Picks with Pluck: 11 Guitar Picks That Dare to Be Different

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at 11:41am

Looking for a plectrum that dares to be different?

From Dunlop to Sik Pik to Planet Waves and beyond, Guitar World presents an assortment.

Take your pick!

1. Dava Grip Tips Delrin

Dava Grip Tips are the only picks with an over-molded rubber grip. The gripping area provides a comfortable nonslip surface that gives players more secure control. The pick’s tip is made of Delrin, which gives a smooth, fast release from the strings, not to mention excellent tone and superior durability.

LIST PRICE: Six-pack, $7.50, Davapick.com

2. Dunlop Tortex

It may not be new, but Tortex is the original innovative material for pick manufacturing, and Dunlop Tortex is the favorite pick of musicians worldwide. Tortex picks are carefully designed and manufactured to give the characteristic maximum memory and minimum wear that made tortoiseshell so popular in the first place.

LIST PRICE: 12 Picks/Players Pack, $5.70, jimdunlop.com

3. Awe-in-One Picks

Awe-In-One multi-edged picks combine thin, medium and thick gauges in each pick, allowing guitarists to change gauge quickly and easily. A unique indent prevents slippage, and by holding the picks at certain angles you can create harmonics, “pop” or “scratch” the string, and mimic the sound of a 12-string. The picks comes in four types: Folk Debut, Folk Power, Rock Vibes and Rock Licks.

LIST PRICE: $1.20, awe-in-one.com

4. The SnakePick

The SnakePick was created to shift guitarists’ focus from the pick to their playing. Although you hold it like a normal pick, it holds your finger as well, opening up new possibilities for playing technique, including picking with multiple fingers, and allowing you to play with more precise articulation. The Snakepick is available in different sizes and thickness.

LIST PRICE: Three-pack, $5.99, snakepick.com

5. Planet Waves Black Ice

Black Ice picks have a custom oversized shape that’s designed for speed picking with precise articulation. The picks are made of Planet Waves’ ultra-durable Duralin, which resists abrasion and provides balanced tone with a bright attack. Black Ice picks are triple-tumbled to create a soft-touch texture that’s very smooth, yet easy to grip.

LIST PRICE: 10-pack, $3.84; 100-pack, $29.74, planetwaves.com

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06. Dunlop Max-Grip Nylon

The Max-Grip Nylon pick's molded gripping surface has a coarse grid that provides an unparalleled nonslip surface. The combination of Max-Grip and molded nylon material makes it perfect for speed pickers and hard strummers who want extreme precision and durability without losing control of their pick.

LIST PRICE: 12 Picks/Players Pack, $5.70, jimdunlop.com

07. Swiss Pick

It may look like a small wedge of fine Emmentaler, but there’s nothing cheesy about the Swiss Pick. Combining utility and innovative design, the pale-yellow pick’s off-center holes with raised edges provide a superior grip. The Swiss Pick is made of Delrin for exceptional tone and, despite its name, is produced right here in the United States.

LIST PRICE: Six-pack, $5.99, swisspicks.com

08. Sik Pik The Sik Pik puts a new twist, literally, on traditional pick design. Its twisted tip won’t click, drag or snap on the strings like a standard pick will. As a result, it glides across the strings, producing a smooth, round tone. The Sik Pik opens new possibilities for dynamic playing, allowing you to “play on the edge.”

LIST PRICE: $3; four-pick set, $10, sikpik.com

09. Planet Waves Cellu-Glo Cellu-Glo picks provide celluloid’s natural feel and warm tone in a glow-in-the-dark pick. The picks can be charged in natural sunlight or under a light bulb, and their glow adds a new visual element to your performance (it also makes the picks easy to find on dark stages). They’re available in light, medium, heavy and extra-heavy gauges.

LIST PRICE: 10-pack, $3.14; 25-pack, $6.99; 100-pack, $24.49, planetwaves.com

10. Blue Magic Pick

Though it’s many times larger than the typical plectrum, the Blue Magic pick is ergonomically designed to improve and enhance guitarists’ skills. Its three parts—head, body and scraper—let you hold the pick in a way that feels natural and use your strength to its full capacity, thereby allowing you to play more easily and precisely. The Blue Magic pick is available in light, medium and heavy gauges.

LIST PRICE: $5, three-pack, $15, bluemagicpick.com

11. Tonetek Heavy Metal pick

ToneTek’s Heavy Metal stainless-steel pick is one big chunk of metal, but its mass and density can increase string volume and sustain and fatten tone. Its edge is designed to glide across the top of the strings, allowing you to perform pick-hand slides and create new techniques that combine tapping, slides, sweeps and glissando, and it can be used to tap above the end of the fretboard.

LIST PRICE: $29.95, Tonetek.biz

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