The Buyer’s Guide to the Best Wooden Guitar Picks

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By Guitar Pick Reviews

Guitar picks are made of almost any material you can think of. Everything from different types of plastics, metals, stone, rubber, and, you guessed it – wooden guitar picks.

Wooden picks vary greatly depending on the species, shapes, direction of grains, and whether the wood was stabilized.

In today’s post, I’ll explain what you can expect from a wooden pick, share some sound samples, and showcase some of my favorites. So, let’s start.

wooden guitar picks
Wooden guitar picks

Basic Properties of Wooden Guitar Picks

Wooden guitar picks generally sound warm, wear relatively fast, and have a lot of texture.

Wood is usually softer than guitar strings, yet it isn’t flexible. These properties give wooden picks their warm sound and cause them to wear pretty fast compared to other materials. As a rule of thumb, the softer the wood, the warmer its sound and the faster its wear.

The direction of the grain and the pick’s shape will determine how much and the characteristics of its sound texture. It will also affect the rate and nature of the pick’s wear.

The shape of a pick affects its playability and sound more than in other materials.

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Another thing about wooden picks is they grip like no other material, especially unfinished, and even without any grip surface added.

Different Species of Wood Used for Guitar Picks

Wooden guitar picks are made from many species of wood. You’re probably familiar with some of those, given that you’re a guitar player. Wood species such as Mahogany, Maple, Rosewood, Ash, Ebony, and Wegne are often used in guitars, too.

Other, more ‘exotic’ wood species include Pau Ferro, Padauk, Kingwood, Purpleheart, Ironwood, Olivewood, Bloodwood, and Chechen.

Some pick makers choose to use local species, such as Plumstone, which makes wooden picks out of Jarrah and Mountain Ash, native to Australia, or Ohm Picks, which makes wooden picks of trees that grow around his house.

Sound Comparison

As I mentioned earlier, the shaping of a wooden pick affects its sound drastically. For this reason, I chose to demonstrate the different sounds you can get using three sets of picks. Each set has the same shape, tip and bevel, so the only difference between them is the type of wood.

All three sets are recorded DI with the same guitar and pickup and through the same post-processing chain.

Set #1: SixStringers

The first set, made by SixStringers, contains seven picks: Ash, Bloodwood, Bubinga, Canarywood, Light Mahogany, Padauk, and Walnut.

Wooden guitar picks made by SixStringers, from left to right_ Ash, Bloodwood, Bubinga, Canarywood, Light Mahogany, Padauk, and Walnut
Wooden guitar picks made by SixStringers, from left to right_ Ash, Bloodwood, Bubinga, Canarywood, Light Mahogany, Padauk, and Walnut

They have a sharp tip and bevel, lowering the wood grain’s contribution to the sound, and they are shaped very consistently.

Sound Samples

Ash
Bloodwood
Bubinga
Canarywood
Light Mahogany
Padauk
Walnut

Set #2: Tree Picks

The second set is made by Tree Picks. It contains five picks that are similar in shape but made of different wood species: Cherry, Maple, Purpleheart, Walnut, and Zebrawood.

Wooden guitar picks made by Tree Picks, from left to right_ Cherry, Maple, Purpleheart, Walnut, and Zebrawood
Wooden guitar picks made by Tree Picks, from left to right: Maple, Cherry, Purpleheart, Zebrawood, and Walnut

These are standard-shaped picks with a rounder bevel, accentuating the wood grain’s effect on the tone.

See also  Best Ergonomic Guitar Picks

Sound Samples

Cherry
Maple
Purpleheart
Walnut
Zebrawood

Set #3: Plumstone Guitar Picks

I planned on having just 2 sets of picks, but the third set, by Plumstone Guitar Picks demonstrated the different sound of different types of wood like no other. The set only contains 2 picks: Jarrah and Mountain Ash.

Wooden guitar picks made by Plumstone Guitar Picks_ Jarrah (left) and Mountain Ash (right)
Wooden guitar picks made by Plumstone Guitar Picks_ Jarrah (left) and Mountain Ash (right)

Sound Samples

Jarrah
Mountain Ash

The Best Wooden Guitar Pick Makers

Some pick makers specialize in wooden guitar picks, and some make them as part of their collection. So here are some options you have if you want to try a wooden guitar pick.

1. SixStringers

SixStringers’ wooden guitar picks include eight species of wood in a teardrop shape and purpleheart in their patented Wild Plectrum shape.

A variety pack of 8 picks made of different species of wood costs $16, which is an incredible deal. It would’ve still been a great deal if they cost twice as much, by the way.

Read my review of SixStringers here or visit their Etsy store.

2. GT Plectrums

GT Plectrums started out making picks exclusively out of wood. Today he makes them of different materials, including stabilized woods, micarta, and more.

Read my review of GT Plectrums here.

3. Tree Picks

Tree Picks is a company that specializes exclusively in making guitar picks out of wood. They come in five different shapes and from 6 types of wood.

4. Timber Tones

Timber Tones doesn’t specialize in wooden guitar picks, but offers a huge variety of different materials and designs. That being said, they offer picks made from dozens of different wood types and are relatively cheap.

Read my review of Timber Tones here.

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5. Ohm Picks

It’s true that Otto of Ohm Picks is known for his work with metals, and especially Titanium, but he is one of the makers with the widest selection of different wood types, and his work quality is really second to none.

Read my review of Ohm Picks’ Titanium pick here.

6. Dugain Picks

In addition to being the world’s first ergonomic guitar picks maker, Dugain Picks also offers his ergonomic designs and flat picks from various types of wood.

Read my review of Dugain Picks here.

7. Plumstone Guitar Picks

Plumstone Guitar Picks make picks from many different materials, including wood. They mainly offer Jarra and Mountain Ash, native to Australia, but occasionally offer guitar picks made of other species, such as walnut and Red Wood.

Read my review of Plumstone Guitar Picks here.

8. Thalia Picks

Thalia Capos’ picks were among the first wooden picks I’ve ever bought. I really didn’t like them at all, as you can read in my review of Thalia Picks, and it was especially disappointing because I really liked their capos.

One thing I should say is that since I’ve reviewed them, Thalia has launched two more versions of their picks that I haven’t tried, so they probably have gotten better.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wooden Guitar Picks

Are wooden guitar picks good?

Yes! Wooden guitar picks sound warn and adds a unique texture to the sound.

How thick are wooden guitar picks?

Wooden guitar picks are often thicker than plastic picks, ranging from 1mm and up.

How durable are wooden guitar picks?

Wooden picks will wear pretty fast compared to most plastics. Their biggest advantage is that you can sand the back to shape with sanding paper. You can also follow these steps to make them last longer.

What are the best wooden guitar picks?

1. SixStringers
2. GT Plectrums
3. Tree Picks
4. Timber Tones
5. Ohm Picks
6. Dugain Picks
7. Plumstone Guitar Picks
8. Thalia Picks

Finishing Thoughts

So today we learned how do wooden guitar picks made from different types of wood sound and what else affects their tone. We also covered the best wooden guitar pick makers.

I hope you enjoyed it. See you next time!

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