Take Your Pic!

Or… make it 🙂20140721_205446

And no, not talking about a “selfie” here.

A pastor friend of mine who is thinking about learning slide guitar asked if a 3 string cigarbox guitar like I build and use would be good to learn slide playing on.

I can offer about a zillion reasons why these little instruments are excellent music learning/teaching tools, but the fun of building and the simplicity of rehearsing along with the discovering of where the basic chords for a 3 chord song are, learning and memorizing where the notes are with only 3, 2 or 1 string take a lot of the pain out of being a newbie.

Further, customizing when using a paper or wooden (or hybrid) cigar box, even a solid shoebox, smaller square or rectangular mailbox, even soda or tin can -can- work. Broomhandle or 1×1 inch necks. Eye bolts with wingnuts make great tuners. I’m serious.

Cookie or tea tins being metal put out a different sound than wood or cardboard of course. Buttons, coins, metal thumbtacks make great position markers… anyhow you get the picture of do-it-yourself, paint, colored markers, bits of mirror, reflective metal, there’s no limit to the way you can dress the box or tin up.

Anyhow I told him Yep, look at my blog for a little article I’ll write (this one).

So on to the title of this blog-

Yesterday I had an hour to cool out for a bit, just relax. D.i.y.’ers love creating stuff.

I’ve used every sort of guitar pic on the planet, but as I’ve been building, doing live shows and recording more and more with d.i.y. guitars I decided to keep an eye out for material to make pics.

Yes, you can buy a 35 dollar stamper gadget to do this, but in that you can buy cheap scissors at garage or yard sales, etc., (and I have a sharpener for ’em) and as we recycle a lot of plastic and I had a couple old expired gas/credit cards as well as an empty larger Vaseline hand cream bottle, I made the pics you see here roughly based on a more rounded-tip version of a store-made plastic triangular pic I like.

I’ve made pics of various material- plastics, cds, dvds, etc.. If you get fussy you can use sand paper to truly make ’em precision in shape, etc.. I created these four in about 4 mins. per pic, rough and quick, no sanding needed as they’re done enough for my personal use. I tossed a couple away that turned out a bit too small for my liking, ended up with a dozen serviceable pics for free.

It takes a little practice and like anything, there are pros and cons but I frankly love the cost, have great fun making what I use -and the price can’t be beat! I always seem to have some sort of pic material available if needed, and it’s environmentally cool too.

Ideas to try? Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

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