In my continuing search for truth, justice, and the Gypsy way, I have two more questions:
1) I've graduated from medium to now a heavy (Fender, Dunlop, etc.) pick. Constant use shaves/nicks the pick to a sharp point causing a scratchy attack which can be fun but unpredictable. Does technique-building demand a fresh, smooth pick at all times?
2) I can't imagine using one of those heavy Wegen-type picks you manouche guys wield. Those things look like rocks to me. But okay, suppose I took the leap and invested in such a pick (Are they worth the exorbitant price?). Which would you recommend? I play straight-ahead/bebop/latin, have a few electrics besides the Gitane DG-255, and need to continue gigging in those styles for awhile.
I use dunlop gator picks 2.0mm
Does technique-building demand a fresh, smooth pick at all times? [/quote]
If you're using plastic, you'll probably need to change more often. I wouldn't use anything thinner then 1mm. Many Gypsies use plastic, but it's always 1mm or more.
(Are they worth the exorbitant price?). [/quote]
They last longer and sound great. As long as you don't loose them they're worth it.
[quote]Which would you recommend? [/quote]
I used to use the real heavy ones...as big as 4mm. Has a nice traditional sound. But now I like these smaller 2.2mm. They have a good compromise between tone and control. I can play faster and more articulate with these:
Big City 2.2mm (4 Pack)
Michael, what's the difference, apart from 0.3mm, between that and the Big City. Are they made of the same stuff?
It's very similar to the "Stochelo" pick that ships with his book.
Anybody got a URL for the GP 250? I'd like to check it out.
I primarily use the Wegen "Fatone"; it's 5mm thick and very durable. I also have a 3.5mm Wegen pick and the insanely big Wegen "7" that is 7mm thick. I rarely use the 3.5's (they seem too thin) except when playing rhythm as they allow for a faster attack on all the strings. I use the 7mm one just about as often as I use the 5mm pick, but I prefer the 5mm. After years of playing my own handmade picks (never found a pick think enough until I found Wegen) I don't think I would ever part with Wegen picks...they are that well made!
Of course, I prefer really thick picks, so if you like thinner picks then I guess my point is mute.
I've often thought about emailing Michael Wegen and asking him to make a 10mm pick...just for giggles.
I spent $15 on it. Dave, the guy I corresponded with, could not have been nicer. I also got a $15 Wegen (3.5mm, I believe) and some other picks (including a few Fred Kelly picks) from Elderly Instruments. I must say that I got used to the thickness switch very quickly, esp. once I learned the picking style from Michael's GP book.
The scary part is that I also enjoyed the Fred Kelly picks immensely. I'd never heard of them before but I figured I'd try them out. The Baby Fat Polycarb is a similar to the Dunlop Stubby, and the Fat Delrin one has a feel similar to the Tortis and Wegen (as far as what feels comfy to me). They have a site:
but I think you're better off buying elsewhere so you don't have to buy bulk.
Personally, I'm going to stick with using the expensive ones to see if they pass the test of time (and to get my money's worth!), but I'm still experimenting with the Fred Kellys and a few other picks (the John Pearse Buffalo Horn has a good feel for jazz for me). It'd be nice to have a back-up reserve of picks I'm comfy with that won't cost more than the guitar itself!
Hope this helps!
(No affiliation with any of the above vendors. Just passing on what I've gone thru with pick experimentation.)