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  • Writer's pictureJay EuDaly

What's the Deal With Fender Picks?

I've been using Fender Extra Heavy picks for over 40 years. I buy them by the gross and go through a pick a week, usually. So we're not just talking one pick; we're talking a whole batch.

Recently I've noticed some disturbing things that have me wondering if they've changed the manufacturing process, the composition of the plastic or something. They are different, and not in a good way!

When I finish a gig and put my guitar away, I stick the pick in the strings. I've always done that. There is always a pick in the guitar. I can only remember one gig out of approximately 10,000 over the last 50 years that I had no pick on the gig - I used a quarter for that one.

Recently I've noticed that the strings are rusted or oxidized where, and only where, the pick is stuck in them. I noticed it even when the strings were brand-new.

Notice the string on the left is not oxidized, only the strings that touch the pick are rusted. Notice the dust on the fretboard and fret wire. That's just from the guitar hanging on the wall. Something about the pick is causing the strings to rust.

I also noticed the oxidation from the strings on the pick.

Then after a gig I noticed a yellow stain on my finger where I grip the pick. It does not come off with soap and water but wears off days later. This picture was taken after using a new pick; it had not been stored in the strings. The stain is also on my thumb.

The yellow stain does not occur on my left hand - it's specific to the finger and thumb gripping the pick.

Tonight on a solo acoustic gig, the pick - a brand new pick - started feeling weird. I looked at it and it had cracked! That has never happened before.

I've also noticed the picks are more slippery. I've had a little bit of trouble with the pick slipping or rotating between my finger and thumb. That is a new issue for me; in 50 years of playing I've never had that problem before.

Does anybody have any idea what's going on?


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