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Thread: Stone picks?

  1. #1
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Stone picks?

    Anybody ever use a stone pick? I just got an ad for them (tigereye and agate, petrified wood et al) and hadn't seem them before -- just curious. Didn't seem practical to me, but I'm willing to be educated.
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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    Obviously they have to be pretty thick. I am not sure how they would work with mandolin -- maybe better for some guitar styles. Others may have direct experience.

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  3. #3
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    Someone gave me on once that he'd made from the local stone - it was truly terrible - play tremolo with it and you could see bits flying off in all directions!

    Of course I'm sure commercial ones are better.... even so I would have have thought they'd be too hard and not have enough give in them?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    Yep. They were the "rage" in the mid 80's. I still have a couple. I tried them once and in my box of picks they went to remain forever more. They look great, but don't quite sound that good.
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  5. #5
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    Counter-intuitively fragile. You can only drop them once.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    Can you play "rock" and roll with them?


  7. #7
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    I can only imagine they would sound terrible on a mandolin. Most picks, even thick ones that don't seem to flex much, have more flex than people realize. The pick has to have some flex to it.
    Stone on bronze or steel? I can't imagine what could sound worse!
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  8. #8
    Registered User i-vibe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    i have two in my pick case. both i purchased around a yr ago to compete w two very loud gypsy gtrsts using Selmer style gtrs. and recently a friend gave me his old M'ind pick that Pat Martino uses or used. as you'd expect they ARE LOUD. and as you'd expect the tone is quite bright and cutting. i will pull one out every now and them when i'm more concerned w volume than tone.

    as to comparing them to steel or copper....nah, the metal picks are 10 x worse in the tone dept. oh, and i have tried a jade pick...much harsher than my agate picks. still better than metal though.

    "Most picks, even thick ones that don't seem to flex much, have more flex than people realize. The pick has to have some flex to it."

    i dunno. i use pretty thick picks 2.5 to 3.0 and i really don't notice much if any flex there. so the lack of flex w the agate picks doesn't bug me.
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  9. #9
    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    Had a stone pick a long time ago but it quickly got traded when someone offered some cash for it.
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  10. #10
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    ...Stone on bronze or steel? I can't imagine what could sound worse!
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  11. #11
    Registered User Ark Isle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    I don't know what you're talking about. Right about now, bacon sounds delicious!

  12. #12
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    You must be stoned.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Stone picks?

    For fun, I tried out several of these from Ebay, so I'll give you the pros and cons as I see them...
    They actually have surprisingly good tone if they are polished very smoothly and have a clean bevel. It's best to buy them from someone who not only knows how to work stone, but who also plays music.
    They are loud, but not any louder than a Wegen or Blue Chip.
    Their best quality is that they look really cool and are fun to display--especially as playable jewelery.
    On the downside, they are clicky on the lower courses, and will give a gritty noise if not polished perfectly smooth.
    The worst problem is that each is so "one-of-a-kind" This can be fun, but once you find your favorite pick--you sort of want several back ups just like it on stand by.
    All in all, mine are fun, because I like interesting stuff like that, but for everday playing I use the Wegen.

  14. #14
    Infrequently Smelt Gregory Tidwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    I have a bunch of ancient mammoth ivory picks, and personally I love them. Not sure if SiO2 replaces mammoth ivory the way it replaces bone, but they sure feel like stone to me. The tone they produce is wonderful, IMHO, and I love that they flex not in the least, and they are about 1mm thick. As far as I can tell they also never chip or even scratch. The only problem I have ever had is that I find they slow me down on tremolo, so as we (I) speak (type) I am having a scrimshander in Rhode Island make me a new one with a rounder tip.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Stone picks?

    Yes, it's a similar tone to that, bone or horn. These all have a less synthetic sound than plastic in my opinion. I think the manmade materials that have that similar sound are the acrilic of V-picks, the whatever it is of BCs, and the kevlar of Wegens. These last sound the most like a mandmade product, but I tend to like them because they don't click on the bass strings and have a warm loud tone. It's a lot of fun to experiment.

  16. #16
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    This is an old proven concept for picking whatever

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  17. #17
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone picks?

    I bought a milled & polished agate pick from a quarry in Oregon. It is a thing of beauty to look at but it sounds "tinney" as mandolin pick. Also I got "pick click" almost as loud as the string sound. They are not for me. Here is where I bought mine.
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

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