Choosing the Right Type of Guitar Pick. What Do You Use?

This orange Dunlop pick is my favorite.Right after graduating college, I moved from my family farm in Central Illinois, to the big city of Los Angeles.

My friend hooked me up with a job at Drive-Thru Records—at the time one of the country’s biggest indie labels.

Part of my job was to secure endorsements for the label’s artists/bands. Sometimes shoes, sometimes clothes, as long as a company was willing to trade some of their wares in order for their brand to be in front of teenage audiences (our bands were mostly pop-punk), I would go for it.

One of the companies I contacted was Dunlop. Dunlop makes guitar accessories, and I was looking to get guitar picks. More importantly, personalized picks for all guitarists and bass players on our roster of a dozen or so bands.

Somehow, I convinced Dunlop to sponsor the bands.

Two weeks later, I received a bags of custom picks. Each pick had the musician’s name on one side, and the band’s logo on the other (Finch, Rx Bandits, Senses Fail, Allister, HelloGoodbye, others). The picks were cool enough to where I took one of each, just for keepsakes.

This also allowed me to test out the preferred pick sizes and shapes that full-time musicians were using.

Up until that point, I was playing any pick that was lying around. I had probably come across 23 different styles of guitar picks. I had seen them made of old cymbal metal. I had found a giant, Dorito-shaped cardboard one in a ditch. And when I bought my Taylor 314ce, used, there were some weird picks in the storage area of the hardshell case; they had a hole shaped like an asterisk. I think the hole was supposed to improve grip, but it failed miserably.

It was at this time that I came across the pick I would use almost exclusively for the next ten years: the Dunlop Tortex Standard .60mm 418P.60. Oh my.

I love this small orange piece of awesome, because it’s the perfect thinness; not so thin that you hear it slap across the strings like a flappy piece of junk, but not too thick where it sounds like you’re smashing your teeth against the fretboard.

Just like when you buy a new car and start seeing it everywhere, I’ve noticed these orange Dunlop picks are pretty popular. Do you use them?

If not, do you have a favorite pick that you recommend? Let us know in the comments.


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