In the realm of music, every nuance matters, from the subtlest strum to the most intricate riff. Often, we lavish our attention and resources on pedals and other equipment, while overlooking one of the unsung heroes of our musical journey – the humble guitar pick. Recently, in a fascinating exploration, I delved into the world of guitar picks, realizing their profound influence on our tone and playability. Join me on this sonic adventure, as I tested 12 carefully selected picks to unravel their secrets.
The Quest for the Perfect Pick
Having amassed a collection spanning three decades, I meticulously handpicked 12 contenders based on their size, material, and shape. My go-to pick, the D’Addario Delrin 88.8, served as the benchmark for comparison. The selection varied from the robust 1mm triangular Gin Dollop to the feather-light Galley pick, each promising a unique experience.
Unveiling the Picks
- Dunlop 1mm: A thick, triangular pick resembling Santana’s choice, offering a robust, pointed sound.
- Ibanez Heavy: Bordering on a bass pick, this heavyweight contender struck a balance between thickness and maneuverability.
- Dunlop 207 Jazz Pick: Crafted for jazz enthusiasts, this pick boasted a round edge and substantial thickness.
- ’90s Ibanez Picks: A relic from the past, these metal picks exuded a jagged, velvety attack, favored by the likes of Steve Vai.
- Dunlop 96: A standard, heavier pick in the Dunlop series, striking a chord between versatility and durability.
- Tortex 60: A slightly thinner version of the classic Tortex, perfect for those seeking a balance between flexibility and control.
- Nylon Pick: A flexible, medium-thick pick with a distinct character, offering a unique tonal flavor.
- Gibson Thin: Delicate as a whisper, this paper-thin pick explored the subtleties of sound, challenging traditional norms.
- Fender Thin: With its intriguing pattern, this mixed-material pick combined artistry with finesse, perfect for nuanced strumming.
- Galli Super Thin: As thin as a wisp of air, this pick defied conventions, allowing effortless bends and harmonics, albeit at the expense of durability.
Decoding the Sonic Symphony
The experiment involved a symphony of arpeggios, single notes, and simple chords, each pick composing a distinct melody. Thicker picks serenaded with pristine single notes, while their thinner counterparts danced gracefully across chords, creating a harmonious blend.
Your Turn to Tune In
As our sonic expedition concludes, I invite you to share your thoughts. What picks resonate with your soul? Are you drawn to the bold resonance of thicker picks or the delicate dance of their thinner counterparts? Have you stumbled upon a pick that feels like an extension of your musical identity?
(old video on picks)
These are the picks I have used during this lesson: