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The 40-Year-Old Music Virgin

Day 145: "Picking" up where I left off...

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One of my biggest obstacles over the past 20 years has been guitar picks!

Picks felt foreign and unwieldy right from the get-go. I didn't feel as connected to the instrument and it was easier to lose track of my strings. So rather than work hard, develop skill and master the pick, I became steadfastly opposed to their existence. I would lobby about the unnecessariness of picks to anyone who would listen. In hindsight, this was an obvious self-defence mechanism. I was only fooling myself.

Let's pause here and agree on 3 things:
  1. picks are not essential to playing a guitar well
  2. picks do offer specific tonal options that can't be ignored
  3. mastering picks and fingerstyle is the best scenario for a student

"So, Dave, what does this mean for an aspiring 'guitar chef' like yourself"

When I resumed my guided self-instruction last month, I swallowed my pride and embraced the pick whole-heartedly. Picks are optional but this is an exercise in maximizing my guitar options. A pick may never feel as comfortable as my raw fingertips, but it's a weapon I want in my arsenal and I'm finally willing to work for it.

"So, Dave, how is it going?"

Better than expected. I purchased a "sampler pack" off eBay and play-tested dozens of different picks, weights, materials, etc. I quickly settled on one that feels comfortable and offers me the control I need at this point in my development. Also, as my skills improve, I still have this sampler pack to gauge my evolving pick preferences over time.

Suffice to say, it's all good and there's still room to grow.

"So, Dave, which pick are you using?"

For the past month, I've been exclusively picking with a Wedgie Delrin EX 0.60mm (orange). I prefer the EX line because it isn't dimpled or studded for grip. I didn't think I'd like a smooth-surfaced pick, but then again this journey is about debunking myths, preconceived notions and expanding my guitar consciousness... so I'm not totally surprised by where I've ended up.

In a nutshell, I've stopped being close-minded and unnecessarily picky!


Anyways, enough chit chat--my lesson plan awaits. G'nite!