Thursday, February 16, 2012

Steps in Guitar - picks, strings and other nerdly things

Well, here's a little time for guitar nerd. If you aren't interested in a little over analysis of some pretty basic things when it comes to guitar, you might want to skip this post.

Tonight I needed to change my strings. I had a set of exactly what I already had on my guitar, EXP115 by D'Addario, all ready to go, but I've been wanting to bump it up a little bit.

During rehearsal, I was noticing that they were playing a little too easy. Things can't be easy right? When I'm playing rock stuff, I just want the strings to resist. I want the pick to resist as well, but we'll get to that in a second.

I remembered I had a set of '12s somewhere. Quickly I found them. 12-54. That low E is a little too big, but what the heck, what do I have to lose? I was going to change the strings anyhow, and I'd been sitting on these strings for a while.

After oiling the fretboard, I put them on and tuned them up. They felt good and not a lot different than the 11s. Exactly what I thought. I like them a lot. The only thing I don't totally love is that .54. That should be a .52 or a .51. I know that sounds pretty picky, but .54 is just too big if you aren't doing drop D.

Anyhow, they're on and I dig them. I used to use 12s for years back in the Sefton days ( but ever since I've been using 11s and for a short period I was using 10s.

For years I've been using the infamous Jazz III by Dunlop. I've loved it. It has always worked. Lately I've been thinking it is too small. I want something similarly stiff, but not as small, and maybe a different texture.

I got a ton of picks, a lot of them are Jazz IIIs, and then a lot of the rest are a mix of medium-thins, which are great for acoustic, but horrible for rock guitar. (These are my opinions, not facts.) Lately, I've been thinking the purple Tortex would be perfect, but the tip is a little weird. I tried the Wedge, and that shoulder of the pick is just too much. I think I might try the Jazz XL III, which is just a larger version of the Jazz III.

Here is a picture of what I have that I'm going to use:

What I think I may actually like instead is a few different picks that I think I'd like to try out.
  • Tortex 1.0  (found one, and I like it.)
  • Gator 1.0, 1.14
  • Jazz III XL
  • Delrin 500 .96 or 1.14
We have most of those at work. I'm not sure I'll get in to grab a few before we record tomorrow, but I'll get to them by the next time I work.

Any questions?

What picks and strings do you use?

We can talk acoustic the next time around.


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