Friday, June 14, 2013

The Red Dunlop Tortex Pick

A lightly used Red Tortex pick
I have a lot of picks/plectrums laying around that I use to pluck/flat-pick my tenor banjo, but the one type of pick that I keep returning to is the Red Dunlop Tortex .50 mm pick.  It's flexible enough to feel really comfortable, while still being firm enough to provide a desirable amount resistance against the strings.  The .50 mm Tortex actually feels firmer than the gray .60 mm Nylon Jim Dunlop pick that a lot of Irish tenor banjo players use.  That gray nylon one feels too flimsy to me, and I don't like the grooved and raised up gripping area.

The Tortex picks have a smooth surface and seem to be very durable.  I think the Red one is the lightest pick in the Tortex line.  Some days the Orange Tortex .60 mm pick feels better to me.  I alternate back and forth a lot between the Orange and Red, but the Red is the one I use more often.  For a while I was trying out Tortex (and Clayton) picks in the larger triangle shape that bass players like, but I've since returned to the standard wedge shape.  

I also use these Red and Orange Tortex picks when I play mandolin, but I make contact with the strings using one of the rounded edges instead of the pointy corner.  It reminds me of the rounded corner "Dawg" style Goldengate mandolin picks when I hold it this way, but is not anywhere near as thick. The Golden Gates have a very mellow sound.  I like the bright sound of the Tortex picks.

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