Do smaller picks lend themselves to TWPS?


I picked up my guitar for a couple moments before work this morning, and rather than one of the Dunlop Flow picks I’ve been using lately, grabbed a Ultex Jazz III out of my pick jar. I was kind of surprised the sort of fast picked lines I play that require a lot of two way rotational stuff suddenly seemed to be flowing better. A reoccurring CtC theme is that once you’ve got your pick mechanics sorted out generally pick choice becomes less of a big deal, but is this a possible exception?

On one hand, the smaller pick has to trace a smaller rotational arc to move from escaped downstrokes to escaped upstrokes, which could provide a theoretical basis.

On the other… I’ve been playing with Jazz-sized picks for, well, almost my whole two decades of playing, so this could just as easily be explained by latent familiarity. And, certainly, the smaller pick is probably going to get buried in the strings a little less than the larger one I’m used to, all else equal, when after a period of using a bigger one I jump back tot he smaller one.

Anyone had any experience one way or another here?

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well ive used yellow tortex for almost 30 years. About a month ago I decided to try some other stuff just for the heck of it

got Delrin 1.5 after seeing its Yngwies pick and got some Jazz3 Xls

no way possible I could use the itty bitty jazz3 style

So that was maybe a month ago and ive been using the Jazz3xl and right now things are going great. The only thing that got me at first was where it had the raised letters on it and that was kind of irritating at first

I havent went back to the tortex yet so I dunno if it would feel weird. The Jazz3xl is quite a bit smaller than the Yellow Tortex

as far as size, the thing that comes to my mind is how much of the pick is sticking out. Wouldnt that somewhat negate the overall size of the pick?

reminds me of a guy I gave lessons to years ago. He showed up and whipped out this huge traingular bass pick. I was like “uhmm that might be a problem” and “no top player uses a pick anything close to that” and his answer sort of set his path: “its what im used to” lol

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I think sometimes a change of pick gives a brief boost, a change is as good as a rest and all that.


haha. Thats like when golf pros change putters. “ive been struggling so I went back to my backup putter and im making putts again!.” it works for like 3 weeks and then theyll be like “im struggling so I went back to my old faithful putter and im putting great now!”


I put my fingers on a pick relative to the tip, so I don’t think that I really see (in my case) any practical difference between a Jazz III or something bigger (like a Flow, my official Kool Aid flavor). What does seem to be a critical factor is the curve of the edge, e.g., how broad are the “shoulders” of the pick, and what is the radius of the “point?” Then, perhaps the question becomes, “given how much you rotate your pick, how does the edge profile interact with the string?”

While I could be absolutely wrong, broader shoulders seem “smoother” [hence faster] to me, and a tip radius of perhaps a few mm seems ideal, because I can feel the string passing without really getting stuck on it.

This whole pick thing is so fascinating, without doubt.


I’m not sure about the TWPS aspect, but I see where you’re coming from on that I find hybrid picking a lot easier with Jazz III sized picks.


I mean, I’ll be honest, right now this is my leading theory, lol.

I do need to grab a Flow without really thinking about it, then grab a Jazz III without really thinking about it, and look to see just how much more (if any) of the pick is sticking out. I certainly like the shape of the Flows a little more, and the slightly more curved side/pointier pick relative to a Jazz III. I’m not sure if I prefer the larger size or not, I thought I did but grabbbing a Jazz III this morning left me a little less sure.

All that said - pick choice is certainly one massive rabbit hole to go down, and it’s rare where at least once in a two year period I don’t completely change what I’m using. Usually, just after I think I’ve settled on something and bought a gross of them, lol (anyone need Fender Heavies? :D)

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well if @Troy wants to REALLY make shredding a commodity that any1 can master in a year, then he should get with some of his old college buddies (does Yale do robotics?) and help design a robot that would test all of these picking theories

ever heard of Iron Byron??


Similar thing happened to me the other day, after the flow pick thread, I tried a few Jazz 3 sized/shaped picks including a Redbear lil jazzer which feels great, but has a tad too much chirp for my liking - now I don’t know what to use!!

As for the 2WPS question, I’m not sure how much it helps, but I think with my hands closer to the strings I feel that I have more of a sense where the tip of the pick is. I think that the small sized pick doesn’t give me any other option than to “choke up” on the pick. Overall I think that this helps me better gauge the
minimum amount of pickslant required to clear the string which influences me to change the pick direction (to play the next note) earlier as I am finishing the pickslant rotation earlier than I may have done with a bigger pick (due to over rotating due to the lesser awareness of where the tip of the pick is). This could result in a little extra speed, but I think it has more impact on reducing the feeling of effort and fatigue.

Just to clarify, the above describes the way I feel about using small picks, I am well aware that it could just be a load of BS.

I am generally inclined to agree with this… for you and me.

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I posted some thoughts on this in an older thread. That thread in general is probably of interest to people reading this one.


Seeing as my comment above is saying pretty much the same, I’d be a fool to disagree! Haha. Thanks for pointing out that thread, i’m gonna give it a read.