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Thread: It's A Small, Small World - Picks, Part Deux

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    It's A Small, Small World - Picks, Part Deux

    This afternoon and evening, I was playing one of my guitars, and something sounded slightly...off. I couldn't seem to get the same subtlety out of the notes I'd been getting. I fiddled with everything on the guitar and amp, and still...a little strange.

    Strings were only a few days old. Still nice and crisp sounding. So I looked at my pick. I'm well aware that pick wear makes a difference. Hmmm...It looked ok...

    I'd switched from standard teardrop celluloid mediums to Tortex Jazz IIIs a couple of months back. I switched because I really liked how the sound changed and the picking was a little faster. With celluloids, it's easy to see and feel when they're worn.

    But this Tortex one still looked good. Still, I got a fresh one out of the pick bag,

    There it was!

    My usual tone and picking attack were back. I wondered how much wear was on the old pick I'd been using. So I looked at them both under a magnifying glass (I don't own a microscope). I could see a tiny difference, wasn't much. Probably not enough to notice without magnification. I wasn't sure I could feel it with my fingertip, though I thought maybe I did. But it was evidently enough to make all the difference in the playing!

    I suppose a dull knife would look similar to a sharp knife under a simple magnifying glass.

    It made me realize how little, tiny things can really affect how we play, what we hear, and how no matter how small, everything affects everything!

    I knew it was a small world. But it now feels smaller still.

    Edit: Before dinner I happened to drop a toothpick on the counter. And it made a ringing sound. It reminded me of Paul Smith dropping guitar nut materials in his video, and how they had a sound depending on the material. So I got a few more toothpicks and dropped them on the counter to hear how they sounded. Then my wife came in and looked at me with a quizzical expression.

    "I'm listening to the tone of these toothpicks," I explained.

    "Oh I see. You're listening to toothpicks. Of course." she said, matter of factly. Like she'd seen men listening to toothpicks all her life. Didn't miss a beat.

    She's used to me now. I blame Paul.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 12-17-2012 at 06:46 PM.

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