Why Tonewoods Make for a Better Guitar Pick

Why Tonewoods Make for a Better Guitar Pick

Guitar players are constantly in search of better sound, seeking better sounding guitars, better strings, better pickups, better amps, with better speakers and looking for any device or upgrade they can find to make their music sound better. There is always someone listening. That’s the point of making music and musicians are forever in search of the best tone. If sound is so important then the easiest upgrade you can make is your guitar pick, because undoubtedly wood picks sound better than the more common plastic varieties.

Originally, guitar plectrums were produced from real tortoise shell. These picks were durable and had a natural and organic sound. Use of this material has been banned by law for many years so as an alternative the world turned to plastic. However, guitar players have been discovering for a long time that natural and organic materials produce a more instinctive sound and tone when connecting with guitar strings.

Guitars, with few exceptions, are made from solid and laminated tonewoods, not plastic. Why, because plastic does not sound good. Toys are made with plastic not fine instruments. It is then logical to conclude that using a pick made of a quality piece of tonewood will sound better than using a plastic pick.

I have traveled the world sharing and demonstrating guitar picks and giving musicians the opportunity to try different natural material picks and compare them to the usual plastic variety. After hundreds or even thousands of “oohs” and “aahs” it is almost unanimous that wood picks sound much better. Wood picks have a fuller and more robust tone and the effortless yet gentle attack from a wooden pick is so much more genuine than the click and tick you get from a piece of plastic.

Any guitarist who has played various acoustic guitars made from different woods, such as mahogany, maple or rosewood, know that every guitar and every different tonewood has diverse sounds and overtones. The same is true with tonewood guitar picks.

Every material, whether wood or not, sounds different and creates a different sound. Using tonewood guitar picks generally creates a better, richer more tuneful sound. While they may not be for everyone, all the time, they are one easy and inexpensive way to experiment and in most cases improve your sound.

Use the following resources to help select some of our ToneWood picks, or picks of other materials that will help you improve your sound without searching for a new guitar!

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