So I’m reading through the forums, looking for what’s new when up pops this title “Jellifish”. How can you resist taking a look at that topic?

Apparently there is this little pick like device that has a series of 32 gauge guitar strings, cut at a precise angle and attached to a piece of Lexan. Think of a miniature version of the angled kitchen broom.

Now when you hold this correctly and stroke it across the strings, the angled jellifish strings pluck and release each string milliseconds apart. Pretty cool, huh?

So I ordered 3 to get the discount, and I waited. Two days later there they were in the mail box. Like a little kid at Christmas I ripped open the package, popped a couple into cases and got to work playing around with this newfangled contraption.

There are three effects for you to try written on the package, chorus, pluck and bow. Now also on the package it says it takes just a few minutes to master and picks will be obsolete. I’m going to say that’s a bit of poetic license and caution that if you believe that you’ll be disappointed. Well that’s it for negatives.

Here’s what I discovered:

The “Chorus” effect is pretty cool and quite easy use. This one really did take me about two minutes to get the downstroke consistent and about forty-five minutes to get the wrist roll correct for the upstroke. Nice dulcimer sound. Not a twelve string sound, but a cool effect. I’d use this one just about anywhere. The jellifish works much better if you relax your wrist and strum gently, letting the jellifish strings work. The harder and faster you go, the less time the jellifish has to react. So keep it light and easy.

“Pluck” took much longer, a couple of hours’ solid practice. I’m not complaining – it just isn’t intuitive. Still the jellifish gives a nice sound, sort of a banjo twang to a guitar string. You need to turn your hand just like it says in the picture on the package, like you are turning a key in a lock. I’ve had it a week now and I’m still trying to get this up to speed. It’s worth the effort. If you pluck sharply you get a sharp sound, if you really slow it down you get a miniature chorus effect using just the longest of the jellifish strings.

“Bow?” I’m still working on it a week later. I can get the sound, but I don’t feel comfortable using it to perform yet. I think it could be useful for something like Kashmir. I can only get this one to work with any consistency on the wound strings. I’ll let you know if and when I nail it down. It does give a unique sound that you aren’t going to find anywhere else.

I’m not getting rid of any picks, but for less than $10 bucks it’s a cool little thing to have in your bag of tricks. If you are looking for something to give you that different sound, something to make you unique, (at least temporarily), pick up a jellifish or three. I highly recommend it.