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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Putting the pick on the sweet spot.

Tony F

Long Island, NY

When you come to fork in road take it
Apr 16th, 2019 04:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

I discovered today by pure accident that where my pick makes contact with the strings makes a noticeable difference in tone and attack. Seems on my two tele's if I pick up closer to the bridge about where the pickup plate begins I get a fuller more aggressive tone on BOTH pups. There seems to be little said on this topic.

BobbyMac
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Texas Panhandle

Born in Fullerton, California, in 1952
Apr 16th, 2019 04:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

Other variables that make a clear difference when using a plectrum are:

1) the thickness of your pick, and

2) the pick material, and

3) whether you use the sharp point of the pick or the wider side

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NWPA

Apr 16th, 2019 04:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

4) Type of hat worn.




Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 16th, 2019 04:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

Watch the country guys play Teles; they pick really close to the bridge to get that twangy hee-haw tone.

Strum over the end of the neck and many electrics will sound almost like acoustics.



walshb
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Manchester, TN

Ask me how I know!?
Apr 16th, 2019 05:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

When I was trying out acoustics, I didn't realize how much difference the pick thickness makes. I ended up buyng a Martin D-42, spent way more than I had planned, but it sounded better to me, especially when the sales person played it, using a different pick than I was! Doh!
I don't regret the decision, it's a great guitar, but if only I had known....of course, that was way back in my amateur days! ;)

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NWPA

Apr 16th, 2019 05:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

Pick thickness is a big factor.

I have a little jar with various picks handy, and every song sounds different with different picks.


Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Apr 16th, 2019 06:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

re: pick gauge, I have at least two songs in my repertoire that I require a thinner gauge pick to pull off a particular part of the song.
It’s not impossible to do with my standard Jazz III’s, but it’s noticeably clunkier.

I’m this subject has been discussed here at some point, but it is a worthwhile topic.


Tony F

Long Island, NY

When you come to fork in road take it
Apr 17th, 2019 01:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hey I got highjacked no worries picks are also important. I went from a Medium .75 most my life but now use heavy 1.5 and no looking back.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Apr 17th, 2019 03:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

To un-hijack the thread...



there's a reason Keef strums *everywhere* up & down the neck!

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program...




(you're welcome)

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 17th, 2019 04:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Rick Miller, possibly the best live rhythm player you'll ever see in action, varies the location where he hits the strings quite a bit.

Look and listen past the goofiness of his band's identity and songs' subject matter, and you'll see some pretty purposeful and precise guitar techniques on display.

Rick is a master...one of the best right hands ever.

Voodoo Cadillac, by Southern Culture on the Skids

Leftee
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VA

Knuckleheading
Apr 17th, 2019 07:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

That was at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC.

Been there.

scott-s
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Apr 18th, 2019 07:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

On my SG's it's right between the neck PU and the end of the fret board, it seems to get the best tone for a nice full sound when playing leads.

Your results might vary.

pcalu

usa Thumb area Mi

Apr 19th, 2019 06:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

One of the reasons I prefer the traditional 3 saddles/ashtray Tele bridge is the rim of the ashtray.

It's a guide to where my palm needs to be to create differently tinctures with where I pick.

ninworks
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Middle Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Apr 19th, 2019 02:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yup. Picking location has a LOT to do with your tone. I figured that out learning David Gilmour guitar parts. A large part of his big fat tone is that he picks right about where the neck pickup is.

If you like to play fast and pick every note it needs to be picked closer to the bridge. The further you get from the bridge the floppier the strings get and it's harder to execute the picking. It's also harder to palm-mute the further you get from the bridge.

IMO the tone is richer closer to the neck. That's where I want to live.

If you want to get really particular you can scratch your pick on on string you're picking, while fretting a note in a particular position on the frets, and find a complimentary harmonic to accent the note(s) being played. It's not the same result but, it's similar to finding a position for a pinch harmonic. The idea is to make the pick's attack generate a harmonic that's in the same key your playing in. The scratch, or bite, from the pick's attack brings out different overtones for the note being played, depending upon where the string is hit. That can create some interesting artifacts. Especially when using some overdrive or distortion.

I dunno if that makes sense but I don't know how else to explain it. I'm sure lots of you guys know this already.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Apr 19th, 2019 03:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Oh yea. This is a great way to vary tone. Classical players even do this sometimes.

"Strum over the end of the neck and many electrics will sound almost like acoustics."

That is true. It is a technique commonly seen in the old days by jazzers on archtops as well. Picking as close to the end of the fretboard as possible does a couple things.

1) Makes the tone deeper, more lush and fat as well as...

2) Makes those 14-58 or 15-60 strings feel easier to move with a pick and less like bridge cables.

It's amazing the psychological effects of each hand informing the other. On my acoustic for example, if I pick towards the neck, I feel like I have to pick less hard to move the strings a given amount(which is true). This informs my left hand by the laws of perception that the strings are easier to fret, even though they aren't.

Now, on the same guitar, picking back near the bridge, it is harder to displace the string a given amount, and for me personally, my brain perceives the left hand as having to fret harder, even though it doesn't have to.

Bubbalou
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USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Apr 25th, 2019 05:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

I agree with others, pick material, thickness and position AND depends on the guitar and string type as to which pick I use.

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Putting the pick on the sweet spot.




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