Pick "grittiness"

MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Epiphone Zephyr Regent

I have hesitated to post about this issue because I generally don't like to complain & I suspect it's just something that we have to deal with, but here goes:

I reach a point with most of the picks that I love where they seem, for lack of a better term, gritty. It almost feels like there's a tiny groove in the pick that slightly catches the string when I'm soloing. I can't see anything there (kind of like one of those microscopic splinters that you can feel but can't see), but it bothers me a bit just the same. Our GJ sage Buco once counseled me about filing picks down with a nail file, so I suspect I could do something like that, but I fear that my sloppiness with the file will compromise the other elements of my picks that are working so well for me. Those elements are hard to describe, but we all know it when we come across it. I tend to binge on "the perfect pick" for a while, only to eventually come across a new "perfect pick". But they all seem to end up affecting me this way. I wind up ever so slightly disappointed with what felt perfect for a while. Does anyone else go through this somewhat embarrassing 1st world problem? By the way, I've been through this with my recent favorites (Dunlop Prime Tone sculpted 3.0--the see-thru brown ones and Dunlop Prime Tone 3.0--the black ones with the rounded tip). It doesn't really happen with my other favorite (Dunlop 2.0 gators, the grey ones), but I don't like them quite as much as the fatter picks. Note--for all 3 of these, I use the side (the shoulder) of the pick. Please help or commiserate if you can.


  • flacoflaco Shelley Park #151, AJL Quiet and Portable
    Posts: 98

    Get a 6-sided nail buffer like this: IFUNSON Professional Nail Buffer Block, Nail Buffer for Natural Nails, All-in-One Smooth & Buff & Shine for Nail Care, 6 Pack

    That will allow you to smooth any rough spots without aggressively changing any bevels or edges like you might with a metal file.

  • RipRip olympia, washingtonNew
    Posts: 336

    ive noticed that when I’m fighting the rhythm my pick seems to get stuck on the strings and visa versa. This could be a factor.

  • Posts: 4,777

    Yeah Mike, happens all the time with my picks. The exceptions are Killy pick and Blue Chip. With Killy I still haven't noticed any wear, BC took years to wear out. The others, they need to be buffed occasionally as @flaco said. I have several of those six sided files for that.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • ChiefbigeasyChiefbigeasy New Orleans, LA✭✭✭ Dupont MDC 50; The Loar LH6, AJL Silent Guitar
    edited April 21 Posts: 341

    It’s not surprising, when you think about it, that picking action itself can affect the pick. After all, 4 of the 6 strings are wound metal. Remi has a video out about practicing with a black Gator until he wears it down to the angle he likes. This is not a beveled pick, though.

    That said, I’ve only had a few picks get affected like this, and they were always the slightly thicker varieties made of a softer material. I’ve never had this happen to a Wegen pick, for example.

    i prefer to use the large triangular picks, preferably with 3 different sides, that Jokko makes. But, my current favorite pick is the large Wegen triangle 2.5mm. I’ve always liked their thumb and finger grip grooves. I’ve customized mine by using some soft sanding blocks to blunt one side a little more than the other two. I bought a set of fret polishing pads with successively smooth sides to get the final finish. This combo allows me to keep the bevel intact while smoothing the angle a bit, then polishing the finished edge. That’s been my working pick now for months and it remains smooth and slick as ever.

  • djazzydjazzy New Riccardo Mordeglia, AJL
    edited April 22 Posts: 66

    Funny but pick grit hasn't been an issue for me. It was once with a Dunlop Gator (not beveled, as Chief says above) years back but I just threw it out cuz essentially they're a dime a dozen, and once with a beveled V-Pick, which I tried sanding down & only made worse. I really had no idea what I was doing. But what typically happens these days with my picks (Dunlop black Primetones and Jokko) is that they eventually go dull. I find that disappointing. Could be because of the finish (or tip?) being worn away?

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 469

    I had that "groove" issue for a while. I think the pick was a bit too angled to the strings, so the force on the pick was confined to a smaller area (near the edge). Result -- more "pounds per square inch" on that portion of the pick.

  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Epiphone Zephyr Regent
    Posts: 385

    Thanks to everyone who chimed in here. Buco suggested a GSQ Glamsquad 6 sided nail file to me a while back (like Flaco mentioned here). It was for a slightly different issue (an expensive beveled pick that just didnt feel quite right to me when it hit the strings). But I'm going to put it to use here as well & see if I can solve this issue. Thanks again, everyone.

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