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more pick stuff


One or two of you may know that I’ve spent a deal of time and money on picks. It’s been ongoing for about 2 years now. Changing picks has been of more real benefit than any new guitar or any other piece of kit could’ve been.

While renewing the edges & points on favoured worn picks, I have experimented by adding bevels or a modifying the shape using files, emery cloth and whatever has come to hand. Some mods have been successful, others not.

I’ve even considered making some, and schemed up a couple of jigs and a list of tools. For now though I’m going to continue to try to perfect the design mods I’ve made to existing picks.

To make the alterations I want easier and quicker, I’ve just bought a multi angle vice (modelling type) and an assortment of grinding bits for use in a variable speed drill.

I usually try to avoid the ‘white noise’ type sounds that come with coarse textured materials. This is when a rough pick surface scrapes on the string. But a very small amount is nice. I found this when using ‘Chicken Picks’. I never found out what these are made of but they are harder wearing than most synthetics. More importantly they won’t take a high gloss shine, so the texture is always satin-like. It sounds great.

Stone is the opposite. It’s a great material for jazz. It’s warm (though not very loud) and suits round wound strings. The only disadvantage is that highly polished stone adds a ‘bottleneck effect’ (extraneous high chirpy sounds). Using the neck pup with reduced EQ highs sorts that out nicely though.



These are most of the picks that I’ve used/accumulated so far:


Gibson Wedge (triangular) Medium & Heavy


Chicken Picks Tritone III 2.1mm (now modified)

Chicken Picks Series Bermuda III 2.7mm


Blue Chip TAD-40


Timber Tones Gypsy (triangular)

Timber Tones Gypsy BUFFALO BONE :

Timber Tones Gypsy BLACK (BUFFALO) HORN :  (1 now modified)

Timber Tones Gypsy AFRICAN EBONY : (3220 hardness Janka scale* )

Timber Tones Gypsy COCONUT HUSK :


Timber Tones Jewel Tones Amethyst

Timber Tones  Groove Tones jazz pointed WHITE HORN

Timber Tones  Groove Tones jazz pointed BUFFALO BONE

Timber Tones  Groove Tones jazz pointed CLEAR HORN

Timber Tones  Jazzy Tones Max Turquoise

Timber Tones  Jasper Tones Mookite Jasper 1


V-Pick (Pointed Medium) : 2.75mm

V-Pick (Pointed Ultra light Medium Red) : 0.8mm

V-Pick (Pointed Large) : 2.75mm

V-Pick (Pointed Freakishly Large) : 2.75mm

V-Pick Snake : 4.10mm

V-Picks Screamer : 2.75mm

V-Pick Diamond : 4.10mm

V-Pick Colossal : 8.85mm


Dunlop Ultex : 0.88 thickness

Dunlop Tortex: 0.88 thickness

Dunlop Primetone: Jazz-3: 1.4mm

Dunlop 473P : 3.0mm Tri Stubby (3 of which now modified)



Stagg Elliptic :  0.88mm (1 of which now modified)


Fender Classic celluloid medium

Fender Heavy Shell


Clayton US80


Hawk Picks Tonebird 4 Plectrum 1.2mm Std Bevels


Planet Waves Nylpro Jazz Guitar Pick 1.4mm


Tusq PQP-0488-G4 .88mm


Gravity (Tri-Point orange) Stl-std-3-Pol-NA


Stone Picks: Agate jazz pick. Gauge range: 2.5-3.0mm

Stone Picks: Agate jazz pick. Gauge range: 1.5-2.0mm


Stone Works Guitar Picks (Mike Stone) 1 x GP2174 (bloodstone-triangle-thick) 

Stone Works Guitar Picks (Mike Stone) 1 x GP2632 (petrified-triangle-thin) 

Stone Works Guitar Picks (Mike Stone) 1 x GP2485 (mozarkite-triangle-thick) 

Stone Works Guitar Picks (Mike Stone) 1 x GP2331 (brazilian-jazz-thin) 



Le Niglo N6 Bronze

Le Niglo Titanium (le NiTi-SG Titane pointu - Tour de cou:)

Le Niglo N4 Chrome (le tour de cou)

(Le Niglo supplied) S16 Indian Horn


Picks & Stones: Brasilian Agate 3.5 Jazz

Picks & Stones: Bloodstone Ultra Thin 1.5

Picks & Stones: Brasilian Agate 4mm Jazz Style Finger Groove Pick

Picks & Stones: Customer Special Order (tri-corner sharp x 4) Malachite Azurite + 3


Stone Guitar Picks (Jerusalem Israel) : Mozarkite (Tri) 2.5mm

Stone Guitar Picks (Jerusalem Israel) : Black Jade (Tri) 5.1mm

Stone Guitar Picks (Jerusalem Israel) : Snake River Agate (Tri) 2.9mm

Stone Guitar Picks (Jerusalem Israel) : Brazilian Agate (jazz) 1.8mm

Stone Guitar Picks (Jerusalem Israel) : Bloodstone (jazz) 1.6mm

These picks are the ones that I now use live.


V-Picks Freakishly Large (Tri-points) 2.75mm for soloing (Timbertone Coconut Gypsy are a close 2nd).

Any synthetic (nylon/celluloid etc) for rhythm work (light enough for flexing) Gibson, Dunlop etc.

Stone picks (various) for the odd occasions I play jazz. These are usually listed as ‘one-off’ items.



Recommended Comments

Hi Rudi , 


I was interested to read , that for you , using different PICKS give a different sound , would that be a " general thing "  amongst musicians ? or a personal thing ? 


Why do you use hand tools , e.g. a file , ?


I bought a nephew one of those PICK MAKING MACHINES , it is a box , that when you push down on the lid , it cuts out a pick from a plastic sheet , he started trying out all different types of plastics and whatever else it would cut , ;)

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Sorry teek, I never noticed this question until now!


Ok, for decades I used Gibson triangular picks. Cheap bendy black things with three playing edges. I still essentially like this design.


I am unusual in the regard that I use different picks. It comes from the ongoing quest for improvement (mine). I have collected a lot of very different picks in a 2 year period.


I now only use 3 basic types.


1/ The triangular old Gibson ones. Heavy or Medium (depending on string tension) for rhythm playing. The 'give' is helpful.

2/ Thicker (1.8mm or more) triangular pick with 'sharp points'. These are plastic (perspex etc) and used for soloing. My favourite is V-Picks 'Freakishly Large'. They are solid.

3/ For jazz I use stone. And that is mainly on my big box Archtop with heavier roundwound strings. Either triangles again or the regular 'jazz picks' which are much smaller. Jazz picks have the advantage of being pointier by design. The stone sound is warmer and a bit quieter. For regular playing they have an unfortunate high 'chirp' when they touch the strings, but if you use a neck pickup and a bass biased EQ, this copes pretty well with the chirps. The advantage of stone is that it doesnt wear out.


Yes its me that unusual. Most players dont pay much attention to the picks they use. They would rather spent $4,000 on a boutique amp to improve their tone :lol:.


The pick making punch is great for regular picks. I would use these for rhythm playing.

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I could imagine a STONE pick would take hours to make , probably on a sandstone wheel ?   Therefore  be EXPENSIVE ? 



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