The Guitar Pick Test

One way to determine whether you, like me, are a cheapskate is to take what I call the Guitar Pick Test. If you’ve been using the same guitar pick for more than twenty years, you are most definitely a cheapskate. Here’s a photo of some of the guitar picks I use on a regular basis:


The first pick is relatively new. I think it dates back to 2014. It originally belonged to my friend Tim Simmons, who left it at my house along with three or four others just like it. When I asked if he wanted it back, he looked at me like I was insane. So I looked back at him like he was insane because, hey, free guitar pick! If I remember correctly, this and all of the other picks I got from Tim started life as credit cards, and someone repurposed them into guitar picks.

The pink pick is my favorite for playing bass. I’m not actually sure where that one came from, but you can see how worn down it is. You can also see that is has an interesting texture, which makes it easier to grip. I’m going to guess I got that one in the late ’90s. I know I didn’t pay for it, so I’ll also guess that it used to belong to a guy named Patrick Quinn who used to live around the corner from me.

The blue pick is from the music store where I used to work in 1996. I still have two from that store. Don’t try calling the phone number, though. Music Matrix closed a while back. Possibly before the new millennium started. But the picks were a good investment, as they’ve far outlasted the store.

I think the white pick with the faded fender logo used to belong to my sister’s friend, whose name I’ve forgotten. I loaned him a travel guitar once, and when he returned it, the white pick was in the case. And those tooth marks are his, which is kind of gross. But once again, free guitar pick!

I should note that my brother-in-law gave me a bag of brand new guitar picks about two Christmases ago, but I haven’t opened it yet. I mean, why would I do that? I already have a perfectly serviceable collection of old guitar picks at my disposal. I’ll just wait until these are ground down to even smaller nubs before I break open the new bag. With any luck, they’ll see me through to at least my 90th birthday.

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