How does pick chirping take place?


I think that this is correct:

Let’s say that I have a string (at rest) and I tap it just before the 19th fret with my finger. This will result in two vibrations, where one is from the nut to the 18th fret, andone is from the 19th fret to the bridge. The vibration between the 19th fret and the bridge is heard via the neck OR bridge pickups.

Now, let’s say that I have my (arbitrarally) chosen pick, the Dunlop Flow 2.0mm [in Ultem], and I hit an empty string but keep the pick on the string (in other words, impact with no release). I think that I will have triggered two vibrations, one between the nut and the pick, and one between the pick and the bridge. I think that the pick is behaving like a fret in this case, and if one has the bridge pickup turned on, and picks in a standard location, the “chirp” will be obvious.


I’m not saying that I can play slide guitar with one of these picks, but that would not be a big exaggeration.

So it seems to me that the “chirp” is an impact property, and has nothing to do with the release.

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Sounds about right.

Plug ‘chirp’ into the search box and you’ll find some other discussions about this.


Good idea, I’ll read the prior art.


Do you mean “transient?”

It’s friction between the pick material and the string, nothing more.


I think that is the “scratchy” sound (which I like), while the chirp (which I don’t like) is more like fretting a very high pitch note, as @kgk states above.


I believe chirp can be eliminated by changing the angle of the pick to the string. I’m not talking about pick slant. If the pick is parallel to the string when it crosses, there is a chance that there will be a momentary strong contact between the pick and string.

If the pick is at (say) a 45* angle when it crosses, there is virtually no chance the pick will get caught up on the string. I have been playing with an increased angle and with thick/hard picks I don’t get any chirp.

It might be difficult to change your grip or motion to increase the angle, but sitting in a classical position without changing your picking technique, will change the angle between the string and the pick.

Its worth a try. Let me know if that solves the problem.


Oh, you absolutely can it’s just going to be one of the worst slides ever with almost zero sustain, lol.

But, your theory is exactly correct - the “chirp” is basically the pick momentarily “fretting” the string. Try picking one note at a moderate clip but moving the pick up and down the length of the string, closer to the bridge and closer to the neck, and listen to how the “chirp” overtone changes. :+1:

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I highly approve of any post that starts with “Consider the following,” even paraphrased :wink: