Sunday, October 12, 2008

Feelin' Picky

I saw in some forum or some blog about an offer for a free pick. I, being cheap, jumped. They are Black Snappers from StringDog.Net.

I've only had a little bit of time with them so far. This is what StringDog says.
This pick covers all the details. The no-gloss finish offers superior grip. The high-tech Delrin material delivers the snappy response and tone of tortoise shell. But unlike tortoise shell (or celluloid), Black Snappers will not quickly wear out, break, or lose memory.
I haven't tried this one playing out, but it seems grippable. But, I'm not sure about tortoise. I have never picked with a tortoise pick, but I've been told in flatpicker forums that the closest you can get to the sound of tortoise without breaking the bank are Clayton Gold picks, which are very similar to (but slightly preferable to) Dunlop Ultex picks. I've played them, and they're hard picks with a hard click to their sound. The StringDog pick feels very much like my Dunlop Gator Grip, with a little bit of a cushion. And they feel thinner than they are. I would've pegged it as a medium, even though it's ever bit of the 1mm that both the Gator and the Ultex are.

These are good picks. They haven't supplanted Claytons and Dunlop Ultex as my favorites, but they are nice picks.


Stratocat said...

I recently started using picks again after several months pick-free. I used Dunlop nylon .073's forever, but am now messing with Dunlop Tortex greens and blues which are both thicker than 73's. It was awkward at first, but right now I'm picking better than before going pick-less. My hybrid technique is better too, although I'm worried now about losing the callus on the edge of thumb and index.

I think a thumb pick would be ideal, like Johnny Winter, but have had trouble with them. Probably need to experiment with melting and reshaping them.

Dave Jacoby said...

I have a thumbpick. I have two, actually. One's a metal one that I have never been able to fit comfortably, and the other a Dunlop Zookies. It works OK, but it hinders up-picking.

I of course pick with just fingers sometimes, but I'm frustrated in that I fingerpick in square folkie patterns, not really anything like the blues fingerpickers I love.

Stratocat said...

By Blues pickers do you mean the Piedmont stuff like John Cephas, or instead, what Hubert Sumlin does?

The way I fingerpick, I hafta keep my nails short, otherwise they chip and split, so I'm actually "picking/plucking" with fingertips close to the quick, where a bit of callus builds up.

I've tried various thumbpicks, and haven't ruled them out which is why I'm still thinkin' about experimenting with re-shaping.

Dave Jacoby said...

More the Piedmont stuff. People like Blind Blake just kill me. You listen to Delta and Chicago blues, you'll never get how blues and bluegrass are related. Pick up something like Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean", it seems obvious.

I'm not sure what Sumlin does, but I'm guessing it's akin to what the pick-avoidant Jeff Beck does.

I think I end up using more my fingertips and less my fingernails when I play. Yes, chipping does occur. Thus the line "I picked up the guitar to meet girls, but now I spend more time talking to fat middle-aged men who use nail polish."

I know the great Scotty Anderson uses a thumbpick. Watch him tear it up on Troy Grady's site. Anyone know how he's doing? His site's been let go for too long now.

Stratocat said...

Whoa!! Great video! His thumbpick is real short, which makes sense, especially because if I'm used to using my bare thumb, then anything added is gonna seem awkward. I can shift a regular pick around easier too. The slo-mo close up is very cool. He's doing all downstrokes there. I alternate alot which is may also be a problem for me with thumbpicks.

Scotty's main site and myspace look fine to me. He's promoting a new DVD from both sites.

He does Chet great!!

Dave Jacoby said...

I was meaning Troy. His last update was in 2007.