“Pick” Your Tone

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In the same way that each craftsman has his respective tools of the trade, each guitar player will have his or her own tools that they use. A bluegrass player will want his powerful sounding dreadnought, a blues player may want a strat or a telecaster, each person has a guitar and a sound that suits them best.

What is often overlooked however is the fact that the picks that we use in order to play have a drastic affect on tone. Here’s something that any player should try.

Take 5 different picks of similar shape but with different thicknesses. Let’s start with these.

  1. .50mm
  2. .80mm
  3. 1.0mm
  4. 1.2mm
  5. 2.0mm

Sit down with your favorite guitar (acoustic or electric) and play one song with each pick. Give your ears a chance to get used to the sound of that particular pick with that guitar before you use the next one. Play the same song for each pick. Notice anything? The thinner picks tend to have a brighter tonality and the thicker picks tend to give a darker and more rounded tone.

The difference will of course also depend on your playing style, but there’s always the chance that by only using one type of pick and not trying anything else, that you might be missing out.

And don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself!

Daniel Kirkland–Guitar Tech

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