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different picks for acoustic and electric?


DeepEnd
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I posted this over in Electric Guitars but I want to get feedback from you guys as well. As you know, I'm primarily an acoustic player (which is why I post here) and I've been using Dunlop .60mm nylon picks for years. But they're too thin for my electric, presumably due to the lighter strings (.009 vs. .012). Yesterday, I went to a local mom and pop and bought, in no particular order, a Herco Flex 75 nylon, a store brand celluloid medium (comparable to a Fender medium), a store brand celluloid heavy (comparable to Fender heavy), a Dava Control Pick, a Dunlop Tortex .73mm, and an Everly .73mm Star Pick. So far, I'm leaning toward the Herco and the Dava.

The guy who sold me the picks said it's fairly common to use different picks for acoustic and electric. If you play both, do you also use different picks? Thanks.

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While I don't use them much I will use a Dunlop .73 when the tune calls for some flatpicking. Sold all the electrics but always played them fingerpicked. Couldn't wrap my head around using a pick on such bendy strings. I did put .013s on the last electric I had just so I could use a pick but it was already (mentally) out the door in trade for other gear. When I seriously wielded a pick (1974) it was a Fender medium and I used one of the rounded corners, not the tip. I think the .73 I have now is probably close to the Fender medium. It feels similar in memory, anyway, and I still use only the rounded corners.

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@DeepEnd

​I'm a big fan of the Dunlop .60mm and have used them for years also. Usually I'll hold them normally for strumming, but then turn the pick and use one of the rounded corners for flatpicking. The rounded corners give me both a harder playing edge and force me to bring my hand in to play closer (which helps me with better control).

 

Having said that, I did a similar thing recently and got a variety pack of harder picks for lead playing. So far, I like the Dunlop .88mm.

 

Jesse

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When I play acoustic, I use a plastic thumb pick and an Alaska fingerpick. (You can see Russia with them.) On electric I use a flatpick. I'm not too fussy about them. There is an organization, Musicares, that provides addiction help for musicians; they give out guitar picks at conferences. I usually pick up a bunch of those and I'm fine.

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I have a stash of Dunlops. They're all translucent green and say, "Jim Dunlop USA X-H" on them. I hope to never run out. On acoustic, unless I'm playing in DADGAD, I'm using one. On electric I use the same pick and try to pick half as hard. Even then I still sound like an acoustic player. I do a lot of compound picking on both, some even on mandolin. On mandolin I'm changing picks constantly. Mostly between various Wegens. If I played electric only, I'd give up picks altogether. Then I could simply turn up to drown out the banjos.

Edited by jamesp
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Tried the Alaska Piks. They flew off my fingers. That's after modding them heavily to adapt them to my attack. I got the largest they offer and even then they pinched my fingertips so hard I could only stand them for a short duration. I have very large hands. Plus, they clickity-clacked against each other in passing.

 

My problem with flatpicks is they shift ever so slightly in my grip exactly when I don't need them shifting.

 

Now I use a thumb pick to drive the bass and low mids when finger picking and then, with a slight twist of the wrist and closing of my thumb to my index finger, it becomes my flatpick. I adapted it to that use about a year ago and have been developing the technique since. I feel pretty confident that the plectrum is now another memory of things gone by. The Fred Kelly Slick Pick (Delrin) has a decent blade for that. His Speed Pick of the same material has a single narrow tine-like blade for more uptempo stuff. I switch back and forth as needed.

 

And, can a banjo actually be drowned out?

Edited by Idunno
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i generally use the same picks on electric or acoustic, i tend to use the Everly star in yellow or green, when i use a pick at all. i've been playing using just my fingers for bout a year and a half and seldom find a pick useful for much other than tuning one of the 12 strings. and even then i find my fingers more accurate and i can coax a slew more tones out of my fingers and nails than a pick. YMMV...

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1 mm tortex for me any time I use a flat pick, be that acoustic or electric. I'm still working with a thumbpick to develop a style of using that as a flat pick. Still clumsy as heck, but have improved a little. Wouldn't try it in front of people.

 

I went for MANY years playing acoustic guitars with no pick-- strumming with the backs of my nails. As I have gotten older that method was destroying my fingers and forcing me to super glue the rips. I ain't Jack White (nor do I wanna be, LOL) and I don't care for the sight of blood all over my guitar!!! Had to make some adjustments!

 

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I have a stash of Dunlops. . . . On electric I use the same pick and try to pick half as hard. . . .

Interesting. When I'm playing electric--at least strumming--I need to hit the strings harder. The .60mm Dunlop nylons I use on acoustic don't do it, thus the different picks. As for drowning out banjos, in praise band the problem is drowning out the drums.

Edited by DeepEnd
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