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So whats the deal with wooden picks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by WavyGravy, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. WavyGravy


    Jun 11, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've recently come across the concept of wooden picks. Read it in a magazine that some players use wooden picks as opposed to traditional plastic composite for certain tones.

    My question is, who has actually tried wooden picks, or done comparisons between the two? I'm very interested here.
  2. VitalSigns


    May 8, 2011
    Central NY
    I've actually never heard of wooden picks before. :meh:
  3. WavyGravy


    Jun 11, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    I read about it in bass player mag this month and it got me interested
  4. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Wood and my fave -hard very thick leather - are fine options and were used long before plastic was invented. They wear down fast but are free/cheap and give a bit different sound than fingers or plastic. If you have sore finger tips then switching to a pick for a while will let you play pain free until your finger tips heal.
  5. WavyGravy


    Jun 11, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yes but how was the tone? How did the tone differ from traditional picks?
  6. I'd say it's tone is probably similar to a felt pick. Unless it's made from an ultra hard wood.
  7. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    I've read about ebony pics. I cannot imagine spending that kind of money on something so brittle.
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I read that also it looks interesting I use rubber picks and love the thump on my Hofner.
  9. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    I have a couple - I think they were included when I bought a pick made of woolly mammoth tusk off of etsy.com. I haven't used them much - I tend to pick very hard and was afraid I would destroy them! But maybe it's time to do some sound clips. My personal favorite right now is graphite - I've also used the Wedgie rubber picks, stone, and bone...
  10. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    What's a pick?

    Oh, and he said wood. Uh, huh huh....
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I have plastic, derelin, metal, and felt ... but no wood picks.
  12. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    I once made a rubber pick out of hard rubber glazier's shim material. I rarely use a pick, but now I may have to try wooden picks.
  13. JamesGoodall


    Aug 29, 2011
    If I pick, I use organic material picks. Wood, horn, shell, bone. They just have different sounds. Ebony is warm, the denser woods are bright, bone is very tinny, I had a mammoth tusk pick once, and that was by far the best sound ever. Very rich and harmonic. In close second is Abalone. Not quite as good, but cheaper.

    Yes, they're expensive, but they make great b-day/Christmas presents and you're much less likely to loose them.
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    They're made of wood rather than plastic.
  15. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Just be careful what kind of wood picks you get. Maple picks give you a more crisp high end, and mahogany picks give you a warmer tone.
  16. Epidrake


    May 24, 2011
    I love experimenting with different picks. It's amazing the tonal differences you get with changing pick material and size and thickness.
    I am surprised at how much I'm liking graphite. It's so much warmer than I thought it would be. Never tried wood. Can't wait to try it.
  17. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I very rarely use a pick on bass, but I have a set of John Pearse Handfull of Picks in various wood, bone, horn and shell styles. I use them on guitar primarily. Not cheap, but great if you can splurge for them. I've had my set for well over five years. The tone varies from very warm to very bright.
  18. fjadams

    fjadams Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
  19. Rokoko


    Nov 30, 2008
    i grabbed a john pearse pick collection, and I actually prefer the feel of the rosewood and ebony picks to other materials (such as plastic). The sound is slightly less high end'ish, but most of all the feel is nicer... i know ...not the most thorough review.
  20. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Trying to describe sound with words always leads to more questions. It's "different" :meh:
    A piece of scrap 2X4 or other wood can be cut to size/shape (which is not critical) easy enough and free. Give it a try and see what you think.

    If you want to try leather find a Tandy leather store or shoe repair shop. Ask for a small 1 inch square of the thickest, hardest, toughest leather they have. Most places will give you a small piece of scrap for free. It should be close to 1/4 inch thick (or more if you get lucky, 3/16 is OK) and it does not matter if it's rough or smooth. I've glued (almost any kind of glue works) 3 thin (1/8 inch) pieces together to make a leather pic 3/8 inch thick and used it several times a week for a month. It wears to a taper as you use it and gets shorter until it's too short to use.