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Celluloid Guitar

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Celluloid Guitar

Guitar picks or Plectrums as that is the technical name are one of the great mysteries of the world. They are made from quite a variety of materials. I even noticed some picks made out of meteorites! Wow over on hundred bucks.

That is a lot of doe $$$. I would have to #1. Try one first and pay later. #2. It better be like going to the crossroads. I should be a much much improved player after buying that!

Most picks are made of a plastic polymer called polycarbonate, real tortoiseshell, tortex: is basically a synthetic tortoiseshell compound, celluloid which is the most common and oldest and can actually catch fire(no shredding, Yngwei), and acetyl/polymers.

There are numerous styles of picks ranging from thumb and finger picks. Generally used by finger pickers like Merle Travis and many other great acoustic finger pickers. The other style which is most common are flat picks. These picks are held between your thumb and index fingers. Used by almost all electric guitar players and myself. Some other quirky designs are: stubby picks, jellyfish picks, metal picks and specialized picks for special styles of play.

Thickness is another decision that must be made. Ranging from thin to thick. No need for extensive details on thickness. Thickness is a matter of experimentation.

Some folks swear by a certain pick and some people don't find a big difference. I have played for a fair amount of years and I generally like a medium thickness pick. The main reason for that is I get less vibration in my hand with a thicker pick. I don't like any of the weirdo space material picks, in fact some of the super hard materials can break strings, so think about that before you lay out a bunch of money for a meteorite pick!

Realistically speaking, I probably have not solved anything. My experience is that most picks are cheap. Buying a bunch of different picks and trying each one for a while is the best way to choose your pick. Perhaps my hearing has diminished a bit, but I really don't hear a significant difference between pick types.

Even though I use thicker synthetic polymer picks I tend not to be to fussy about them. But I do have a preference for a particular brand and color! The brand is not mentioned because it is not fair to influence you. It is fun messing around with picks. Have at it.

Experience over the years is the next best way to make your choice. And you may end up with a large collection of types, shapes, colors and materials before you can fell good about picking on your guitar.

AFI cover - This Celluloid Dream

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