Tone Quest, Does the Pick Matter?

Exotic PicksIn our seemingly never ending quest to achieve “The Tone” we sometimes overlook the primary generator: the pick. A small, relatively inexpensive, disposable and perhaps easily overlooked component of our sound, the pick has for many years taken a backseat to the more glamorous and expensive bits – guitars and amps – the multitude of effect pedals, the vast selection of strings, cables, pickups and on and on. But if you stop to think about it, the pick is what strikes the strings and produces the attack and causes the vibration which sets the whole tone chain in motion.

There are many variables that go into making a guitar pick. Material, thickness or gauge, shape, grip surface and numerous other aspects are now considered when a company designs a pick today. We’ll be looking into each of these attributes over the next few posts and what characteristics they can impart to your tone.

Traditionally guitar picks were made from natural materials like wood, stone, quills and of course tortoise shell. For anyone that’s done a bit of research it seems that most players will agree natural tortoise tone is the end all of tone. We’ve been exploring some alternative materials in the past few years and feel that we’ve some good alternatives.

  • Ebony Wood : a hard wood that has a sharper attack but still warm tone.
  • Box Wood : nice even warm tone and quiet attack.
  • Bone : hard with bright attack and tighter tone.
  • Rose Wood : warm attack and tone.
  • Horn : a bit of punch on the attack and nice mid tones

To get you started on your tone quest we’ve put together a sampler pack of our Exotic picks. One each of the above materials for the special price of $19.95. Just click on the below button and add the item in your cart.

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