I was contacted recently by the makers of the Dragon's Heart guitar picks wanting me to check out their line of picks and give them an honest review.
To tell you the truth, this isn't the first time a premium guitar pick maker has sent me a collection of their picks to review. In all honesty, I never got around to doing a single review for any of them since I never felt the picks were all that great. They all seemed to focus on durability over playability or the picks were made of a material that felt so foreign to me that I just couldn't get used to it no matter what I tried.
However, I am happy to say that these Dragon's Heart guitar picks are a pleasant exception in the premium guitar pick industry. Even though I have played Jim Dunlop Jazz III's for well over two decades, I felt very comfortable with this pick. Let me tell you what I personally look for in a guitar pick.
First, my playing is very sensitive to the smoothness of the contact point to the string. Any sort of friction throws my picking completely out of whack. I think the reason for this is because I do a lot of economy picking that requires the pick to be able to smoothly glide over the strings with little resistance.
All of the Dragon's Heart guitar picks are tumbled, making the edges very smooth which makes them ensure maximum lubricity. Another benefit of tumbling is that it makes the feel consistent from guitar pick to guitar pick. In fact, years ago I almost stopped using the Red Jazz III's because the edges of the picks can be so inconsistent. I found myself filing down the edges in order to create a smooth surface way to often. Then Dunlop came out with the Ultex Jazz III which is tumbled and that solved the problem for me. So from a lot of trial and error I know how essential it is to have this done to a guitar pick.
The Dragon's Heart picks are also made of a polyamide-imide that is often used in aerospace applications as replacement for metallic alloys. This material was chosen for it's extremely low friction coefficient. As a result these picks glide effortlessly across the strings.
The second thing I generally look for in a pick is tone and attack. I put these two categories together because I basically feel they are one in the same. The way a pick attacks the string determines the tone the string will produce. This is where the Dragon's Heart picks really stand out. The all have a specific design that allows you to have 3 different attacks depending on what you are playing.
I am sure you have seen these types of unique pick designs before. For the most part, I feel that a lot of them are a bit gimmicky and not really suited to real world playing conditions. That certainly isn't the case here. These Dragon's Heart picks are well thought out and you will probably end up using all sides of the pick.
For my own playing, I preferred the primary lower edge of the pick for most things. However, the rounded top edge is great for acoustic strumming when you can use a little less resistance from the strings. There is even another top edge that is great for players who use jazz style picks like myself. This sharper top edge has a TON of attack, so much so that even jazz style pick players might need to give it a little time to get used to.
The tone produced by the Dragon's Heart picks from all sides is simply HUGE. It will literally pull every sound out of your guitar. Everything seems to sound bigger and have a bit more thump.
One thing I found as well while playing around with these picks for a couple weeks, is that I liked to flip the pick around backwards horizontally. This enabled me to still play with the lower edge of the pick, however, the extended sharp top point of the pick now rested against my index finger. This created an exceptionally secure grip on the pick and made it feel very stable. I'm not sure if that is something they point out in their marketing of the pick, but it is something I found that really works very well for me.
The final thing I look for in a guitar pick is durability. In this area, the Dragon's Heart guitar pick line will completely exceed any and all expectations. The durability of this pick is truly remarkable.
Most of the time while I am playing I can feel the feel of the edge of my pick change over the course of a couple of hours of playing time. When this happens I usually have to toss it in the trash and grab a new one since I like to keep the feel of my picks consistent. It really does have a huge impact on your playing if you focus on it. And every player should by the way, the pick is basically your voice on the guitar. How it strikes the strings determines the sound your guitar will produce and how you can manipulate that sound. If the feel is constantly changing due to wear, you aren't going to be able to control your tone and technique very well.
The beauty of these picks is that they maintain their shape and feel day after day and for much longer. In fact, these picks are supposed to stay consistent for over a year of playing for most players. Obviously, I haven't been able to try that out. But I do know that after quite a few hours of everything from acoustic to electric playing, strumming to shredding, the Dragon's Heart picks still feel exactly like they did when I took them out of the package. Game changer!!
Obviously, at a price around the $10 mark per pick you want to make sure the pick you are purchasing stands up to it's claims. I personally feel you should give these Dragon's Heart picks a try. They may very well solve any pick issues you are having and help you develop a more consistent technique and tone in the process.
Here is a link to their site Dragon's Heart Guitar Picks if you are interested in learning more about these truly groundbreaking picks and perhaps order one for yourself.
Also, they just let me know the are giving away a free pick every Wednesday from their Facebook page. I suggest you try that as well. Nothing beats free! 🙂
Here is the Facebook contest link. #GuitarPickWednesday Giveaway