Trying different picks is like a guitar geek rite of passage. Experimenting and trying to find different tones via pick size and shape is a fun project to undertake, and I recently found a pick manufacturer that is a one stop shop for picks of all shapes and sizes…
V picks, made by Vinni Smith out of Nashville, TN, cover nearly every single base a guitar geek could want. Vinni makes picks of every conceivable shape and thickness you could imagine and he manufactures these picks from a cast acrylic substance that is a great tonal match for the acoustic guitar.
One of the absolute keys to finding the perfect guitar pick shape is to try a bunch of different shapes. This can be hard to do though since there are so many different pick manufacturers out there… you may find different shapes, but you will likely encounter either limited options or varying materials which will alter tone as well.
This is right where V picks comes in because these picks are all made from acrylic and the only variance that I have found is thickness and shape, which is absolutely perfect for the experimental guitar geek looking to truly hear what effect the shape of a pick has on guitar tone.
V-picks offer up a wide range of options with names like mummy, jalapeno, euro, chicken picker, stiletto, screamer and many many more. You can bet there is a perfect size pick out there somewhere for your comfort and playing needs.
My experience with V-Picks started with the Jalapeno and Euro 2 models. I will say that I gravitated toward the jalapeno as it offered wonderful control and tonal clarity. I felt that I could grip this pick with confidence, maintain my accuracy, and pull really good clear tone from my Gibson SJ. I noticed that the acrylic material that Vinni uses is quite hard and elicits a crisp tone with good body. By no means would I call this a warm sounding pick, but I wouldn’t call it brittle sounding either. I would place the jalapeno pick in the middle of the tonal spectrum with a good balance of warmth and brightness… if I was to break it into percentages it would be 45% warm and 55% bright.
Another thing I really enjoyed about the V picks was their polished and clean aesthetic matched with a hand beveled pick edge. This made for an extremely comfortable hand feel as well as a very minimal break in time.
One thing that I noticed after using the pick over roughly two weeks was that it showed some signs of wear; nothing crazy or alarming, just subtle wear that picks often get on the pick edge. If you find yourself playing hard or being heavy on your picks be sure to get a spare as the pick is made of acrylic. I also noticed a touch more pick noise from the V-picks, again not a deal breaker here, but due to the harder, cast acrylic material there was a noticeable pick “clicking” noise.
Overall if you are on a pick search these would certainly be worth a spin. I thoroughly enjoyed the Jalapeno pick and really put it through it’s paces for the better part of two weeks. I look forward to trying out more shapes in the future and seeing what pther possibilities Vinni cooks up.
For you adventurous guitar geeks and pick experimenters I would spend some time on the V-picks site and see what kind of trouble you can get yourself into.
Hi Tony. I’ve been playing with a 2mm plastic pick for quite awhile. I took your advice and got a couple of bone picks just to try. The tonal change on my guitar is remarkable. I sounds like a different instrument, brighter, far more present. When I switch back to my plastic pick it’s as if I put a muffler on the guitar. Thanks for the good advice!