what picks for faster playing?

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG]' started by bon viesta, May 6, 2021.

  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i’ve used flats for a while now, and my pick i’ve realized is waaaay to thick if i want to be playing fast. it took me a while to realize that thin = faster playing. but... how thin can i go? i use roto rounds right now with a .73 pick, and it feels much too slow and harsh to okay fast. i’d have to beat the [bleep] out of the strings just to do some 16th notes or anything faster than 8th notes. and it makes a very harsh noise whenever i do that. what pick size do you recommend for easy and comfortable playing with a pick?? btw i’ve been a finger player until now but i realize picks are pretty cool sometimes so i want it in my arsenal.
    Bboopbennie likes this.
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Speed comes from technique and practice. Short strokes and a light touch using just your hand will improve picking speed. If you’re using your arm, that will slow you down. A rigid pick should help with speed. A flexible pick is slower to react. Everyone will have their own personal preference. I use Donlop Jazz III picks for guitar and bass.
    MattZilla, Picton and thabassmon like this.
  3. thabassmon


    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    +1 for Dunlop Jazz III picks for guitar and bass.

    I find thicker picks easier to use than thinner, and in turn can play faster and more accurately with them.

    Like most things in music, what works for one might not work for another. I suggest get a bunch of different thicknesses and find out what suits you.
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
    Slater and gebass6 like this.
  4. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Welcome to picks on a bass.
    You need fast fingers for sure. I use Herco heavy picks
    for rock and some times Med guitar picks.
  5. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    I use very thick 3-7mm Gypsy Jazz(Manouche)picks for fast sixteenth notes.

    The blunt,rounded tip glances over the string.
    Moving only the string with no flex deflection.
    Gypsy Jazz picks.jpg Manouche.jpg picks 2.jpg
  6. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue Guest

    Sep 29, 2018
    Cough, cough...leather.

    Other than that, I use medium or heavy guitar Fender picks or an equivalent for bass.
  7. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    Fender medium.

    And technique. Just practice some more. And don't get hung up on how you're "supposed to" hold the pick, between thumb and the knuckle of your forefinger. That never worked for me, so I just did what felt comfortable. The Plectrum Police haven't busted me yet.
    Bboopbennie and thabassmon like this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I don't believe that to be true in the least. I consider it more work on my hand to use a thin or medium pick, and my hand burns and hurts within seconds if I don't use a heavy.
    Kipp Harrington and Crispus like this.
  9. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    with heavy picks, “theoretically” i see that it requires more energy to push the pick through the string with more force afterwards which makes it hard to stop the picks movement after you push through the string. so in other words, more work to push through a string and more work to get it going the other way again. that’s at least my experience with it, too. with thin picks, they bend very easily with the string so you can keep the pick in a similar place while playing a certain string and by simply moving it back and fourth the pick will work with you somewhat.
    Bboopbennie likes this.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    The problem, though, is that the flexing causes your hand to have to work harder. If you want to play louder, you have to hit the string harder. Plus you have to wait for it to finish flexing. Now everyone's different, I'll admit, but for me, the thicker picks work much better.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

  12. steveinohio


    May 27, 2007
    We play fast. I switched from a heavy to a lighter gauge Pick years ago because of hand problems. I feel like it’s improved my playing. I use orange Dunlop’s.
    Bboopbennie, ihixulu and bon viesta like this.
  13. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Last edited: May 12, 2021
    MattZilla likes this.
  14. Clank Plank

    Clank Plank Inactive

    Dec 26, 2020
    Tortex Triangle. I find the wider angle of the point makes for faster picking and a more natiral tone.
    Bboopbennie and Vinny_G like this.
  15. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    What was that pick that came out in the late 70s or early 80s, looked kinda large and oblong, might have been made of stone (?), and all the advertisements featured a guy with short hair and a moustache who looked like your dentist and talked about how it would "maximize your playing speed" yadda-yadda-yadda...

    I of course chalked it up to pure Snake Oil so never actually tried one, but I'm sure a bass player somewhere gave it a shot.
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    There is a reason there are many different picks - everyone is different. They are also cheap. Buy a bunch and try.
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  17. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    That must have been the Min'd pick.
    I looked for them a few years back.
    Couldn't find any.
    MIND Pick NOS Stone guitar pick RARE | Dwayne's Gear Emporium | Reverb

    But I did discover Timber Tones agate picks.
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  18. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    That was it, thanks!
  19. FatCity

    FatCity Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Beaufort, SC
    Endorsing Artist: Howard's Crispy Fried Chicken Skins
    I used to use Dunlop Yellow (.73) but ended up switching to the Purple (1.14) because I was trying to keep my pick and fingerstyle tone pretty close and I found that a thicker pick does that for me. It also turned out that the cramping that I was experiencing in my right thumb went away for the most part. Heavy pick- light touch works and whatever speed that I had did not suffer.
    gebass6 likes this.
  20. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Dunlop Orange (.60mm) works for me.
    Bboopbennie likes this.