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by Carlos Diez Macia 1 Comment
Guitar picks can really be made out of anything. In the past, some exotic materials were used to produce guitar picks.
The technological wave that came with highly specialized polymers created a new era of materials with amazing properties.
The material of a guitar pick is strictly connected to its flexibility and tone. It is hard to imagine that such a small piece can have a big impact on playability.
However, you will clearly notice some sound differences when testing a couple of different guitar picks.
Luckily, these small useful gems are the cheapest guitar accessory you can acquire, allowing you to test many guitar pick models.
When it comes to guitar picks, changing the properties of a material is not an easy task.
Flexible guitar pick materials can create mellow and warm tones when using specific guitar techniques. However, they can also achieve brighter tones when holding the pick very closely to the pointy tip or “attack area”. This is the reason they have been the go-to choice for guitarists for decades.
Stiff guitar pick materials can create a snappier, bright tone that can be very delightful, provide more volume and more clarity to your chords and solo notes. These picks are often used for more specific guitar techniques by lead guitarists.
Thickness, shape and size will play an important role too!
Flexible guitar pick materials can create mellow, warm tones. However, when using plectrum thicknesses over 1 mm, the tone will get darker and heavier. This can be used to create the feeling of having more “bass” in your instrument. The same effect happens with the size. The more material you have, the heavier the sound will be.
We have a guide to find your guitar pick HERE. You will learn how these 4 attributes (material, shape, size, and thickness) are connected.
Every guitarist has different preferences. Throughout our development, we have involved as many professional guitarists as possible, and asked them to define how their perfect material should feel.
We came to the following conclusions. The guitar pick material should:
With these premises, we started our long journey: the search for a suitable material.
After lots of tests, feedback rounds and sending dozens of pick prototypes around the globe to our guitar pick testers, we think we`ve found it!
We are using a thermoplastic polymer that belongs to the family of the polyamides. This material is used in aerospace and automobile industries and has the following properties:
The raw material we use is produced in Italy. We have worked very closely with our material partner to accomplish every requirement we had, including the 100% recycled material of the EcoBlack sets.
We believe we have achieved an excellent balance between, sound, comfort, aesthetic properties, and durability.
Combined with well-thought ergonomic designs, different textures, and very good quality control of the process, this material can accomplish all 5 premises we defined above.
We are also experimenting with recycled materials. In our “ECO-Black" range, we offer the same material formula, but use 100% recycled material from pre-consumer waste.
In this product range, the guitar picks are only available in Graphite Black. Currently, this is the only color we can produce when using this compound.
In addition, during compound manufacturing, there are 90% less emissions, 65% energy reduction, and a 61% reduction of total resources.
We will continue our hard work in this area and someday in the future, we will be able to create colored guitar picks out of this material. When this day comes, all of our guitar picks will be 100% recycled.
Read more about the Eco-Black range and the recycled guitar picks in our article "ROMBO Unveils New “Eco-Black Range Guitar Pick Models".
Finding a material you feel comfortable with is not an easy task, but you will have lots of fun along the way.
We believe material development is fundamental to ensure a future of plenty of functional, good-looking and environmentally friendly materials.
Share this article with friends to help us with our mission: vote for development, for the implementation of new ideas and for questioning deep-rooted standards to find something better.
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by Carlos Diez Macia