Jazz III 30-Day Experiment Follow-up

In November, I conducted a 30-day experiment of exclusively using the Dunlop Jazz III pick. I started using the Jazz III as my only pick on November 1. I thought I’d give this follow-up to discuss the results. I should note that my experiment consisted only of trying the red standard Jazz III picks.

Prior to the experiment, I had used the Jazz III pick sporadically, but had never tried using it as my only pick for any extensive period of time. I began using the Dunlop Tortex Standard 1.0mm (the blue one) many years ago, and that’s been my primary pick ever since I first picked it up. My main questions when I started this experiment were 1) Could I get used to the size, 2) Is there a significant difference in tone and feel, and 3) Could the Jazz III become my primary pick? I’ve been able to answer each of these questions.

Perhaps the most interesting question to me was whether I could get used to the size of the Jazz III pick. When I started the experiment, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get used to it. But, after just a day or two of use, I was able to adjust to the smaller size. As I mentioned in the initial post about my experiment, although I was able to get used to the size, I still had some issues related to the smaller size of the pick. I use a percussive right-hand picking attack, and the smaller size affects the nail on my picking hand index finger. Basically, my nail gets mangled when I use the Jazz III pick. I like to use my nails when I finger pick, and a mangled nail on my index finger affects my ability to do so.

The second question I wanted to answer was: Is there a significant difference in tone and feel with these picks? The answer is a resounding yes. The attack is much brighter, and the feel is night and day different. I really like the Jazz III pick. I felt like I could pick faster and more accurately. I can see why so many shredders like this pick. It’s a phenomenal pick for high-speed playing. However, strumming with the pick is not ideal.

This leads me to my third question: Could the Jazz III become my primary pick? The answer is, as of now, no. I consider myself more a groove oriented player rather than a speed player. I’m not much of a soloist, so the benefits of the Jazz III pick are somewhat lost on me. Furthermore, as a percussive style player, I’ve found that I need a standard-sized pick. As a result, I’m back to using the Dunlop Tortex standard 1.0mm pick as my primary pick.

What about the Tortex TIII picks that I mentioned in my initial post? (If you’re unaware, the TIII is basically a cross between the Tortex standard picks and the Jazz III picks.) I’ve added the TIII to my stable of picks, but I still find that my picking style works best with the rounded corners of the standard picks vs. the pointed Jazz III style edge of the TIII. However, if you like the tone and attack provided by the Jazz III but want the size and feel of a standard Tortex pick, I think the TIII is an excellent choice.

Even though I ended up returning to the picks I was using prior to the experiment, I really enjoyed changing things up. I’ve now got a new tool to add to my guitar playing arsenal, which is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned.


  1. says

    That was an interesting experiment. Great idea Josh! I ended up trying the Tortex TIII picks and I really enjoy them for the most part. I was using the Dunlop Nylon Standard, but decided that they sounded a little too thin when playing higher up the neck. The Tortex TIII has pretty much become my pick of choice, if I am soloing higher up the neck. (Some folks like to refer to this as making noise..haha).

    We need to hang out again sometime, I have a pedal I think you will really dig and I’d like to let you try it out!

  2. Josh says

    I can definitely see where the TIII would come in handy. I’m just so used to playing with the standards that the pointy end is hard to get used to. New pedal to try out? Count me in!

  3. says

    You should try the Jazz III XL then. I understand entirely where you are coming from. The XL size is much closer to a “regular” pick size, and provides the best of both worlds.

    Also, the Hetfield Black Fang 1.14mms are fantastic too.

  4. Josh says

    Thanks for the suggestion, Stephen. I’ll take a look at the XL. What I’d really like is a Jazz III pick that is sized between a standard Jazz III and the Tortex Standard. Perhaps the XL will fit in that category.

  5. says

    I’ve been using Jazz III’s for a while now. It took a little bit to get used to the small size, but now that i’m used to it, I love them.

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