I started playing guitar when I was a kid, and I’ve always hated picks. What garbage are they made out of? Then, in college, I wandered into a boutique guitar shop, the kind a poor 19-year-old had no business walking into, and saw a counter display of V-Picks. “Five bucks for a pick?” I think I fainted several times before I could ask the cashier what made them special. Whatever he said was convincing, because I bought one and took it home. It felt so much better.

V-Picks are handmade in Nashville out of acrylic, the same stuff they make fish tanks out of. Acrylic is nice and grippy once your body heat warms it up. They’re made in an enormous range of thicknesses, shapes, and sizes, but even the thinner ones are thicker than a regular pick. They’re expensive, but they last forever compared to the typical celluloid picks. You get your money’s worth. I’ve never gone back, and I have a small collection of rounded, pointy, and ultrathick V-Picks. If they’re good enough for Billy Gibbons and Carlos Santana, then I guess they’re good enough for me. —Matt Jancer