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October 25, 2020
Fret Burns: Picks PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 July 2008 18:28
karl.jpgBy Karl Greenberg - GJD Contributor
I keep losing guitar picks. They turn up in weird places. I find them on top of the washing machine. My wife used to bitch about that. "I'm sick of pulling guitar picks out of your trousers." "Then leave them in there. That way I'll always know where to find them." "That way they'll melt in your pockets in the dryer and jam the washing machine when they fall out."

That's just stupid, but you know what? I'm not going there with my wife because it's going to end up with her winning the argument. It's no use. Anyway, it's not going to change things because I can't seem to keep my picks. I've tried just about everything to keep my picks in one place. I bought this zip up pouch, and for a while that worked really well. I'd keep the picks in that pouch and keep the pouch above the piano. But then I managed to lose the pouch. So I went with the pick between the strings approach, but that doesn't work because the picks fall out or I put the pick in my pocket.

After I lost my pick pouch I finally decided the picks were a crutch and it was time to learn finger style. The benefits are vast: more elaborate harmonics and a wider range of styles become available. The problem is it requires you to grow some nails on the right hand. But I bite my nails. And there's no way I'm going to stop biting my nails because I like it. I like the power of life and death it gives me over my nails. If you haven't bitten your nails you don't know what you're missing. It's fun. And creative. And it's a lot less embarrassing in public than picking your nose.

When my wife, who basically complains about everything I do, asks me how it's possible that picks can leap out of my guitar by themselves and jump into my pants pockets, scuttle under the furniture, jump into the silverware drawer, hop on the window sills and find their way into the tooth brush holder, I have to say something stupid like "I have no idea, dear, I guess they wake up at night and go exploring." I mean, what kind of question is that? "How is it possible..." How the hell do I know? If I knew I'd know where the hell I put my pick pouch, too, but I don't! I have no idea. For all I know it moved out. Maybe it's in someone else's guitar case. Maybe it moved to Bermuda. Maybe it's on Mars with the rovers. I really don't know. But it bothers me. It bothers me more to lose picks than to lose loose change.

You cannot play guitar with loose change. And you can't buy much with it, either. In fact, you can buy more with guitar picks than you can with the change. I was at the Mud Truck – a coffee truck – the other day, and bought iced coffee. The girl said it was two bucks and thirty five cents, but I only had a buck. Guess what? I reached into my pocket and voila: two picks. She took them and the dollar. "I'm learning guitar!" she said. Who isn't. There's a good chance the person behind the counter, any counter, will take picks. Guitar picks are international currency.

But now I'm thinking I'm going to have to just drop like twenty bucks on a box of picks, one of those compartment boxes with about a five hundred soft, medium, hard, extremely hard picks. The only problem is that, over time, all of those picks will end up in my pockets, in the washing machine, in the corners, under the furniture, in my food. All five hundred will eventually be scattered around the house, driving my wife even more insane than she is now. Anyone know a good pick exterminator?

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