What Affects Tone?

Tone can be something that accomplished players chase all their lives. Some players search for it by buying different guitars, or they might try every brand and gauge of strings, amplifiers, electronic enhancers…and the list goes on. At Solid Rock Products, we are offering you another tool for tone: gemstone picks. If you are not a fingerstyle player, the pick is the only link between the fingers and strings. Here are a few things to consider as you decide which stone pick is best for you.

Stone Pick Thickness

With a thicker pick, you will notice a significantly deeper voice allowing both the material and shape of the guitar body to be heard. Thinner picks can give you a nice bright voice on an acoustic, yet not as deep sounding. They are often used with electric guitars, as well, where the knob on the guitar/amplifier commands the volume. We currently offer pick ranges from .07 mm to 4 mm. We have customers who choose a variety of thicknesses for different voicing.

Stone Pick Shape

We offer four standard guitar pick shapes: the Traditional Shape, the Jazz Shape, the Teardrop Shape, and the Triangle Shape. The most popular is the Traditional shape, but it is really a matter of personal choice. Most guitar players have a specific shape they prefer. For example, some Jazz guitarists playing an electric guitar like the smaller jazz stone pick to keep their fingers very close to the strings with very little of the pick’s tip penetrating the strings. Conversely, Gypsy Jazz players require volume for both strumming and fast picking leads and melodies. They choose a much thicker pick. Bass players often use a thick triangle pick because of its larger shape. Nonetheless, there is no set rule marrying shape to genre—it’s the personal choice you make as a musician!

Stone Pick Bevel

The bevel on a pick is the slight angle on the edge of the pick that sometimes can be hard to see depending upon the gem. We take a lot of pride in the consistency of the bevel found on all of our stone picks. This allows for faster playing, a greater attack when needed, and you’ll find our polished stone picks glide over your strings effortlessly!

Stone Pick Mass

Several factors make up the mass of a pick such as thickness, size, and the stone hardness. The mass of a pick is responsible for the stability that defines your individual attack. Picks vary in mass due to the many options we give you in thickness. Thinner picks give you a lighter tone; thicker picks have greater mass and, as already mentioned, give you a deeper tone and more volume.

Stone Pick Hardness

The most important factor that affects the overall tone of a stone guitar pick is the hardness of the gemstone. The Mohs scale is the official scale used to rate gemstone hardness. Measured from 1 to 10 where a diamond is a 10 our picks would be considered hard which we believe to be the best choice for a gemstone pick. Our gemstones are considered hard and measure as such in a tight range of approximately 6.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. Stone picks cause the strings to vibrate without any of the vibration being absorbed in the pick.

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