Introducing our "Two-Tip" and "Lil' Two-Tip"
These picks were inspired by the long-gone favorite designed by Bob Clifton back in the 1940's, the "Tu-Way" pick. Ours are a bit different than the originals, which had a thin tip and a thick tip. Instead, ours have one speed-bevel and one standard bevel tip. They are similar in size to our Big Jazzer and Lil' Jazzer. They will be available in medium and heavy gauge and in a variety of colors, including our newly revived "Clown Barf".
Red Bear's Original Flat Picks come in five gauges and run in ranges as the material is sanded by hand. We attempt to end up in the mid-point of the range for a given gauge when we sand the material. For this reason, we cannot provide exact thicknesses, so please don't ask us to try. It is nearly impossible to do. Our intended goals for the ranges are as follows:
Light 0.9 - 1.10mm, Medium 1.11-1.30mm or thereabouts, Heavy 1.30 - 1.65mm, Extra Heavy 1.65 to 2mm or so and Gypsy Jazzer 2.5 mm to 4mm or so. All these gauge specs are approximate. The picks may be plus or minus a few tenths of a millimeter. We try to make them somewhere in the middle of the ranges listed.
PRICES: Light and Medium gauges are $27, Heavy gauge is $28, Extra-Heavy is $30 and Gypsy Jazz gauges are $35.
All picks are beveled by hand with a Standard or Speed Bevel (or a combination of both depending on the style).
A Standard Bevel is a nice even edge all the way around the pick and will turn out most similar to the picks in the graphic at the top of this page. We ship picks with either a rounded edge or a sharply beveled edge depending on the style. If you prefer a rounded edge to a pick that we make with a sharp bevel, it's easy to modify. Note: A thicker pick with a sharper bevel will result in a brighter tone and more pick control and will allow more speed than a thin pick. This bevel is perfect for players who change up the angle of their wrist as they strum chords or pick out notes. If you have any doubts as to which bevel you should use, this is the one.
Our Speed Bevel is designed to simulate a wear pattern that many players experience on their favorite picks. Since the material we use isn't going to wear very fast naturally, it has to be given this bevel by hand. In many cases, once a pick acquires this wear pattern two things happen. First, the player gains a little speed because the wear pattern fits the up and down strokes of the player's style. Secondly, in many cases, the pick then breaks or wears through and has to be replaced or re-shaped with steel wool or sandpaper, thus losing real-estate (becoming smaller). Our picks, when given the treatment, will give you faster picking speeds without wearing through. The best of both worlds! It is important to note that if you choose either a right or left-hand bevel, then the angle with which you attack the strings will more or less be "fixed" because if you're using one of these bevels and you alter the angle of your wrist, or alter your grip on the pick, you will be using the wrong edge of the bevel and this results in a very thin tone which is not very musical. So if you are absolutely sure of the grip and angle you use to attack the strings, then one of the speed bevels (left or right) is for you. Please watch the short video below to see this in action.
Above: a photo showing the different speed-bevels.
A link to a short video clip explaining the bevels
Left Handed Speed Bevels are used by players who may be left handed or hold their picks differently. Two ways to find out which bevel suits you best are:
First, take a look at a pick you've been using for a long time and see which side has developed more of an "ear". If it is on the left side, a left-handed Speed Bevel is best and if it is on the right side of the pick a right-handed Speed Bevel is what you need. However, if there is an even wear on both sides, stick with a Standard Bevel.
Second, on the down stroke, notice which edge of your pick hits the strings first. If it is the edge toward the headstock, then you need a right-handed bevel. If it's the edge toward the bridge, then you need a left-handed bevel. If the pick hits flat on the string then you want a Standard Bevel, which some refer to as "no bevel".
Red Bear Original Flat Picks are almost identical to real turtle shell and must be treated as such. The material is hygroscopic (absorbs water) so the longevity of your pick depends on how much moisture it absorbs while playing.
Red Bear Pick Tonic is a specially developed oil compound used to help keep Red Bear Original flat picks in top shape. It is an organic oil product with a nice cedar aroma. It will alleviate the check cracking that can occur over time, and will help preserve the pick. It does not add flexibility or remove scratches. Just place a very small drop between your thumb and forefinger and rub it into the pick until the cedar aroma goes away. Wipe the pick dry and it is ready for use.
Keep your pick clean and dry when not in use.
Don’t let your pick go through the washer and/or dryer in one of your pants pockets, it will most likely deform.
If you play for very long periods, flip the pick over from time to time to keep it flat. As with real turtle shell, this material can become dynamic and mold to your fingers from the heat. (Some people desire this which is just fine too.) This is much more apt to happen with light and medium gauges.
DO NOT carry your pick in your pocket, especially with metal objects, it can get scratched and may break. Carry your pick in your guitar case, or at least in a dedicated container.
For maintenance, you can purchase one of our Pick Maintenance Kits, which include all the tools necessary to keep your Red Bear Original pick's bevels in top shape.
As with real turtle shell, these picks are consumable - they are NOT meant to last forever.
****GUTHRIE GOVAN SIGNATURE MODEL****
GUTHRIE GOVAN’S signature model is like Red Bear Trading’s regular Big Jazzer, but with a special feature. This feature is a serrated edge along the top of the pick, much like a U.S. dime. Guthrie's signature model picks only come in Extra-Heavy gauge (approx. 2mm) with grips, right-handed speed bevels and in our new Clown Barf color. There are no options to choose. The cost is $35.00 each. When we have these available you will see them in our online store and we will always announce their availability in advance. If you are a lefty, please use our contact page to send us an email.
Thank you so much for your support!
A note from Guthrie:
It has been suggested to me that I should attempt to explain the weird little serrations which adorn the non-pointy end of the GG signature Red Bear pick.
Okay - here goes! As a little disclaimer, I'd like to make it clear that this feature is not intended to be any kind of "magic" gimmick, so please don't get too excited: basically we've just taken the (otherwise unused) blunt end of a conventionally-shaped pick and modified it so it offers an additional, differently-textured playing surface. Maybe you'll find a use for it: maybe you won't. It's part of the GG model purely because it's a feature which I personally find useful (and because, as far as I know, nobody else has ever bothered to make a pick like this!)
So… the Red Bear serrations are basically a much more precise, refined version of something I've been doing to my picks ever since I was a teenager. Whenever I bought a new pick back in those days, I would first use a nail file to sharpen and angle the point - resulting in something not dissimilar to Red Bear's "speed bevels", now that I come to think of it! - and then I would turn my attentions to the blunt end of the pick, into which I would cut lots of little notches… The purpose of this bizarre act of vandalism was in fact to create a coin-like edge - think of a US dime, or a British 5p coin, or indeed Brian May's famous sixpence…
If you hold a coin like a pick and then twist it around 90° clockwise so the edge is parallel to the bridge rather than to the strings, you should be able use it to scrape perpendicular to the length of the string, with the serrated edge acting rather in the manner of a miniature violin bow. (If that explanation doesn't make sense, maybe it would be more helpful to imagine the pick sawing through the string?)
When you've selected the bridge pickup setting on the guitar, performing this movement should produce some entertainingly high-pitched notes, far beyond the range of the highest fret. (Anyone who has heard the end of Layla already knows that those high notes exist - this is just a scratchier-sounding way to play them without using a slide…)
If you want a long, sustained note, you just have to tremolo pick up and down with this rough edge: alternatively, you can easily generate cheeky little staccato notes with a single pick stroke. (Either way, bats and dogs will surely respond to your playing with renewed enthusiasm when they hear these exciting new sounds!)
This can be used either as an obnoxious sound effect or as a tool for playing "real" notes: I personally enjoy both of these approaches on occasion, but of course I would urge you to experiment. How I use that serrated edge doesn't really matter all that much in the greater scheme of things - it's all about how you use it ;-)