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  1. #1

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    I have seen a lot of fast players using the rounded side of the pick. George Lynch comes to mind. I tried it a few times, but it did not work for me.

    A recent thread ( I can't find it) brought the subject up again. After years of trying to use the tip, I gave in and tried to use the side of the pick again only this time, I laid out all of my picks and used the one that had the best rounded point on the side. That pick turned out to be Black Dunlop Jazz III. Compared to its red brother, and the Ultex picks, there is a discernable point on it that you can exploit.

    I have made the switch and will probably not be looking back. Like those fast players I see on Youtube, I made the change. No more having the point get caught in the strings. I am sorry Pat Martino, but I give up trying to duplicate the presicion with which you use the pointed side of the tip.

    It has helped my both in strumming and in single-note runs. Hallelujah!!

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  3. #2

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    It's all about the release.

  4. #3

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    For the curious, I am using what I think is called the Dunlop Jazz III Stiffo pick. It is black. I ordered a bag yesterday and am hoping I got the right pick model.

    The only drawback for me is string skipping and inside picking. Having an extended tip really helps with executing those functions.

  5. #4

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    I agree that using the rounded edge of a standard-size pick helps with speed. Not being a particularly fast picker myself (irrespective of the plectrum side used), I tend to reach for slightly thicker pics to thicken my tone. For me, note precision and tone is more important than speed.

  6. #5

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    I can play equally fast with in any decently thick pick with pretty much any shape. The main question is whether or not I like the transients.

    ATM I like the jazz III shape but bigger

  7. #6

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    i think cecil alexander uses the round side.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    i think cecil alexander uses the round side.
    My understanding is that Steve Ray Vaughn, Pat Metheny, George Lynch, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Scott Henderson, Robbin Ford, Bireli Lagrene, Henry Robinett, Larry Carlton, and Michael Schenker all use the rounded edges. They are all very fluid players who can play very, very fast when they want to. All with superior technical abilities so I need not look any further for a reason to adopt this method.

    Here is an old thread that discussed this technique:
    Using the curvy part of the pick.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan
    My understanding is that Steve Ray Vaughn, Pat Metheny, George Lynch, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Scott Henderson, Robbin Ford, Bireli Lagrene, Henry Robinett, Larry Carlton, and Michael Schenker all use the rounded edges. They are all very fluid players who can play very, very fast when they want to. All with superior technical abilities so I need not look any further for a reason to adopt this method.

    Here is an old thread that discussed this technique:
    Using the curvy part of the pick.
    I could quote an equally large number of players that used the pointed end

    I’m not sure using the rounded end will necessarily give you better speed/agility of itself. If you already have solid technique and like the sound and feel, that’s a separate thing.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I could quote an equally large number of players that used the pointed end

    I’m not sure using the rounded end will necessarily give you better speed/agility of itself. If you already have solid technique and like the sound and feel, that’s a separate thing.
    In my case, I noticed an immediate increase in speed and I also feel the pick gliding through the strings while strumming. So it has been a shortcut, or at the very least, a shortcut to overcoming my obviously flawed technique when using the pointed end of the pick.

  11. #10

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    The Jazz iii has a very distinct sound due to it's point, but unlike a regular sized dunlop it protrudes less which combines to make it one of the most popular picks among many types of players, but especially rock players.

    In jazz I know players that prefer jazz ii or even jazz i pick that has a much rounder point.


    playing with the round edge of a jazz iii makes no sense to me .. I much prefer play with the round side a regular sized dunlop and have something to hold on to instead of that pesky small jazz iii pick? (Just a suggestion )

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    The Jazz iii has a very distinct sound due to it's point, but unlike a regular sized dunlop it protrudes less which combines to make it one of the most popular picks among many types of players, but especially rock players.

    In jazz I know players that prefer jazz ii or even jazz i pick that has a much rounder point.


    playing with the round edge of a jazz iii makes no sense to me .. I much prefer play with the round side a regular sized dunlop and have something to hold on to instead of that pesky small jazz iii pick? (Just a suggestion )
    Using the side of the pick gave me the same experience as when I bought this $100.00 Blue Chip pick. I just started slipping and sliding on the strings. But, while that pick was shaped like the Jazz III, the tip was a little too thick and did not taper down.

    Now, getting to what you mentioned, when I grip the tip with the point part pointing at the bridge, I have that huge flat surface across the shoulder of the pick to grip. I am so pleased with the outcome. If only I could find one with just a slight bit more pointy shoulder, then it would be just about perfect.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan
    In my case, I noticed an immediate increase in speed and I also feel the pick gliding through the strings while strumming. So it has been a shortcut, or at the very least, a shortcut to overcoming my obviously flawed technique when using the pointed end of the pick.
    Cool!

  14. #13

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    When I use a pick it's always been with the shoulders, otherwise it's thumb and first two fingers, but I'm only 69
    Last edited by BFrench; 01-08-2021 at 02:15 PM. Reason: spelling

  15. #14

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    Lately I've experienced that I press the strings much more lightly when playing with the rounded part of the standard pick. Something I notice is that I use too much pressure with the pointy end, be it at any thickness. Even with rounded picks it's the same issue. I think I will stick to the habit for good and never look back.

  16. #15

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    I started doing this a few years ago. Not sure if it helped me with speed, but it's a much fatter sound.

    Actually, now for a month or two I've been using the "Golden Gate" picks, which are basically round...all shoulder.

  17. #16

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    After I use the shoulder for a while, if I switch to using the pointy end, it takes some adjustment to get the pointy end not catch the strings. But adjustment doesn't take a long time and after that i don't think I notice a speed difference. Round end glides better but pointy end allows for more efficient motion. So they both have speed advantages and disadvantages.

    I prefer the shoulder ends these days because I get a less compressed sound on the high strings. I like the fatter, more fundamental sound it produces on the plain strings.

    PS. I think it was PrincePlanet who created that thread.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    After I use the shoulder for a while, if I switch to using the pointy end, it takes some adjustment to get the pointy end not catch the strings. But adjustment doesn't take a long time and after that i don't think I notice a speed difference. Round end glides better but pointy end allows for more efficient motion. So they both have speed advantages and disadvantages.

    I prefer the shoulder ends these days because I get a less compressed sound on the high strings. I like the fatter, more fundamental sound it produces on the plain strings.

    PS. I think it was PrincePlanet who created that thread.
    Great points. And I have thanked princeplanet profusely.

    3 months later and I am still very pleased with switch.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan
    My understanding is that Steve Ray Vaughn, Pat Metheny, George Lynch, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Scott Henderson, Robbin Ford, Bireli Lagrene, Henry Robinett, Larry Carlton, and Michael Schenker all use the rounded edges. They are all very fluid players who can play very, very fast when they want to. All with superior technical abilities so I need not look any further for a reason to adopt this method.

    Here is an old thread that discussed this technique:
    Using the curvy part of the pick.
    Definitely not Eric Johnson. All the footage I've seen of EJ, he's using the pointy end. He does a lot of string skipping and he'll often resort to keeping his wrist on the strings and bouncing his hand vertically off the face of the guitar with each attack. I imagine Eric picked up that up from checking out Cream-era Clapton. You have to be very accurate but it produces excellent tone. Drummers speak of a similar process where they attempt to draw the sound out of their kit rather just dig in.

  20. #19

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    brian may of queen used a vintage six pence coin..all round shouldered!! hah



    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 04-06-2021 at 01:16 PM. Reason: pic-

  21. #20

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    The pick has a pointy end for a reason - it minimizes the contact line with the string and in doing so allows for the pick to be held a little rotated around its longitudinal axis (typically holding your thumb downward a little). This rotation produces a sound with more depth but it slows one down a little.

    I wonder if when using the side edge the longer contact line prevents this rotation... and the result feels faster, because it is without the rotation?

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I wonder if when using the side edge the longer contact line prevents this rotation... and the result feels faster, because it is without the rotation?
    It does not .. I rotate in both positions. for me it feels faster cause the pick does not bury it self as deep between the strings. There is more contact, but it is more superficial and thus easier to execute.

    And as you say, as with everything while it at first might be about comfort .. but after a while, I discovered that that my hand without me thinking about it automatically goes for the grip that gives the sound I hear in my mind and I'm never 100% in one or the other.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    it feels faster cause the pick does not bury it self as deep between the strings. There is more contact, but it is more superficial and thus easier to execute.
    While it buries, I can also see the connection between the left hand, as the left hand presses the notes harder against the fretboard while playing with the pointy end. This results in a more slower technique. I never have learnt to hold the pick super lightly while playing with the pointy end, some guitar players can do that but I have always been a heavy handed player. I prefer medium gauge strings with a lot of room to dig in in terms of string height and relief, but the pressure has to be light in the left hand. No more pressure than is needed to avoid CTS or joint pain. I heard SRV uses heavy strings and the rounded edge of a standard pick.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epistrophy
    While it buries, I can also see the connection between the left hand, as the left hand presses the notes harder against the fretboard while playing with the pointy end. This results in a more slower technique. I never have learnt to hold the pick super lightly while playing with the pointy end, some guitar players can do that but I have always been a heavy handed player. I prefer medium gauge strings with a lot of room to dig in in terms of string height and relief, but the pressure has to be light in the left hand. No more pressure than is needed to avoid CTS or joint pain. I heard SRV uses heavy strings and the rounded edge of a standard pick.
    Now this is a different angle on this topic. Interesting...

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    brian may of queen used a vintage six pence coin..all round shouldered!! hah



    cheers
    Didn't Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) use a Mexican peso?

    Dickie Betts borrowed a friend's credit card before a gig and cut off a corner to use as a pick.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan
    A recent thread ( I can't find it) brought the subject up again.
    Picks - Pointy end or not?

    The thread (actually a poll) is still around, and the rounders are catching up!