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Friday, May 18, 2012

Black Fang Picks

Current mood: drunk like a russian

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So the other day I was in grabbing new sets of strings for my guitars and I walked over to the pick section to see if they had finally gotten in the style of pick I have been loving.  Dunlop was kind enough to send me every flavor of .88mm picks they have, and I quickly fell in love with the Dunlop Tortex III before that for the past eons I have used the standard Tortex Sharps.  The thing I look for in a pick is a nice sharp pointed end; however the downside to the sharp was how drastically it sharpened, I didn't like the lack of the material on the pointy tip but lived with it.  Then I tried the Tortex III that has a similar pointed tip but more of a standard round tip feel, I quickly burned through the freebies Dunlop gave me and was left wanting!  To my dismay it's not a pick my local music store kept on hand despite all my harassing, so I was left to hunt for a pick that I could replace the Tortex III with.

As a musician I am always on the hunt for simple ways to change, modify or ruin my tone and strings and picks are a pretty dang cheap place to start for under $20 you can totally change the tone of your guitar, heck a $3 metal pick will make a noticeable change.  I watched a Guitar DVD by Paul Gilbert where he was talking about constantly getting asked what kind of pick he used, and according to him most people are surprised when he tells them its a standard orange Tortex (.60mm).  So down to the local music shop I went to purchase a $3 player pack of orange Tortex picks to see what Paul was talking about.

He has mentioned most people would toss out the pick thinking "WTF!" most shred players tend to use a very thick pick sometimes even over 2mm which is a beast.  Right away I realized what he was talking about, the flexibility of the pick made alternate picking and other forms of fast picking feel kind of weird, but I must say the response of the pick off the string was much more pleasant to my ear then the .88mm so I continued to use them for quite some time.

Jump forward a few months and back on track with the current story when I was picking up strings I went to grab some picks and of course the .88mm Tortex III's werent there so I defaulted to grabbing a pack of .60mm orangies, but whats this Out of Stock...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Now it was all the way back to square one, so I literally sat down in front of all the picks and started grabbing ones from the bulk section and was flexing them, taping them, twisting them and feeling how sharp they are.  As I mentioned I am pretty picky on my picks, BA DUM TISS. 

Tucked in the back shelf of all the bulk picks I saw a bunch of Dunlop "Signature Series" Black Fang picks, these are made for James of Metallica and normally I am not a huge fan of artist marketed stuff as its generally a ploy for more money.  I grabbed a 6 pack and the price was like 20 cents more then I would normally pay, but they have a similar shape to the Tortex III I enjoy.  I got a pack in the lightest size which is .73mm a gauge I haven't tried until now and must say I really like it.  Being made out of Ultex they wont wear down too quick, and I like the Spider or Snake graphic on the front, the Metallica spelt Hetfield on the back is a little cheesy but hey who cares if it does the job right.

I just think I might keep purchasing these picks till they stop stocking them or some other weird freak accident takes they start stocking Tortex III's

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