Tools for the Task: Alternative Material Picks
No dis on plastic, but there are many more ways to skin a pick.
While the majority of picks you'll see at the shop are likely a plastic varietal, there are loads of alternative-material options like the 10 here—from wood to bone to stone—that might open a new tone window for you.
Handcrafted in India, these rosewood picks are intended to produce full, rich, and strong tones, and have a rounded depression for the thumb and an index-finger curve on the opposite side.
These picks are produced from surprisingly hard coconut husk, which delivers clean, bright tones. An indent detail for the thumb and a scooped detail on the underside for the first finger help prevent rotation.
Made from molded carbon fiber and featuring a molded-in grip with a combination of coarse and fine textures, these picks are designed to deliver a sharp attack and superior pick control.
Handcrafted from fossilized woolly mammoth ivory, the material density of these picks produces a bright, strong tone, and provides a surface that doesn’t slip like plastic when fingers sweat.
These picks are individually handcrafted from rough stone. Common tone descriptors from players include clean, balanced, buttery, and smooth—depending on the chosen thickness of the pick.
These copper/nickel “George” picks have liquid-smooth beveled edges that don’t promote string wear—but do help provide standout attack and smooth, bright tone.
Amber was tree resin millions of years ago, but when condensed and polymerized, it becomes the same density and texture of forbidden-fruit tortoise shell, resulting in similar rich and warm tones.
Made from a unique elastomer (rubber) material, these picks are designed to remove pick noise and provide warm and clean tones reminiscent of finger play.
These mother-of-pearl picks are ergonomically carved for a comfortable fit between the thumb and index finger, and for a profile that delivers an upstroke sound similar to the downstroke.