I don’t know what it’s like where you’re from, but finding ukulele picks in these parts is pretty tough. There seems to be one choice, and that’s the hard felt ones that look rather like chips of cork.
When I got my Oscar Schmidt concert ukulele from Ukulele World Roy had thrown in a couple goodies, including a pick that was a “sandwich” of a thin layer of plastic with felt on either side. I liked it pretty well except for two small problems:
- It was the “standard” guitar pick shape, sort of a tear drop. I have long prefered the larger rounded triangle shape.
- It wore out way fast, leaving me with a felt handle and a plastic point.
What to do? Do It Yourself!
- A plastic milk jug; empty, clean and dry.
- A pair of scissors.
- Fine grit sandpaper (like 400 grit).
- A good “marks anything” felt pen with a reasonably fine point.
- A guitar pick of your favorite shape/size. Or design your own. (You’ll see).
- A sheet of the self-stick (i.e. peel-and-stick) felt. Can’t remember the brand here but you’ll find this stuff at craft stores and it’s pretty inexpensive too.
Okay, you’ve probably got it already but…
- Lay your favorite pick up against the milk jug. Draw around it with the felt pen. Neatness doesn’t count for much but does make it easier to cut out.
- Take your scissors and cut the pick out from the milk jug.
- Smooth out any fiddly bits with the sand paper.
- Cut a chunk of the felt out big enough to slightly overlap your pick shape.
- Peel the backing off and stick the felt to the pick shape. Press it smooth all over.
- Carefully trim the excess felt.
- Repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 on the other side of the pick.
If you find this pick a little too soft you can look around for other plastics to make it out of but I definitely recommend reusing or recycling for this.
I’ve been using a couple of these picks for over a month now with no appreciative wear and, even if they do wear out soon they’re cheap to make.
Here’s a tip sent in via the feedback form from Vince Williams:
ANOTHER plan is to cut up an old credit card … AND use some soft-side (sticky back) velcro on both sides. Cut shape and size to please…. This gets rid of an unwanted old credit card as well as supplying you with a way to make pretty music.
(P.S. If you find this info useful to you, please consider dropping a donation into into my tip bucket. Thanks!)