What is the deal with this imitation material that produces tone previously only achieved by the rarest of materials?
Well, I am happy to say that no turtles were harmed making these picks, however, the tone produced by them is quite reminiscent of actual tortoiseshell. See in 1973 it was no longer legal to trade/sell actual tortoise shell so many guitarists had to go back to the drawing board to find a material that produced that warm yet crisp tone that tortoiseshell is known for. This tone haunts Flatpickers and seems like something only dreams are made of, which is why when I discovered Hense picks from Germany I was so excited!!!
Hense picks are made in Germany and the Happy Turtle pick that I procured from Artisan Guitars in Nashville is made out of a material called Milk Stone which is a casein (think of it as a milk protein). This material is outstanding at producing a solid tone and an extraordinary feel. One thing to be careful of with these picks is to not attempt bending them or getting them wet. These picks are quite stiff and have only a subtle flex… if flexed too far they will snap. Since these picks are made of an organic material they will become brittle if they have been wet or damp and then left to dry out. So if you aren’t playing on a rainy day outside these picks are exquisite, and they produce some serious tone.
Hense picks also come in a variety of shapes and material choices such as:
-The Happy Turtle picks, made from Milk Stone
-The Cream Speedy picks, made from a modern self-lubricating high tech plastic.
-The Midnight Blue picks, made from a high-impact plastic.
-The Grunge Triangle, made of traditional hard rubber
These picks are definitely worth a try if you are seeking a tone and feel akin to the old tortoise shell picks.
Hense Guitar Pick Links
- Hense Guitar Pick Site
- Buy a Happy Turtle Pick
- Buy a Happy Turtle Triangle Pick
- Buy a Cream Speedy Pick
- Buy a Midnight Blue Pick