I ordered two of these Saddle thumb picks and wanted to try them out with my pedal steel guitar and standard electric guitar. They are advertised as being non-slip and
easily adjustable to anyone's thumb. My go to thumb pick is the blue Herco. It has a very smooth long lasting picking surface and great tone but at times has a tendency
to twist or even slip off my thumb. Of course there are many excellent products that will eliminate or reduce the tendency of a pick to slip. These include brand names like
"Gorilla Snot" and home remedies such as "just lick your fingers before puttng the pick on".
Upon receiving the Saddle thumb pick and reading all the instructions I slid it on, adjusted it and started picking with it. It became clear that the taper on my thumb would require me to split the retaining strap into two pieces as shown in the pics below. Now it finally fit securely on my thumb and didn't exert undue pressure on my thumb even after using it for a while. Applying the felt pad to the top strap made it even more comfortable. To me the tip felt a bit too rigid so I clipped off the support rib and sanded down the tip to make it about half of its factory thickness.
I recorded the song linked below using the Saddle on all the pedal steel and electric guitar parts. It takes a while to get used to the picking attack point being more toward the
middle of your thumb than it is on a standard thumb pick. The Saddle also has a sharp edge on both sides of the pick versus the rounded sides on the Herco for example. Thus the Herco
seems to be a lot more forgiving and easier to use if you don't square the pick up to the strings. Although the Saddle does flex a bit more like the Herco after removing the rib and filing the
tip thinner, the tip remains quite rigid and does not slide past the string nearly as easily as the Herco. This is because the Herco (used as an example of a standard type of thumb pick)
flexes along its entire picking shaft and thus has a lot more flexibility. I also found it easier to play faster single string riffs and modify the tone with the Herco by gripping it with my thumb
and the index finger at the same time on certain passages. Thus the Herco seems more capable of more types of picking sounds and its flexibility can be controlled by using different index finger pressures. The Saddle
does stay securely in place without the use of extra sticky products and you can strum the strings in both directions pretty easily. Overall, the saddle has a sharper tone than the Herco so maybe you will like that
or maybe you won't!
Here's a song recorded in my home studio that will give you a sample of the pick's sound:
The picture to the right shows an assembled split Saddle thumb pick, a standard blue Herco thumb pick, an unassembled flat Saddle thumb pick and the cut ends from the assembled Saddle pick. Below are 3 pics of the Saddle on my right thumb, a pic of the pad installed, a pic of the top rib removed, a pic of the rib sanded down and the tip greatly thinned and finally a copy of all the instructions that came with the Saddle thumb pick.
Here's a link to the Saddle thumb pick web site:
Saddle Thumb Pick Web Site
Click On The Pics Below To Enlarge Them.
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