Taisho Koto is a musical instrument that produces sound by playing strings with a pick like a guitar. There are many types of picks, such as shape and thickness, and which one should be selected, especially for beginners. This time, we will introduce the types of picks that can be used for Taisho Koto and how to select them.
■ Pick Shape
○ Triangle type
A triangular pick, also called an onigiri type. It is a versatile type that can be used in any style, from delicate melodies to arpeggios, flips, and tremolo. There is a certain amount of area, so there is a sense of stability when holding it, and even beginners who have never used a pick can make sounds easily. Many Taisho Koto picks are sold as triangles, and most Taisho Koto players around the market use this type of pick. I think "easy to play" is the reason why many players use it. If the thickness is medium or hard, it can be used for almighty.
○ Equilateral triangle
An equilateral triangle pick with three straight lines. Because the angle is sharper than the triangle type, the impression of the sound is clear. In contrast to its aggressive appearance, it is very easy to hold, so even those with smaller hands can produce a loud and loud sound with less power. Personally, I had a prejudice that an equilateral triangle pick was an electric bass pick, but I really liked it because of its surprising ease of holding and straight sound. It is also recommended for playing the tenor and bass parts, and I think the thickness of about 1.0mm is optimal. Perhaps because of the large size, it feels a bit snagged on the strings, so tremolo playing and fast-playing phrases may be difficult.
○ Tear drop type
A tear-shaped pick popular with rock guitarists. Since the tip is sharp, it is suitable for playing single notes and arpeggios. By reducing the contact surface with the strings, it can be moved compactly and quickly, and tremolo playing is easy to do. Because the pick area is compact, accurate picking of the strings is required, so it is recommended for intermediate and advanced users.
○ Home base type
A pentagonal pick that is also famous for being used by deep purple Richie Blackmore. The other day, I played Taisho with this pick for the first time, but I felt that the tremolo playing method was very easy, probably because of the compactness and the good angle of the tip. Of course, I think there are various ways of playing depending on how you play and compatibility, but I was most surprised by the picks I tried this time. If you use the tremolo technique a lot, we recommend that you try it once.
○ Thumb Pick
A thumb pick that can be attached to your thumb. Since I couldn't hold the pick deeply, I couldn't play myself honestly, but if you are an advanced player, you will be able to play it. Guitars tend to be favored mainly by country-based super technicians, and it is said that once accustomed, they can no longer be let go. Depending on your idea, you might be able to play tricky play with fingers other than your thumb. Recommended for individualists who want to pursue the possibilities of Taisho Koto.
○ Taisho Koto Pick
Pick set recommended for beginners. After all "Takko pattern" goes well with Taisho.
There are various materials such as celluloid, nylon, and tortoiseshell, but I personally like "Ultem", which is said to have a close feel to nails and tortoiseshells, and "Totex", which has a rough feel. Some of them are non-slip, but I don't think you'll be sweating around the stage like a guitarist, so you don't have to worry too much. The way you play depends on how you feel when you hold the pick, so we recommend that you try some if possible.
The thickness of the pick is very important because it greatly affects how you play and the tone. Medium (approx. 0.7mm) is the standard for Taisho Koto performances, and if you often play low-pitched parts such as alto and bass, you may want to select hard (approx. 1.0mm). THIN (about 0.5mm), which is thinner than medium, is not suitable for fast phrases and tremolo, but the vibration of the strings is transmitted directly to the finger, so you can add a delicate picking nuance to the tone.
If you are a beginner of Taisho Koto, I think that if you choose a medium triangle type for the time being, there is no problem. The sound changes depending on the pick, so I think it's important to choose the type that matches the type, playing style, and atmosphere of the song. There are many other types besides the ones introduced this time, so please experiment and find a pick that suits you. I think that it is fun to use properly because it is not expensive.