Pick sizes for strumming tone

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ddiddler

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Joined: 05/13/20

Posts: 123

I am managing to make progress very slowly with my electric

Have only had the acoustic for a couple of weeks and finding a huge difference.

Stretching for chords , having to be more precise in finger placement and more pressure to make the clean sounds.

I was struggling to find a strumming method which was consistent.

Using index sounds scratchy, using thumb was better but oh so quiet.

Using a 0.5 red Jim Dunlop pick was OK but sound was so variable between down strokes and the up strokes.

Today my white 0.38 Jim Dunlops arrived and even though they feel so flimsy and very floppy they have made a ton of difference.

Have very happily gone through my afternoon practice session with my acoustic .

Good tone on chords

Good tone on both up and down on the strumming sequences.

Happy Camper,

Does this imply my strumming technique is on the heavy side when I struggle with a 0.5 pick. Assuming this can only get better over time.

Next change will be 10-47 Martins from Elixir 12-53s when the string change is due.

#1

I am managing to make progress very slowly with my electric

Have only had the acoustic for a couple of weeks and finding a huge difference.

Stretching for chords , having to be more precise in finger placement and more pressure to make the clean sounds.

I was struggling to find a strumming method which was consistent.

Using index sounds scratchy, using thumb was better but oh so quiet.

Using a 0.5 red Jim Dunlop pick was OK but sound was so variable between down strokes and the up strokes.

Today my white 0.38 Jim Dunlops arrived and even though they feel so flimsy and very floppy they have made a ton of difference.

Have very happily gone through my afternoon practice session with my acoustic .

Good tone on chords

Good tone on both up and down on the strumming sequences.

Happy Camper,

Does this imply my strumming technique is on the heavy side when I struggle with a 0.5 pick. Assuming this can only get better over time.

Next change will be 10-47 Martins from Elixir 12-53s when the string change is due.

Carl King

GuitarTricks Video Director

Joined: 10/08/07

Posts: 351

Hey ddidler,

You might be right that you're hitting the strings too hard.

I am more of a rock player and my pick of choice is Dunlop Tortex .88mm. I've learned to adapt them for everything, from bass guitar to electric guitar to acoustic guitar. It's a matter of changing how tightly I grip the pick. If I need to play lightly on acoustic I just loosen up my grip. That way, no need to change picks for different uses.

It's something to consider as an alternative to changing pick thickness all the time -- but both approaches can get you different sounds!

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

#2

Hey ddidler,

You might be right that you're hitting the strings too hard.

I am more of a rock player and my pick of choice is Dunlop Tortex .88mm. I've learned to adapt them for everything, from bass guitar to electric guitar to acoustic guitar. It's a matter of changing how tightly I grip the pick. If I need to play lightly on acoustic I just loosen up my grip. That way, no need to change picks for different uses.

It's something to consider as an alternative to changing pick thickness all the time -- but both approaches can get you different sounds!

-Carl.

Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

ddiddler

Full Access

Joined: 05/13/20

Posts: 123

Thanks Carl

only been playing since mid May so I expect my technique will be weak for now.

I know things will change as I progress. I know red 0.5 is at best medium and is still reasonably flexy and what I consider to be relaxed loose grip will be a choke grip to many.

Thin pick lets me get a better sounding strum on acoustic for now and can work some patterns.

Still struggling getting equal strums on Up and Down using fingers or thumb

#3

Thanks Carl

only been playing since mid May so I expect my technique will be weak for now.

I know things will change as I progress. I know red 0.5 is at best medium and is still reasonably flexy and what I consider to be relaxed loose grip will be a choke grip to many.

Thin pick lets me get a better sounding strum on acoustic for now and can work some patterns.

Still struggling getting equal strums on Up and Down using fingers or thumb

SusanMW

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Joined: 07/05/20

Posts: 74

I just got my .38 picks this week too after finding out that they would likely work better for strumming for me. I was using a medium .73 and it was just too stiff and I couldn't seem to lighten up enough on it without dropping it on the floor.

I noticed the .38 picks are a little quieter too, in general, which is great for me. I play in the middle of the night alot and have a neighbor...and I have sound issues, so it's a win win.

Enjoy your strumming!

“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

#4

I just got my .38 picks this week too after finding out that they would likely work better for strumming for me. I was using a medium .73 and it was just too stiff and I couldn't seem to lighten up enough on it without dropping it on the floor.

I noticed the .38 picks are a little quieter too, in general, which is great for me. I play in the middle of the night alot and have a neighbor...and I have sound issues, so it's a win win.

Enjoy your strumming!

“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

theMolster

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Joined: 04/30/20

Posts: 56

Hi.

I was using a .38 and have now moved up to a .46 which I find better. It's still nice and thin and forgiving but has a sort of fuller sound I find. This is with my acoustic, not really using my electric much at the mo.

Definitely a good point about the neighbours, same situation for me!

Enjoy.

Moles

#5

Hi.

I was using a .38 and have now moved up to a .46 which I find better. It's still nice and thin and forgiving but has a sort of fuller sound I find. This is with my acoustic, not really using my electric much at the mo.

Definitely a good point about the neighbours, same situation for me!

Enjoy.

Moles

ddiddler

Full Access

Joined: 05/13/20

Posts: 123

0.46 picks came today. now have 38s 46s and the 50s.

See what suits me for now.

acoustically the 38s were a big help compared to the 50s.

Not so noticeable on electric

#6

0.46 picks came today. now have 38s 46s and the 50s.

See what suits me for now.

acoustically the 38s were a big help compared to the 50s.

Not so noticeable on electric

SusanMW

Full Access

Joined: 07/05/20

Posts: 74

I love my .38's but I have noticed that some of them sound different than others. Is that normal to have slightly different tones produced by picks from the same package? Bad batch perhaps? Some of them produce a very deep tone where others produce a higher tone, all while I'm applying the same amount of strength/pressure/etc to my playing. I think I'll be picking up some new ones when I get my strings changed tomorrow.

“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

#7

I love my .38's but I have noticed that some of them sound different than others. Is that normal to have slightly different tones produced by picks from the same package? Bad batch perhaps? Some of them produce a very deep tone where others produce a higher tone, all while I'm applying the same amount of strength/pressure/etc to my playing. I think I'll be picking up some new ones when I get my strings changed tomorrow.

“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

ddiddler

Full Access

Joined: 05/13/20

Posts: 123

only 1 practice session but the 38s are still more forgiving when strumming my acoustic.

Guess It will be interesting to see how it goes as my techniques improve.

Dave

#8

only 1 practice session but the 38s are still more forgiving when strumming my acoustic.

Guess It will be interesting to see how it goes as my techniques improve.

Dave