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.
12. April 2020 4 Comments
In case you are trying to learn the guitar, the first thing you need to know is how to hold a guitar pick the right way.
Guitar pick or plectrum is a small object that you hold in your hands and play the guitar strings. The quality of guitar you are playing depends mainly on the way you are holding its pick.
So, before you officially start learning guitar, you should learn to hold the plectrum in the right manner.
Mentioned below in this article are some of the tips and tricks which you can use for holding the guitar pick in your hand so that it doesn’t feel awkward and helps you in playing the guitar in the most suitable way.
The first and the easiest manner of holding a guitar plectrum is that you keep it in between your index finger and your thumb. Hold it in a way that it fits tightly in between your fingers. Now keep the position of your in such a manner that it can easily brush all the strings of your guitar.
As while playing, you will have to move the plectrum all over the strings and in order to be able to play guitar perfectly, the plectrum needs to touch all of the strings easily.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that there are a lot of different types of plectrums available in the market and you should choose the one that works best for you. Once you have chosen the perfect pick, try to practice with it as much as possible.
We created a four-step guide to choosing your guitar pick, which you can find here:
Brush it against the strings of your guitar so that your hands move easily and it produces a sound.
Another technique that you can use to hold a guitar pick in your hand is that you keep it in your dominant hand. This is the hand that you use the most, so it will be easier for you to keep the plectrum in it and play the guitar.
Some people prefer to play the guitar chords with the hand that they don’t use more often i.e non-dominant. So by holding the plectrum in your dominant hand and controlling the chords with no dominant one, you can easily brush the guitar strings and produce music.
Now place your one hand on the neck of the guitar and hold the plectrum between your index finger and thumb of the dominant hand. Keep in mind that the strings of your guitar are facing away from you. Keep the guitar on your knees, as for a beginner, it is easier to play the guitar while sitting. But in case you want to play standing up, you can use a shoulder strap so that it is easier for you to control.
Keep your hand steady but flexible. Steady because you need to hold the guitar plectrum and flexible because you need to keep brushing it over all of the strings.
A good sound will only be produced if you are moving your hands the right way. Keeping them too rigid will result in an unpleasant sound which no one likes to listen to. But once again, keep in mind that a good sound can only be produced after practice.
During the initial times, you only need to focus on getting your hands used to the guitar. So that it knows where the strings are, which chords to play and where to keep the plectrums. These are the basic skills that everyone needs to learn before officially starting out various tunes on the guitar.
For those more advanced guitarists looking to improve their guitar playing speed, click HERE.
Once you are in your comfortable position, rest your hand holding the plectrum on the strings of the guitar. Keep in mind that your hand should cover at least half of the plectrum. Some of the picks are made in a way that they are folded from one side to easily fit your index finger and your thumb on it.
Here you can find an example: Rombo Origami
Keep the grip of your hand as firm as possible but make sure it is easily movable so that once you start playing, you can brush the strings without making any extra effort. Never loosen your grip on the plectrum because it might fall off your hand while playing.
Now if you are a beginner, it is good that you are trying to get as much help as possible because this will help you in becoming a good guitarist within a minimum amount of time. By now, you do know how to carefully hold a plectrum (i.e between your index finger and thumb) now rest it over the strings.
Keep in mind that it should just lightly brush them so that only placing it there doesn’t produce any sound. The sound of your guitar must only be produced once you are moving the plectrum all over the strings.
One side of the strings is thin while the other one is thicker, practice on your guitar by gently moving your hand from the thicker side of the string to the thinner one. Although during the initial stages, rhythms produced would be rough but don’t worry about it. As you are only learning to hold the plectrum in the right way. There is a lot of time for learning guitar but prior to that, practicing is the most important thing that you need to do.
As this is the starting phase, try to practice as much as possible. As practicing will not only make your hand steady but it will also help you in maintaining your physical strength. The more your practice, the better you will be at playing guitar.
All successful guitarists need to play for hours in front of their audience and a person is only able to do that if he has done enough practicing.
So, in case you are taking more time trying to hold the guitar plectrum in the right way, tune the string or adjust the strap, don't worry about it. As all the great guitar players have started from this exact step so just polish your skills and you too will be an amazing guitarist really soon.
Note: There are many annoying things in life, but there’s nothing more annoying than losing a guitar pick you just had in your hand, and then realize that it has disappeared forever! - 4 Tips To Not Lose Your Guitar Picks
If your hands do an arduous job, then you must give them the right tools, right?
The material with which it is made can influence the definition of tone, attack, and flexibility. Therefore, without paying attention to it, you could hardly find your personal sound.
Are you curious about the materials used for the Rombo guitar picks?
Read a full article about it here: