If you’re a guitarist that's discerning in the least,
then there's an excellent chance that you’ve put a ton of time and energy into choosing exactly the right gear.
From selecting a guitar to suit your playing style,
to the guitar amp that speaks the most volume to you specifically.
When it comes to guitar gear,
there's quite a few options to choose from,
not to mention the endless amounts of guitar pedals to further tweak your tone!
You've likely explored countless options
before you settled on the gear that's to define your signature sound.
Perhaps you've put in a considerable investment in time as well.
After all everyone likes to get the best deal around,
especially if it sounds good, feels good, and influences your playing to really shine through.
However, there's a chance that you among many others,
have perhaps overlooked one of the smallest but still crucial pieces of gear.
Perhaps you haven’t given much (if any) thought to the type of guitar pick you trust your sound to.
You know, it's that "tool" that connects the guitarist to the strings of the guitar.
The tone might be in your fingers as they say, but a guitar pick is what translates that to form you musical expression.
Some parts of the world call it a guitar plectrum or plec.
Whichever name you choose to call it, a pick can be considered one of the most overlooked pieces of equipment in your arsenal.
This consideration is especially true for those questing for the perfect ton, which is of course subjective to each person.
If you’ve ever had to improvise with something like a flat coin or a jagged piece of plastic, then you no doubt have already had your first lesson in how much the wrong choice in material & finish, can potentially affect your sound (for better or for worse).
The following are some of the major materials to consider when choosing your next set of picks.
They each have their own distinctive sound qualities,
just as you would expect from an Ebony or Rosewood fingerboard as well as the material used in say, a guitar's nut & saddles.
I'll go over some of the materials we have in store here at Iron Age Guitar Accessories,
as well as some more common materials that can be found elsewhere.
Delrin POM (Purple), Horn (Black), & Coconut Shell (Brown)
This is perhaps one of the most detrimental characteristic to defining how crisp your picking strike will be,
as well as defining its overall playability.
A guitar pick bevel is the natural contour or tapered edge that's found on some picks,
these can either provide a smooth & mellow attack (Soft Bevel) or a quick & snappy strike (Sharp Bevel) of the strings.
The majority of mass-produced plastic picks,
don't actually come with bevels.
A plectrum that's been played & broken-in however,
will often show a rounded drop-off on its leading edges.
That there is a bevel,
and it shows the natural angle at which the guitarist strikes their strings.
A guitar plectrum that already has this angled contour will surely feel more fluent to you as it allows the string to slide by just a bit more freely.
Most of our picks feature a sharper beveled tip for a crisp attack,
however as they break-in and you get more use out of them, they will begin to mold to your style of playing.
Many guitarists would consider having a pick that's tailored to their personal picking style, much more ideal.
The great thing about thicker picks made from materials like bone & wood,
is they can actually be re-beveled.
That means that with a little bit of effort & sandpaper,
the pick can be restored to a like-new state & continue to be used effectively.
it leaves room for carving & crafting grips into the pick
which adds a touch of ergonomics not found in flat picks.
A couple last & very important factors to consider when shopping for guitar picks is their thickness, as well as the shape.
If you play acoustic guitar,
then you may prefer a pick that is on the thinner side .40-.60 mm.
Thinner picks produce lighter, more delicate sounds that are ideal for strumming.
You do lose a bit of control because of their flex & they produce a noticeably floppy attack which may or not be your thing.
If you play rock, rhythm, or lead guitar then you might prefer a pick of medium thickness instead – between .60 and .80mm.
These are by far the most common guages & give you a bit more control.
2.5 (left) & .60mm (right)
Those looking for a heavy sound should consider exploring thicker picks.
Most of our picks are extra heavy due to the nature of the materials used & measure in at around 1.5-3mm thickness.
Depending on the edge the pick carries,
it can actually be very beneficial for pick-control.
A thick & rigid pick adds a certain comfort when you hold them because they tend to relax the hand better.
Another benefit to your playing when using thicker picks is they tend to transfer more force onto your strings.
This produces a fuller sound that can be instantly distinguished.
Less flex can also result in a more controlled state when playing at faster speeds.
Shape can also help you fine tune the details of your sound.
If you’re looking to capture a more precise & controlled sound,
then you may also prefer a smaller, pointier pick like a JazzIII.
Standard teardrops, round-tipped Jazz, and triangular picks all have their unique sounds as well.
The general rule here is the pointier the pick, the sharper the attack.
A rounded-tip plectrum will have typically a warmer & fuller sound.
No products found in this collection
“Quality is never an accident.
It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.
It represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
~William A. Foster (MOH Recipient, 1945)
Sign up to the Iron Age newsletter to receive exclusive offers, & the latest news/updates.
Messages are sent once or twice a month or on special occasions. Don't Miss Out!
© 2021 Iron Age Guitar Accessories.