* Prices may differ from that shown
Guitar picks come in more varieties than it is possible to find and use in a lifetime. They all have slightly different properties, be it their size, shape or thickness, and they all feel different under touch. Because of this, the way you use your pick varies, and the type of guitar it is suited to changes. Dunlop make picks of an incredible variety, from thin and transparent to thick and jagged shaped. These 'Gater Grip Guitar Pick's' are of the standard tear drop variety, but they have one major advantage over other tear drop shaped picks, they are textured.
Coloured in a soft grey shade, these Gater picks are nothing special to look at. They are a very standard colour with white inscripted text and an image on the surface (centre). The image is of an alligators head which I think is kinda cool and gives the dull exterior of this product a hint of individualism. These picks are quite thick - 96 mm - and despite looking similar in shape and colour to the Nylon variety by Dunlop which I reviewed earlier, they are in fact much tougher and less flexible.
The problem these picks solve is the tendency for plectrums to loosen from your grip and fling into the distance when strumming. They can be difficult to find amongst the furniture and similarly coloured carpets, but this particular type shouldn't ever be dropped because of its texture surface.
The surface works excellently to grip the pick to your fingers, and it solves the problem without fault.
All in all this pick the 'Gater Grip' is a one of a kind product I haven't before encountered on the crowded market. It is unique and not too easily copied. If you find you have the problem, and commonly drop your pick, why not try one of these?
Have you ever been strumming a guitar so vigorously that the plectrum has flown from your grasp and lodged itself into the eye of an innocent bystander? No...? me neither - but if grip *is* an issue you many want to take a look at Dunlop's 'Gator Grip' picks which are designed to remain firmly in your hand.
Specification & Cost
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Available in a number of different gauges (0.58, 0.71, 0.96, 1.00, 1.14, 1.5, & 2.0mm) a twelve pack of Gator Grips currently retails at £3.89 from Amazon. The plectrums are of the traditional tear drop shape, and have an image of a crocodile on the upper side.
Straight from the packet, the plectrums have a matt appearance and an unusual grainy feel. The textured nature of the product ensures that the pick remains dry even when inbetween sweaty fingers. Even though the texture does wear away after numerous uses, I've found that the plectrums are still very easy to keep hold of long after the powdery surface has disappeared.
My experience of using Gator Grips + Final Word
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In terms of their performance, Gator Grips are hardwearing and easy to use. I usually opt for the 1mm variety, as I find this thickness to be perfectly suited for both picking and strumming. At the top end of the scale, the 2mm version is to chunky for my liking, but it's great for bass guitarists who frequently chose a thicker pick. Because these plectrums are made from a softer material than the 'tortoise shell' style of picks, the sound produced isn't as harsh, and the resultant tone is pleasant and well rounded.
Overall I would highly recommend Dunlop Gator Grips as reasonably priced and fully functional plectrums which are easy to use. The added grip is a bit of a gimmick really, as I generally don't have any issues holding on to regular plectrums - but I suppose it does provide a touch of extra confidence, which some will find appealing.
These plectrums are highly accessible which is probably half of the contribution to their popularity, however they are mass produced for good reason, and this is because they are effective and highly adaptable, working well on acoustic and electric guitars, and, depending on style and preference, can even be used on bass guitars with great effect.
The best thing about the Gator pick is the fact that it is made to allow a firm grip on the pick. I can remember when I first started playing the guitar and using other picks that would just fall out of my hand as I learnt the right way to hold it and the right strumming techniques. If you're playing in a live capacity, this is really useful as it prevents sweaty hands from creating any embarrassing problems.
It's also the perfect thickness for both strumming and picking, particularly making a great acoustic guitar sound, but it is also sturdy enough to not break easily. These picks last well and are one of the more practical plectrums on the market, due to the great grip it creates.
~A grippy little Gator Pick!~
Jim Dunlop manufacture a wonderful variety of guitar plectrums many of which I have tried and liked, from Lucky 13's to Tortex, Tortex Fins, Jazz Picks etc there is almost something for every guitarist and every style you want to create. These super grippy Gator Grip Picks from the Jim Dunlop range are a neat little pick range that come in a range of gauges to suit different guitars, guitarists and playing styles meaning there ought to be at least one gauge of pick from this range that you will find beneficial. When wanting to review these picks on Dooyoo they were not listed so a product suggestion was made and as they have been added to the database I am now able to share my thoughts about them. These picks are a little smaller than Tortex picks yet not overly so and with a little practice they can produce some very nice tones with a little less resistance on the strings meaning that once you get used to using them they can be a very nice plectrum to use and I feel that with the options available these picks offer plenty of versatility.
~Grab your Gator!~
The range of picks that are made under this name can be bought as stand alone items if wanted or as one pick sets and also as multi pick sets and are readily available both online and in music stores. The picks that I know of come as a light weight .50mm being in a mottled pinky red, a mottled mauve/ purple pink .71mm pick, a mid blue violet coloured .96mm pick which is set as being mid range amongst these picks. There is also a powdery aqua blue 1.14mm gauge pick for a slightly firmer feel with good attack, a soft moss green pick that is 1.5mm and is heading towards the heavier end of the gauges used in the range and finally a beastly 2.0mm gauge pick that comes in a mid grey shade and offers the heaviest firmest feel of all the picks in this range. Best advice would be to buy a multi pack first off if you have not used these before, as it will allow you to try out the range so that you can settle on the picks from the range that suit your needs the most.
~Ease of use~
The heavier gauge picks in this range may be more suitable for use with base guitars although to be fair there are certain playing styles and guitars that can cope well with these heavier gauge picks so my feeling is that you shouldn't rule them out until you have tried them. The style of the Gator Grip pick is such that it offers good attack with an equally good amount of grippyness when in use and with it being just slightly smaller than the Jim Dunlop Tortex picks the only thing that you need to adjust when using these is the way you hold the pick between your thumb and finger. Once you are comfortable with that you should find that these picks grip really well and there is much less risk of one of these coming flying out of your hand when in use than with picks that have a more polished looking surface to them.
In use I have found that the design on the picks, which is a rather mean looking gator who is flashing his nasty gnashers to perfection, can and does fade over time as the pick is used. This happens with almost all guitar picks that are in regular use so it isn't something that should cause too much concern. The bevelled edges of the pick make for smooth use when making contact with your guitar strings and the weighty more solid and inflexible style of the heavier gauge picks in the range actually helps to reduce clicky pick hitting the strings type sounds that can be found with some much lighter thinner picks. The feel of the pricks has a slight powdery effect when new and this can take a little time to get used to however it does reduce slightly over time and if you are really irritated by it a quick rinse and dry of the pick should reduce that.
If you are not a fan of these type of grippy slightly stiffer feeling picks then these will not suit you at all as they are quite firm at the heavier gauges, with minimum flex and so they may be something that you won't enjoy using if you mostly use a very flexible pick. The lighter picks are slightly more flexible and so you may find these are more suited to you needs in that case. For base guitars and jazz styles the heavier gauge picks work well, with the mid range picks being suited for playing heavier more aggressive music styles if wanted. There are many music styles where this range of picks work well and if you like the Jim Dunlop Jazz series picks these may be something to try for a little variety, as whilst they differ they do have a similar less flexible feel to them although the texture of the actual picks are very different. Rumour has it that bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and the Foo Fighters favour these picks which ought to tell you that these picks are considered to be a well respected product.
~Price and rating~
Prices for these picks do vary from store to store and depend on the number of picks you want to buy in many cases. You can buy packs that contain 12 picks which can either be a mixed selection across all the gauges available or as a single gauge pick pack if your prefer. Prices as a single item can be anything from 40p per pick up to 70p depending on where you buy them with high street stores selling them for slightly more as single items. Best value is from the multi packs which come neatly presented in clear fronted hang bag style packs, that have a card top piece that shows the Jim Dunlop logo and clearly shows the type of picks contained within the pack. Prices for a multi pack or single pick 12 pick bag range for around £4 which gives a price per pick of just under 34p per pick making them a good buy. Over all as I have found these picks to be a good product that work well I want to give them 4 stars.