When you see chat online regarding boutique plectrums, this is probably the sort of thing that’s being referenced – a giant wedge that looks like it would require a harness and training to operate made from a material you can’t identify. Here at Heavy Repping! though, such fare is neither an impassible mountain nor impenetrable science – it’s an opportunity to delve into the great beyond.
Some of you will be looking at this light-bending colossus and thinking ‘that’s ridiculous – you can’t play with that, it’s a poser’s tool and they can’t possibly enjoy it’. I would say hold on – have you ever played a pick this big? I hadn’t until this December, when my good lady gifted me a Secret Wood plectrum from Bogota, Colombia-based Dasotomic Picks. This is not that pick – that’s another article entirely – but this is one of five additional plectrums that Alejandro Sanchez elected to send me over with the order. An enormous amount of work went into each one, and for him to be hand-shaping these to this level at age 20 pushed my brain through my bottom.
So, here it is – a one-off custom I have deemed the Naranja Grande. Made from cross-cast acrylic and measuring an eye-opening 8mm, this thing is clearly big, but what I can’t get across in pictures is how comfortable it is to use, how eagerly it attacks the strings, or how beautifully finished it is. I’m not exactly short on acrylics, but this clementine wedge is so enjoyable to use that even after prolonged sessions with it I was still finding myself amazed at how good it felt every time I picked it up.
The feel is predictably slick, but comes imbued with a rare character – joy. Plectrums have their own inherent nature, just like guitars or pedals, and while picks like the carbon-fibre Worf Shop Jazz make me want to play slowly and gracefully with a sense of romantic mourning, the Dasotomic makes me want to play in major keys, embrace festival rhythms, and actually enjoy myself for once. The strings seem to encourage you and push you onward, and if you’re someone who likes to get up to some serious speed, this is the sort of pick you should be looking at.
It’s easy to imagine that this would be hard on the wrists, but it’s the very opposite. Having all that mass and the grip of acrylic taken down to such a sharp point means that the amount of effort required on the part of the player is so minimal that even those of you with stookie hands will be able to get hours of playing enjoyment out of this plectrum. I’ve had plenty of my own wrist problems, and with years of excessively hard playing behind me, the knowledge that this will always be a relaxing, engaging, and therefore more enjoyable experience is rewarding.
Downsides? Well, all that surface doesn’t do much to help acrylics’ propensity for chirping, but you’ll be having such a whale of a time you won’t even notice. There’s not as much bass as you might think from such a big pick, though the clarity, top end, speed and involvement you get from this far outweigh these issues. It looks the business too, and there don’t seem to be any real limits to options in that regard.
A genuinely exciting, sprightly, brilliantly-finished pick filled with tremendous spirit, I honestly can’t recommend this highly enough. Yes, the size might put you off, and they’re not especially cheap, but you’ll have a one-off, fast, bell-clear plectrum that’ll last you for ages.
Me encanta el regalo!
- A time-bending 8mm thick
- Hand-shaped from cross-cast acrylic
- Made in Bogota, Colombia
- A magnífico 9/10
- Cost Per Unit: Prices vary from $20 – $50 depending on the materials – I’d put this one at $30-40
- Large and tonally adept. Ace
Follow on Instagram at @dasotomic_picks. There’s no website, and all the orders go through there. Excellent communication as well!