10. December 2022
A Guitar Pick Variety Pack is a set of at least three different guitar picks aimed to contain different shapes, sizes, materials, or thicknesses of plectrums.
There are other common names for this type of guitar pick set, like “Try out Mix,” “Guitar Pick Mix Set,” or “Guitar Pick Box.” Some variety packs are focused on specific guitar areas like a “Heavy Gauge Variety Pack,” thought to be used by advanced players or “Beginner’s Variety Pack” containing medium and thin guitar picks.
On guitar picks, qualities like thickness, shape, size, and material play a pivotal role in the guitar tone, sustain, grip, or pick noise.
Therefore, it is not only about the personal preferences of the player but also about the techniques you want to develop. Your hands do an arduous job, give them the proper tools they need.
Think about it: The guitar, strings, amp, cable, and effects pedals are all pieces of the guitar gear that play a role in tone. Surprise: guitar picks too!
Use a rounded thick nylon pick and you’ll get mellower, darker, and thicker tones. Use a pointy medium Tortex guitar pick and your tone will be as bright as you can imagine.
It only takes two seconds and the cost of a coffee to change your pick and increase your tone spectrum. Larger tone repertoire means larger versatility.
Music is about staying dynamic, and monotony kills dynamics. Therefore, your most logical step as a guitarist is to find ways of expanding your repertoire of tones and techniques. This happens with practice and the right guitar gear.
Music theory, speed exercises, precision exercises, and warm-ups all have one thing in common: They focus on improvement, repetition, and perfection.
However, performance is not everything and sometimes we should focus on the joy of exploration.
The greatest ideas happen when we achieve a “flow” state, also known as the “zone.” This applies to guitar too! So, why not relax for a day, test some new pieces of gear, spark some creativity by playing around some guitar phrases, and then see what happens without planning too much and having the pressure of achieving one specific performance milestone?
Chose 4-5 different picks, turn on the amp, and give yourself a two hours break by enjoying the music you are playing now.
PS: Don’t forget to turn off your phone!
Try to perform your speed exercise with a large, worn-out, thin guitar pick. Let’s say 0.35 mm.
You will face one of these three scenarios:
As in every discipline, using the right tools is the key to success.
“Modern Guitars” are attributed to Spanish musician, Antonio de Torres Jurado. He was a luthier, and in the mid-1800s, he began creating the style of guitar that would rise to all modern guitars.
Imagine then how immense the number of available guitar techniques that had more than a dozen decades to be developed is. From strumming to hybrid picking, palm mute, sweep picking, or down picking, all these techniques have different requirements, and different requirements can be fulfilled with different tools.
In our article, “7 essential guitar pick techniques,” we have summarized some of the most common techniques.
Sure, the average guitar player owns a red Stratocaster with 09 strings and plays classic rock.
But what about the rest of us? The 7 strings shredders, the acoustic unplugged fans, the indie effect experts, the experimental music lovers, the metal-heads, the bassists using picks, and the jazz/bossa relaxed musicians out there?
We all deserve to have a choice according to our requirements.
Personally, I like to play bass with a medium pick (Rombo Prisma), and I love the warm tones of Rombo Horizon for guitar reverb phrases on my telecaster. However, when I feel like using the thickest metal distortion ever, I choose Rombo Diamond.
Different guitar pick shapes, sizes, materials, and thicknesses create a widely broad tonality and usability ranges that I need to keep my motivation up!
Did you use the same guitar pick for the last 20 years? Well, it’s never too late to get a little bit of fresh air and try something new.
Even the riff you have played 1000 times will sound different and you might notice that there are some nuances on “pick feedback” that can make your sound more fun and interesting.
What is the worst that can happen? In the worst case, you will discover a guitar pick that you prefer more than your usual! Go take that risk :-)
Guitar players have a lot of things going on in their heads: the next gig, one unfinished song composition they started some weeks ago, the speed rates of their last practice, and more.
A Guitar Pick Variety Pack is a great gift for beginners, intermediate, or advanced players. Guitarists love trying new gear because it is a way to spark some creativity and explore tonalities.
A variety pack is a super affordable option for a small, but elegant gift to make a guitarist smile and feel excited for the next practice day.
There are many different gift options from Rombo:
If only one of the guitar picks is chosen as the new favorite one, your friend will be thankful for life!
REASON SEVEN - Reflecting on your guitar tone and level
Even if you don’t like the picks included in the variety pack, they will have a positive effect on your playing.
You will reflect and confirm why you had chosen your current pick in the past and what the advantages of it are. You will reflect on your guitar tone and the nuances of guitar pick feedback and pick noise.
These experiences accumulate, and after years of exploration, you start having a sixth sense of “feeling” your instrument, your preferences, and music in general.
What do you do with your new picks? Well, if you don’t like them, give them to a friend that could need inspiration!
From the reasons above, we can take away a clear lesson: It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an advanced player, the advantages of trying a Guitar Pick Variety Pack are always there.
Why beginners profit from Guitar Pick Variety Packs:
Why intermediate and advanced players profit from guitar pick variety packs:
One example is our own guitar pick variety pack containing:
- 1 Rombo Classic | 0.45 mm
- 1 Rombo Origami | 0.75 mm
- 1 Rombo Prisma | 0.8 mm
- 1 Rombo Crisp | 1 mm
- 1 Rombo Waves | 1.25 mm
- 1 Rombo Horizon | 1.4 mm
- 1 Rombo Diamond | 2 mm
- 1 Rombo Jade | 2.3 mm
It is not only thickness that is everything. In order to make these picks more understandable for you, we have created four metrics: Attack, Flexibility, Tone, and Techniques. Here an example:
With this information, and in combination with the description of the pick and the technical drawing, we give you a very precise picture of the qualities of our guitar picks.
We also have a specific set for beginners with the “Beginners Guitar Pick Gift Box”:
And a specific set for intermediate/advanced players.
A Variety Pack is not only an excellent gift for your musician friends, but also for yourself if you are looking to explore tones, develop specific skills, or just need fresh air and try new guitar gear.
Different qualities like shape, thickness, or material, make guitar picks very different tools for different requirements. You will learn a lot in the process of testing them and every fresh input can help keep your motivation at the highest level.
The worst case: You will discover your new favorite pick!
26. September 2022 1 Comment
In June 2022, we finished the first 3D sketches of our four new guitar pick models. However, the picks weren’t 100% ready.
The thickness, size, and even the names of the picks were still undefined.
We decided to take the approach of involving as many guitarists as possible to help us co-design our new guitar picks.
The aim of this article is to summarize the results of the survey that 2122 guitarists completed. These people directly influenced the final design of our picks.
The guitar community has strongly supported Rombopicks since its beginning in 2019.
We did not want to create new guitar picks without asking the people who have been with us since the beginning. You all are the core of Rombo, and you should decide which products we develop.
The most logical step was to create a big survey, allowing users to tell us how they prefer their guitar picks. We think this is the only way to develop a product based on the wants of our users, allowing us to make essential decisions about our company's direction.
This is only possible by listening to the thoughts of every guitar player.
2122 guitar players participated in the survey and, therefore, have taken part in the design process of these new guitar picks for 2023.
509 of them left a private message with detailed information.
We discuss these private messages below.
There is a clear winner. Guitar pick number 2 is the favorite for most people.
Could it be because of its similarity in shape and size with the iconic jazz iii guitar pick?
Surprisingly, number 4 is the guitar pick that surprised me the most during the
prototype test. But of course, you never know until you try it!
Average Thickness: 0,66 mm
Size: Small Size with 89% of the votes
Average Thickness: 0,953 mm
Size: Medium Size with 77% of the votes
Average Thickness: >2 mm
Size: Large Size with 55% of the votes
Average Thickness: 0,72 mm
Size: Medium Size with 85% of the votes
A total of 509 people left us a private message regarding guitar picks.
We have read all of them carefully and we will use all this information during the
Here are the top 10 questions we have repeatedly received and our comments on them:
● Will the guitar picks be available in different colors?
Yes! The launch will include all regular Rombo colors.
Other “special edition” colors are in the pipeline.
● Will they have the same grip structure?
Lots of people have sent us e-mails and letters regarding the grip structure. With the micro-nodules, we have the advantage of medium-grip surfaces which add lots of control.
However, a very small number of people want the picks to have more grip. We had to make a decision here, and it was hard. We will slightly increase the “grain density” on the textured areas, so there are more “micro-nodules” per square millimeter.
This way, we hope to satisfy the needs of all groups.
● The material is cool but it produces warm and mellow tones. I prefer
bright tones. Do you plan a new material range?
We have intentionally created our compound in order to reach those mellow tones. However, about 12% of the users reported preferring bright tones.
We have decided to start the research on a new material that will be launched as an extra range as soon as we find the correct formula. The expected date for the launch of the new material is early 2024.
● Why don’t you create different guitar pick thicknesses for each one
of the models?
We want every guitar pick to be unique. As every person has individual preferences, we believe every guitar pick should have its own design. In the future, we hope to be able to create a wider range of plectrum designs to cover each possible necessity.
● What about picks for bass players?
Most of our picks are compatible with bass, as we have confirmed this with some bassists that are using them regularly, especially Rombo Diamond and Rombo Origami. We explained this HERE.
● You should create some merch, T-Shirts, and other stuff:
Maybe in the future. Now, we want to focus 100% on the development of the guitar picks. Every minute we spend on the design of a T-Shirt will be taken away from the quality of the picks! ;)
● Will you offer the EcoBlack range in other colors?
The EcoBlack material can only be produced in one color at the moment.
The recycling process creates a very dark pigmentation. The industry is working hard to find a way to create new recycling processes. We hope we will manufacture all of our picks out of recycled material in the future.
● Why don’t you create boutique picks?
Counter question: What is a boutique guitar pick?
A boutique pick is a unique piece of art with the shape of a guitar pick that you can use for guitar playing. Usually, these picks are handmade and out of exotic materials. They contain some artistic elements like ornament geometries and usually they are unique special edition pieces with elevated starting prices.
Our approach is different. We create boutique-like guitar pick designs at very affordable prices. Otherwise, there would only be a couple of Rombo designs available for the most influential pick collectionists.
We think, this way, we found a niche in the middle of mass production picks and single special editions. With this approach, we bring the boutique feel to a larger number of people, reinforcing the guitar pick community and the awareness of this small but important accessory.
● Some picks I ordered in 2019 had burrs. This is not a problem for
playing but it doesn’t look cool.
We have good news for you. In 2021, we developed a new method to manually remove the burrs from the picks. This means that all Rombo picks are manually revised and processed to remove all the visual aspects that don’t belong to the original design (like small burrs on the border).
This cost us extra time but as a premium brand, we need to keep improving our quality standards to make sure your guitar picks are as good as your expectations!
● Why Kickstarter again?
See below :)
The new guitar picks will be launched in spring 2023.
If you want to receive an E-Mail as soon as the picks are available, join our
mailing list (see the footer).
This is the timeline we created for this project:
Kickstarter campaigns turn dreams and ideas into reality. Rombo is still a small start-up run by two people, and with limited access to resources. Through Kickstarter, we involve the community of guitar players, showing our guitar picks before launching.
This process brings us in contact with the real guitar players. It forces us to remain flexible, accept changes, and it challenges us to create new designs to fulfill the expectations of our audience.
We love open and critical criticism, and this is the best place to get it, where all comments and thoughts are visible. By sharing your experiences, we can listen to your needs and wishes, and create guitar picks that make a difference.
27. March 2022 4 Comments
One of the most valuable skills when it comes to guitar playing is versatility.
Versatility allows you to adapt to different environments and enriches your playing, making a difference in the final result.
Music is about staying dynamic and monotony kills dynamic. Therefore, the most logical step for you as a guitarist is to expand your repertoire of guitar skills to keep that vital, engaging sound that makes music so joyful.
If you have decided to use a guitar pick for playing guitar, there are seven techniques that are a must.
They will take time to learn and master, but believe me, they make the difference.
If you have listened to the music of the last 70 years, you can probably recognize this guitar technique in most rock classic hits.
Tremolo is an Italian word which means “to shake” or “to tremble”.
In the context of guitar, it involves striking one (sometimes more than one) guitar string very fast with alternating strokes. Therefore, this technique is a form of alternate picking. Tremolo picking is very easy to learn but it requires strong discipline and practice to master.
Tremolo picking is essentially useful for any style of music and obviously a big part of the surf guitar sound (I’m a big fan of it!).
In guitar literature, sometimes the words tremolo and vibrato are reversed. This technique has nothing to do with a “tremolo bar” or a "tremolo effects box".
WHY IS TREMOLO PICKING IMPORTANT?
If one of your long-term goals in your guitar learning process is to increase speed, tremolo picking is a good place to start.
It is not only very fun but also can add new textures and some dynamics to your compositions. You would be surprised how well this technique fits even in metal or hardcore music.
A FAMOUS SONG WITH TREMOLO PICKING:
The surf rock version of the song “Misirlou”, from Dick Dale, is probably the greatest example of tremolo picking. The original one is a traditional song from the Eastern Mediterranean area dating back to 1927!
The version of Dick Dale got very popular after appearing in the soundtrack of Pulp Fiction in 1994.
BEST PICK FOR TREMOLO PICKING:
The most influential factors when choosing the best guitar pick for tremolo picking are thickness, material, and grip.
It’s important to have a snappy, responsive guitar pick. For this, medium picks with a medium/pointy tip are my recommendation.
However, there is no consensus in the guitar world for this. Many players have reported preferring thick, rigid picks.
In my case, I have found the best stability and speed using Rombo Origami. This pick can be described as: Flexible but still rigid enough for note control. Right amount of flexibility for a snappy fluid attack that's bright and crisp. The concave surface on the hold area ensures an ergonomic and comfortable hold.
Everyone’s hand is a little different in how they hold the pick and move. The best way to find out is to test different shapes and thicknesses, and then try them out
One very extended technique often performed in the rock, metal, and punk genres is pick slides or pick scrapes.
By holding the edge of the guitar pick against the guitar strings and moving it along the edge, the pick catches the strings’ windings, causing the strings to vibrate and produce a very pleasant textured noise.
Usually, guitar pick slides start near the bridge and end over the higher frets. However, there are countless variations of pick slides depending on the direction, the angle of the pick relative to the strings, and other variables.
Unfortunately, performing pick slides completely ruins the edges of the guitar pick, especially on thinner ones. This won’t directly affect the tone or control of the plectrum, but the damaged sides will develop some dents.
What makes a guitar pick durable? Find our here.
WHY ARE PICK SLIDES IMPORTANT?
Guitar pick slides are not the most relevant aspect of your playing. Nevertheless, a correctly performed slide in the right place will add so much to the moment.
The noisy textures produced by this technique are the perfect weapon of choice for songs using high distortion levels.
A FAMOUS SONG WITH PICK SLIDES:
The first use of the pick slide is attributed to Bo Diddley and can be heard in the opening of his song "Road Runner" from the 60s.
Today, some guitarists have taken this technique to a new level and have created signature variations. A shining example of pick slides from the last years is the metal band Gojira with their famous signature “Gojira-Scrape” that was created by accident and combines several guitar pick techniques
BEST PICK FOR PICK SLIDES:
If you are going to do pick slides frequently, then you need to consider two things:
Otherwise, your guitar picks will be inoperative after a couple of sessions. The dilemma is that most players get better noisy sounds with a medium guitar pick.
I have found a solution that works for me: medium-heavy picks that are large enough to scrape with higher areas of the pick that won’t touch the strings. From our picks, I prefer Rombo Horizon the most for pick slides. Also, the curvy edge creates different pressure on different strings and that’s nice.
Do you know any guitar player who does not like pinch harmonics? I do not either.
Pinch harmonics are created by the picking hand. Playing this technique produces high-pitched tones. This phenomenon occurs when you stop a part of the string vibrations in the right position and create a "node".
There is a simple way to test this; pick a note and apply a small pressure anywhere on the string such that the vibration doesn’t stop completely.
WHY ARE PINCH HARMONICS IMPORTANT?
Pinch harmonics are often related to high gain tones and metal music but they are a powerful tool to add dynamics and textures to any genre of music or type of guitar; electric or acoustic.
It is considered one of the most abstruse techniques for intermediate players. Common problems are pinch harmonics that aren't loud enough or additional noises that make the harmonics not sound clean enough.
Root causes of this problem can be:
the guitar player does not know the right places on the strings to play pinch harmonics
there is unwanted noise coming from unmuted strings
the pinch harmonic is produced isolated, without combining it with other techniques like vibrato.
Most guitar players (including me) played their first pinch harmonic accidentally.
A FAMOUS SONG WITH PINCH HARMONICS:
Guitarist Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top is considered the father of pinch harmonics. Not because he invented them, but because he brought them to the mainstream. Although he is a well-rounded guitarist with a focused skillset based on blues, he is best known for his pinch harmonics.
BEST PICK FOR PINCH HARMONICS:
There is no special pick to do pinch harmonics. The pinch harmonic is technically produced by the thumb of your picking hand.
However, this technique is widely used in lead guitar in combination with other advanced techniques that work especially well with thick, small guitar picks.
Therefore, although you can learn pinch harmonics using thin picks, I recommend using thick picks.
#If you want to learn more about the differences between thin and thick guitar picks read our article "Thick guitar picks vs thin guitar picks".
Palm mute is a very regular technique used by most guitarists. By placing the side of the picking hand on the strings close to the bridge and dampening the guitar strings (when necessary), the strings produce muted sounds.
You can control the dampening effect by moving your hand to a different position further from the bridge.
Although this technique isn't seen as a very difficult one, these are common mistakes that prevent players from learning it properly:
WHY IS PALM MUTE IMPORTANT?
As a guitarist or bassist, you are always on the lookout to make your music sound natural, creative, and exciting.
Palm-muting is a great skill for dynamic control exercises. This means you will automatically learn how to shape your sound using fluctuations in volume and intensity.
With this skill in your repertoire, your music will sound more vocal and dynamic.
A FAMOUS SONG WITH PALM MUTE:
This technique is very old. As old as the invention of the electric guitar (1936). Most classical players have been using it for centuries with all kinds of instruments.
Today, palm muting is widely used in heavy metal, thrash, speed, and death metal. It is often found in music that features distortion effects.
Is there any good song to practice palm muting for getting better at it? “Master of Puppets” from Metallica—it’s a masterclass in palm muting and down picking.
BEST PICK FOR PALM MUTE:
I recommend using a thick guitar pick for this. They provide high volume, a broader dynamic range, and more control over single notes (in case you use palm mute arpeggios). In addition, palm muting is a demanding technique that causes a lot of guitar pick wear. As you might know, thick guitar picks are more durable.
My favorite choice for this technique is Rombo Diamond.
Guitar pick strumming is a way of playing guitar. A strum is a sweeping action where a pick (or finger!) brushes over the guitar strings and generates sounds.
For most guitar players, this is the first technique they learned and the technique that caused most headaches as a beginner.
Learning how to strum correctly takes time and practice. Most beginners lack the necessary muscle memory it takes to play while remaining relaxed or having a good posture.
WHY IS PICK STRUMMING IMPORTANT?
In many ways, understanding this skill is essential for understanding guitar. Great strumming skills mean being a great rhythm guitarist. Therefore, this should be your number one goal as a beginner.
Learning chords is important, but they are just static shapes. The diversity of the hundreds (if not thousands) of strumming patterns available will inject musicality and rhythm into your playing.
A FAMOUS SONG WITH PICK STRUMMING:
“Bad moon rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, is a good place to start. It combines easy chords (D, A, G) with a very simple progression and a very catchy, bluesy melody.
BEST PICK FOR STRUMMING:
My best advice for beginners is to start with a very thin guitar pick. It can help to practice with something below 0.6 that’s nice and bendy. As you improve your skills, you can try with thicker picks, as they will add more bass to your tone.
For all the beginners out there, my best choice would be Rombo Classic.
However, if you are in the very beginning of your guitar journey, please read this article where I explain, why starting with medium guitar picks can be a better choice for you. "Medium Gauge Guitar Picks".
Downpicking or down-stroke picking is a very beloved guitar technique in which the player moves the guitar pick only in a downward motion. The tip of the pick does not brush the strings as the hand moves back to the original position for the next down-stroke.
It is one of the most underrated skills on guitar and although performing this technique might seem easy, the required endurance for long passages with fast tempo is very often a problem even for advanced guitarists.
WHY IS DOWNPICKING IMPORTANT?
But first, why would you want to remove the upstrokes (alternate picking) and then increase the necessary effort for the same number of strokes? Why would you torture your wrist muscles in this way?
This technique is widely used in metal and punk guitar and the main reason is that when mastered, downpicking can make the guitar’s sound very powerful and rhythmic.
A FAMOUS SONG WITH DOWNPICKING:
Famous punk guitarist Johnny Ramone used this technique in the mid-70s in combination with fast tempo (180 to 200 bpm). The technique was very innovative at that time and influenced many current guitarists like James Hetfield who has been regarded as “the King of Downpicking”.
Many beginner guitarists start with songs from Ramones because of their simplicity in terms of chords and lack of tempo variations.
BEST PICK FOR DOWNPICKING:
For downpicking, there is a basic rule: the more mass the guitar pick has, the thicker and more aggressive the sound.
Therefore, a thick, large guitar pick with a pointy tip will be the loudest and most rhythmic one.
I recommend Rombo Diamond.
The interesting thing about hybrid picking is the fact that the player uses a plectrum as well as one or more fingers. This can be done alternately or simultaneously.
Typical styles for this technique are rockabilly guitar, country and bluegrass, and more classical passages with acoustic or classical guitar.
Hybrid picking can be very hard if you are a beginner. Before you think of learning this technique, you will have to learn how to play with your fingers and with a guitar pick. This is a requirement you cannot avoid.
WHY IS HYBRID PICKING IMPORTANT:
Three major arguments should convince you to learn hybrid picking:
The pick is generally used to play bass notes with a longer duration and very noticeable timbral differences caused by variations in the vibration of the strings. Therefore, your playing will sound more interesting combining pick and fingers.
Hybrid picking allows you to pick two to four strings simultaneously. This makes it very different from strumming and gives an approach much more similar to piano techniques.
Managing this technique, you will be able to change between fingerstyle playing and guitar pick playing within the same song or passage.
A FAMOUS SONG WITH HYBRID PICKING:
Hybrid picking was popularized by guitarists like Steve Howe some decades ago. Most players that learn this technique today start with a more classical approach.
A great song to start with this technique is “Amy” by Tommy Emmanuel. However, the complexity of the chords makes this song only possible to play for intermediate and advanced players.
BEST PICK FOR HYBRID PICKING:
There is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” pick for hybrid picking. You can use the pick you think fits the best for the song you are playing.
Because this technique is widely used by rhythm guitarists, there is a consensus that picks around 1 mm will perform well. However, it is up to you to try and decide which one is best for every passage.
Discover more about guitar pick thickness here.
For some reason, sweep picking is the trend. Every guitar forum gets new threads with this topic week after week. Perhaps it’s due to the high speed and visually nice arpeggios that make the guitar produce cyclical sound patterns and put us in a status of trance.
This technique describes the action of playing single notes on consecutive strings using the same motion, either all down-strokes or all upstrokes.
Sweep picking has been recognized as a difficult technique. It is more for advanced players and it can take years to master it.
WHY IS SWEEP PICKING IMPORTANT?
Sweep picking is used by guitarists to play arpeggios at high speed. The phrasing sounds produced by this technique sounds typical of other instruments like the piano.
Although sweep picking is a very important technique for building speed and fluency on string instruments, my advice would be to not learn this technique unless you have mastered other techniques that can give you more versatility.
Sure, it is ok to use sweep picking occasionally but that is not what you are going to play most of the time. In my opinion, a lot of bands overuse this technique. Therefore, you should reflect if the time needed to correctly learn sweep picking could be used for other more relevant skills.
A FAMOUS SONG WITH SWEEP PICKING:
Although often regarded as a “modern guitar technique”, pick sweeping has been around since the 50s. The technique was first used and developed by jazz guitarists.
Today, it is commonly used in metal but many students start with the song “Give Me the Night” by George Benson. Practicing sweep picking with clean tones can help you develop a more accurate technique.
BEST PICK FOR SWEEP PICKING:
What qualities are you looking for in a pick to perform sweep picking? Small and easy to handle, good maneuverability and stability, and good string separation. This means: Thick, pointy guitar picks like Jade or Horizon.
However, I have a bonus for you: We have received some E-Mails from professional guitarists using Rombo Prisma for their sweeping techniques, a pick that wasn’t developed for this. However, its sharp tip, combined with a very large, beveled edge, and the total “mass” of the pick (variable thickness), makes this pick a great candidate for bright tonal sweep picking solos.
26. May 2021 6 Comments
In our article “How to choose the right guitar pick,” we did a deep analysis on the qualities you should consider when deciding which plectrum to use.
In this article, we will discuss the most important characteristics needed in a guitar pick in order to make the playing experience as comfortable as possible and obtain the best results. These characteristics are not as obvious as others but are essential to getting the most out of this accessory.
The Cambridge Dictionary says premium is “used to refer to something that is of higher than usual quality."
Therefore, a premium guitar pick will exceed in qualities like material, shape or texture and will provide a playing experience that’s above average in terms of precision, durability, comfort, tone, or other areas.
Put simply, a premium guitar pick will perform better than regular picks.
Reducing the definition of a guitar pick to its basic intrinsic features, it is easy to understand how to improve certain areas.
For example, it is logical to conclude that better materials will have an impact on the guitar pick’s tone and durability.
Also, with the help of basic ergonomic and design laws, you can create a shape that enhances grip or slides better. The key is to know what you are looking for.
Back in 2018, with the help of a number of professional guitar players, we defined the requirements the Rombo picks had to achieve:
With these premises, we started a journey to identify the qualities that would provide an above-average experience in every area.
Grippy, non-sticky surfaces are perfect for the guitar pick’s hold area. The best way to achieve this is to create a texture that fits between the grooves of your skin and prevents the guitar pick from slipping or creating an aggressive grip geometry that is uncomfortable for long practice sessions.
When developing the grip texture, our focus was to create a type of grip that allows the player to maintain flexibility and freedom along with a feeling of security and control.
More information on guitar pick grip can be found here.
A guitar pick with a polished tip allows the player to experience more control and less friction. Reduced friction between the plectrum and the strings of the guitar will increase the durability of the pick because it will wear less and reduce its noise.
Noise reduction is a feature especially useful for recording studio tracks.
Furthermore, a polished tip produces more clear individual tones, a requirement for some guitar techniques such as sweep picking.
One of the less common characteristics in guitar picks is variable thickness. It is ideal for the pick to be thick for better control; however, this could significantly reduce its flexibility.
For that reason, plectrums of variable thickness have been created, giving us the best of both worlds.
That is to say, we could have a guitar pick with a solid, thick body that gives us better grip and control. Additionally, it features a thinner tip that provides enough flexibility to achieve greater versatility when developing various guitar techniques.
Remember that an increase in the thickness of only two sheets of paper will substantially reduce the pick’s flexibility!
Read more about the advantages of using a guitar pick with variable thickness here.
By following ergonomic models, the surface of the pick can be adapted to feel more comfortable and also look great.
Similarly, we can take advantage of concave or convex surfaces, as they help keep the plectrum’s position oriented and avoid losing control in turning movements.
The shape is also closely connected to the tone of the guitar pick. Just like with the design of a surfboard, you need a specific shape to optimize your energy when catching a wave. The same effect is caused when the guitar pick plucks the strings; different shapes will produce different results.
If your hands are doing an arduous job, then they deserve the best tools, right? Many people spend a lot of money on guitars, amplifiers, strings, and other accessories, but they overlook the guitar pick. This is a big mistake.
The material with which the pick is made can influence the tone, attack, flexibility, durability, and many other aspects. Therefore, without paying attention to it, you can hardly find your personal sound.
Are you curious about the materials used for the Rombo guitar picks? Read a full article on the topic here.
The design of everything you own is a way of expressing yourself and defining your personal style.
When it comes to guitar picks, functionality is everything. This is the reason we have spent so much time integrating beautiful geometric patterns that also fulfill the functional requirements for every technique.
In short, guitar picks are personal items that are bound to subjective perceptions. However, some aspects are measurable and can be improved to fulfill requirements that every guitarist needs.
Don’t overestimate this small piece of gear.
Not sure what is the right guitar pick for you? Let us help you here.
04. April 2021 2 Comments
Medium guitar picks are the most popular choice amongst guitarists and they offer the best of both worlds, right? Well, it is not that easy.
In our last article, “thin vs thick guitar picks”, we discussed both guitar pick thickness ranges in depth. Medium guitar picks deserve a separate analysis.
Guitar pick thickness is usually measured in millimeters and this is an attribute that can change various aspects of a pick like flexibility, tone, volume, pick noise, durability, control over single notes, and more.
The thickness of a guitar pick is for this reason considered one of the 4 fundamental attributes of a guitar pick, along with guitar pick material, shape, and size.
Medium guitar picks range in thicknesses from 0.55 and 1 mm.
The following is what a survey performed in March 2021 has shown. Thousands of guitarists were asked to define the following pick thicknesses:
With both limits established, we obtain the thickness definition of medium guitar picks.
The maximum thickness of a thin guitar pick was defined as about 0.55 mm by 2.292 guitarists.
The minimum thickness of a thick guitar pick was defined as 1 mm by 1.308 guitarists.
Medium guitar picks are guitar picks with a thickness between 0.55 and 1 mm. These guitar picks are very popular because of their versatility; in some areas, they offer the advantages of both thin and thick guitar picks.
Medium gauge picks have the broadest flexibility range. In this pick thickness interval, the material will play the most important role when it comes to defining the flexibility of a pick.
In other words, thick guitar picks are always stiff and rigid. With thicknesses over 1 mm, even the most flexible pick materials are stiff, and therefore the material has less influence on the flexibility of the pick. This relation creates a broad flexibility range amongst medium guitar picks, which can be very flexible or very stiff, depending on the material used.
The same effect can be applied to tone, durability, and pick noise.
Typically, medium guitar picks are used by lead guitarists who also implement rhythm guitar techniques and look not only for an all-round compromise between single-note melodic phrases and strumming, but also potentially developing a more versatile guitar career that integrates different techniques and mixes both worlds together.
Thin guitar picks (under 0.55 mm)
Medium guitar picks (0.55 - 1 mm)
Thick guitar picks (over 1 mm)
Medium flexibility or stiff, depending on the material.
Lighter tones, less bass
Warm tones for softer materials. Brighter tones for harder materials.
Warm/dark tones and mellow tones
Maximum volume is limited. Lower dynamic range.
Can provide high volume with the usage of hard materials.
Provide high volume. Broader dynamic range.
Guitar pick noise
Noticeable pick noise
Reduced pick noise when the pick has a variable thickness.
Reduced pick noise
Depending on the material.
Less control for single notes
Very versatile. Control of single notes is possible if the player is experienced with this type of pick.
High control of single notes
Rhythm guitar, strumming, tremolo picking, ...
Very versatile. A combination of both thin and thick guitar picks is possible if the player is experienced with this type of pick.
Lead guitar, shredding, sweep picking, ...
Common type of players
Beginners, acoustic guitar players
Most popular thickness. Medium thickness is used by beginners, intermediate and advanced guitarists.
Intermediate and advanced guitarists
This makes medium gauge guitar picks the most difficult picks to estimate without having tested them, and it is one of the reasons why we created the “guitar pick parameters” included in every product page, like in Rombo Origami.
For most beginner guitar players, medium gauge guitar picks are the best option. You are in a process in which experimenting with sounds and learning new techniques will shape your profile as a guitarist in the future.
You might change your music taste during this process or even change your guitar type. You must stay flexible and versatile to allow your skills to develop in all directions and be a more rounded guitarist.
For this, a medium guitar pick is perfect, since you will be able to try different techniques with a pick that works very well in many different areas. After you have decided the direction of your development as a guitarist, increasing or decreasing the gauge won’t be that difficult.
Therefore, this is statistically the best option to start with if you want to try different guitar learning paths.
However, there are some exceptions: Some beginner guitarists know exactly what kind of player they want to be. They know from the very beginning if their dream is to become a very technical metal player, if they prefer being an expert acoustic guitar rhythm player, or if they will focus on songwriting and not on their guitar skills.
These examples are very rare, but they exist. In this case, you might want to consider starting with a guitar pick that has been designed for the type of skills you want to improve.
If you are a beginner, this might be interesting for you: Guitar pick for beginners
Flexible but still rigid enough for note control. Right amount of flexibility for a snappy fluid attack that's bright and crisp. The concave surface on the hold area ensures ergonomic and comfortable hold.
Rombo Prisma guitar pick - 0.8 mm (available in September 2021)
A classic shape enhanced by modern surface technology. The geometry on the main body has different height levels for the most comfortable hold and grip.
Rombo Crisp guitar pick - 1 mm (available in September 2021)
Medium thickness combined with geometric concave design surfaces. The result? Unexpected flexibility with great bass tones. Its medium-sharp tip provides extra warm tones.
Each pick has a specific purpose, and you choose the pick based on the sound you want to achieve as well as other personal preferences like comfort and grip.
Medium picks are not just the picks in the middle of thick and thin guitar picks. They are a perfect approach for those guitarists looking to develop versatility and flexibility in their learning path.
Due to the high influence the material has on these picks, they are the most difficult picks to estimate before testing them, and every medium guitar pick is unique. Despite this, they are the best choice for most beginner guitarists.
However, if you have a very clear idea of the skills you want to develop in the future, you might be looking for either thin or thick guitar picks, which we discussed here.
17. November 2019 8 Comments
Guіtаr рісkѕ аrе the brіdgе between уоu аnd уоur instrument. A hіddеn hеrо іn thе hands оf guitarists.
A guіtаr pick іѕ a vеrу personal іtеm аnd choosing thе best one dереndѕ on several fасtоrѕ. Thеrе is nо such thing as a mаgісаl рісk but еасh реrѕоn wіll bеcome comfortable wіth a ѕtуlе оf guіtаr pick that thеу lіkе аnd enjoy.
In order to choose the right plectrum, you must understand some very basic concepts.
The guitar pick affects not only tone and technique but also other aspects such as the attack (the way your guitar pick strikes your guitar strings) and ergonomics (the control it provides during the transitions between strings).
Understanding some basic rules is essential when choosing the right guitar pick:
Thе shape of the pick іѕ one factor that рlауеrѕ оftеn оvеrlооk. Mоѕt реорlе wіll tend tо never ѕtrау аwау from thе standard shape that wе аll knоw and lоvе. Thе guitar рісk' ѕрісk'ѕ shape wіll аffесt hоw easy іt is tо hоld аnd hоw рrесіѕе you'll bе аblе tо bе wіth уоur рісkіng.
Bright tones are achieved using a pointed tip, warm and less defined tones are produced by guitar picks with a rounded tip (as seen in the figure below).
Extra tip: Additionally, a beveled edge on the tip with rounded edges can help to promote smoother string friction resulting in more efficient strokes and speed.
Thе thickness of уоur рісk is the most significant part of hоw bright оr hоw warm уоur guitar sounds. Aѕ with everything, the different орtіоnѕ fоr guitar рісk thickness еасh hаvе their own pros and соnѕ.
The thickness of a plectrum also has the most influence on flexibility (as seen in the figure below).
The thickness of guitar picks are generally measured in millimetres (mm) and the ranges vary a lot depending on the brand and music style:
Good for rhythm guitar but not great for lead guitar because of the lack of control when playing single notes. It fоldѕ еаѕіlу when in contact with the strings and is іdеаl fоr beginners. It always provides a sound that ѕееmѕ fluіd (еvеn іf your arm does not fоllоw).
The most versatile guitar picks and perfect for solo guitarists who use different techniques in the same songs (strumming, solo, palm mute, etc.…). They cоmbіnе comfort, рrесіѕіоn, rhythm, and ѕрееd of рlау.
Thick picks give the guitar player more control of volume and attack on the strings. Favorite amongst advanced guitarists. Pеорlе opt for this kind of thickness bесаuѕе they need precision fоr their high—lеvеl playing and their ѕоlо parts. Guaranteed gаmе speed!
Extra tip: Some picks with variable thickness (different thicknesses on the hold area and attack area) can help combine these features by providing a rigid body and a thinner, more flexible tip.
The ѕіzе оf the рісk іѕ the bіggеѕt factor when considering comfort. Thіѕ іѕ extremely personal because nо one іѕ the same. Besides, this point is strictly connected to the shape of the guitar pick.
Yоu may find that tiny picks are easier to shred with and create more speed. Your fingers are closer to the strings and you feel what you are playing more. The downside to these picks is that they can be dropped easily because they are smaller.
Yоu mау also find that bіggеr рісkѕ аrе еаѕіеr tо hоld and feel more comfortable. Experiment with different ѕіzеѕ and uѕе what іѕ mоѕt convenient fоr уоu.
Usually, the size varies between 15 and 40 mm (as seen in the figure below).
Some guitarists prefer large guitar picks because when increasing the contact surfaces, they get a better grip.
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 high specialized polymers created a new era of materials with amazing properties. Usually, these are the main properties a good material should have:
Extra tip: Grip textures depend also on the material. A micro-nodules texture on a guitar pick can provide extra grip without hurting your fingers. Read more in our article "Why textures on guitar pick surfaces can help improve your playing experience"
The only way to really find your guitar pick is to spend some time trying new shapes, materials and sizes. Sometimes, your needs as a guitar player change with the time. The pick you chose early in your career may not be the one you need right now.
Developing your skills also means adapting to new environments. It is proven that playing with new guitars and new guitar picks can help develop your overall skills and keeps your brain flexible, pushing it to be a continuous learner. Don’t be afraid of variety.
PS: Have you thought about using recycled materials? Learn more in our article: “Rombo Unveils New “Eco-Black Range” Guitar Pick Models”