The Edge's Delay Settings > Herdim Picks

Apparently The Edge plays with a Herdim guitar pick held sideways so that his pick's dimpled side (which is supposed to be held between the fingers to help stop the pick from slipping) hits the strings, creating a grating sound. What exactly does it sound like compared to the usual way of holding a pick, and how does it affect the waveform of the note played?

In other words, Edge's picks have bumps on them which rub against the strings to create his signature 'chime' sound.

Here I played a high 'E' first with a Herdim pick held sideways to create the 'grating' sound and then again with the pick held the usual way.

Here's the sample clip (it matches the waveform in Figure 1)

Figure 1: Waveform of the sample clip

(click for email)

Your Comments

You are correct! I happened upon this while experimenting. I thought at first that it was created by adding a bit of clipping, but soon realized that it was a thicker, fuller harmonic than what just clipping could provide. I also thought it might be a certain type of pickup, but he seemed to get the same effect, no matter if he used the Gibson or the Strat. I watched him playing "One" on Live 8 and he really brushes it forward each time he picks! I get the same effect with my Jim Dunlops.

-- JB, Aug 2, 2005
SRV used to turn the pick around as well. Scott Henderson also uses this trick. If you pick with the side of the pick and bend the pick a little with your thumb and index finger, you can play louder and harder. The pick gets harder this way. You'll get a more solid attack. IMHO

-- Roe, Sep 1, 2005
I have been using the Dunlop nylons with dimples for a long time to achieve this effect. But recently I got a hold of some of the Herdim picks and they are so much "Edge-ier". They have more grip to them and seem grab the string a lot better then the Dunlops. The Herdims seem to last longer too. Snarling Dogs also makes a similar pick.

-- Chris, Sep 19, 2005
Greate site. Thank you :)

-- James, Nov 1, 2005
Great job! I was trying to find The Edge's sound forever. I had all my effects dialed up (I have a Boss GT-6 Effects Processor) and I have a great old Fender Twin Reverb but I knew something was missing. I have played the kind of Nylon picks you guys are talking about but I really like the sound I get from Dunlop's Tortex Fins. They have that chime I was looking for. Here's a link: check them out, you won't regret it. http://www.jimdunlop.com/products/picks/products/tortex/index.ht ml

-- Jerome, Nov 3, 2005
I use Jim Dunlop USA "BIG Stubby 2.0 mm" picks and a 1980 Gibson Les Paul Standard. I use such a thick pick to really attack the strings. I turned it around trying the riff from "All I Want Is You" and was shocked at the difference! Much better! Thanks! Dave.

-- David Klein, Dec 22, 2005
to james with the gt6 and the tortex fins picks i have a gt5 and a vox ac 30 can u help me out with edge effects on streets and pride?

-- luke, Mar 4, 2006
anyone know how to do streets with a line 6 DL-4? i have the option of tossing in a boss dd-6 but i'd have to borrow it.

-- scott, Mar 21, 2006
I discovered quite by accident some years back that when I would use my pick to do a scrape down the fret board my pick would have all these little ridges on them so I started using that & in fact I began fabricating my picks ahead of time to have all these little grooves along the sides & back. Recently I began using dunlop .46 mm for a more delicate touch & I still put the grooves on the edge of those picks. Along with the nipples for grip it gives a great tone. Check it out. Good STUFF !

-- Jo Monroe, April 15, 2006
Great site! Thanks for all the great info!

-- Paul G. Laval, Aug 8, 2006

-- Javo, Dec 2, 2006
DL-4 settings: I use the dotted quarter note setting, then tap in quarter notes. Use an even mix and not too many repeats. Ad a bit of modulation. What really helps is the top-boost channel on the vox. Make it punchy with the slightest bit of grit. Use middle setting on pickups. Strum in 8th notes.

-- jon, Mar 15, 2007
hello, i'm from belgium, you can't buy the herdims here in Belgium, that's why i order them in the UK. they are essential for getting the edge's sound! when you use it on streets or bad or pride, everything with a lot of modulation, you get that sharp pitch noise. when you use it for the fly, the rougher stuff, it gives great crunch

-- lennert moens, June 1, 2007
i use a zoom g6 multi effects pedal, and just use a preloaded setting called "W Fender" and wack the delat too 360...does me fine throughout "where the streets".

-- Dan Harrison, Aug 19, 2007
I have been using the backside edge of HERCO picks in medium and heavy gauge since the 70s because of the extra bite, easier chimes, pinch harmonics and percussive pull-release the raised ridges/bumps Herco picks offer. The are made now by Dunlop but there is some talk that the original picks used a different material mix and are superior if such can be found. I can't confirm this though. I found out years ago that Steve Morse of The Dregs / Steve Morse Band / Deep Purple etc uses this pick- holding style too. You don't need much pick exposed between thumb and forefinger. Actually a thumb-pick-finger, callous-pick- callous mix of attack adds a tonal quality with a raspy bite harmonic like nothing else. George Lynch does this. One last tip: hold your pick and attack string as described above BUT before the attack, angle pick at a ~ 45 degree angle to string, and also slant pick at a ~ 45 degree angle away from yourself towards guitar itself and then experiment picking this way to hear harmonic screams of bliss like you never knew you could do. Fun stuff! Been playing axe since 1967 . . . www.JazzRock- Radio.com

-- JazzRock-Radio.com, Oct 23, 2008
I wasn't sure whether to believe the hype over Herdim picks, so decided to order a few and see if claims were justified. I normally use a dunlop teardrop tortex purple - smooth; no dimples; used them for years. I like the purple cause they're over 1mm thick but with the right amoung of "give" - great attack. Using the Herdim's dimpled faces gave very noticable results. You get great attack without having to dig in. And yes you do also get the fabled "chime". You also get a scratchy pre- attack; this of course is played out in the delay and seems to fill out riffs and is great for muted rhythm stuff ala Streets. I took one to a rehearsal and was surprised at how it made some passages stand out. I compared the Herdim with other loads of other picks (inc. dunlop, pickboy, brains). Surpirised to say that none had the same properties as the Herdims. The dunlop nylon came close-ish but the raised molded pattern was not rough enough to give the same level of scratch and attack. I really like the "scratch" of herdims, but for my tastes they are too thin/flexible for the majority of my playing style. To get the best of both worlds, I took one of my dunlop purples and "roughed up" the faces using a course diamond file. This thinned it a little and gave a scratchy surface. Perfect. Now i can switch styles without having to change pick. The attack/chime/attack isn't truly equal to the Herdims but its very close. With a little more experimentation I'm sure I can nail it. In summary - do Herdim picks help achieve edges sound? Yes, I think Herdims do play a part, but the compression, delay, shimmer and reverb also play an arguably bigger part. For those who can't get their hands on Herdims - rough up a pick using a coarse diamond file or surform. This will give very similar results.

-- Ryan, Jan 19, 2009
Today i got some of the new Eddie Van Halen guitar picks made by fender. They are Herco/nylon med ones and are too thin for me when used the right way. I use intune gp picks that are like the green dunlop ones. So i started playing with it sidways and really dig it!! JB

-- Johnny Beane, Feb 17, 2009
TIM! Thanks a bunch! Not trying to sound like the Edge, but geting great hharmonic/bow-like attack. Fantastic!

-- Son Dexter, Apr 19, 2011
The Hermdim looks very similar to the Herco sold here in the US (never seen a Herdim). Th cchime (or "bite") seems to be something most players avoid beause it usuaally sounds nasty when practicing alone. But it can really add to he attack, whiich with delays used in this manner is vital. Two other picks that I've found giee a similar "edge" (pun unintended!) to he attack are the Dugain gypsy jazz stnne model that's a sort of a transparent aqua - thick, odd-shaped, expensive bu rreally good - and the (surprising to me) Dava Control Pick stainless steel moel, whhich also provides softer or harder attack and "scrape" depending on how ou holdd it. For Edge-type sounds I normally use the Dava with an H&K Replex a appx 300 ms and the "vintage" control at 75% for warmth followed by an Echoplx Sirreko tape echo set longer...then into a cranked Holland Little Jimmy, an odlyy Vox-sounding 6L6 amp when cranked. With sm cusstoom-wound mid heavy or P90 pickups, with most guitars it gets very close.Anoother thing - don't pick hard;slashing at the strings blows the whole oooud..

-- Silverface, Jan 6, 2012
I have been using this technique for 35 years with a Melbay blue pick. Unfortunently they no longer make the pick I use and was looking for a replacement when I came across this site. Damn you for letting the cat out of the bag! Anyway yes this allows me to do alot of things that are imo harder with the pointy end. Secondly I have dropped my pick zero times in 35 years as almost the entire pick is between my fingers. Also it allows e to keeep my palm on the strings or bridge 100% of the time. Te abrassive edge gives you a differnt sound but you must use a ick wherre the abrasion runs all the way to the edge. Now to fid that reeplacement I was lookig fr..

-- DON ROUNDS, Aug 21, 2013
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