Shredders that use the classic Dunlop Tortex?

I normally use a jazz III but I found an old, classic Dunlop Tortex and started to mess around with it. I kinda dig the tone (in spite of the mechanical differences), so I would like to know which super pickers use it. Please drop me some names - must be rock/metal-adjacent, and also feel free to mention people who use other picks as long as it’s not a jazz III.

I can think of:

  • Troy Stetina
  • I think Brandon Ellis (Black Dahlia Murder)?
  • Mayyybe Rusty Cooley?

It’s probably not the first name people would have in mind, but Dave Mustaine has remained faithful to the yellow .73 Tortex picks for decades; at the very least from Rust in Peace onwards to today.

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Paul Gilbert is the only one that I can think of at the moment (yellow and red tortex). Maybe EVH?

How about Steve Morse?

Not sure the exact pick he’s using, but it’s definitely not a jazz iii, looks like the “standard” guitar shop pick.

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Really cool to know that, and I’m actually really surprised at how thin his pick is.

I don’t know if this is all he uses, but I’ve seen him use Swiss picks a lot. They are the same size, roughly, as a Tortex but they are pointy like a Jazz iii. I have a whole bunch of them and love them.

If we extend to all rock/metal adjacent players that don’t use a Jazz III, the list is gonna get long pretty quickly. IIRC Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Kiko Loureiro all use Ibanez picks. Teemu Mäntysaari uses custom Wintersun Dunlop Ultex Sharps in 1.0mm. John Petrucci has transitioned away from Jazz III to the Flow line and his custom Trinity, which is basically a triangular Flow. His promo partner for the Flow line, Andy James, uses a custom Jumbo 2.0mm. Also, given the shape, Jason Richardson’s signature Jazz III is a Jazz III in size only: the profile of the pick is completely different, it’s basically a smaller Jeff Loomis signature pick. Even John Petrucci’s first signature pick was a Jazz III in name only, the shape was quite different.

Just going to the Artist picks page of Dunlop can give you some pretty interesting results.

For someone really classic, Friedman seems to use a not very fancy classic Dunlop celluloid, which seems to have the infamous Fender 351 shape.

Also, might as well plug in Troy’s video on choosing picks.


I think the Dragonforce guys use the 351 shape too.

Ted Nugent uses a thin pick and he does not play with the tip. He uses the rounded part.

Seems like Dimebag Darrell and Zack Wylde both used classic Dunlop Tortex picks. Surprisingly for me because I thought that shredders naturally choose to use pointy picks.

And also Joe Holmes of Ozzy Osbourne and Farmikos, what a great player!

Jeff Kollman uses the blue one (but I think he files the edges) and Richie Kotzen used to use the purple one.