What Are Guitar Picks ?
Guitar Picks (or less commonly referred to as plectrums) are basically a small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument. Guitar Picks are usually made from a single material and the most common and famous one is of course….Plastic !!… such as Celluloid, Nylon and Delrin, (You can also find other materials which in my own opinion are of the less common variety) These materials are: Rubber, Felt, Wood, Metal, Glass, Tagua (The Nut From The Tagua Palm Tree or Ivory Palm Tree), Stone and (My least favourite for obvious reasons!!) Tortoiseshell. Guitar Picks more often than not have a triangular shape (an acute isosceles triangle to be precise) and they have the two equal corners rounded (the part you hold in your hand) while the third corner is less rounded (the part that is in contact with the strings).
History Of Guitar Picks
The History of picks dates back thousands of years back when musicians used plectra to play stringed instruments. Up till the 19 century feather quills were the most commonly used type of plectra(Pick) and not long after that tortoiseshell became a famous material asswell…!! and even although there were other alternatives (To My Disgust..) The tortoiseshell still provided the best combination of tonal sounds… anyways fast forward 30-40 years and the guitar picks as we know them today all ended up being made from celluloid and that’s not very surprising considering that Tortoise shell was so rare, expensive, and had a tendency to break very easily even though later on other materials such as, nylon (and less commonly wood, glass, or metal) would become popular for making guitar picks for their increased grip, flexibility, or tonal qualities.
So Basically as Dire Straits Guitarist/Singer Mark Knopfler once said and I Quote” A Pick is actually the biggest Amplifier that there is”…( But the magic is all in the fingers sometimes for most people.. cause that’s where real talent shines”