The NAMM Awards: On Second Thought Print
Friday, 01 February 2008 12:21
namm-anaheim-convention-center.jpgBy Jim Basara - GJD
This is the fifth and final installment of our 2008 Winter NAMM Award series. In this article, the category is "Hmmmm, on Second Thought...". These are products that were originally dismissed as candidates for "What Were They Thinking" awards, but after further consideration, clearly have merit.

This year's winner is a new company called V-Picks. Usually, the winner of this award is determined over several days as I mull over the various products. But this year, V-Picks changed my mind in a matter of a few minutes.
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When GJD's Ken Volpe mentioned to me that we needed to go check out V-Picks, I admit that I thought it would be a waste of time. Another guitar pick company??? Pleeeezzzz. Then, when I got to the V-Picks booth and saw plates of massive chunks of plastic on the table, I felt like turning and running.

As you can see in the picture below, these picks are big.......REALLY BIG!!! I already use heavy picks and I was terrified when I saw them. When I picked one up, it was hard to imagine that they would even fit between the strings. Like the first time I tried asparagus, I was sure I was going to hate them.

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But a funny thing happened when I began to play. This pick was comfortable....REALLY COMFORTABLE. It seemed to glide through the strings with no perceivable resistance. Whether picking clean or playing overdriven solos, the pick seemed to perform excellently. Also, because of the thickness, there was a very noticeable reduction in stress and pressure on my thumb and finger. It felt like I was barely gripping the pick, but yet I was applying plenty of pressure to keep the pick in position.

After playing for a while, I noticed another phenomenon. I normally have problems with smooth picks spinning in my hand and I have switched to perforated picks to help with that problem. But even though it is as smooth as glass, the V-Pick stayed perfectly in position.

Vinni Smith, president of V-Picks, says that the material from which V-Picks are made reduces the friction across the strings and reacts with the skin to help hold the pick in place. He's right on both counts.

The V-Picks come in a wide variety of styles, thicknesses, and points. Some of the choices are shown in the photo below.

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Note that the V-Picks aren't cheap either, ranging from $2 to around $20, but they will probably last a lifetime. While I haven't decided to switch to V-Picks exclusively, I do find myself becoming more and more intrigued by them, as I continue to switch back and forth with my regular picks. I definitely encourage people to give them a try, especially if you struggle with standard picks. This product is not a gimmick and offers some real advantages to some players.

Editors Note: On behalf of everyone at Guitar Jam Daily, we would like to congratulate Jim Basara on the outstanding work and delivery of yet another brilliant NAMM Award series. Jim we are forever grateful for your contributions and know that our readers (except for a few Gibson employees) feel the same! Feel free to send your comments to Jim - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it