Brossard Picks: Wood, Bone, and Horn Guitar Picks
Although they are expensive, Brossard Picks are certainly worth a try and make for an ideal gift for guitar or mandolin players. There are many options for package sets in the 20-30 dollar range.
I received a set of four Brossard picks as a gift last holiday season. The set included picks made from ebony, rosewood, bone, and horn. Each pick is truly a work of art. They are visually appealing and are designed so that they may be attached to a chain and worn as a necklace or bracelet. The true appeal, however, lies in the sound. The use of exotic materials results in an extraordinary range of timbres and tonal varieties. Each pick is approximately 2.5 to 3 mm thick, so they are well suited to jazz or flatpicking styles. My personal favorites are the bone and ebony picks.
The bone pick has a very clear and pronounced articulation. The tone is loud and clean, and basically jumps out of your instrument. The ebony pick has a similar effect, but is slightly warmer than the bone, with a less punchy sound. The horn pick is more mellow than either the bone or ebony, producing a softer sound perhaps better suited for strumming. The rosewood pick, while beautiful, is too soft for my liking. It is fine for strumming, but does not produce the “pop” of the others.
The only downside to Brossard Picks is that they wear down relatively quickly. This is obviously due to the nature of the materials. I have always been rough on picks, as well, so my personal playing style certainly is partially responsible for the accelerated wear and tear.