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”
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). 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 their is more you wish to learn about picks. Just reply back or leave a comment!
Rock on till the next time!
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