For many players, if not most, the choice of their pick doesn’t require much thought . They’re completely content with a Fender medium, thin, or whatever generic pick they choose. When I was coming up as a guitarist their were few other choices. Then along came Tortex and that was something of a game changer. As time passed new pick designers and makers appeared offering new materials, shapes and sizes that we hadn’t seen before. In attempts to recreate to the tone and feel of genuine tortoise shell (illegal, endangered, immoral) many makers makers use organic materials such as various animal bones and horns, wood, mother of pearl and other shells. Makers Like Blue Chip, Chicken Picks, Gravity Gold, and the new Martin Luxe Picks utilize costly synthetic materials, and the price reflects that. I have tried all of these and confess to liking them all, but they’re priced between $10.00 and $45.00 and that’s a lot for a pick that’s as easy to loose as a 50 cent pick. I’ve played on many old outdoor stages with worn, gapped wooden slat floors where I’ve lost my picks. Since I’ve never earned rockstar wages that gets painful at boutique prices.
We’ve got a wealth of picks that fall in between the high end boutique picks and the inexpensive picks we’ve all known forever. There is a difference. At Guitar Tex we offer a broader selection than most stores and I’m gonna mention a few here.
For many years we’ve sold the Golden Gate MP 12, a Japanese made tortoise shell colored rounded triangle. This could be considered among the first modern mandolin picks. The Grisman Dawg pick seems to have evolved from this one. While it has become considered a mandolin pick many guitarists, including myself, have enjoyed it for the warm, clear tone it imparts. These days they offer this formula in several different pick shapes and thicknesses. The MP 12 sells for $2.50 each.
I was introduced to V-Picks at a NAMM show when a vendor stopped me and handed me one exclaiming that “You’ll never drop this pick”. While that was something of an exaggeration, they certainly do have a far better than average grip stability. They are made of clear acrylic in a dazzling variety of shapes and colors. With very nicely hand beveled edges the V-Picks have picks for all styles of playing from shredders to country pickers. The V-Picks sell for $5.00-$10.00 each. Some players will come in and buy us out of particular models.
Chicken Picks are a new addition for Guitar Tex. They’re made in Belgium and Germany of a proprietary formula. They claim they will last a long time and I believe it. Not many shapes to choose from, but they do have one called the Badazz III that is specifically designed for bassists, although I’m sure some guitarists would enjoy it, too. In my own collection is one of their traditional shapes and it is one of my favorites. The Chicken Picks sell for $10.00 each.
We have wooden, bone, shell and other materials, too. We also have a great selection of thumb and finger picks for guitarists and banjo pickers. A new one that’s become quite popular is The Black Mountain Thumb Pick. This is a new idea where the plectrum part of the pick is attached to the the thumb handle by a spring allowing for greater flexibility and comfort. The Black Mountain Pick allows the player to effortlessly switch from fingerstyle to flat picking, something that can’t be achieved with other thumb picks.
Of course, we have more mainstream picks and most players are just fine with that. For those who want to try something different we have some cool stuff for you to try. Finding just the right picks can change and improve your playing.
We have them as low as 3 for $1.00 up to the new Martin Luxe pick at $20.00 each. We have samples of them to try. Visit these websites and see if there isn’t something appealing: