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Recommendations for "cheap" picks that don't have "string drag"?


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I have tried the blue chips. I can't really discern that much of a difference, or at least enough difference to warrant to crazy cost. I know the material that they are made out of is very expensive and the process of making them is a bit labor intensive and contributes to the cost, but just not for me.

 

Fair enough. Everyone's ear is different and so is their perception of $30ish being a crazy cost. I have a Wegen I can send you if you are interested. Teardrop shape in 1-1.2mm. Let me know.

 

Matt

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I've finally stopped 'the search' a couple of years ago when I found 2 I really like. within a few months of each other/

One is the Dunlop Ultex J.Chalk noted above. Seems to be less slippery and the tone is just right - not to bright, not too mellow. Some say like tortoise shell. Come in a lot of thicknesses (ex .78, .83, .90, 1.0, 1.14, etc. with different point shapes. About 75 cents each.

The second is the GraphTech Tusq. which I like equally. As I recall it comes in three models - different materials used to give different levels of warmth vs brightness. Raised logos and stuff on both sides to give a good grip. About $1 each.

I've nothing against $30 picks - I would be afraid of losing them though, and prefer to have a dozen or so in each room of the house. Sort of a visual reminder that I should be playing the guitar.

Good thread, OP. Picks have a huge impact on tone.

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I used to buy a lot of different picks whenever I was in a music store. I simply like to experiment, but all that stopped when I bought a Blue Chip for $20 about four years ago. I'm essentially at beginner level, although I have played for quite a few years. I always used to have problems with the pick slipping in my hand, or not being able to get the right attack on the strings (either too much or not enough). The Blue Chip really helped me with these issues. It tends to get a little tacky when warmed up from holding it, so it does not slip easily. It is also very smooth on the strings, with the least string noice of any pick I have tried. By the way, I never play with pointy picks, Instead I use the rounded end, which helps to prevent pick noice. On the Blue Chip you get all three corners bevelled so you can vary which one to use.

 

I still use orher picks from time to time, but my issues than have a tendency to come back. So from the perspective of a beginner, these $20 were well spent.

 

Good topic! I am a firm believer in the importance of picks and strings to get good tone.

 

Lars

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I used to buy a lot of different picks whenever I was in a music store. I simply like to experiment, but all that stopped when I bought a Blue Chip for $20 about four years ago. I'm essentially at beginner level, although I have played for quite a few years. I always used to have problems with the pick slipping in my hand, or not being able to get the right attack on the strings (either too much or not enough). The Blue Chip really helped me with these issues. It tends to get a little tacky when warmed up from holding it, so it does not slip easily. It is also very smooth on the strings, with the least string noice of any pick I have tried. By the way, I never play with pointy picks, Instead I use the rounded end, which helps to prevent pick noice. On the Blue Chip you get all three corners bevelled so you can vary which one to use.

 

I still use orher picks from time to time, but my issues than have a tendency to come back. So from the perspective of a beginner, these $20 were well spent.

 

Good topic! I am a firm believer in the importance of picks and strings to get good tone.

 

Lars

 

The problem with blue chips is they are already thick. I like to have a stiff pick, but flexible still. Something like 0.7-0.8 th eventually up to 1.0 max.

Any high quality pick with that thickness?

 

Actually i really like gibson 'M' and 'H', they're smooth, easy to play with and no string noise but the M are easy to break.

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The problem with blue chips is they are already thick. I like to have a stiff pick, but flexible still. Something like 0.7-0.8 th eventually up to 1.0 max.

Any high quality pick with that thickness?

 

Actually i really like gibson 'M' and 'H', they're smooth, easy to play with and no string noise but the M are easy to break.

 

 

 

Charmed Life makes picks in the same material as Blue Chip but thinner.

 

Matt

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The pick you linked is made out of a material that may not flex at all. You may want to email the owner and check.

 

Matt

 

Yep i saw the other one, brown, 0.75 too.

This last one seems to flex a bit, i checked reviews on AGF.

 

It is nice, though i found out dunlops which seem to be cheaper and great too :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dunlop-Primetone-STANDARD-Sculpted-Plectra/dp/B00JB4WDG0

 

Wondering if these are made of same material.

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Yep i saw the other one, brown, 0.75 too.

This last one seems to flex a bit, i checked reviews on AGF.

 

It is nice, though i found out dunlops which seem to be cheaper and great too :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dunlop-Primetone-STANDARD-Sculpted-Plectra/dp/B00JB4WDG0

 

Wondering if these are made of same material.

 

I have some Dunlop Primetone and Ultex that should be here today. I'll report back with my impressions.

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I liked the Dunlop Tortex (purple) until I tried Fast Turtles. I like them on the medium thickness although the thin and the real thick will do in a pinch. About $8-10 each. I've bought a couple a year so I have a nice stash of them now.

 

I've experimented with V-picks and Gravity picks and some of those are fine, too. I do have a nice tortoise pick but I don't take that out of the house because I don't want to lose it or have to replace it.

 

I have a little bowl of picks I keep on my desk and choose which one to use when I grab a guitar. A brighter guitar may require the tortoise to tame the brightness. My all 000-15 may get the V-pick to brighten up its darker tone. I like having different picks to use as the situation may dictate.

 

One thing in common is all my picks are thicker...for me 1mm is a thin pick.

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I have a little bowl of picks I keep on my desk and choose which one to use when I grab a guitar. A brighter guitar may require the tortoise to tame the brightness. My all 000-15 may get the V-pick to brighten up its darker tone. I like having different picks to use as the situation may dictate.

 

 

I pretty much do exactly the same thing. I save the metal boxes with the hinged lids(about the size of a cigarette pack) that Altoids mints come in. Each of them has a dozen or so different picks in it, and I rummage through for a pick for the particular guitar I've picked up.

 

Right now I'm playing mostly my Fuller's 1943 SJ reissue and my 1948-'50 J-45 (with non-scalloped top braces). Even though they are pretty much the same box, they are as different as chalk and cheese, and require different flat picks to get the tone I want.

 

The picks I tend to grab most often are either cheap Dunlop Tortex (about 1- 1.14mm thick, blue or purple, fairly bright tone), or Red Bear (fairly mellow and full) Classic II with the holes through them for better grip. I really struggle to grip a pick firmly as I get older, and need something that is not slippery at all. I may even have to go with a larger pick, as I'm using more and more of my index finger just to stay attached to the pick when flat-picking fairly hard.

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I'd recommend Dunlop Primetone, Dunlop Jazz III and even though they're a little bit expensive V picks Tradition. I use my Bluechip TD35RB when I use a pick 99% of the time now, I just love how it glides through the strings. As for "string clack" that can be attributed to poor or improper technique, a bit of practice and that's a non issue.

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Thanks (whoever) for the 'Charmed Life' pick reference. I'm OK with the Red Bear but I tried to get them to buff one down for me just a touch thinner and they wouldn't go for it. It looks like Charmed Life took care of it. Of course, I still get that moment of self-loathing when I think of paying 30 bucks for a flat pick.

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Just wait until you misplace one for the first time. (Been there, done that.)

That must hurt, 'cause it sounds really painful😖

Though I've never invested in a state-of-art flatpick, I do own a few Gibson picks from the 1930's. Misplace or loss would weigh heavily on my delicately maintained composure😧

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I teach in a local music store and the proprietor shared a black pick with me last Monday that is the same specs as a Blue Chip but is made from some kind of aircraft material. Perhaps a hint more drag thank a BC but real nice feel and pull tone! Made my mando and guitar sing! I will let you knwo if they go into production and when.

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