My name is Cheena and I like picks so much that I started making my own.
This time, I'm talking about my favorite picks.
When I bought a bass for the first time, I’ll never forget the Jim Dunlop Tri Stubby 1.5mm that I bought at the same time… a pick that can withstand the strong tension of a 5-string, super long scale bass is inevitably thick. So I used a thick pick.
I'm playing bass in brass band as I declared in the previous article and Twitter, but there are various things that I put into practice for reasons such as sound quality, and those that became hobby items. Now that I've done it, I'd like to introduce some things that were particularly easy to use.
Maybe my love of transparent picks and acrylic picks started here.
The Tri Stubby, which has no flat edges and has a taper on the entire surface, is characterized by its ability to pop smoothly. And unlike acrylic picks, the attack is not emphasized and picking noise is less likely to occur.
It is made of a material called Lexan, and even with a thickness of 1.5 mm, the tip bends slightly, and if it exceeds 2.0 mm, it hardly bends.
Of particular note is the occasional sound of a tight compression, as in product reviews. It can be said to be a pick for the rhythm section.
A beautiful blue pick from Gravity, the leading acrylic pick maker.
Gravity picks come in different colors depending on the thickness, neon yellow is 1.5mm, blue is 2.0mm, orange is 3.0mm, yellow is 4.0mm, and for some reason there is no 5.0mm and 6.0mm is red.
The advantages of acrylic picks in general is their sharp attack and high wear resistance, and the bass produces a solid sound.
In brass band, it is just right when playing rhythmic roots, and when combined with a comp with a slow attack such as Dynacomp, it can make a percussive sound.
This is a 2.75mm thick acrylic chamfered and polished pick.
The pick itself feels light in spite of the thickness, and the sound output that you can experience, giving it a unique ease of playing.
From my point of view, it comes off the strings better than the Gravity pick, which is a good introduction to acrylic picks.
This is an inexpensive pick using black acrylic, unlike the clear blue I mentioned earlier.
It is the thinnest in the Gravity series at 1.5mm, and it is easy to use with the chamfered edges, but it has enough acrylic sound.
It is also very lightweight due to how thin it is and its small triangular size.
As a feature of the whole series, at first, the uncut corners are quite sharp and the sound is not stable, but after breaking it in, it stabilizes with the rounded tip.
This pick is the easiest to use and it can be used as an all-rounder.
This is a highly transparent pick, which is made of a new material called Tritan instead of acrylic.
It's about the same size as a John Petrucci Jazz III.
After the tip has sharpened a little from use, it doesn’t change much, it is hard to bend, it pops with a round, sweet sound peculiar to a thick pick.
By the way, the black and blue versions of the JTC series are anti-slip processed with rubber.
Since transparent picks are slippery compared to the blue and black, I recommend Vision Slip Guard, Greco G-Grip, and anti-slip processing described later.
By the way, this is one of the best picks from Pykmax Universal introduced earlier.
This is a Kaleido series pick with a design on a transparent base.
Using the same Tritan as JTC1 mentioned above, this is a little soft and smooth to play. The teardrop shape is 0.88mm-1.0mm-1.2mm, which are the same thickness and size as general picks.
What’s characteristic about this pick is that the surface treatment is different on the front and back. The front side (the side where characters can be read correctly) is glossy, and the back side is matte.
I use it without thinking about it, but it may actually mean that it is non-slip and that it reacts sensitively to the nuances of my fingertips.
Extra edition ①: Pick holder
This is a type of pick holder that can be attached to the strings at the head. It comes from manufacturers Rombo and Wedgie, but now Sound House no longer sells Wedgie's.
As a result, bass pick holders that are not made by Rombo are no longer available for purchase. It's an accessory that you can't easily find, not only at Sound House but also at other online and physical stores. So if you happen to find one, you should buy it. The normal selling price is around 500 yen.
Although it is said to be for guitar, it can also be used for bass, and one can hold two picks.
I have bought about 4 of them when I came across them somewhere.
Extra edition ②: Pick processing
As with the previous article, it is effective to drill holes to prevent the pick from slipping out of your fingers. You can make the holes with a pin vise or drill that can be bought even at 100-yen stores, and deburr with a chrysanthemum cone or reamer, or if not, use a bit with a large diameter for ironworks. Click here for details.
Related article"Let's play with Playtech-Customize cheap picks-"
In addition to non-slip, it is also possible to use old, damaged picks to make a strap.
However, there are some materials that are difficult to process, such as acrylic, which is fragile and metal picks which are difficult drill holes into with a hand drill.
Extra edition ③: Homemade picks
The FDM 3D printer melts plastic, stacks it layer by layer, and hardens it to form a three-dimensional object.
As such, I started with the idea of why buy a pick normally, when you can make expensive three-dimensional molded picks at a low price.
I selected ABS plastic, which is a very common "plastic", and is also used in school recorders for music education and those famous block toys that everyone knows. It has excellent wear-resistance and hardness, and also is highly transparent, so I chose this because it was a cheap material for 3D printers.
Picks designed using 3D CAD are molded with a 3D printer, treated with a solvent to eliminate stacking marks, and polished before they are used in practice.
The attraction of making picks is that you can make picks that suit your hand and purpose, and you can also make picks with aggressive designs. For example, the V-Picks Insanity with a thickness of more than 1 cm can be molded into smaller picks, or a thumbpick can be sized to fit your thumb and made thicker.
Digression: About Tusq Picks
Tusq (artificial ivory) is famous as a material used for guitar and bass nuts, saddles, bridge pins, and so on, but actually there are also Tusq picks. However, they are very thin, up to about 1mm.
I bought a 0.88mm Tusq pick as a trial, but they easily gets scuffed and scraped. If you drop a Tusq pick, it makes a high metallic sound, but when playing, the sound is different from what I expected, and it was not very comfortable to play, so it was put into storage.
Currently, I’m making a prototype of a Tusq pick using a saddle for the material, so I will write an article about the characteristics when using Tusq as a thick pick after completion.
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This time I wrote about picks.
You can enjoy the picks made not only with good functionality but also with good design.
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