat the Dunlop 205 “Jazztone”. I use it for every style I play. It’s the small version, so if you like a larger pick you might want to try something more like the 208.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #5

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    D’Andrea Pro-Plec 1.5 will give you a fat thunky tone on the ES-175. But on solid body guitars I prefer the Blue Chip Jazz 60.

  7. #6

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    I have used various D'Andrea Pro Plecs for many years now, particularly the tiny 358 shape and the Jazz III sized 651. The 358 is probably my favorite pick of all time, I prefer really small picks. And the Pro Plec makes virtually no noise when contacting the string- which is something that drives me kind of nuts. I really hate that "poker chip dropping on a table" sound that many picks impart on the attack of the note.

    However lately I have been using a Fred Kelly Delrin "heavy" flat pick (it's white); it is not "heavy" compared to many other heavy picks (there is no specific standard for this), but I really like the pick despite it being a 351 size. The sound is full and a little brighter than the Pro Plec tone. He also makes a red 2 mm Delrin pick, which is also very good.

  8. #7

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    I still go back to my old Fender 358 heavy or extra heavy white and they have to be the white that you can sort of see into, not the totally opaque white. I also use Dunlop 205s and the green Delren D'andrea .88 mm. Fortunately, a couple years ago, the wonderful members here on the forum supplied me with enough of the Fenders to last me the rest of my life plus, I don't lose them - I'm using picks left over from when I sold my music store in 1984. Oh, and don't forget my trusty Fred Kelly thumbpick that I use for Chet stuff.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis
    I still go back to my old Fender 358 heavy or extra heavy white and they have to be the white that you can sort of see into, not the totally opaque white. I also use Dunlop 205s and the green Delren D'andrea .88 mm. Fortunately, a couple years ago, the wonderful members here on the forum supplied me with enough of the Fenders to last me the rest of my life plus, I don't lose them - I'm using picks left over from when I sold my music store in 1984. Oh, and don't forget my trusty Fred Kelly thumbpick that I use for Chet stuff.
    I'm always on the lookout for old Fender 358 extra heavies, but faux tortoiseshell, not white. The old faux TS picks have precisely the amount of flex (virtually none) for me. The whites seem even stiffer to me.

  10. #9

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    Pick materials range from dull to bright. Usually that means softer plastic to harder plastic but that would be 'in general'. Thickness matters quite a bit as well. The thinner the pick to thinner the sound has been my experience. For an inexpensive pick I like (though some actively dislike them) these for a thicker sound that's not overly dull: Amazon.com

    On the other hand, based on what you describe, I think you would like a thicker pick (2mm+) in a casein material. More expensive ($25 or so each) but they are typically hand made. A boutique maker, this company offers several materials and shapes: Honey Picks


    Finally, In a high end thermoplastic, Blue Chip is probably still the best but they are even more pricey. I always come back to their largest triangle in the thickest material they offer. An 'ouch' at $90. Fortunately, they last forever.

  11. #10
    I just got back from Guitar Center and picked up a bunch. Also ordered some of the recs that I found on the forum after some digging from Amazon last night.

    The dunlop med/heavy 18 variety pack has lots of options, opened it up at the store, tried a bunch, unfortunately only on a Epiphone 335, Ibanez AF 95, and Squire Tele that were available without asking for help or with a ladder.

    Mind blowing how the pick seemed to have more effect on the sound than the amp or guitar. As an aside, was at the LA Westwood "dome" branch and saw someone I know to be a famous/well-known rock star guitarist helping out his friends son, and will spend the rest of the day trying to track down who it was via random internet searches- ha! Not for the famous part, just the, damn--I know this guy but can't put my finger on it kind of way! If I heard correctly, his own son's name was Marshall. Will report back with thoughts after trying out the 10 different picks I purchased in the last 24 hours.

  12. #11

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    From the archives, in case this thread doesn't suggest enough options--11 more pages from 14(!) years ago ...

    Jazz Guitar Pick

  13. #12

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    Switched to blue chip, never looked back.

  14. #13

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    No doubt many rock guitarists would name their sons Marshall if they could, but I know only of Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney. A quick Internet search found Justin Manning, of Crowned by Fire, and a Palm Springs guitarist called John Garcia.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ES175please!
    Hi,
    I haven't explored picks and am interested in improving the tone I am getting. Have always went with Fender extra heavy but not loving it at the moment. Also use the heavy Dunlops they sell at Guitar Center. I am looking for a less tingy/thin sound. What should I order to try out? I play both my nice sounding cheapist Squire Tele and my Gibson 90's Es-175.

    I appreciate it!
    identify some players who’s sound you like. Do some research and figure out what pic they are using. Identify some players who’s sound you do not like…stay away from that.

  16. #15

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    The Perfect Pick?-61waovfgz4l-_ac_sl1500_-jpg

    I like the Ibanez Paul Gilbert picks. They are 1.0 mm thick, so less flex than a Fender Medium but not as stiff as a Jazz III. That suits me.
    The point is sharper than on a Fender Medium.
    Celluloid.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowJoeJones
    identify some players who’s sound you like. Do some research and figure out what pic they are using. Identify some players who’s sound you do not like…stay away from that.
    Except that there is so much more to a player's sound than the type of pick they use. I don't think you can isolate the pick from all the other factors.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonray
    Gladders

    I have kept going back to the red Dunlop Jazz111's since they were first launched.
    Just thought I'd like to add that they can be a bit slippery unless you come across a
    batch that have a deeper "Jim Dunlop USA" imprint on them.

    I thought it was just me, like Jim Hall used to say "no you can't play today" LOL
    Then I realized if I got another J111 my RH picking became more relaxed and accurate.

    So by trial and error I found that batches would vary [probably as the die press wore at the manufacturing plant.]

    I found the way round this was to go to a physical store and literally try out each pick.


    I'd put a mark with a Sharpie on my own pick so they couldn't say I was trying to purloin some picks....
    - I may be cheap, but not that much.
    I'd ask the shop assistant first of course and empty their stock of red Jazz111's on the counter and have
    a keep pile and a discard pile.

    - It was quite a revelation as to the variance between individual pieces.

    What a carry on you might say, yes a pain in the ass....but since these picks last so long
    once I found 20 or so "good ones" they'd keep me going for maybe a couple of years or more.

    Of course you can't do that if you're ordering online....so you just have to take what you get.

    My pick hold is really straight forward, I grip the deeply grooved Jim Dunlop USA imprint side with my thumb....and hope that I can groove deeply.

    Try-See
    My one complaint with them is that they tend to spin so that the point is facing the bridge and I'm picking with the side. I've never noticed the difference in the depth of the embossing. I'll look more closely. Thanks for the tip.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

  19. #18

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    I play mostly fingerstyle, but I like these Dava picks when I do use a pick.

    The Perfect Pick?-dava-png

    Grip Tips — DAVA

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by FourOnSix
    Except that there is so much more to a player's sound than the type of pick they use. I don't think you can isolate the pick from all the other factors.
    Don’t assume because you can’t others can’t.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowJoeJones
    Don’t assume because you can’t others can’t.
    Not sure I'm understanding what you mean exactly.. but I don't think anybody can isolate the pick as a definitive component of a players tone. Even if you know what the pick is you can't say how a different pick would change, or not change, the players tone. It matters quite a lot.. but so do many other things.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Not sure I'm understanding what you mean exactly.. but I don't think anybody can isolate the pick as a definitive component of a players tone. Even if you know what the pick is you can't say how a different pick would change, or not change, the players tone. It matters quite a lot.. but so do many other things.
    Bingo, and thank you for this.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Not sure I'm understanding what you mean exactly.. but I don't think anybody can isolate the pick as a definitive component of a players tone. Even if you know what the pick is you can't say how a different pick would change, or not change, the players tone. It matters quite a lot.. but so do many other things.
    What I said was find players who’s sound you like and identify what pic they’re using….like on the internet(!).

    The pick plays a huge role in the sound one gets. Of course(!) there are other factors but the difference the pick makes is both discernible and real. For someone interested in ‘what pick should I be using’ this is a more valid approach than most. Certainly more valid than random suggestions.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by FourOnSix
    Bingo, and thank you for this.
    nope, sorry.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Not sure I'm understanding what you mean exactly.. but I don't think anybody can isolate the pick as a definitive component of a players tone. Even if you know what the pick is you can't say how a different pick would change, or not change, the players tone. It matters quite a lot.. but so do many other things.
    I think he was saying that when playing himself, with the rig staying the same, he can discern the difference between picks, which I certainly agree with.

    For instance, I have two types of Blue Chip picks, and I have two of the same thickness that I can quickly hear the difference between because one tip is rounder than the other.

    As far as the picks that our favorite players use, not so much.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluejaybill
    I think he was saying that when playing himself, with the rig staying the same, he can discern the difference between picks, which I certainly agree with.

    For instance, I have two types of Blue Chip picks, and I have two of the same thickness that I can quickly hear the difference between because one tip is rounder than the other.

    As far as the picks that our favorite players use, not so much.
    No. He was suggesting (partially) that the OP identify players whose sound they didn't like and to avoid using the same pick. So if there's a player who has lousy tone because of technique, gear, or whatever, not to use the pick that player is using.

    Conversely, different players, because of their varied touches, may extract different tones from the same pick. I can't tell you how many times I've read comments about Blue Chip picks sounding dull. I find them rather bright (in a good way).