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Plectrum wear...that bad?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Hamlet7768, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I'll cut to the chase. I heard from a guy (at a Guitar Center, but he wasn't an employee :D) that a big disadvantage of playing with a pick is that the thick bass strings wear the pick down very quickly, resulting in having to spend a good deal of money on picks. How true is this? If it helps, I've used mostly very thick picks when I play guitar (I'm sort of learning both but more focusing on bass), 1mm currently to be specific.
  2. I use 1 mm, and pick a lot. It depends on when you feel like buying new picks, but mine usually last 3-4 weeks, and picks are like 30-50 cents each.
  3. ducknturtle


    Dec 28, 2006
    New Jersey
    I have picks that are many years old. I can't hear or feel a difference between them and a new one. In fact I think they play better when they get a lettle worn. I doubt that I have spent more than 20 or 30 dollars total, in all of the 35 years I've been playing bass.
  4. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I hear stories from guys who wear their picks down. I have never worn a pick down and I play fairly aggressively. I use Dunlop 1.14 ( purple). It's like $4 for a dozen. Last time I bought picks was several years ago. There are legitimate reasons to learn to play fingerstyle. This is NOT one of them.
  5. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
    I use the tortex 0.88mm picks & I'm only on the 2nd one in 12 months, they hardly wear at all.
  6. Anything from .80 to 1 mm should last you awhile, I doubt you'll have to quit eating out or buying beer because of the increased pick expense.
  7. Picks are cheap enough regardless, especially if you buy them in bulk. Besides, I doubt the wear from bass strings is significantly worse just because they're thicker..
  8. When I was playing guitar, I'd break and crack about 5-6 picks a night - some times more.

    Since I now play bass almost exclusively, I think my gross pick expenses are less than $10.00/year.

    I DO use a lot of felt ukelele picks on my basses though and they wear pretty fast.

    They also toss a lot of felt lint on the body - but it's worth it for the sound they make.
  9. I use heavy and durable picks so they last a long time. I got a free bag of medium picks once and the worked great, but only lasted a few songs before cracking or wearing and breaking. Light picks forget about it! I play pretty hard and really dig into the strings.
  10. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    no matter if this is true or not, you won't spend a lot of money on pic s in a lifetime. you can get 72 dunlop tortex pics for under $15.
  11. Eater_of_Birds

    Eater_of_Birds UK Extreme User

    May 4, 2010
    sometimes they last alright, though some thicker picks are lasting me about one gig as im thrashing the hell out of them and by the last song its chewed up pretty bad.

    Im sure this has more to do with my lack of soft playing ^ ^ but at the end of the day i dont spend a huge amount of money on picks. Im quite liking Herco thumbpicks just now, but they do end up tearing after a few weeks.
  12. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    I use yellow Tortexes when I do pick. I'm pretty aggressive when I play, so I kind of round the end of the pick off until it exhibits pretty good trilateral symmetry. :)

    That's how I know I've gotten good use out of a pick.
  13. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I have played mostly guitar my whole life and never really liked using a pick when I played bass but I would say that's because the string spacing on my SD Curlee didn't seem conducive to it as much as my Ibanez fretless. However, I bought picks, once. 1978, I think. Dunlop nylon, shiny black, .71mm and I have only worn one badly, on an Applause guitar with old, crusty strings. The rest are still with me and I have put in a lot of hours. I was given a heavy Dunlop Jazz pick and a Herco Gold but I stick with the nylon Dunlop picks.
  14. I use Dunlop Big Stubby 2mm picks, made out of Lexan. Justin Bieber will be collecting Social Security by the time those suckers wear down! ;)
  15. if they're the green nylon ones then i use the same and the only time they go is when my guitar player comes round and "borrows" one

    i think they now do a pack of 10 for like £5 wich is good
  16. DBCrocky


    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    Money must be tight if you are worried about the cost of wore down picks. I wish I could just not lose picks.
  17. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I've heard a lot of stupid reasons not to play with a pick, but this may be #1. I lose more picks than I wear out. Maybe guitar players should all go finger style because that big E string could wear the pics out.
  18. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    I've used dunlop tortex orange picks since the 80's . Only the red ones are thinner I believe. They wear pretty slowly actually, never crack ( you can fold them in half) , and honestly loose them, throw them out or whatever before they wear down. Guy at the music store needs to lay off the hash, or get better picks.
  19. 4String Thing

    4String Thing

    Dec 2, 2011
    I use Dunlop Jazz III max grip carbon fiber picks. They are the bees knees! A little small, but Dunlop also makes a larger "XL" version.
  20. mooreon131


    Mar 16, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    Exactly. The only threat to my 1mm tortexes is getting sucked into the same black hole in my dryer as all of those unpaired socks. well, actually i leave/lose them everywhere. I have at least 8 in every room of my house at any given time, but I can only find 3 of them in 2 rooms. This can be a problem. but I usually spluge on a new bag before my (infrequent) gigs, so that I have fresh ones. I feel like they heve more texture and grip to them when they're new. But that's just me.

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