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Guitar Pick Preservation

“Without music, life would be a mistake” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Music is to the soul what words are to the mind.” ― Modest Mouse

“I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws.”— Charles-Pierre Baudelaire

Guitar picks can be like socks.

Whatever happens to that other sock after we do the laundry?

Drives me nuts. I sometimes think that they simply fall into a black hole, never to return until the end of time.

I firmly believe that guitar picks have their own black hole that they fall into as well

I know that because I don’t always remember throwing them out or tossing them away…they simply vanish

So to “combat” that phenomenon, I hold on to a certain group of picks and keep them in a safe place (or in the strings of my guitar!)

And I use them over and over

But the inevitable problem with guitar picks is that they eventually wear out. And then you have to buy new ones, half of which will join the other socks in their own black hole

However, there is a trick, a trade secret if you will, that will preserve your guitar picks just a little longer. It is really simple.

It’s called the “Rug Rub”

Rug Rub

The success of this technique is dependent on the type of pick you use. I use Tortex picks, they are the best to do this with (I usually order via Musiciansfriend.com but you can get them at most any music store, Amazon, etc.). They come in all shapes sizes. This is the one I use for my electric guitars:

When you see wear on the sides of your pick, you find a rug made with a coarse material (like an indoor/outdoor type, or most types you would see on a stage if you gig a lot, even a lot of those welcome mats can work). And then simply rub the sides of the pick on the carpet surface to smooth it out. 

Do it like this:

That’s it. (Side note: I learned this from a drummer friend of mine some time ago! How about that!).

There will come a time where you will have “filed” enough that the shape of the pick gets deformed to point where it’s hard to play.

But the good news is that your single pick will last a whole lot longer! I usually will order a half dozen of the Tortex picks and, as long as they don’t fall into their black hole, I typically won’t place another order for as long as 6 months.

You can use many types of picks. Some would be more difficult than others.

For example, the more plastic type picks that Fender uses (the traditional kind that they have used for a long time) would take a little longer in the filing process. Sometimes they can wear so much that you can’t do anything with them.

There are other types of picks, such as those made out of bone, where this doesn’t work nearly as well. However, the nature of their construction allows them to last long on their own.

If you haven’t done so yet, try different types of picks of different material and thickness to see what works for you. Let me know if there is more you wish to learn about picks. Just reply back or leave a comment!

Rock on till the next time!

Do your fingers need a workout? Here is a free mini course I made for you to help out with that. It’s obvious (just a click away), easy (just follow along the course with short videos), and satisfying (you WILL play better). Check it out here:

Or just click this link: Guitar Finger Gymnastics

Rock On,

Tony G.

PS: Oh and hey, can you do me a favor? I’m starting a mission to grow my You Tube Subscribers to more than 149 (Ha!). No, seriously, if you can quickly hop over there and “Subscribe”, it would be so very awesome! When you subscribe, you get real time updates when videos are posted. You might find something useful and/or fun!

I promise that the videos (most of them at least) will be entertaining and/or informative!

Here is the path to arrive there:

6 String Corner

Kemper Profiles: Marshall Silver Jubilee (Mars Silver 1 7)

Kemper Profile Review: Marshall Silver Jubilee (Mars Silver 1 7)

Another Kemper Profile Favorite: Marshall Silver Jubilee (Mars Silver 1 7).

Get those fingers in shape! I have a FREE course for finger exercises:
https://six-string-corner.teachable.com/p/guitar-finger-gymnastics/

Michael Britt Marshall Profile Pack:
https://mbritt.com/product/800-pack-46-profiles/

Thanks for watching the lesson!
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Rock On!
Tony G


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Changing Chord Techniques: Glued Finger

How to Play Guitar Better by Watching Your Posture

“All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.” ― Louis Armstrong


“I never practice my guitar… from time to time I just open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat.”― Wes Montgomery

“Oh, we’ve got a bigger dressing room than the puppets. That’s refreshing.” — David St. Hubbins


When you are playing songs on guitar (or any instrument), you know you are in the moment when you put your whole self into it. Everything is really clicking.


Moments like that are really awesome.

But, there are also times when putting our whole self into it can be detrimental to our playing.

Let me explain:

Many times we suffer from what I like to call Poor Guitar “Body English”.

And it can really hinder our playing and prevent any reasonable progress in our playing. It can be one of the main reasons our songs don’t always sound good, or a lead line just isn’t right, or that those chords don’t sound clear.

I do see it more with beginner players (which is normal) but I also see it with many who took on bad habits learning on their own or via the internet.

So what is Bad Guitar “Body English”?

While much importance is put on how we place our fingers on the strings to form chords or melody lines, it can often be missed regarding how the rest of our body is positioned while we play. And that matters. Poor posture, moving our arms, shoulders, and elbows in unnecessary ways don’t help those fingers do what they need to do.

Think of it this way: if you ever see a theater production you know that the focus is on the actors. But, without the behind the scenes production crews (lights, sound, makeup, etc.), the show falls flat on its face – regardless of how good the actors are.

Playing an instrument is the same way. Think of your fingers as the “actors” and the rest of your body as the supporting cast.

The two main culprits are how we position our left wrist and thumb. However, I am going to save that for a near-future Tuesday Tip. There is a lot to discuss there. For this tip, I want to help you look at how your Guitar Body English is and, to see if it is good or could use some improvement.

Rock Star Drift



This is the one where as you play, your left arm starts drifting, thus pulling the guitar neck further and further from your body. I see this a lot.

Now, if you want to do your best hair band rock move, by all means, go ahead and make that move!

But that is all for effect. You can’t really play well looking like that.

When you drift your arm further and further away, it becomes harder and harder to play that those tough chords or melodies. You don’t give your fingers (or your thumb and wrist for that matter) any chance to play correctly.

What you really want to do is make sure you keep that arm back in a relaxed, comfortable position. The key word is to “relax”.


Shoulder Drop

Here is another common problem I see.

This oftentimes happens when we are trying real hard to play a song or work on something real difficult.

There is this natural tendency to want to “put our shoulder into it”. Thus, the shoulder tends to drop.

Relax! Yes, relax your shoulder! You don’t really need it much to play your guitar. It will make your playing life so much better!

Elbow Swing

Sometimes, while trying to get that barre chord to sound right (or any chord, really), the left elbow sometimes wants to compensate and twist and turn.

If you catch yourself doing it, stop! Relax your elbow!

It shouldn’t swing out or in.

In fact, one simple test for not swinging inward is to imagine sticking a pillow between the elbow and torso. It should easily fit there. If not, change it.


Bad Elbow In:


Bad Elbow Out:


Correct Elbow Position:


Sit Up!

Yes, just like your mom might have said: “sit up straight and stop slouching!”

While you don’t have to sit up straight like a board, if you end up slouching on the couch too much while playing or practicing, you will either simply play bad, or pick up some really bad habits that will ultimately hinder your progress.

So, sit up!

Or, simply stand up, that works too. Your fingers (and your mom) will appreciate it!

You Look Marvelous!

No Guitar Body English:

If you aren’t sure, look in a mirror while playing. Sometimes it can be hard to really see how you look with the guitar.

Often you will see some of that Poor Guitar Body English show up and you can adjust to correct it.

If this is something that has been a challenge for you, I hope this tip will help you in your playing!

Rock on until the next time!

Do your fingers need a workout? Here is a free mini course I made for you to help out with that. It’s obvious (just a click away), easy (just follow along the course with short videos), and satisfying (you WILL play better). Check it out here:

Or just click this link: Guitar Finger Gymnastics

Rock On,

Tony G.

PS: Oh and hey, can you do me a favor? I’m starting a mission to grow my You Tube Subscribers to more than 149 (Ha!). No, seriously, if you can quickly hop over there and “Subscribe”, it would be so very awesome! When you subscribe, you get real time updates when videos are posted. You might find something useful and/or fun!

I promise that the videos (most of them at least) will be entertaining and/or informative!

Here is the path to arrive there:

6 String Corner