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onewilyfool

Have any of you "TRIED" a real tortise pick???

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My friend says they are amazing compared to any artificial picks....any experiences to share???

 

I'd be afraid the Feds would burst into my house and confiscate them!

 

 

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I still have a handful of tortoise picks and they do indeed have a feel and tone like nothing else, which is exactly why it was the material of choice for guitar picks. They do wear out quickly, though, and the edges need attention frequently. There was a time when I was anal enough about guitar tone that I would use nothing but tortoise shell, but the difference in tone is subtle and I'm happy now with pretty much anything that doesn't flex. The real difference is in the feel - nothing else pushes through a guitar string like tortoise. Impossible to quantify beyond that.......you have to play one to understand.

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You can fashion tortoise picks out of some other old items made from tortoise, like hair brushes. But you won't be able to take them across the border.

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I still have a handful of tortoise picks and they do indeed have a feel and tone like nothing else, which is exactly why it was the material of choice for guitar picks. They do wear out quickly, though, and the edges need attention frequently. There was a time when I was anal enough about guitar tone that I would use nothing but tortoise shell, but the difference in tone is subtle and I'm happy now with pretty much anything that doesn't flex. The real difference is in the feel - nothing else pushes through a guitar string like tortoise. Impossible to quantify beyond that.......you have to play one to understand.

 

Very well said and I agree. The one thing I would add is that a tortoise shell pick is very easy to hold and control. Some picks have a tendency to rotate ot shift position in your hand. Tortoise isn't sticky or anything, but it has a way of sort of adhering to your fingers that no other material quite matches. I think they're definitely better than synthetic picks but not enough better to offset the down-sides of their use. I still have one around somewhere but I have other picks that are synthetic and nearly as good -- good enough not to worry about rummaging around to find the tortoise version.

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Had one that I used for a LONG time...finally lost it in somebodies couch or something. Keep an emery board handy for dressin' it up.

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Have not tried a tortoise pick yet, but I am willing! I use Fender Heavy...the tear shape. I like them,especially after they are worn down to more of a triangle shape.

I bought some "surf picks" made of LIGNUM VITAE wood from this dude in Key West. They are quite thick,but sound especially good on my 40's LG3. Something about that dense-wood pick that takes some brittle-ness from the more trebly tone of the the LG, when picked with a plectrum..?!?

We have a lot of tortoise (turtles, sliders, snappers,cooters) here in NE N.Carolina! I think an 'open season' would not harm the population...Jes Sayin'...Ye wouldn,t be-grudge me a lil' pik-makin operation 'round her wood YA????

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For a while, back in the day of brass nuts, stone picks were all the rage. I got one...not my cup o' hemlock. They were cool to keep in the pocket and fidget with though.

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redearedfriend.jpgNever even saw the shadow of such thing, but as a kid I had a red eared swamp-terrapin called Dinky in an aquarium.

Unfortunately after many years it caught an eye-decease so my dad chose to put an end to it's misery. Didn't know how though and took it with him to work to discuss the situation and execute the result with his colleagues. I don't recall exactly what happened, but the suggestions from what must have been fairly young men, haunts my memory to this day and can't under any circumstance be revived on the forum.

 

Dear Dinky – may your soul live on.

 

People say there are turtles in the lakes here. During the warmer seasons I quite often sit by lake sides and philosophize, still haven't seen the smallest top of a shield yet.

I'd like to try a tortoise pick, but my reality tells me to stick to the percussive flap of Dunlop .60 -

 

 

 

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Now days, a lot of people rave about the BlueChip picks ~$35/ea. Back when, I used the tortoise picks but as a slammer, they did wear out fairly quickly. Billy Gibbons uses a peso.

 

I use a variety of dunlop types from .73 - 1mm with various levels of thickness/stiffness (they are not the same thing). I like the Gibson meds ~ .8mm for one-man-band type stuff. My rule is: less stiff for bright strokes and more stiff for volume. good topic.

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redearedfriend.jpgNever even saw the shadow of such thing, but as a kid I had a red eared swamp-terrapin called Dinky in an aquarium.

Unfortunately after many years it caught an eye-decease so my dad chose to put an end to it's misery. Didn't know how though and took it with him to work to discuss and execute it with his colleagues. I don't recall exactly what happened, but the suggestions from what must have been fairly young men, haunts my memory to this day and can't under no circumstance be revived on the forum.

 

Dear Dinky – may your soul live on.

 

People say there are turtles in the lakes here. During the warmer seasons I quite often sit by lake sides and philosophize, still haven't seen the smallest top of a shield yet.

I'd like to try a tortoise pick, but my reality tells me to stick to the percussive flap of Dunlop .60 -

 

 

 

Executed? that's harsh, man. Why wouldn't we say "put down" or euthanized?

 

Sorry to hear. I get the impression he was a good turtle, and I doubt he was into anything political or had done any crime worthy of execution.

 

But I will: elephants and turtles give the same gifts whether they die of natural causes or are murdered. The question is, do we give them a good life and receive the gifts later or choose to murder them and steal such gifts from them?

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Executed? that's harsh, man. Why wouldn't we say "put down" or euthanized?

 

Sorry to hear. I get the impression he was a good turtle, and I doubt he was into anything political or had done any crime worthy of execution.

 

But I will: elephants and turtles give the same gifts whether they die of natural causes or are murdered. The question is, do we give them a good life and receive the gifts later or choose to murder them and steal such gifts from them?

Dinky was a good turtle indeed. Faithfully came to the surface every day as I after school fed him slices of frozen meat taken from the fridge-icebox and cut with a kitchen knife. I used tweezers to reach him there in water. (Excuse me for getting a bit carried away here) -

 

But you raise a sober question and sound as if you did some lake side philosophizing yourself. I personally, would never take the life of such a little friend if I saw him/her pop up by the shore of the local pond, and wonder : Could I carry an already dead turtle home and work the shield into picks ?

 

Maybe - Probably not. . .

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My favorite little music shop has a few old ones laying around that he found in cases of some of the vintage guitars he took in. I tried one but as I don't cotton much to picks of any kind really had no opinion. All I could think about was the box turtles that used to regularly cross our proeprty and give me such a thrill when I was a kid

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I recently read an interview with Billy Gibbons long time tech who says the peso story is pure myth, never happened.

 

What REALLY surprised me is that Billy plays 8's!!!!

 

I know this is the acoustic board but that pretty much kills the "thin string=no tone" position. Electric anywho!

 

The tortoise pick is from a specific tortoise, can't recall the details but I don't believe any ol' turtle will do.

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Red Bear Originals

Play the pick that other pick makers use as a comparison and DO NOT be fooled by the imitators. Red Bear Original Picks are THE CLOSEST to REAL TURTLE SHELL you can get - PERIOD.

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I recently read an interview with Billy Gibbons long time tech who says the peso story is pure myth, never happened.

 

What REALLY surprised me is that Billy plays 8's!!!!

 

I know this is the acoustic board but that pretty much kills the "thin string=no tone" position. Electric anywho!

 

The tortoise pick is from a specific tortoise, can't recall the details but I don't believe any ol' turtle will do.

 

most blues players are using lighter strings these days.

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most blues players are using lighter strings these days.

That may be true....BUT...It ain,t good until you have to "work for it"...Jes Sayin'

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I heard the peso thing way back in the 70s and thought it might be true when hearing the new and awesome tones he pioneered.... bless Billy and zztop.

 

I am forever amazed by what a difference a pick makes with an acoustic git... sometimes we change to different strings, put in new bridge pins, change saddles, el etc.

 

'It all starts in the hands' - Slammin Sammy Snead

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I heard the peso thing way back in the 70s and thought it might be true when hearing the new and awesome tones he pioneered.... bless Billy and zztop.

 

Much of Billy's early studio tone was the amp: an old tweed Fender Deluxe. I have owned and played literally hundreds of tube amps over the years and I always came back to my beat up old tweed Deluxe........finest guitar amp ever built in my estimation. The blackface years were good but there's something in those old tweed circuits that has the magic.

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Those look an awful lot like the Pickboy "Hon Bekko" (authentic tortoiseshell) picks sold here in Japan. Matter of fact, they have the exact same shape - rounded triangle with somehwhat pointy corners. These are about $18 USD now that the exchange rate is so bad.

 

Pretty gutsy guy putting something like that up on the web.

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