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I got my Red Bear - Tortis pick last week. It´s a classic shape, medium (1,15 - 1,25 mm) with a speed bevel. I really like the tone I get when I hit the strings right. If I don´t angle the pick the right way it sounds muted. I used to play heavy tandard plastic picks before. Then I discovered the Wegen Bluegrass picks (1.0 mm) and I thought they were great. I thought the search was over. But I had to try the Red Bears since I´ve heard so much about them. I prefer the tone of the R.B´s over the Wegens but I just can´t get used to them 100%. It feels so much better when I play with the (thinner) Wegens but the tone sounds a bit too hard. I really wish I would prefer the Wegens since they are so much cheaper! I get four of them for the price of one R.B! Maybe a heavier Wegen, maybe 1.2 mm would do it for me? Any input on this? Should I just shut up and pick and start worrying more about my playing instead? ;-)

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The right pick seems to be a never ending saga. I have used the Wegen's but I don't like the texture they put on the pick. I use Red Bear picks pretty much exclusively. For me it's the tri-tip or style C picks. For the most part they are medium gauge but I do have a heavy one that sounds great in solo settings. I also use their style E for mandolin. But to add to your comment, at some point we do have to stop worrying about our picks & just pick more!! Discovering new tools is great but they should not distract us from plain old hard work.

Very true. You can worry yourself to death about picks, or you can just play.
Try a 1.2mm, or a 1.0 w/out holes. You can also order customs straight from Mr. Wegen.
Having been a flatpicker for over 30 years, I have gone through every pick imaginable. Obviously, the real tortise shells are the grail, and I have a few of them. I use the Red Bear picks now and have found them to suit me best. I have also tried the Wegen picks but found them too lacking in clarity of tone, personally.

What I have noticed though is that many players today try to get the tone out their pick instead of their hands and guitars. Seems many younger players, in an effort to gain speed, go to a thicker, duller sounding pick, and as a consequence lack volume and tone.

The down side to this is that it is great for SOME flatpick applications, but in the real world of guitar playing, the ability to change volume without changing the sonic output of an instrument is critical. So to me, a good medium is a pick that allows both the sonic abilities of the instrument and the volume to be hand in hand.

Obviously the guitar you are using has a lot to do with it too. I use a 1946 herringbone and a 1942 J 45 for my flatpick stuff, and they are seriously great guitars. They respond in ways new guitars don't in regards to tone, volume, sonic clarity, etc. That is to say, they have as much tone at a lower volume as they do when you mash on them. But the pick has to work well with the guitar, so that pairing is a consideration as well.

Having said all that, one thing I have found is htis: great players can make any guitar sound great, or at least command that instrument. The tone is in the hands and guitar, with (imho) the pick being the least of one's worries. A pick that offers comfort, clarity, and stability is the way to go, but the tone is up to you.....
I just got some v-picks. since they are new to me they sound great. i also play with a red bear B hvy. I have had the RB about 6-8 months without a prob. the so far the v-picks are very thick 2-2.5 and feel good in my hand. they glide like glass on the stings and I really like the bevel work. so far i am playing the big rounded (on three corners). it has a creamy tone on both electric and acoustic. time will tell but at $5 a pick RB has some competition.
When I was very young and just starting out, I did research my heros to find out what type of picks they were using. I feel this was a good helpful starting point, but as I became a better player I started to develop experience needed to decide, what is the most comfortable pick for my style and my technique.
This is the very important part pickers!
1) What shape is comfortable
2) What thickness is comfortable
3) What pick makes the right tone for you
4) Price and availability.
The problem arises when the pick that is most comfortable, does not provide the tone your after. This may be an indication that you have the right pick, but you need to make some slight changes in your right hand technique that can provide this perfect tone with that particular pick. Remember, being comfortable with the pick you choose to use will assist in a more relaxed right hand technique and that is very important. In saying that, tone is a very very close second to control. So, find the pick that feels right to you, make sure your comfortable with it and trial yourself using that pick, to get your needed sound, knowing that you may have to make some very slight right hand technique alterations. This is the growing stage every player can benefit from. Embrace it and improve!!!!

Have fun
Thanks for the all your advice Brad! I saw your clip on YouTube where you recomended the Red Bears. I really enjoy playing with them now. I love the tone and I am very comfortable playing with them. The only problem is, #4 on your list. :-) They are very hard to find here in Sweden. If they were sold in stores I would buy a couple of spares but now I hold on to the one I have for dear life!


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