TRIANGLE GUITAR PICKS
Triangle guitar picks, have you ever tried them before? Like me, you've probably seen these Triangular plectrums that resemble that of a Dorito and asked yourself the same questions. Why do these triangular guitar picks exist and who in their right mind would want to use such a guitar pick.Well, I had exactly those questions for many years. And it was only until recently that I started to get into the triangle guitar picks and really try and understand what these guitar picks are good for.
Here I'll be answering the most frequently asked questions regarding the triangle guitar picks. I will also give some brief insight and background into my story with these guitar picks as well as review some of top triangle guitar picks that I have used.
My History With Triangle Guitar Picks
Some background is needed with regards to my experience with the triangular guitar picks. In order to do this, I will outline my brief history with these plectrums so that I can further explain what these are used for.
When I first started out playing guitar, I remember buying a starter pack. This beginner guitar starter pack came with all the essentials one would need to start learning and playing guitar. Included in this pack were a range of guitar picks of different thicknesses as well as different shapes and sizes. I distinctly remember a Fender tri-plectrum being included as part of this pack. I can tell you without hesitation that after a few times trying out this triangular pick, I absolutely hated it and vowed to myself that I'd never buy or use one again.
After a few years of developing my guitar skills and sticking to my regular shaped guitar picks, I got turned onto the jazz picks. After using a Jazz pick for an extensive period of time, even the regular guitar picks felt like massive paper weights in my fingers. This further solidified my belief that triangular guitar picks weren't for me. Because if a regular pick felt too big, can you imagine how big and clunky a triangle pick would feel. Well, that is what I convinced myself and dug a grave for the hope of using a triangular guitar pick ever again.
Fast Forward Today..
Fast forward a few years later to the point where I was (and still am) gigging in bands. After a gig at my bands resident spot, I came to discover a triangular guitar pick in the back of my amp. I still to this day have that guitar pick but I have no idea who it belongs to and how in the world it got there. Still, my belief about triangle picks not being for me was firm and I just left that pick in the back of my amp.
Ater setting up this blog, Guitar Pick Zone, and developing a deeper passion and interest for guitar picks, I decided to pick up the triangle pick just for the fun of it.
After playing a few scales with this plectrum, I was completely blown away!
Advantages of Triangle Guitar Picks
The reason I was completely blown away is because I did not expect the triangle to provide me with as many advantages as it did. The pro's and advantages I experienced from these picks were as follows:
- The triangle guitar pick allowed me to play with more control
- These guitar picks feel incredibly comfortable in my fingers
- They allow me to play with a lighter grip intensity
- I am able to play with better dexterity
I did not expect in a million years to experience such advantages from a guitar pick. It is hard to attribute why exactly this is. However my best guess is that it can be attributed to the fact that the triangle guitar pick has more surface area. I also think that the triangle guitar picks are exactly balanced the same by each point. The surface area along with the balance allows for such a comfortable playing experience.
Bass Guitarists and Triangular picks
The triangle guitar picks are very often favoured by bass guitarists. I believe this is due to the advantages which I mention above. The triangular picks will absorb more vibrations from the much thicker strings of a bass guitar. These vibrations are further absorbed by the balanced weight of the pick due to its shape. To read more about bass guitar picks, click here.
Disadvantages of Triangle Guitar Picks
The biggest disadvantages I have experienced with the triangle guitar picks (which has nothing to do with the pick itself), is that I have found that a lot of music shops don;'t stock these picks. Especially the smaller music shops. This is not so much of a problem anymore as it was a decade ago due to the fact that we have online stores etc where we can buy our picks. Below are the green tortex triangle plectrums. These are definitely the most popular brand and possibly the best guitar picks for electric out there.
I suspect this is most likely due to the fact that they are not as popular as regular or jazz picks. And that a lot of guitar players haven't tried them yet.
I know that many guitarists don't like these picks due to their massive size. This could potentially be a disadvantage for you. It is quite hard to say for sure as plectrums are such a subjective thing. You see, It was these guitar picks massive size that put me off trying them. However, it is their massive size that actually makes this pick enjoyable for me.
Triangular Plectrums: 3-In-1
Something which some guitar players find a big advantage of the triangle picks is the fact that they literally have 3 playing tips. This essentially means that when one tip wears out, you still have another two. I can definitely see the advantages and argument for this. However, this is not the reason I enjoy these picks. But, if you start using these guitar picks, you'll probably notice spending slightly less money on plectrums. Because after all, you literally do have 3 picks in one with these.
Not All Triangle Guitar Picks Are The Same
There are so many different kinds and shapes of guitar picks. It is important to keep in mind that not all triangle guitar picks are the same. Each plectrum manufacturer will have their own range or versions of triangular picks. With that being said, there are two types of triangle guitar picks that are the most popular. These are the tri-picks with sharp points, as well as the triangular-picks with more rounded points/tips. Neither of these two are better than the other.
However, the choice you make between these two shape variations will come down to preference alone. Due to the fact that Jazz picks (which sport a pointier tip than most) have always been my preference. I thus opt for the triangle picks with the sharper tips.
What Gauges and Materials Do Triangle Picks Come In?
The best part about the guitar pick market is that there are and always will be an almost endless supply of options. It is quite hard to pinpoint exactly which materials and gauges triangle picks come in. This is due to the fact that you are generally able to get tri picks in the most popular gauges as well as materials. For example, Fender make these in an option of three different gauges which include thin, medium and heavy in the celluloid material. Jim Dunlop on the other hand, provide us with a massive choice of triangle picks in so many materials such as tortex and ultex to name a couple. You can read my article on tortex and ultex here
How Do Triangle Guitar Picks Feel?
For me it is the way in which these guitar picks feel that keep me coming back to them. As I mentioned in the advantages of these picks above, they sit so comfortably in my fingers. I am able to balance the pick steadily on my index finger which allows me to not have to press down with my thumb as hard as I would usually have to with a normal pick. Not having to press down as hard makes for a more free flowing picking technique as well as better dexterity which I have also mentioned above. As a result I can play for extended periods of time and I'm also able to improve my control over the strings and notes I pick due to the stability that these provide in my hands.
Final Thoughts On Triangle Guitar Picks
Whilst the triangle guitar picks are a very new, yet welcomed edition to my guitar playing life, they may very well not be suited to you. With that being said, I do however recommend giving these a go at some point. Another piece of advice is that if you find that you don't enjoy these triangle guitar picks now, should not mean that you'll never enjoy them. I discarded these picks a long time ago. But, as my skills developed, I found them to be far more beneficial and enjoyable to my guitar playing.