Flow picks and string control

I have been switching back and forth between the Ultex Flow 1.5mm and the Ultex Jazz XL for the past 6 months or so. Before that I exclusively played the latter for about 4 years.

I consider myself an intermediate player, but I can’t decide which one of them would afford me the best habits going forward, considering that they are quite different picks. Specifically the Flow pick actually “flows” and feel effortless, while I can maybe play 5% slower with the Jazz pick, but it gives me more feel of the string, and I feel more in control. What I am worrying about is maybe that the Flow will feel easier and effortless but allow sloppy play and bad habbits to creep in over time?

Could anyone give their input on this? I currently mainly play metal, everything from Yngwie to Metallica.

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I spent a while with the Flow ultex pick then used the Jazz 3 XL ultra and have finally settled on the Jazz 3 standard sized ultex. I like the smaller Jazz 3’s attack better and the smaller size makes it very easy to move and hold. I went off the Flows rounder edge which softened the tone too much for my taste and seemed slower when attempting to pick fast.

This is the guy that made Dunlop start the flow line of picks.
He uses a 2.0.

You wont have any lack of control or sloppiness caused by that pick. Just use it if you prefer them


John Petrucci also uses 2.0mm Flow at least some of the tine.

I only use 2.00mm Flow (random).

I use Eric Johnson jazz picks or the Petrucci jazz picks but I might switch to the flow. I think the size of the pick matters more than the shape really.

I’d say think about buying a variety pack of dunlop flow picks, five regular size and three jumbo. These are mine.

Thanks for opening this topic! I had wanted to discuss the difference between Jazz III’s (and their variations) and Flow picks for a while. I personally mainly use these options (always in tortex which gives me the best feel and tone for my taste):

Jazz 3 types:
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The JazzIII style tip, which is sharper, gives me more feeling of the string, but at the same time requires slightly more force to be pushed through it. My preference of gauge keeps changing depending on the song/day/dunno but I generally like the 1.14.

The flow tip goes over the string very effortlessly, which feels nice, however this results in a less pronounced attack, and the pick feels a bit more bulky an awkward when I need to do complex string changes (since keeping the pick depth the same, the flow has a bigger amount of pick that goes below the string plane). To compensate for the soft attack / weaker feeling of contact with the string, I often use one gauge higher than the Jazz III (e.g.1.35).

I still haven’t made up my mind on which one I prefer :slight_smile:

This all depends on edge picking. If you use a lot of edge picking, a rounder pick like the Flow design will slide off and produce less sound / attack. So the more edge picking you use, the pointier pick you will need to produce the same attack as a rounder pick with less edge picking. At low angles of edge picking, the less any of this matters, and the more picks of different shapes will feel and sound similar — all other things being equal (gauge, material, etc.).

If you feel a notable difference in speed when switching from one pick to another, that’s usually related to technique. You’re either using too little edge picking or you haven’t yet learned to modulate pick attack (both depth and pickslant) to produce even attack for the grip and motion you’re using.

Eventually, when your technique is dialed, speed doesn’t change much based on pick choice because you’ve learned to match all the variables of your technique together — pick choice, edge picking, grip, pickslant, pick depth, and so on.

The main reason that I selected Flow is that I can dial in more edge picking and use less slant, so I hit a lot of chords with a lot of edge and no slant. I’m still experimenting and have no idea what I will think a few months from now. I am somewhat suspicious of significant slant for reasons unknown to me.