Many guitar picks come with speed bevels, either as an option or as part of the core design. Speed bevels are sometimes referred to as right or left hand bevels, or contours, it all means the same thing. So what are speed beveled guitar picks, and what are they good for? Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
What’s a Speed Bevel and What Does it Do?
A speed bevel is a diagonal bevel on the tip of a guitar pick. It helps to lower the string resistance and soften the release. As a result, it allows faster picking when the player is holding the pick diagonally to the strings.
It’s similar to the way a pick tip wears down at the angle you hold it against the strings.
An important thing to know is that speed bevels are making the pick asymmetrical, meaning that a right hand bevel won’t fit someone playing a left handed guitar. In most cases, a boutique maker that has this as an option lets you choose between right or left bevels, but the mass produced ones are likely only to have right hand bevels.
Speed Bevel vs Regular Pick
The best way to demonstrate how a speed bevel affects the sound of a pick is to compare two picks of the same material and shape that are identical in every way except for the tip. Here, we’ll compare Jazz III with its speed-beveled version, the Rock III and Ultex Jazz III with John Petrucci’s signature Primetone Jazz III
Jazz III vs Rock III
Ultex Jazz III vs John Petrucci’s signature Primetone Jazz III
Whether you need a speed-beveled pick or not depends on how you hold the pick and how you angle it. If you’re used to holding it in parallel to the strings, there’s no point in having the pick beveled like that.
If you are angling your pick when you play, a speed beveled pick reduces the resistance from the strings, allowing you to play more comfortably and faster.
It’s very clear that in clean settings, a speed-beveled pick is softening the attack to an almost compressor-like level.
Examples of Speed Beveled Guitar Picks
As mentioned earlier, Rock III is Dunlop’s speed-beveled version of Jazz III. It’s cheap and familiar and the best option if you want to compare or A/B a normal vs speed beveled pick.
Dunlop Primetone and SpeedPicks
Generally, the entire Primetone line is speed beveled, except for a few Primetone Classics. This includes the signature Primetones by John Petrucci and Akira Takasaki, but not Animals as Leaders.
They are slightly more expensive than Rock III, but if you played and loved the Ultex Jazz III, try John Petrucci’s signature Jazz III Primetone, which is its right hand beveled version.
SpeedPicks, unlike other contoured picks are twisted rather than beveled, giving them the same effect without needing to be thicker.
Dugain Picks are also usually speed beveled. This includes all of their ergonomic models: Minidug, Standug, Superdug, and their relatively new Vertidug.
D’Addario Casein Picks
D’Addario’s Casein (Galalith) range is their higher-end pick series. It contains three models, and all of them are speed-beveled.
Luxe by Martin
Similarly to D’Addario’s Casein, Luxe by Martin is Martin’s premium line of picks. It contains two models made of PEEK, which are both speed beveled.
Plick The Pick
Plick The Picks‘ unique design makes some of their picks, such as Trouble, hit the strings at the same angle as speed beveled picks. They are similar to SpeedPicks in design, but their twist extend all the way back to the gripping area, making them ergonomic, too.
Some boutique or high-end pick makers, such as Dasotomic Picks, Gravity Picks, Osiris Accessories, and Rizzuto Guitars, have some models that are speed beveled by default. Other makers, such as Apollo Picks, Honey Picks, Hawk Picks, Hippie Picks, have the option to have your picks right or left-hand beveled.
Today, we learned about speed beveled guitar picks. What do they help with, and most importantly, who makes them. I hope you enjoyed reading, and I’ll see you the next time!