Tommy Harkenrider Blues & Roots

Talk to me about picks

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Home Forums The Woodshed Talk to me about picks

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    The D’Andrea Pro Plecs is what supposedly took the place of the of the Spectra Tommy refers to. I feel they are slightly different though because they are a different material. I really like the Pro Plecs. I just do not have many because they are hard to find in stores, and I have to order them online. I will say save your money and do not worry about the Blue Chip Picks and the Red Bear. The Dunlop Primetones and the V-Picks are just as nice. My only complaint on the Primetones is you can’t get them any bigger than 1.5mm because I really like a 2mm. The Blue Chip is a little brighter than the V-Picks to me though. Like Tommy’s story of the pick, to me it is not worth it if you lose a pick and have to freak out because you are out $50.

    The best pick I have played, and definitely impressed more than any of the Blue Chips and others is something a friend of mine does with his picks. I just do not have the free time to do it. I have a friend that is a mandolin player and he takes the Clayton Acetal pick that Tommy use, but buys it in the 2mm size, then reshapes and rebevels them. I think the Clayton provides the best jazzy/blues tone of all the picks, I just never cared for the tip and how they released. They make faster jazz runs a little awkward, and definitely not as easy as the V-Picks or D’Andrea’s that were mentioned. This is why my friend also did not like them because of the tremolo picking, but like me just loved the tone of them. After my friend reshapes his, they have that nice smooth bevel that just glides over the strings, like the others, but has a tone that surpasses the others. The best part is you are getting them by the dozen for $4, not the $5 a pick like V-Pick, or the $30 and up for the Red Bear and Blue Chip. You might even well be happy with the Clayton the way they are. The reshaping is easy to do, just a little time consuming. You just sand it down to shape with heavy grit sandpaper, then use very fine sand paper and wet sanding to make them super smooth. You almost have to sand them down if you want to change the tip shape because they are very durable. The pick does really reshape itself after playing like a lot of others do. Dunlop Tortex or Fender Celluloid for example.


    I came across this video of a guy reviewing some of the picks that were mentioned here like the V-Picks, Blue Chip, Red bear, JB, and Dunlop. He plays a little with each of them and gives his opinions. In the video he will show closeups of the picks, and with the JB, Blue Chip, and the Red Bear, that is the bevel I was talking about that the Dunlop Primetones have (if you buy the sculpted ones) and that my friend puts into his Clayton picks like Tommy has. You can get the Primetone picks in the same shape as the Blue Chip and Red Bear also. Price wise they are $6 for a three pack. Sound wise they sound like the V-Picks, just maybe a hair brighter. So the way the guy describes the JB and Blue Chip compared to the V-Pick, I would imagine the Primetone sounds very similar. I really like the Primetone picks. Hopefully this video will help.


    A little new info on picks. Like we have discussed in the past some of the biggest components to tone can be the smallest. I have been experimenting with picks for quite awhile and Craner brought me a clayton wood pick and dunlop primetones. Both of these picks impact my tone in different ways. For chording especially in a Sock Rhy. the wood pick has a nice bright presence and the chord strums are even in volume. The primetones are bright and have good punch they get in front of the mix.


    The folks at Graph Tech sent me a sample pack of their pics for review and I was pleasantly surprised. They have 3 shapes, various thickness and 3 materials sort of warm, average and bright. The white colored bright tone pics are what I found to be interesting. The thicker material, 1.4, was as bright as a normal .7 or something like that. So you have the stiff feel but it’s bright and bright in a pleasant, not peaky way. I know, probably not the most sought after tone for this crowd, but I like the option to have the extra brightness without having to go to a floppy pick.


    That’s interesting. I find that I usually want a brighter sound and I have refused to use a lighter pick. I would be very interested in this. I’m still using the primetone picks and have been really happy. My buddy sol brought me a clear V-Pick last night it was pretty interesting the shape and contours are really different for me, but the sound is cool. I find the thicker fat picks are important for me to execute those Oscar Moore, or Les Paul glisandos. I see why the gypsy guys use the fat 5mm picks. I might contact graph tech and see what they have and take a test spin. Thanks Grez!!!

Viewing 5 posts - 16 through 20 (of 20 total)
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