Last month Vinni Smith of V-Picks sent me a few picks to try out. I have to first say that reviewing picks is quite difficult. To me there is nothing more ‘personal’ than my picks. I can switch pedals, switch guitars, switch amps and ‘deal’ with the situation just fine, but picks are a different story. I’m constantly engaged with my pick, I know what it does, how it feels, how to grip it etc.
I look for a few things in picks.
Gauge, Snap and Flex are related. I like a pick that is responsive and reacts to my strings and hand, but not mushy. Especially for lead. Tip is something that is really important for me on leads as well. I like something I can ‘dig’ with and nice tip is important. Wear is not a requirement for me, but a perk. I treat picks like I treat strings, when they’re bad/dead I throw it away. Currently my pick of choice is the Dunlop Tortex .88mm. Those picks last about one full band practice and I pitch them. I buy them by the dozen and keep bad ones around my office or when I practice in my basement. But when it’s rock time, I like to go with a fresh pick every time. Grip. Oh grip, how I’ve struggled with this in the past. Holding on to the pick is pretty important when it’s go time. Grip options get pretty personal as well, and there are various mods (scratching the pick, drilling holes, preferring different materials, etc).
So now you know what I like in a pick.. heh, so lets talk about V-Picks. Vinni is passionate about picks! And being a musician he started his quest in searching for the perfect pick for himself, which led to the creation of his company (you should read the V-Picks Story). You can buy V-Picks for mandolins and basses, but I’m strictly looking at guitar picks for this review. Since I don’t know what makes a good mando pick.
V-Picks are made from clear acrylic and definitely have a great reputation for tone and grip. This acrylic was very interesting to me, and I can see the appeal for the grip. Coming from my background of Tortex picks, when edge wears and the grip turns smooth, that pick becomes very slick and dull. These acrylic picks definitely hold their edge for a long time. In fact, I’m looking at my test picks now, and I’m not seeing any edge wear. The acrylic material almost gives a ‘sticky’ feel which feels really secure.
Based on my sample pack and the assortment of pick ‘styles’ and shapes, they definitely have every shape, thickness and style available. From classic jazz picks to some triangle ‘shredder’ picks. The pick I related to the best was the V-Pick Ultra Lite Medium. I wish that pick was a little longer (the Large Ultra would have probably worked better for me). I also thought the V-Pick Lite Tradition was interesting as well. It was super thick, no flex, but for some reason, I dug it. The Tradition has the ‘traditional’ guitar shape.
Overall, the grip was great, and how it resisted wear was really good. I think it would be wise to try a few gauges and styles to see what works best for you.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked the EffectsBay.com community at Twitter what picks they used, and there were a few V-Pick users there. I followed up and asked what they thought of the V-Picks.. this is what they have to say!
300guitars @effectsbay I like the V-Picks because the notes have more fundamental and there is more clarity. Takes less playing effort too. Try ’em!
clydetweets @effectsbay I love the clarity and easy grip. Totally worth the price in my opinion.
You can learn more about V-Picks at their website http://www.v-picks.com. Tell Vinni that EffectsBay sent ya!