Red Bear picks

There are numerous picks on the market and we like many of them (the Jazz III XL's are popular with many GT tutors) but on the advice of Guthrie Govan and Dweezil Zappa recently, we tried out four Red Bear picks and were mightly impressed.

Red Bear is a small company based in Nevada, USA which makes various pick types from small through to big triangular shapes at various gauges (light through to gypsy jazz). If you want right or left hand bevel biasing, laser engraved text or grip holes adding, they can do that too.

Their main range (Red Bear Originals) is made from polymerized animal protein (they insist no animals are harmed in the making). This is an unusual material and has many of the same physical properties as real turtle shell which is favoured by connoisseur pickers for how it feels and the tone produced. Each pick costs $20 and can be tortoise shell, jade or coral coloured or more conventionally black or red.

In addition, they produce the Tuff Tone range which is an alternative to their standard pick material but with an ebony/white colour. Although different, these $10 picks have a similar rigidity and tone to the Original range and will last just as long. Style and gauge options are the same too.

Having used them for a week on gigs and recordings, we can honestly say they may be pricer than the picks you use now but they sure warrant the investment - the sound and feel is absolutely fantastic!

Check them out for yourself at

Pictured below are the Classic and Big Jazzer picks (medium gauge) in both Original and Tuff Tone materials.