Introduction to the Pick / Pick Choice

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Picks for "Alternate Picking"

An article by Todd Simpson

I'd suggest you get a thick pick that doesn't bend/flex for working on your AP. Maybe 1.0 MM or thicker and then sharpen it to a bit of a point using sand paper. Don't make a weapon, just sharpen it up a bit. Even if you don't use this for your regular playing, it will help during these lessons. I use CLAYTON 1.2mm picks. I'm currently endorsed by Clayton but I was using their picks loooong before that.

It's important to use a pointed pick when practicing Alternate Picking. DUNLOP has some new picks (Dunlop Sharp's)that are well suited for practicing your "Alternate Picking". I just found these in my local guitar shop and I hadn't seem them before so hopefully they are widely available. Notice the shape of these picks.

Tear drop shape with a long, sharp, point. This is the shape that I've been creating by shaving/carving/sanding standard picks for years. Creating this fine point really helps to decrease the amount of "Pick Drag" and reduce the amount of pick striking the string at any given time. This will help you essentially play in a more accurate, consistent fashion and with increased speed.

This shape is becoming more and more popular as evidenced by its adoption from a large distributor like DUNLOP where as for quite some time, these large picks in this shape were seen more from boutique vendors like V-Picks.

(Here is a link to the Dunlop site or more info on the "Sharp" picks)

See the picture below. I've included a V-Pick Switchblade for reference on the left.


Check out these new dunlop picks. Get the thickest one you can find as thickness reduces flex and flex is your enemy when you are practicing your AP. Especially at first. These are "Tortex" picks, so they will have a pinch more "Flex" than the V-Pick Switchblade. But if you like Dunlop picks, these may be the pick for you.

If you don't like Tortex Picks, try the V-Picks I mentioned earlier. They have Zero Flex and are very stable. You can get a 3.0 MM "Trainer" pick called the DIMENSION that is pre sharpened, is hard to dull and will help train your hand to glance the string when Alternate Picking. V-Picks are Boutique/Custom picks and they are not cheap. But they are well worth it.

Here is a picture of the DIMENSION from V-Picks


Here is a link to the V Picks Web Site with more info.

You can talk about this article with Todd and the rest of our members in this thread user posted image