Timber Tones was founded all the way back in 2009 in the UK by a guy named Rob. Rob is a huge guitar fan (obviously) and has a collection of vintage Gibson guitars. So it’s safe to say that you’re in good company. It’s no secret that Timber Tones is one of the most well-established luxury guitar pick makers in the world. They offer a huge variety of shapes and materials that could make even Dunlop embarrassed. Their available materials include Bone, Horn, Carbon Fibre, Felt, Glass, Resin, Leather, Mineral, Stone, Shells, Metals, Rubber, Coconut, and of course, Wood. You know as well as I do, that the shape is just as important as the material. And fortunately, Timber Tones got us covered on that area as well.
It’s been years since I bought picks from Timber Tones. So in preparation for this review, I made an order of a fresh batch. Ordered a total of 25 picks that cost about $85. I remembered that they were never too expensive but at ~$3 a pick – this is downright cheap. I tried to vary my purchase as much as I could but went for things I had a better chance of liking. This is what I got:
- 4 Jazz III shaped wooden picks (African Ebony, Haldu, Padauk, and Indian Teak)
- Jazz III shaped Buffalo Bone pick
- 2 Jazz III shaped White Horn picks (one fat and one regular)
- Jazz III shaped Clear Horn pick
- 2 Jazz III flexible and grippy Clear Horn pick
- 1.4mm Teardrop shaped Carbon Fiber pick
- Red and yellow Aventurine picks
- Rubber picks (mini, a pack of 4)
- Leather picks (mini, a pack of 4)
- Felt picks (mini, a pack of 4)
Timber Tones’ Wooden Picks
As I mentioned earlier, I bought 4 Jazz III shaped wooden picks. They come in a pack that cost $16. The idea of a $4 wooden pick got me a little worried at first, as the average price for a high-quality wooden guitar pick is around $13-$14. Nevertheless, here’s my impression of them:
The overall quality is fine, but you get what you pay for. I liked the sharp tip of the picks, it adds a lot of character to my playing, but the bevel is a bit weird and feels incomplete. It’s nothing you can’t fix yourself by sanding it for 5 minutes, but I’d rather pay a bit more and get it beveled properly. Lastly, there’s a limited selection of wood species (at least for the Jazz III shape). It’s not critical, but if you know what you want, you may not find it there. On the other hand, Timber Tones is a great option if you want to try out wooden guitar picks for the first time, and not pay too much.
Horn and Bone Picks (Jazz and Flexi Tones)
Just like their wooden picks, the lack of attention to the beveling is apparent here too. Luckily, the finish is very smooth, so it’s not affecting the tone as much as it could. The two picks that suffered the most from the poor beveling are the fat white horn pick and the Flexi horn pick. The Flexi pick wasn’t treated at all and it feels like it went straight from the laser cutter to the nylon bag it arrived in. The Flexi picks cost $2.5, It’s not that much (especially for a horn pick). But I wish it cost a bit more and was ready to use. One thing I really liked is how sharp the tip of the bone pick is. The fact that it’s so sharp allows you to make the decision to whether keep it like that or to file it so it becomes rounder. And when I say sharp – I mean it. You can easily even pick a single string on a 12-string guitar with it.
Timber Tones’ Carbon Fiber Pick
This is definitely one of my favorite picks now. It’s a bit too big for me, but I had to order what they had in stock at that moment. The surface of it is very smooth, but the edges are very rough. It makes it sound super interesting and its attack is extremely round. It won’t fit every song or piece, (and I liked it more on a clean setting than on distorted) but it’s a great tool to have in your arsenal.
Timber Tone’s Aventurine picks
This pick just didn’t click for me, it was bigger and thicker than I expected. And with my dry hands, it just kept slipping. Couldn’t play a single riff properly with it to save my life. But it all went away as soon as I turned it around and started strumming an acoustic. This is, by far, my favorite strumming pick (held backward). It’s warm and has almost no pick noise. The fact that it’s being held backward makes it so round, that you don’t fight the strings at all. I’m so glad I tried it.
Ukulele / Bass Pick Materials: Leather, Felt, and Rubber
Let’s start by saying that I really like these picks. I featured all 3 of them on both my top ukulele picks and my top bass picks. They are solid compared to most other picks of the same material, and even though they are not perfect, their price makes them the best first choice in each category.
Timber Tones’ Felt Picks
As you can probably guess, felt is very far from being considered durable. In fact, some felt pick won’t even survive a full intense gig. But if I’m playing a felt pick, this is the one. This is far more durable than any other Felt pick I’ve ever tried, but in the end – there’s no real difference in the sound.
These are decent quality picks, and for $1.5 they really are the best you can hope for. But putting the price aside, I wish there was an option to have the picks double layered so they won’t have the dull suede-like side. I have to admit that it bothered me a lot more on the uke than on bass. I even kinda liked the variations of the sound on bass.
I think that these are, by far, the best introductory rubber guitar picks on the market. Every pick costs $1.5 and the come in 4 different stiffness levels. But as soon as you get the hang of playing with a rubber pick, you have to move on to better ones. They are just too thick to not be beveled in my opinion.
I feel like I’ve covered this topic extensively already, but just in case you came here to read the bottom line, and just that: These picks offer a huge value for money in almost all categories. Most of their picks are more than decent too, so you’re not only shopping for experimentation.
Where to get them from
Here you have a few good options. You have their website, which is extremely well organized and clear, and have the best prices most of the time. If you’re planning on making a big purchase or trying many different picks, you should check out their Amazon and Etsy stores as well.
Even though I don’t like every single pick made by Timber Tones, I love that they are around. The fact that a guitar player can just experiment with all of these special materials (and essentially make their guitar sound like 10 different guitars) for less than the cost of a single decent pickup is astonishing. I really have nothing but appreciation for their effort and innovation. Hopefully, it won’t be years until I buy some more picks from Timber Tones.