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John Petrucci takes a break from

mixing the new Dream Theater
record (due out this summer)
to show us his pick of choice.

56 GUITAR ONE guitaronemag.com APRIL 2007

this sounded like another spectacular “dying battery” myth brewing. if you angle the pick a certain way. and sure enough. Why It’s the Player’s Pick It’s for everything I stated above. It’s very conducive to playing fast. the black one. or antagonize what you’re doing. they’re stiffer than the red ones. there’s some sort of extra ingredient. and it sounds very precise with lots of clarity. That stiffness allows for a direct transfer of energy from your hand to the string—there’s no lag time. so that they could begin manufacturing them again specially for him. it’s still fair to ask: Can a guitar pick really improve your tone? The answer is: it depends a lot on you. to the current version. How I Discovered It I was watching a Michael Angelo instructional video. but if you experiment with other materials. Whether it’s right for you or not can only be decided with a thorough trial. he revealed that he prefers the original version of the pick. for example. The point just glides on the strings. the Dunlop Jazz III isn’t just any guitar pick. It seems funny that a pick can do that. Despite Eric Johnson’s testimonial. or sweetness. Indeed. But there’s no denying that it plays an important role in your tone chain. that is. According to Dunlop.GEAR FEATURE TALKING POINTS Dunlop Jazz III: The Player’s Pick F BY MICHAEL MUELLER or over 20 years. the way the strings sound when the pick comes in contact. and he was using one. and without fanfare. Johnson gave me one of his picks to ANNA DICKSON JOHN PETRUCCI Red or Black: Black—they match your clothes better! Seriously. And I like the tone of it. you can hear it for yourself. and shapes. the Dunlop Jazz III has become the pick of choice for many of today’s most demanding and technically proficient guitarists. and the high end comes through great. While discussing our mutual fondness for the Jazz III. you really can’t get one past ol’ EJ. but at an angle to it. there’s very little resistance. And when it comes to tone. GUITAR ONE 63 . and thus. one of the Jazz III’s longtime endorsers.” the Jazz III may as well be some sort of super-pick. capable of improving not only your articulation but also your tone. face it. the originals have a lower density and a bit more flexibility. or Dunlop’s brand-new Ultex version—you might never touch another pick again. There’s a certain fatness. not parallel to the string. But a feature story on a guitar pick. Eric Johnson. it doesn’t give way. At first. Johnson recently sent one of his picks to the company. Take. the tone. compare (pictured at right). Why It’s My Pick Because it has a point on it. you ask? Well. which has Jim Dunlop in script. according to our esteemed panel of “player’s players. one red one on which JIM DUNLOP appears in upper-case type on the pick. which affects the attack. But be warned: once you try the Jazz III—be it the red one. which then performed a laser scan of the pick. so I thought I’d try it. gauges. but in fact.

he’s more of a percussive rhythm player. II. . but the Jazz III gave me this sense of accuracy and articulation. Simply said. Why It’s the Player’s Pick It’s small and precise. too. It’s a dynamic pick that allows you to play soft or hard. Bonamassa: Chad batka. I also like the size of the pick. And the Jazz III was pretty popular. but primarily the black ones. and after that my 1-mm nylon pick felt like a paddle. and with its size and mass it just makes sense that a smaller pick with a point will get to next note quicker. It’s a tradeoff. but I prefer the smaller. but they weren’t as easy to hold. Sure enough. Why It’s My Pick I play rhythm guitar a lot with my hands. and there’s no wasted energy. It’s great for technique playing. Joe Bonamassa’s on this list! Why It’s the Player’s Pick Look at the guys on this list— they’re all fast pickers. I tried the bigger version of it (Dunlop Jazz III XL). as it suits that style. How I Discovered It I was using silver picks. Then I read that Eric Johnson and these other great players were using it. Why It’s the Player’s Pick I think it’s because it sounds better with alternate picking. And it also seems to pop right back into place when I need it for picking. he’s using it. And they’re great for accuracy—but be warned: they do bring out the mistakes if you’re sloppy. which is nice. has a warmer sound. 64 GUITAR ONE guitaronemag. How I Discovered It Rusty Cooley loaned me a pick that was kind of in-between a normal one and a Jazz III. To me. And he’s not a technique guy. Now I can’t go back.com april 2007 Thompson: Retna. Dunlop Tortex picks. original one. But it’s not just for that. Laiho: Jimmy Hubbard How I Discovered It I picked one up at a guitar shop when I was 13. bought about 15 different picks. I tried the Jazz III XL. but it forces you to be a cleaner player. fingerstyle. so I decided to try it. and started reading guitar forums on the Internet. which I liked. but who knows? After all. I was also able to do my half-assed Al Di Meola picking impersonation with it. Fender-style pick. The Jazz I was too round. and Jazz I. but it just won’t fit! Why It’s the Player’s Pick I think it’s good for the faster guys. but it just wasn’t the same feel. Then Danny Gatton turned me on to Fender jazz picks. So I decided to play with only that pick for a couple of days. Every aspect of my approach is based around it. it goes where you put it. it thickens the sound and produces a great high end. I was jamming with John Connelly from Sevendust and told him to try it for a few days. and I found that it gave me this big amount of attack with only a small amount of picking. I was at a music store and saw the Dunlop Jazz III. and it offers an inherent economy of motion. I can’t use a normal pick anymore. Why It’s My Pick I think it’s an articulate pick. The Jazz III is so precise. it sounds better. I have to change the way I pick when I try using a standard. So I went to a guitar store and bought some other small Fender picks. you can’t use any other pick. and IIIs. It’s a little shinier. and I was hooked. MARK TREMONTI Red or Black: I use both.00 apiece and they stopped making them. I don’t go through a bucket of picks at each gig. so it works great for that.GEAR FEATURE MICK THOMSON Red or Black: The black ones—Stiffo! Why It’s My Pick I’ve spent 20 years playing with nothing but the black Jazz III sharp. especially alternate picking and three-notesper-string stuff. They don’t wear out. the Jazz II was better. but they were like $3. Tremonti: David Atlas/Retna. and feels better in my hand. it’s precise. How I Discovered It I used a Fender medium pick when I was a kid. I’m not so sure blues guys would dig it. because it’s stiffer and the red ones tended to slip from my hand. ALEXI LAIHO Red or Black: Black. The only problem I have with the Jazz III pick is that I tried to get Dunlop to spell out B-O-N-A-M-A-S-S-A across the pick. From there I decided to get to the bottom of this whole pick thing. and the Jazz III is so easy to tuck away between your index finger and thumb. so I went to a guitar store. To me. Why It’s My Pick It’s the sharp tip. JOE BONAMASSA Red or Black: I prefer the red one. Once you go to the Jazz III.

I’ve been using the red Jazz III pick since 1991. HEAR IT.com APRIL 2007 For me. Plus you don’t have to “choke up” on the pick to get squealing. and suggested I give it a try. I think the pick offers “just enough” of what you need in a pick to make the notes happen. Michael Butzen—Contributing Writer My Pick: Dunlop Jazz III I really like feeling and hearing the pick hit the strings. and second fingers. BUY IT. So we asked several G1 staff members (who are also professional guitarists) to try it out. but lately I’m leaning more towards a black Jazz III because it has the best attributes of all the picks I like—a nice sharp point for precise picking and snappy attack. There’s something about the physicality of it makes me play better. produces a thinner tone than that of traditionally sized picks. edge-ofthe-finger pinch harmonics. Chris Gill—Tech/Senior Editor My Pick: Whatever is within reach SEE IT. the surface area is perfect for me. held up a Jazz III in his hand. in general. in general. I like a bigger pick. How I Discovered It I think I picked the Jazz III because I heard of some shreddy-ass guitar players who used those picks. I’ve tried standard picks. WWW. GEAR FEATURE MATT HEAFY . Also. a traditional pick has a greater amount of surface area in contact with your hand. and the pick is too small to facilitate that particular grip. lean. My only complaint is that they feel a bit slippery. as I do. ————— WE TEST IT In the interest of full disclosure. Tom Kolb—Associate Editor My Pick: Fender Medium I tried the red Jazz III pick and found it quite useful for tremolo picking (mandolin lines.Red or Black: Usually black.SOURCEAUDIO. which I feel results in a warmer tone and a more powerful and projecting sound. Dale Turner—West Coast Editor My Pick: D’Addario purple . that’s a problem. my choice of pick depends on what style I’m playing—I’ve used everything from a flexible standard-size stainless-steel pick to emphasize artificial harmonics to a heavy Fender jazz for hybrid picking. RETNA Based on a 25-year-old design by Bob Taylor. when a music-school friend who saw me filing the tip of a Dunlop Tortex Heavy to a point. the 914ceLTD’s “Cindy” inlay is exquisite. and as a member of the sweaty hands society. which is a major aspect of my playing style. the commonsize pick feels too big and cumbersome. but I always seem to play rather sloppy with them. It’s all about accuracy and exactly what you need to play to make the note happen. If you use a closed-fist picking grip. Why It’s the Player’s Pick I’d have to say it’s due to the fact that the Jazz III doesn’t compensate for you. in my hands. and to the point. as the lack of a slightly rounded edge. Back in the day I was only an OK soloist. a small. I also dislike small picks. but every once in a while if we’ve run out. The Jazz III offers enough resistance to do the trick but is flexible enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m playing with a piece of granite. and a stiff feel. The Jazz III plays and sounds just like it looks— IT AIN’T THE FEET. I picked up a Jazz III and have been using them ever since. I don’t like it for funky strumming because I often hold the pick with my thumb.043 (discontinued) I actually dislike picks with any sharp point on them (like the Jazz III). sharp. Advanced effects control combining a hand/body motion sensor with our exclusive Wah Filters and Phaser/ Flanger effects consoles. Why It’s My Pick I play way more accurately with this pick than any other. That is. The Jazz III’s sharp point is perfect for accurate shredding. comfortable size that’s perfect for hybrid picking. first. and hard-rock single-string passages).NET ?fk?Xe[ NX_=`ck\ij ?fk?Xe[ G_Xj\i&=cXe^\i 66 GUITAR ONE guitaronemag. because it’s easier for me to obtain a wider variety of dynamic textures. I’ll use the red ones. though I can’t pinpoint why. For years I preferred a green or yellow Dunlop Tortex Sharp. I prefer the red ones. accurate. reggae rattles. To me. so I wanted to find anything that could help me play like my heroes. The FIRST real innovation in guitar expression since the wah-wah pedal. I find it’s most noticeable when playing single notes on a clean-toned electric or on a full-bodied acoustic. So I burned the top edge for extra grip. Here’s what they had to say. IT’S THE — MOTION. MOTION CONTROL.