Stadler Custom Picks
Here is a small selection of some of the picks I have created these last 20 years. Some of them are all-round picks, some are specialized or individual player specific. Most of my picks are 3D contoured to provide a better grip and handling to the player and also get the material to be just the right amount of flex and stiffness.
The water buffalo horn pick right below for example is more than just a cool guitar pick with a hole:
This type of design has many different ways you can play it, it provides everything from a medium soft strumming pick to a bass pick. Not everyones cup of tea but once you get it … it really hits home. Players looking for ultimate playing comfort and versatility can make the most out of my designs.
This next one is my personal go to everyday pick, the one always in one of my pockets.
This design works equally well on electrics and acoustics for most people and makes for a hell of a bass pick. Although they look like thick picks, they’re actually barely a millimetre thick in the middle where you grip it. The edges are a bit thicker giving this pick a strong hard feel with just a little bit of flex. The decorative patterns (which by the way are only 0.05 mm layers) further enhance the grip so you don’t loose the pick even with sweaty fingers.
Now let’s talk about soft picks … :
I know they are shunned by many a guitarist claiming that only stiff thick picks rule, and it’s true that there is a case to be made for thick picks. The softer the picks, the less dynamics your stroke will have and with very soft or thin picks there will be a ‘lag’ on your play. Because the pick flexes away from the string the sound is produced slightly later than the same stroke would with a stiff pick where the attack is almost immediate. So yes, if you want more control over your dynamics (and btw also a louder sound if you need it) stiff picks might be the way to go. But like many other guitarists, i personally love playing with medium soft picks, especially for strumming .. so when i set out to engineer my pick designs I just wanted to be able to make more than the standard 3mm horn picks you can find cheaply on the internet nowadays. For me personally, there needs to be some flex. And making a thin, flexible pick out of horn turned out to be quite a challenge …
The fun really starts when you combine ergonomic contouring with a soft horn, this matched pair (designed as a gift for the anniversary of a couple who both play guitar) is an example of this design philosophy.
There are many different horn types all with different sonic and tactile characteristics, a bit like tonewoods, and not all are usable for designing soft guitar or mandolin picks. Soft flexible horn picks are very hard to design and make, not always easy to handle, but unlike any pick you’ve ever played .. when it fits (and it will since it will be adapted to your personal finger shape/size), it sticks to your fingers like a glove and can give you many different tones and feels out of the same pick.
Sharkfin picks are also one of my specialties, again not hugely popular amongst the majority of guitarists, but for sharkfin pick lovers there’s usually not much else that makes sense. If you dig the sharkfin plectrums, i got a special treat for you: contoured sharkfin picks that sound and feel like vintage tortoise shell picks. Again you can see the patterned decoration that helps grip and also shows of nicely the contours of the 3D shape.
All horn types, buffalo, ox and ram all have different properties and within these 3 types i use there are many different subtypes. I keep a large collection of different horn types so i can use the appropriate horn to achieve the desired mix of flexibility and stiffness. So once i was at it, i thought it might be a good idea to mix and match .. and started trying out pick designs which combined flexibility and stiffness. Despite the complications in making these designs, the results where so convincing that i spent a very long time perfecting this technique. The results are a variety of soft picks with a hard edge: all the strumming fun with all the dynamics !
I will continue to comment this gallery soon so check back often. In the meantime, here are a couple more pictures from the archive: