Dunlop "Flow" picks


Tried the Petrucci Flow, loved the feel, but couldnt get over the insane anount of pick chirp - it made the bridge pickup unusable!!! Such a shame…


The 1.0mm Ultex looks noticeably pointier than the thicker ones I have… except it really isn’t. Same shape, but because it’s so much thinner, it has a brighter, more distinct and aggressive attack. My takeaway from those picks is that the thicker you go, the smoother it plays, but the lower the articulation. Depends how you prefer to pick both technically and in terms of dynamics (how hard you pick). If you have a rather soft attack, you might want to use thinner ones IME.


Ha ha, i believe it is the opossite. Using thicker picks require a softer attack, using to much force will get you stuck behind the strings.
With thinner picks you can use more force, because they bend and won’t get stuck that easy.

I use thicker picks because you can use less force (and therefore have more relaxed muscles), still have a good volume, and the pick does not bend which gives you more control.

Guthrie Govan compares thiner picks to writing with a pencil with a rubber tip: it does partly what you want to write and partly it will do it’s own thing.

Also thicker picks not always sound smoother it depends on the material that is used.


Weirdly, this varies hugely by context - I get audible chirp with humbuckers under gain, but with singlecoils, all positions sound pretty good, and oddly it sounds amazingly natural to me on my acoustic guitar, of all places. The 1.5 and 1.0 picks chirp less than the JPs, which I figure has to be a product of material…?

I’ve also found that these do wear, a bit faster than I’d expect. I’ll share a picture of the one I’ve been using regularly for maybe a month, compared to a brand-new one. It’s not radical, but there’s visible contouring occurring at the tip.


You know what NAMM stands for - Not Available, Maybe May.


Ooooh interesting! Have to try that!

Could be, worth a try!


Thicker picks always chirp, the Petrucci Flow does not chirp more then all other thick picks i have.


I like the pink dava, gel I think, hardly any chirp less chirp than the JP for sure - but thinner . I had a couple of red bear picks thta chirped a lot. I’m inclined to agree with Drew in that material is the biggest factor in chirp.


Pic of the JP I’ve been using, on top, and a new one, on bottom.

And yeah, material makes a huge difference. the JPs seem harder than the other Flows I have. Meanwhile, I have some Winspear picks that taper from 2 to 4mm in various materials, and the harder ones definitely chirp more than the softer ones.


Well I’m talking about the Flow picks I have, not other picks in general. :rofl: For example, the Jazz III Ultex 2.0 (the black ones) sounds like a shrapnel and has sharp edges… but I’m talking about the Flow picks, of which the 2.0 thick ones are very smooth with a very bevelled edge, while the thinner ones have a brighter, more definite attack. Mind also that I prefer economy picking, and I do get more articulation/note clarity out of thinner Flow picks than thicker ones, that tend to blur the note a bit.


Ah ok, understand. I prefer a more smooth attack and therefore the 2.0 work fine for me.


I read an interview with Jim Dunlop (in 2008), where he explained

I have the opportunity to work with the greatest guitar players of our time. Like I said, I equate what I do to making paintbrushes for artists, and there’s brushes for different strokes, and brushes for different landscapes, and you’ve got a fine brush, and you’ve got a wide brush… picks are the same way. You know, if you want a different tone, it starts with the pick. If you use a metallic pick, you’re going to interact with the strings differently; it’s going to be very bright, like a harsh sound. If you go for a celluloid pick, it’s going to be a soft tone. It’s a very soft pick, and it’s going to give you a more mellow tone.

I’m sure that what he’s saying is true, but I’m done, I’ve (somewhat arbitrarily) picked the 2.0mm Flow as my pick.


Sometimes that is the best way, I think that sometimes we get obsessed with trying to find ‘the ultimate’, instead of getting on with what we have and putting in the time. I even stopped coming on this forum in recent months because I found myself reading more about guitar than actually playing it! Lol


The dreaded chirp is why I always go back to tortex or carbon nylon. However, the non-chirpy materials seem to wear out super quick!


Yes, there is no doubt that the 2.0mm Flow (in Ultem) “chirps” like crazy in some places, and now I’m actually trying to develop some trick sounds/effects by bouncing it off the unwound strings… I’d love to capture a recording of that sound and see if I can filter it out. However, I am now wed to the 2.0mm Flow pick, so I will have to deal with it one way or another.


I haven’t gotten a chance to record witht he Petrucci Flows yet (which definitely chirp more than the 2.0 ultex ones) with something with a bridge humbucker, but I’m really curious how it’s going to sound in the mix - it may actually not be obtrusive/unpleasant, based on my experience jamming along with backing tracks using them. I think solo’d it’s more obtrusive.


Here is the video you were referring to, the pick conversation is just at the very beginning:

Although Guthrie is one of my TOP 10 favorite guitarists, and although I think he is one of the most articulate and insightful guitar teachers I have ever listened to, with the thin picks argument, I think he is somewhat wrong.

The example of the rubber pencil is not that close to reality because the thinner picks made of the most common materials (delrin/tortex, nylon, etc) returns to his neutral/flat position after crossing the string much faster than anyone can pick, and they don´t give that much. You really can´t outrun a thin pick, so you can play with all the control you want. It feels different, but you can do it. It will take something really soft (like a piece of cloth) to experience something like what Guthrie suggest in his example.

In the other aspect he mentions, the loss of dynamic range, he is absolutely right. If the pick is thin enough there is no way to play above certain level of loudness, it simply doesn´t happen, and you won´t be able to play really really loud.

But for that to be really noticeable you have to use a really thin pick of a soft material. It will happen considerably with a Dunlop .46 nylon pick, but with a 0.50 Tortex/Delrin pick the difference is almost pointless.

I love thin picks. LOL


For me thin picks do not work when i want to play fast, i need thicker picks, at least 1.00, and stiff material.
Maybe with a lot of practice it would , but the i don’t like the sound and feel of thin picks. For strumming on the acousticthey are great.


Perhaps what Guthrie is trying to say is that when the picks flex it is much more complex to control them, particularly for short strokes that are comprable to their bending distance. Perhaps the main benefit of a “point” (in the sense of a Flow pick) is more obvious feedback about the string crossing; I don’t think the point is required, but it might be good for tracking purposes.

I’ve seen some very think but stiff picks from Pickboy, and they’re awesome, but I think that I can “strum” my guitar (no more than 4 notes at a time) no problem with my 2.0mm pick, given the broad shoulders of its edge.


This is quoted from the EVH website in 2014, and is Eddie Van Halen responding to a question about pick width.

"This month, Collin Kinsella of Wisconsin poses a serious query about the legendary guitarist’s choice of picks.

Kinsella: Hi, I saw you with Van Halen at Rock USA this year – by the way, great show – but at the end of the show I ran up to the front and got one of your guitar picks. It is now my most prized possession in the world. But, I saw it was only a .6 mm pick, and I know that is really thin for a guitar pick. So, do you break your picks during the show often? What do you do when that happens?

Van Halen: Hi Collin,

I’m glad you enjoyed the show and had a great time. The pick you have is what I really use, and yes for a lot of players it may seem thin (.6mm). I used to use even thinner ones back in the ‘80s. I also use very thick picks that were made for me out of brass and copper, so I guess what I’m getting at is, I use what feels right at the time. But these particular picks (which you have one of) have served me very well for about seven or eight years, mainly because they’re easy to hold on to and don’t break. They are made out of nylon, not plastic. They do wear out, but they don’t break. If I happen to drop one while I’m playing, I just grab one from my mic stand where I have about 10 or so taped to the stand, or I pick with my index finger until I have a chance to grab another one.

Again, Collin, I’m glad you enjoyed the show.

All the best, Eddie"