Favorite picks made from unusual materials
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
I've discovered that certain products come carded with a fitted dome of a VERY tough clear plastic, that's perfect.
If you buy tools or household devices from ALDI, you know what I mean...
You can cut a strip with curved edges (for stiffening)and leave a flat part at the end, which you can tailor finely to any desired stiffness and length
(very helpful to me, as my right hand fingertips are permanently numb from carpal tunnel etc. and can't hold a standard flat pick by my fingertips.)
The pick in these pics has one curved edge down its length (the "handle") for stiffening. The curled edge is trimmed off, starting the taper to a fairly wide (about 1/4") "point," at a spot that leaves a flat, more flexible "picking" end about 1/2" long. I like the sound -and the feel- better than a pointed end (like a standard guitar flatpick has. I never was a decent flatpicker.)
As happened with the guitar (some 55 years ago ;) I will probably eventually wind up using fingerpicks. I've adopted a guitar style that can flexibly go from traditional (ragtime, or "clock-picking") fingerpicking, to strumming (Carter Family or "church lick") and lots of variations in between, by creating small finger "garters" that let me strum in either direction with the National-type fingerpicks, without a pick flying off (inevitably landing inside the guitar, &#$^@ ;) There's a sweet, hollow metallic sound to a back-strum with METAL fingerpicks, that you can't get any other way. And with the pics this securely on, you can develop a technique that saves you a lot of effort to get volume. It really brings out the highs in the Monel strings I've stuck with since I started - and that makes the Washburn have incredible sustain.. (I hate brass strings. Don't like the feel at all... or the sound.)
The technique may or may not work for dulcimer... but it works GREAT with the little Washburn Parlor guitar I've fallen in love with. (And yeah, I DO miss the 1963 D-18 I bought new and had to sell years later for the rent - FOR $250! - in New York. I'll NEVER be able to afford "that much guitar," today as a retiree. But I got a great eBay bargain on the 125th Anniversary Washburn, one of the 2008 reissues they made 250 of. And I had coveted a slotted head guitar since the 60's!)
updated by @rhytonen: 09/10/16 03:38:58PM