Picks from Dunlop, Clayton, and D’Andrea Reviewed
A prestigious MacArthur Genius Grant was awarded to a violin bow maker from Boston last year. It’s common knowledge that good violins are expensive, but some may be surprised to learn just how much professional violinists spend on their bow alone — anywhere from many hundreds to thousands of dollars. It stands to reason though; the bow is what draws sound from strings and wood, a crucial link in the connection between artist and instrument — not far off from the role played by the much humbler guitar pick. Funny then that many professional guitarists, by stark contrast to violinists, opt to draw sound from their strings with a $0.25 piece of plastic.
Over the past year or so I’ve been on something of a pick quest, exploring the range of both budget and boutique alternatives on the market. Picks are a simple, comparatively cheap, and surprisingly effective way to tweak one’s guitar tone, whether acoustic or electric.