Help me find the perfect pick?

Hey everyone. So I’ve been using two different Jazz 3 style picks for the past year that each have their strengths and weaknesses, but I’d like to find a pick that combines their strengths and eliminates their weaknesses. So far I haven’t found what I’m looking for, so I thought you guys might be the right people to ask for suggestions!

The pick I’ve been using for a few years now is the Dunlop 427PJP John Petrucci Jazz III. (picture)

I really like the shape and the tone of this pick, but the main thing I don’t like about it is the material. I find that it slips in my hand too easily, and after a long time of alternate picking without pause, it gradually starts to point towards to headstock.

So in an attempt to remedy this issue, I bought a more traditional Tortex style pick, the Dunlop Tortex Pitch Black Jazz III PICK 1.14MM. (picture, with other thicknesses included).

The Tortex material is great and completely solved the slipperiness issue for me, however the problem with this pick is that the edge isn’t beveled, which (in my opinion) makes the tone sound much worse on the wound strings. Sometimes I like the scratchy sound caused by the pointy flat edge, but it’s a bit too much. I also find that it just doesn’t feel quite as smooth for some reason.

So essentially, I’ve been looking for a combination of these two picks. A Jazz 3 with Tortex material (or something similar), and a beveled edge. I’m willing to test out different thicknesses, but it needs to be at least 1mm.

Some other picks I’ve tried are the Max-Grip Jazz 3’s, which despite the name, are even less grippy. I’ve also purchased these picks because, from the images, they look beveled. I was disappointed when they arrived and I found out that they are not beveled in the slightest.

So before I waste more money on plastic teardrops, does anyone have any suggestions?

Look no further. Petrucci Trinity is the best:

I’m worried that the embossed logo on that pick would wreck the feel for me. I really need something flat so my thumb can stick to it. Also not a huge fan of that pick shape, but I’ll add it to my list of options.

I’ve recently been using Swiss picks. They have tiny holes in them that makes the grip amazing.

Also, after hearing rave reviews on another thread here, I bought a set of Dunlop Flows. They are very slightly embossed (less than what the Petrucci picks looks to be). So they have great grip and I think they sound and feel very good too.

The Swiss Picks were a little pricey but the flows were very cheap.

Since CtC made me realize I am not a one-pick-guy (decades long jazz iii user here) I’ll be ordering a set of these. If nothing else, they look to be a great bargain since once part of it wears down you can just rotate to a new point. Nice!

Have you tried the ordinary “Ultex Sharp” picks? It’s possible they may have the same “slipping” problem you describe, but they don’t have the exact same color or surface as the JPs. In fact, the JPs boast the “polishing” of the tip as a feature. The Ultex Sharps also have a beveled edge, and in my use, I haven’t found “slipping” in my grip to be an issue.

Yes, I purchased a pack of them quite a few months ago. I even have a couple sitting on my desk as I type this. Unfortunately, the slipperiness problem was even worse for me. They are a bit too large for my taste, so not only do they rotate in my fingers, they also slide… backwards? I’m not sure how to describe it. Like the pickslant gradually increases as the pick slides in the gap under my index finger. I can partially fix that issue by having more of the tip sticking out, but I really don’t like using my pick like that for various reasons. But regardless, the material is still too smooth. The beveled edge is nice though.

In my opinion, this is a “feature” in that the material wears in great to your playing style. I normally use a new pack to get easier playing in, then transition them to more precise playing once they’re worn.

Here’s a white tortex jazz III (I want to say it’s 1.5mm):

Here’s a nylon flex variant, also I believe 1.5mm:

I gravitate towards the nylon most of the time and the tortex when I want a little more snap / high end.

Hmm interesting. The wear and tear is definitely obvious in your pictures, although it’s nowhere near that clear for my picks. I’ve been rotating between 3 of the tortex picks (just because I have three lying around my room) so maybe I need to stick with one for awhile?

How long did it take for the edge to wear down? It just seems like it wouldn’t be a very robust method. At some point I’ll have to replace the pick and the new pick will sound and feel awful for awhile.

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I’d recommend this, gauge how long it takes you to wear down a single one.

Kinda hard to put a solid figure to it, maybe I can start on a new pick today and really try to gauge the play time for you.

This really boils down to individual preferences to some degree. I can still play fine with a new pick, I just notice the catching a little bit more, and can hear the grating on the wound strings (if the guitar is unplugged mostly). Also they last for a long, long time for me (I’ve had some of the black tortex going back almost ten years).

The Dunlop Primetone range have a “hand-burnished beveled edge to simulate the quick-release of a well-worn pick”. The shape assumes you’re right handed and tilting the pick down towards the neck. Or… left handed and tilting down towards the bridge.

Tangent… it recently occurred to me that there is more scraping tilting down towards the neck (Yngwie) vs tilting down towards the bridge (Ola Englund). This seems to be due to the elbow being above the guitar (height wise), causing down strokes to slide towards the bridge, and up strokes to slide towards the neck. Our picking motion isn’t completely perpendicular to the strings. Yngwie pick angle seems to emphasis the scraping while Ola style reduces it. Ola style is more like a knife cutting through the string, and seems to give a brighter tone.

Why not try and ‘rough up’ the pick? Maybe drill some holes or scratch/sandpaper some texture into the pick. Sounds like a pain in the ass, but if its the right tone, shape and size, then it might be more of a pain in the ass to try and find another pick.
As an alternative, try Dava pink jazz Gels - my favourite!

@lime I started up a new tortex to see how long it takes me to wear in. I’ll track it and let you know (20 minutes so far)

I took lessons from a guy that taught me trailing edge picking, and part of his trick was to slightly sharpen and bevel the original 1.14 tortex by rubbing it quickly across carpet. I was always surprised by how fast the tortex would wear down from that.

I’ve pretty much made peace with the fact that my “perfect” pick changes like clockwork every six months to two years, and usually within two weeks of me buying a bulk order of what I thought were the perfect picks for me. :rofl: The good news is after Pitch Black Jazz IIIs and then verious Ultex and then Tortex Dunlop Flows, I seem to be headed back to Fender Mediums, and I still have a gross or so of those in an unopened bag in my box of picks, so… break the cycle?

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Any suggestions for best thumb pick?

@carranoj25 the medium thickness is what I used to use.


Try a few of these, good enough for Malmsteen, sorry had to say that :slight_smile:
But I’ve been using them for 3 years now, I used to slash the surface initially with a blade, but I havent had to do that in two years. I have a habit of putting the printed side on my index finger. I don’t know why I do that, maybe it’s the mild stamp logo, and I prefer the thumb to have the slick surface for better traction, but I do small adjust my pick grip often mid playing as you can see below.

Reduce your volume if you watched the previous vid.

@carranoj25 this has my full attention

I’ve used thumb picks for years for Chet Atkins style stuff. Whenever I’d try alternate picking with the thumb pick though, it felt really weird. I immediately thought of Chris Broderick since he’s obviously able to do great “traditional” picking with his thumb pick.

That product looks cool because you can use any pick you currently use (and most likely are comfortable with). I might be ordering one.

EDIT: @GuitarPedalShoppe pointed out you can’t use it with any pick, so sorry if I mislead anyone.


Well Ill be damned. Might cancel my other order of thumb picks and just snag this

Edit: Just did :slight_smile:

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Same. One is on the way to me. Let’s hope this is what’s been holding me back all these years lol! My experience as a frustrated-almost-good-classical-player/frustrated-almost-good-rock-player/almost-competent-jazz-player might meld into one and get me to just plain ‘good’. We’ll see! I’ll give it a solid decade to be fair and report back here with findings :slight_smile:

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Lol nice! Im just getting bored so want to try. The winner in my eyes is you can still just use it like a regular pick if you want and that change can happen within milliseconds by just moving your index finger. And being able to use your preferred pick should make that easier. Now I gotta watch some chris Broderick videos to see how he does it