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Not really a DIY guitar, but it's kind of related I wanted to try Blue Chip picks that everyone raves about but didn't want to invest 50 bucks for a pick, so I decided to make my own. Investigation lead me to material they are made of and it's pretty expensive, but I was able to buy some scraps from ebay for much less. It was enough for about 8 picks. As far as pick shape is concerned, we went with my favorite - Gravity Sunrise. I don't have photos of the process, but it's all manual and described on my blog. No fancy tools are used, but requires certain level of craftsmanship. For more info see http://diy-fever.com/misc/diy-vespel-picks/ Here's the end result
Important : Read this first : Super fast 3mm Aluminium guitar picks ( plectrums ) have been developed for all styles of playing, mainly : tremolo, synchronised tremolo, shredding, fast soloing. Pictures and information available at : http://www.steven-stanley-bayes.com/Picks.html Various types of these picks are available in these Toronto stores : Ring Music : 416 924 3571 ; www.ringmusic.com Remnyi House of Music : 416 961 3111 ; www.remenyi.com Elite Music : 416 406 5355 ; www.elitemusic.ca Scarboro Music : 416 699 8333 ; www.scarboromusic.com Best call first. You can test drive the picks in these locations. The manufacturer manufactures four type of picks at present : Non Standard ( Own Design ) Sharp, Non Standard ( Own Design ) Round, Standard ( Vertically Rounded Edges ), Jazzie 3. Please, see the pictures. You can also purchase these directly from the manufacturer when you reply to this adv. : Price per Pick : $1. Postage : For 8 picks or less : Canada : $1 USA : $1.35 International : $2.85 See : http://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/personal/productsservices/send/postagestamps.jsf All prices include tax. Suggestion for a good try : Assorted Four Picks ( one of each type ) with Postage : You pay $5 for 4 picks. Please, note : Handcrafting does not yield 100% the same product but, in this case, the manufacturing tolerances are not so significant and the picks are 100% the same as far as playing is concerned. Pick Specifications of the NON STANDARD Picks : Do NOT Forget : Give the picks a week to get used to before you decide. Please note : I am able to easily make a 1mm or 0.88mm Aluminum pick. This will be even easier BUT this defies the purpose : There is no way to make a wide vertical angle on the blades of a thin pick and the pick will not be as slick and will catch or drag the strings as all thin picks do. The only advantage may be the pick may bend as the thinnest picks do and this may give a possibility for playing some styles. Dangerous, however, may be to use a thin pick on some strings because the thin pick may cut the strings. Aluminum is soft and should be OK on standard wounds, although I am not much too sure. Thin pick, even Aluminum, may damage flat wound and nylon strings. Thin steel does this for sure as well as damages standard wounds. The problem is there is no way to make the picks dull because they are very thin. Plastic picks have the same problems. A good possibility for a safe plastic pick for nylon strings would be a soft rubber like, almost jelly like plastic. This does not provide slickness, though, hence lack of speed for some styles. For Those Concerned with Strings Safety : Aluminum is a very soft metal. The picks have been tested with heavy abuse on nylon strings, flat wound strings and wound strings. No problem at all! Those who cannot trust can take a simple yet unnecessary step for even safer pick on any strings : with a simple kitchen knife or any knife, start to “ peel “ the pick edges off in the same way like potatoes are peeled off : towards the thumb. Make sure you do not cut yourselves. This way, you will make the pick edges duller. You can dull them as much as you want. You can also dull them with a metal file or, even, with a nail file. The blades of the pick may become rough after you dull with a file. Thus, you are advised to smoothen them up either with a knife as described or with sand paper gradually from as low grid number as you wish to 600 or higher. Please, note : I have managed to cut a flat wound with a steel pick but never with an aluminum pick and I have been playing with these picks ever since I started to make them. Description : 3mm ( 1 / 8 “ ) Aluminum, Vertically Sharp ( from top to bottom ) Playing Edges at a Wide Angle. 1mm to 1.5mm also available upon request but 3mm are better. Dimensions : 1 “ ; 1” ; 1 /8 “ ( 2.5cm ; 2.5cm ; 3mm ) Weight : Less than 4g ( 4 grams ), less than 1 / 8 th of an ounce ( measured to be 3.3g). SUPER LIGHT. Horizontal Angle : 30 degrees Playing area : 0.1 to 0.75cm ( Depends on the version : Sharp picks work best with low playing area which gives a sharper vertical angle thus faster playing. ) Features : Provides a possibility for the vertical angle ( in some rounded versions ) ; vertically and horizontally flat ( except the vertical bump which is smoothened ), angled. Each pick is polished and passivated with the safe Sodium Bicarbonate NaHCO3 ( Baking Soda ). Performance : The large horizontal and vertical angles, combined with the slickness of Aluminum give a possibility for fast solo playing. Aluminum is a soft metal and will not cut even nylon strings. Picks perform well and safe on flat wounds. OK on wound strings. Grip : The pick has a good grip anyways and no other provisions have been made since most people prefer flat picks to avoid discomfort. Because Aluminum is soft, anyone who wants can make grip points just with the edge of a kitchen knife, drill, file, etcetera. The best way to make a grip a pick, however, is to use this sticky rubber which the banks use to stick the credit cards to the piece of paper. Rubber glue for bicycle tubes is best and permanent. Blue tack can be used. Safety and Environment : Aluminum is a safe element which is neutral and does not react with other elements, just as gold, silver, copper and platinum. Does not rust as well but gets covered with a passivated layer just as copper. The World Health Organisation ( WHO ) claim consumption of 50mg Aluminum per every 24 hours is safe. Re Shape Ability : Anyone who wants can re shape Aluminum with a file or, even, a knife. However, I think, this is the best shape in the class. Other : PURE, HOUSE USE APPROVED, POLISHED AND PASSIVATED ALUMINUM : no anodisation, no chemical, no electrolytics, no any treatment except passivation with the safe baking soda which is a strong base and passivates Aluminum at around 60 degrees Celsius. Two half holes for extra grip in some versions. Treatment with bicarbonate soda ( baking soda ) is added for passivation and grip but not recommended. Polished. Slick on the strings and soft. Light. Tone : more like plastic than steel yet as fast as steel and extremely loud. Picks “ adjust “ to the player : the more one plays the better they get : they get slightly polished with playing. No maintenance required. Simple sand paper sanding can be performed should the player desires and is not necessary. The same applies for custom filing : can be done with a simple, inexpensive metal file. Aluminum is very soft thus very easy to customise unlike steel. Polishing with 600 and 1500 sand paper would give best results. For heavily deformed ( impossible under normal use ), filing with a metal file and sanding with approximately : 100, 150, 220, 400, 600 and 1500 can give best results although so many grid increments are not necessary. Yet, sand paper is inexpensive and largely available. Steel wool and synthetic steel wool with a grid of 0000 can be used for fine polishing. Strong real wool would give the best results. Do NOT be afraid : none of this is necessary unless the purchaser so desires. Condition : Brand New : Hand crafted in Canada. Delivery : Shipping paid by the purchaser. Canada Post have the lowest price. Non registered mail is a risk of the purchaser. FEEDBACK : Note : The emails of the people who provided the feedbacks are available upon request to those interested. J. J., Ottawa : Hello, Thanks for the picks. I really like them. I like a thick pick, and I noticed a big difference in volume and tone. Much crisper. I really noticed this when I went back for a sound test with the plastic one I normally use. Thanks. Neil, Ottawa : I've tried them only on the nylon strings and I'm surprised that the thick aluminum has a similar effect as the 1 mm plastic one I had. More of a jazzy tone. All in all you did a good job of smoothing out the edges. Thanks Steven. You really know what you are doing. Neil Connor, Ottawa : Verbally : I have played these a lot as well as I have given some to friends and colleagues to try and we all like them. These are very fast picks and the tone is very loud. They are very good and a new product which will sell for sure in the future. Arthur, Ottawa : Verbally : These picks are excellent. The first versions were very big. Although there are big picks sold in North America and they are standard, most people in North America prefer the standard ones which are approximately 1 “ ; 1 “ and different width. I have played these picks and I have liked them. The tonal qualities are excellent. I have given these to guitar players and they have all come with an excellent feedback. I prefer oval picks and not sharp with a bit of a bump in the middle as well as some grip. The problem is : people do not know them hence you should give them for free first, so people can see their qualities. The market is very tough on all metal picks but Aluminum is the right material! Michael, Ottawa : Verbally : These are excellent picks. I am sure people would purchase them. Cassey and Jim, Ottawa : Via Text : These are excellent picks. Jim played them for three hours last night and was amazed by the loud and excellent quality tone. Nick, Ottawa : I like the picks. Crisp and bright. Jarek, Ottawa : Hi Steven, I haven't had much of a chance to play with them. I like the immediate response to changes in grip strength, and the tone is good : not much of a change from my jazz 3's for hybrid picking etc. There is much less noise from the pick when playing more funk / rhythmic styles, which may or may not be to the players taste. There was no appreciable drag on wound or plain strings, which I was not expecting! It really is effortless picking. I may end up re shaping the “ shoulders “ as I'm used to the Jazz 3's so these are a little bigger, but as you explained that should be no big deal. I'll send you a photo. Thanks for the trials! Antoine, Ottawa I tried the picks last night for a few minutes, both for strumming and for doing leads and I truly enjoyed the responsiveness of the pick and the ease at playing it provides. The material used is light and is malleable. I truly appreciate playing with this and recommend it highly. I have 3 friends who play guitar regularly and I`ve told one of them so far. They were interested in getting some and try them out. Scott, Ottawa Hi Steven, Just wanted to follow up with some feedback on your tre' good Guitar piks. My son loves them. Still getting accustomed to them but so far they are big hits. Over all, dexterity, speed, accuracy, response and attack control. The many angles available offer multiple interaction possibilities. The girth is substantial but still light and very comfortable. Also a real unique good factor. Engraving is possible and will offer some grip. Connor will recommend these to his students and the music circles he travels in. Thanks for your efforts. Carlos, Minnesota Yeah they work perfect, those picks are probably one of the best picks I’ve ever played. Stewart, Toronto Verbally : Thank you for these picks. They are great. I can even tune the guitar with a tuner much better. Gillian, Toronto Verbally : These picks are great. Thank you. Tom, Toronto I play with a thumb pick but these picks are excellent. John, Toronto Can I have an order for 25 3mm and 25 1.5mm Aluminum Picks in the shape and edge rounding of D’Andrea 2mm Ultra Plec? Brian, Toronto I sell all kind of picks by a famous French maker. I have even had mammoth micks. Never had Aluminum picks. Can I order some in the shape of a standard pick D’Andrea 2mm Ultra Plec? Barry, Toronto Verbally : These picks are very good. Mathew, Ottawa Hey Steven, thank you for being patient with me. I tried the picks and I loved them, thank you very much. Keep in touch. Love your YouTube videos too! Thanks again!
Hi Guys, As a designer I have been busy messing around with my guitar and finding a new cool addition for a muscial artist. I the recordstore I found a bunch of old classis Vinyl records and was sure to thing of a cool way too upcycle these forgotten things. After some experimenting I came on the idea to try cutting guitar picks from these record, with great succes. They have the right handle, flex and produce a good sound. With the lasercutter you can also engrave a design into the material which with the right records (composition of the vinyl varies with each label) you get a great effect! I'm now busy crafting nice sets of these picks and am curious if there are alot of enthousiastic musicians that would also love to have picks like these! I made a scale of various design that look great on the picks, but ofcourse the coolest thing to have for a musician or band is picks with there own design! I was wondering if you guys would love to have picks like this yourselfs. I opened a little shop on Etsy where I put them for sale, and also offer my services to make you guys your own picks. www.etsy.com/shop/RobertJanvanderKaaij If you are interested, have ideas, or want to ask me about a the options, I'm open for everything and we can always arrange something! Greets, Robert Jan van der Kaaij