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Picking and Holding It

MatMat New
edited May 2009 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 9
When I pick with the opposite side of the pointy side, I don't get enough "meat" of the strings. When I play with the opposite side, I can't play as fast and my pick seems to get "caught" in the strings. By this I mean, when I'm playing a chromatic scale persay, I would play the first note but I don't get the pick enough into the string and the pick just blocks me from hitting the string. This happens a lot. I've been getting at this for a few weeks and can't seem to get a handle on it. When I switch back to using the pointy side, it's much easier for me but I truly dislike the sound it makes for playing rhythm and chords. I am not using a Wegen pick.

PS When playing with the Wegen pick, do most people flip their picks as well? Or are they make to be played with the pointy side of the pick?


  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    I use to play with Dunlop picks 1.5 and 2 mm. I like the rounded side for both lead and rhythm but you can get more definition with the point.
    You may need a little more time to adjust your playing with the rounded end, or try to get a warmer sound with the point.

    I'm now using a Wegen 5mm. and I use the point for lead and just rotate it a little to use the side for rhythm.
  • B25GibB25Gib Bremerton WA✭✭✭✭ Holo Busato, Dell'Arte Hommage, Gitane D-500, Eastman AR805
    Posts: 184
    Mat -
    You haven't indicated what type of guitar you are playing. Very low string height on a flat top guitar is more difficult to get decent rhythm on. Also, this style of rhythm is easier with a pick with a beveled edge and the proper angle of attack which Micheal H. talks about in his book, Gypsy Picking. The pros in this style practice alot more than use mortals and can get good sound out of thin, non beveled picks, but the genre is easier to learn with a guitar with decent string height and a Wegen pick!
    I recently wore out my 2.5 mm Wegen pick (Gypsy Jazz) and went back to a Wegen 3.5 mm (Gypsy Jazz) and like it very much for both rhythm and lead. Occasionally I use a Dunlop 500 yellow or light pink pick which are only about 1 mm and slightly thicker for lead, but they don't have the punch for rhythm.
    Keep practicing!
  • babsycobabsyco New
    Posts: 10
    Hey man,
    it's been mentioned, but I think it may be the answer you're looking for. To get a good tone, you need maximum surface contact with the string, which using the round side doesn't necessarily provide (thin is also why thin picks tend to have a thin tone). The best solution in my opinion is the pointy side of a thick pick, but with a bevel-the bevel is the important bit. The bevel has to be at an angle that matches the angle you hold your pick perfectly, so that the entire bevelled surface is in contact with the string when you pick. Also when I say 'pointy', the tip is probably best slightly rounded. I use 2mm picks and file my own bevels into them and I'm happy with the tone-it takes a while to find the correct angle for your bevel, but a good way to figure it out is to look at your old worn out picks and see what angle they're worn too. Also if you file your own bevels, make sure the beveled surface is as smooth as possible.

    This realisation really really helped me a lot, so I hope you get something out of it too. Good luck!
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