In all of the pictures below there are
two Yates finger picks and one old National pick to show the
The old National not
What made the old picks special?
There were several things; these old
picks, as are the Yates picks, are made of nickel silver.
No silver is really in the formula but it got it's nick name
because of the color that comes to them as they are used.
Nickel silver is a relatively soft material that is slick to
the strings reducing pick drag noises. No porous holes to rasp
the nerves in its material construction. In fact, when they
are played and worn, the material remains slick and
The flared bands were and are designed
to fit, as we have learned, around 95% of the pickers right
out of the box. The blades are preset to pull the best tone
and should not be bent unless you just have to for your use.
These picks produce a warm, strong release.
Pick noise comes from a few things; hard
material, rough surface, touching a string in motion, and
noting from the picking position to the bridge.
1- Hard Material - The harder the
material, the louder the zing you get when striking a string
in vibration. These picks are softer reducing that pick noise.
2- Rough Surface - Most materials are
porous, so polishing an area of micro holes is like dragging a
file across the strings. These picks are slick and smooth
through and through reducing pick noise.
3- With your pick, tap a string where
you normally pick. You will hear different notes in the form
of a chirp. A string vibrates from one hard spot to another so
where ever your new note is formed, it simply sounds like a
high pitch bird chirp. Softer picks absorb this effect and
reduce chirp noise.
As these picks are used, they start to
shine where the string rubs. If your wear mark is in the
middle of the blade, then you are picking correctly. By
monitoring this pattern, you can adjust your picking style to
maximize your ability.
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