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July 4, 2008

Picky, Picky, Picky

Okay, so it's Friday and I shouldn't bitch, but I have a couple of things to complain about.

First off, picks. I cut my teeth on the Jim Dunlop Tortex picks of varying thickness. I like the red ones for strumming and the yellow, maybe blue ones for lead work. Recently, though, I heard the sirens call to try something different and I placed an order for some Clayton Ultem picks. I was seduced by the sales pitch that the "Ultem closely resembles real tortoiseshell in sound, feel and color" and from a buyer review which said that they were less slippery than the Tortex ones.

First impression was good. Felt slightly stiffer than I expected and grippy. However, as soon as I started strumming, something about the shape of them made them rotate between my finger and thumb, presenting the broad side of the triangular shape to the string. Clunk. Okay, so for me they were a complete waste of money. I might as well strum with a whole tortoise for the sound I get out of them. Worse, though, is that in the interim I've misplaced all my Jim Dunlop picks, so I'm SOL! Grrr...

Secondly, I've just bought myself a ticket for the Drive By Truckers show in London on the 4th August. Col of Axe Victim and Magic Ship fame put me onto them. I'm still not sure I'll be able to make it, but just in case I thought I'd lay some money down. Ticket price? £16. Can't go wrong with that, eh? Well, yes you can. If you buy through one ticket agency, who shall remain nameless... oh, ok, it's TICKETMASTER. They slap you with a £3.95 service charge, and then you have the hassle of having to have the ticket sent by secure post, requiring a signature... and they charge you another £4.95 for that privilege. Rip off? I should co-co. I ended up going to TicketWeb instead. The service charge was only £3 and I specified 'will call' at no extra cost and no extra hassle.

So, Ticketmaster £25, TicketWeb £19. That's a 30% difference in price. Who you gonna book through next time?

Other news? Dolly concert tomorrow. We'll see how that goes, considering I'm not really a fan... played on Red for a bit last night, before I had to put him down as my back was hurting (though it's doing much better). Beautiful guitar, smooooth as smooth as a thing made of PURE ROCK can be. I need to restring Blackie again. The strings are just dull, dull, dull right now. No sparkle at all.

Ach, it's Friday, it's sunny and lemme tell you, there's gonna be some drinkin' and some partying going down in London town this weekend! Yes, siree-bob (oh no, I think I peaked on Dolly too soon!)


Axe Victim said...

Man I wished I had an endorsee deal with Jim Dunlop because I only ever use JD Nylon. Sometimes I favour the lightweight (white) ones for songs such as Headaches and Heartaches, but mostly it's the mid grey medium nylon pleccie -all the way. It's the strummers choice, and they're great for the beginner too because it's almost impossible to drop them. Pickers can move up to 'hard' in dark grey.

Wow TicketWeb eh? Thanks for the heads up. I'll be using them in future for sure. Let me have dibs on the ticket if it becomes a spare? My Mrs. A is already making uncomfortable shuffling noises about coming with me. I might have to get old FO up from Hastings so we can all go together. That will be fun.

Re Dolly. I wished I was going. You will have a great time. It'll be like going to see Bassey. There will be costume changes, wig changes, all that sort of thing, but she really does have an exceptional singing voice. I will be really interested to read all about it come Sunday.

Further on up the road said...

Plectrums... or should that be plectra picky English readers?

My history... for years used Gibson medium (I think cos I never thought I'd buy anything else with Gibson written on it :-))
Then went heavier and moved to Fender ones. Which were good - or at least I thought so... until a friend heard me playing acoustic with light strings and one and said "All I hear is pick"

I stopped and listened. He was, possibly, right.

So I tried Fender lite (sic) which sounded better on the acoustic but I just broke so many. One day I red John F of RHCP going on about tortex and bought some. The red ones are the winners on the acoustic. I did use them on the electric as well for about a year but recently have been using the orange ones.

Son-of-Furtheron swears by the yellow ones. Maybe I'll go a bit heavier as well again... not sure.