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Excessive noise from picking...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by IIKSMII, Aug 14, 2012.



    Dec 12, 2007
    I just recently started trying to play with a pick, just to try and learn a few songs from the new Baroness album. Well, ol' boy tunes to drop D which is usually fine for me with fingers, but now that I'm going with a pick I seem to be getting a unusual amount of vibrations. The guy at guitar center said the picks he gave me were a little thicker and should help, .88 I think. my G, D and A strings sound fine (apart from my horrible pick coordination).

    If it helps at all I'm using an Ibanez SR300 or 370 (i forget :meh: ) with Ernie Ball power slinkies with the slightly larger gauge I believe. 55, 75, 90, 110. I guess I don't know if it's a technique thing? Too big of gauge to tune that low with a pick?

    Unfortunately I'm in the military and away from home right now so I don't have an amp with me, I kind of assume it might sound better off an amp rather than raw. Any experienced pickers out there with any tips would be awesome.

    Kyle Mooney
  2. 5StringFool


    Jun 10, 2011
    Greenup, KY
    What do you mean by, "an unusual amount of vibrations"?


    Dec 12, 2007
    It sounds like I'm getting more clicking sounds when ever I play any note other than open. I don't think it's a left hand technique thing either because when I play with my fingers it sounds nice and smooth, but it's like the pick is really grabbing that string excessively... More noise than I'd like, I guess. Like I said I assume it's too big of a string maybe for the tuning, but I thought it might have been a picking technique too. Only my G, D, and A strings ring nice and clear.
  4. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    Pick the strings lightly.
  5. Definitely

    Definitely Banned




    Dec 12, 2007
    I tried that too and I just miss the string a lot of the time, haha. I suppose it's probably just a practice, practice, practice thing though, eh?

    EDIT: I kind of agree actually too, I never really liked using picks, not putting it down or anything, but fingers sound so much better. I just couldn't get my fingers to move fast enough to get it to sound right and my triplets don't mesh very well enough to sound constant, sounds like Maiden heh.
  7. gscroggin


    Feb 2, 2006
    Clicking, as in the string is bouncing (even if slightly) against the fretboard or pickups? I notice the same thing on most of my basses that have a B string and relatively low action. Unless I consciously change my picking dynamic on that string (lighter, angle, how much I dig in, speed), there is definitely more noise, and I would say more "vibration". That said, it has also forced me to try and clean up my technique, especially when alternate picking...which typically means slowing down until I'm consistent.

    But isn't that the way with anything? ;-)
  8. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Holding the pick looser might help you lessen the click almost letting it slip off the string. Don't be afraid to try a bunch of different picks especially even heavier ones. I try for almost a finger sound and 1mm is the lightest I'm totally comfortable with. My preference is for a 1.5mm. I also use a more rounded shape rather than a regular pointy one. You can try using the shoulder of a regular shaped pick to see if more rounded works for you.


    Dec 12, 2007
    So, I tried holding the pick a little looser and on the shoulder along with trying to be less "aggressive" in my approach and it seems to work a lot better.

    That makes me think maybe picking up some of them fatter picks wouldn't be a bad idea, either.

    Thanks for the tips, fellas! Any recommendations on whether wood or plastic or if it even makes a difference? I've even seen some stainless steel ones but that seems overkill...
  10. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    I use a Dunlop purple turtle pick that's 2.0mm. Don't be afraid to go thick.
  11. AndyU


    May 4, 2009
    St. Charles, MO
    I also use a 2.0 mm pick. I like the black Dunlop Gator Grips. I don't think I'd be able to do anything with a pick less than 1.0mm. Flap-flap-flap-flap. Ugh.
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I would recommend at least 1mm pick for bass and guitar, if not 1.44mm. You will probably get a little less clicking, but honestly get an amp. Never judge any kind of strange noise from an electric bass until you have heard it amplified.
  13. preside


    Aug 7, 2010
    Scottsdale Az
    I've found raising my action slightly helps for pick playing as well.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Read everything you can that Carol Kaye has to say about using a pick. If you do, you will have great sound and never have a day of pain using a pick in your life.

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