Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black Eyes, Black Skies, Black Ice

(Apologies to Mr. A. Partridge).

What's under the cushion, wedged in the dryer, beneath the bed, stuck to your forearm, stuffed in your gig bag? A pick, of course. Unless you are a digitus au natural player, you use a pick. You might even have a favorite size, gauge, color, etc. New picks are a dime a dozen (or used to be, back in the day). New shapes, new materials, new whatever. Hard to be excited by a pick, especially if you have a favorite and are under the impression that your tone and style are due in some part to your choice of pick...and, indeed, they are.

So, switching picks was never my thing. I always favor a medium for strummy things and a Jazz 3 for solo-y things. Any medium pick would work, but it was difficult to find an equal to the feel of a jazz pick. Even though I tried them out at Planet Waves headquarters before they were released to the public, I did not think the Black Ice picks were going to win me over. They felt great, they sounded great, they didn't slip through my fingers...but I already had a favorite pick. Why change?

I put my stash of Black Ice picks in a drawer and went on, blissfully unaware. One day, a few months ago, while looking for something else, I found my Black Ice stash. Tried out a medium .080 gauged pick. Loved it. Loved it for strumming AND picking. It sounded great on acoustics, great on electrics, great on ukulele, great on mandolin.

Now it's the only pick I use. There's a blog post in that tale...

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