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Wooden Picks

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Sansmerci
(@sansmerci)
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Topic starter  

Anyone used a wooden guitar pick? Saw them in a music shop and on ebay -- they look so luxuriously tempting. Are they worth the cash in the same way that nice rosewood knitting needles are? :)


   
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Crow
 Crow
(@crow)
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Cool idea! It would depend on the wood, I suspect. Roundwounds would chew up any wooden pick in short order, wouldn't they?

I have a lot of cowbone stock (the dog splinters his chew toys) & have been thinking about cutting some picks from that....

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


   
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NoteBoat
(@noteboat)
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I've tried wood (and metal, cardboard, various plastics, hard rubber, and other stuff). I made a pick from basswood that had a nice mellow tone, but it didn't last very long. Crow's speculation is right, roundwounds chew up soft wood, and the nicks/chips/splinters that result give you an uncontrolled sound (and inhibit your picking motion).

I suppose you could make a pick from a hardwood like mahogany, or maybe even ironwood, that would be durable enough to work with. But it sure strikes me as a labor intensive process to shape and polish - plus it's hard to work small pieces of wood precisely, as there's not much surface for a clamp or vice to hold your work - and even less room for your tools.

The basswood one I did years ago I did by splitting a small block along the grain with a chisel, cutting out the basic shape with a coping saw, and then doing edge shaping with a pocket knife. It was probably 4-5mm thick when finished, and felt pretty good. If I'd used a harder wood, I probably would have tried a small vise with a Dreml tool to shape the edges. But then I would have had to make my blank with a table saw or something, because hardwoods don't tend to split nearly as cleanly as softwoods.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
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I use them all the time. They last longer than regular picks by far.


   
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Sansmerci
(@sansmerci)
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Topic starter  

Most of the ones I've seen advertised seem to be made from what I'd call fairly exotic hardwoods, stuff like mahogany and ... oh I forget the names, the sorts of things I expect to come from equally exotic locations :)


   
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Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
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I use ebony, rosewood, blackwood and even boxwood. The same manufacturer makes a horn and bone pick too.

I'd say the wood picks have a warmer tone, a bit muted and the horn and bone have a glassy tone to them while still maintaining some of the warmth.


   
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Sansmerci
(@sansmerci)
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Topic starter  

I use ebony, rosewood, blackwood and even boxwood. The same manufacturer makes a horn and bone pick too.
Thanks for the info, maybe I'll try some different picks -- seems like there's lots of variety about.


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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I like the look of these neolithic style picks.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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Dan Lasley
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"Wooden Picks, on the water..." - CSN


   
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Sansmerci
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Topic starter  

I like the look of these neolithic style picks.

Are they /really/ picks and where do they come from if so? :P


   
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imalone
(@imalone)
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Pretty sure those are arrow heads and you get them from the stone age.

Though googling neothlithic guitar picks I found this: http://www.findsbook.com/forum/field-walkers/2244-neolithic-period.html , so time to hone those flint knapping skills?


   
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Sansmerci
(@sansmerci)
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Topic starter  

Pretty sure those are arrow heads and you get them from the stone age.

Though googling neothlithic guitar picks I found this: http://www.findsbook.com/forum/field-walkers/2244-neolithic-period.html , so time to hone those flint knapping skills?

Flintknapping's something my husband's interested in, though he's not actually tried it :>


   
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s1120
(@s1120)
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"Wooden Picks, on the water..." - CSN
OK.. thats funny. :)

Ive never used one....and frasnkly dont use a pick at all, but it would be dooable to make them. Take a blank of some hardwood, and cut the basic shape out most of the way with a dremel router attachment, or a scroll saw, then make slices with a band saw... trim, file, and sand to finish, and its dooable. Maybe Ill try it next time I stumble across a nice piece of hardwood.

Paul B


   
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greybeard
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I have bone/horn as well as wood picks. They have a meaty, rounded tone.

I also have stainless steel, credit card and coconut shell.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
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snowdogg
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cool never thought of this! what is the difference in tone anyone?


   
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