Review : Slick Grip Guitar Picks

I seem to be on a never-ending quest to find my ideal guitar pick lately, and this month has been no different.  Recently I picked up some interesting plectrums from a new UK based company called Slick Grip…

These six picks utilise a unique design which is supposed to help wick away moisture and keep the surface nice and grippy.  As grip is something I have trouble with I was only too eager to give these innovative Slick Grip picks a good test run.

What’s In the Box?

As soon as I received the package in the mail I could tell that this was a company who put a lot of thought into how they present their product.  The picks arrived in a black branded envelope, and the bright pink Slick Grip logo instantly alerted me to what the package contained.

Inside the envelope the attention to small details continued as each pick was safely nestled inside its very own individual packaging!  A thick piece of foam houses each pick, which is then cradled by a piece of card and then finally wrapped in a sheet of plastic.  It’s a very neat little design and instantly gives the impression that these are more than your average-joe picks.

Slick Grip Guitar Picks Review Plectrum

The range comes in a variety of sizes from 0.45mm all the way up to 2.0mm.  The different thicknesses are color coded which makes them very easy to distinguish from each other.  Take a look at the close-up image at the end of this article to see exactly what pick sizes are available.

The Design

If you take a look at the image below you will see a detailed graphic of the pick design, which is displayed on the back of the packaging.

Review : Gaskell Guitars All Rounder

Check out our review of the Gaskell All Rounder T-Style guitar. An affordable and semi-customisable left handed Telecaster from Australia.

Review : Planet Waves NS Mini Headstock Tuner

Recently Planet Waves were kind enough to send over one of their brand new NS Mini Headstock Tuners for us to investigate.  As always we were only too happy to test out their new and always innovative little products.  Here’s our review…

The NS Mini Headstock Tuner is a little different to most other similar products in that it is tiny, and is also virtually invisible from the front of your guitar.  It tunes by vibration via its highly sensitive piezo transducer and clearly presents tuning information on its two-color backlit display.

What’s In the Box?

Inside the surprisingly small box you’ll find the tuner itself, the instruction manual and a battery.

The tuner itself is made of plastic and feels solid enough in your hand.  It is easily the smallest tuner I have personally ever seen.  I’m not sure why you’d want to do it, but the clip can be removed.

Planet Waves Mini Headstock Guitar Tuner Review

In order to keep things simple, there are only two buttons on the tuner: one to switch the unit on and off, and the other to switch between tuning frequencies (A430 to A450).  If you take a look at the image above you’ll notice the two buttons which are located on the underside of the unit.  Also notice the battery compartment door.


The tuner clamps onto your headstock using the adjustable clip.  The tab at the rear allows you to alter the height of the clip, making it suitable for surfaces of between roughly 1.2cm to 2.25cm.  Once clamped onto your headstock the display will move through a full 360 degree rotation, allowing you to achieve the perfect viewing angle.

Theoretically you can place the tuner anywhere you would like on the guitar, although the idea behind its design is that it should be virtually invisible, so it should generally be positioned with the display behind the headstock.  Since the audience can only see a tiny portion of the clamp they will most likely assume that you are able to tune perfectly by ear!

Review : Pick Punch – Make Your Own Customized Plectrums!

The Pick Punch looks just like any old paper punch at first glance, however upon closer inspection you’ll notice the great big plectrum-shaped hole in the bottom.  With this little gadget you can take almost any piece of flat plastic material and turn it into some custom guitar picks!

We featured the Pick Punch in our Xmas Stocking Fillers article last year and I have to admit that I almost instantly wrote it off as a fun, novelty item.  But once you start to see the possibilities for custom pick creations it quickly becomes a very useful (and incredibly addictive!) tool.  Read on to find out how…

What’s In the Box?

Inside the attractively designed box you’ll find the Pick Punch, ready to start pumping out custom plectrums.  I also picked up a small selection of plastic sheets from the Pick Punch website to get started with, as well as a sanding block for shaping and buffing the picks – these are an extra purchase, but very inexpensive.

Pick Punch Custom Guitar Plectrum Review

The punch itself is very heavy and feels incredibly well built and solid in your hand.  When you first see the size of the hole on the bottom you really wonder how on earth it manages to cut such a large area from your material.

The plastic sheets are all of a similar thickness, but are of varying colors and opacities.  Pick Punch sell a variety of different plastic sheets directly from their website should you need a good supply.

Review : Planet Waves Auto-Trim Tuning Machines

I’m a big fan of locking tuners and try to have them on all of my guitars where possible, so when I recently received my new Gaskell AllRounder the very first thing I did was to upgrade the standard stock tuners.  D’Addario were kind enough to send out a set of their Planet Waves Auto-Trim Tuning Machines, and I was only too glad to give them a test drive!

These tuners are a little different to most in that they negate the need for string cutters by incorporating a trimming mechanism directly into the tuners themselves.  The design is so simple and innovative that they really don’t look any different to any other locking tuner on the market.  They come in either a 6 in-line set or a 3+3 set in a variety of different finishes. Read on to find out how the magic happens…

What’s In The Box?

Inside the beautifully designed packaging, the tuners are artfully displayed in their cardboard mount.  Underneath you will find six screws, and your nuts and washers, as well as a brief information pamphlet which details how the tuners function.

DAddario Planet Waves Auto Trim Locking Tuners Review

The packaging is a very elegant affair, clearly Planet Waves has also put a lot of thought into the smaller details such as this. The tuners themselves are incredibly solid and feel very well made – they also look fantastic!

Locking Tuners?  What Are They?

For those of you who are new to guitar and perhaps haven’t come across locking tuners yet, let me tell you that they are a godsend!  A large screw on the bottom of the tuner controls the height of a clamping pin inside the post where you thread your string through.  So the idea is that you thread the string through, pull it tight, and then tighten the screw to clamp the string firmly in place.

Review : D’Addario EXP Strings and Planet Waves Pro-Winder

D’Addario very kindly sent me a sample of their new EXP coated string range as well as a pro-winder from their Planet Waves brand.  I am a long time user of both of these companies so I was only too happy to test-drive a few more of their excellent products!

For those who aren’t in the know, Planet Waves is also owned by D’Addario.  I was sent a set of super light (EXP120) and regular light (EXP110) strings for electric guitar, and a set of light (EXP16) and medium (EXP17) strings for acoustic.

D’Addario EXP Coated Strings

I’ve been using D’Addario’s EXP range of strings for probably a year or two now, and they are superb!  These strings do cost a little more but they come with a special coating which should hopefully extend the life of the strings quite considerably.  If you’re like me, get fairly sweaty during a good guitar session and never bother to wipe down the strings afterwards, these are absolutely ideal.  I used to be able to turn a set of strings brown within a couple of weeks, but with these I can easily stretch them out for months of use if need be.

D'Addario Coated EXP Strings

Fair enough if you play live or do session work you will want a fresh set of strings on for each and every gig, but for home practice these EXPs will keep you going for longer without sacrificing tone.  A further bonus on the electric packs is the extra high-e string that comes bundled inside – something that you see less and less of these days.

Will you notice the coating on the strings?  Sure, at first.  As you make your first bend you will be able to feel the string grind against the fret, but this is only temporary and will quickly disappear as you continue to play.  Once you’ve worn off the coating beside the frets the EXP’s feel like any other set of regular strings.

The strings come with colored ball-ends to allow for easy identification and are packaged in a sealed bag to keep them factory fresh forever.  If you go through strings like nobody’s business I would absolutely recommend test driving a set of these strings out, both for acoustic and electric.

Planet Waves Pro-Winder String Tool

If your guitar doesn’t have locking tuners then a good string winder is a complete necessity.  It will shave minutes off of your restring time and saves a lot of  unnecessary strain on your wrist.  I’ve been using a Planet Waves string winder for nearly 10 years now and it’s still going strong!  This winder also features a string-cutter to help speed up the removal of old strings and tidy up the new ones.

ReadHow often should I change guitar strings?

D'Addario Pro-Winder NEW vs OLD

Timber Tones Exotic Wood Guitar Picks Review

Timber Tones Plectrums are a new type of luxury guitar pick which are designed and sold within the UK.  What makes these picks different from most others is that each one is finely crafted from one of 18 different exotic woods from around the world, with each having their own unique tone.

Each pick is shaped by machine to exacting specifications, which ensures that the only difference between each one is the wood that they are created from.  Once they come off the production line each Timber Tone goes through a quality control checklist to ensure that they are up to scratch.  After passing this initial scrutiny the picks are treated with wax which seals the wood and gives them a more grippy texture.  Finally each pick is given a generous coating of Tung oil to help enhance the wood’s natural beauty.

“You’ve treated yourself to high end guitar equipment, now treat yourself to one of the best plectrums money can buy…” – TimberTones

I was sent a couple of sample packs of Timber Tones to try out and I’ve been busy putting them through their paces over the last couple of weeks.  I was given an electric sample pack which contained four picks for electric guitar, and an acoustic sample pack which contained four picks for acoustic guitar…

The Electric Timber Tones

The Timber Tones included in the electric package were made from some of the harder woods on offer.  The hardness of each wood is calculated using the Janka scale which measures the force required to embed an 11.28mm steel ball into wood to half the ball’s diameter.  Included in the electric package were Lignum Vitae (4500), African Ebony (3320), Sonokeling (3080) and Bloodwood (2990).  Take a look at some more detailed images below…

Timber Tones Electric Guitar Picks Wooden

The hardest of the lot is the Lignum Vitae pick – my dad told me they used to make ship propeller shaft bearings out of this!  It’s also very, very smooth, despite the rather crazy looking patterns and ridges running over it.

Most people will know what the African Ebony will feel like considering that it is used on many fingerboards.  Due to its very tight grain it is as smooth as a button between the fingers.