Picks and Stones Agate Pick

AH, THE HUMBLE PICK. IT’S THE POINT WHERE silence becomes sound, and yet it is often taken for granted. Recently, models from Red Bear Trading (reviewed in the October ’08 GP), and now Picks and Stones, have eclipsed the $20 dollar range for a single pick. As a fan of the 25-cent variety, I was skeptical that forking out dollars, rather than cents, for a pick makes, um, sense. So I compared a Picks and Stones Traditional Brazilian Agate pick to a celluloid Fender Medium.

The Picks and Stones picks ($22-$36, with customized grips, bevels, and thicknesses available at two dollar upcharges) are handcrafted from selected agate stones from North and South America (the company also offers amber picks that reportedly sound like vintage tortoise shell). I was initially concerned the polished agate might be slippery, but it stuck to my fingers as well as the Fender celluloid did. The rigid stone pick obviously has a sharper, brighter attack than the Fender—which perhaps makes it a more articulate option for strumming complex chords—but I found the real advantage is that the agate’s rounded, polished edges don’t get hung up on the strings, making it a great tool for enhancing your shredding speed.

Better articulation is always a good thing— unless you’re a lo-fi revolutionary—as are tools that can help improve technique. While I’m still a bit queasy at spending 20 bucks for a pick, the benefits of the Traditional Brazilian Agate are equal to the cost.

KUDOS Durable. Rounded edges can boost picking speed. Lasts Forever
CONTACT (888) 878-9985; picksandstones.com