It is a story we’ve heard before. A budding guitarist wasn’t happy with the picks available in the market and decided to make his own for personal needs. Before you know it, a hand-carved plectrum made in a garage became a high-tech, laser-cut endeavor that was selling like hotcakes on the internet.
The Dragon’s Heart pick is made from aero-grade polyamide-imide or filled variations using carbon fiber, glass fiber, and graphite and can last from 1000 to 1500 hours of play. With a signature design, these 3-edged guitar picks claim to be the optimal design for speed, comfort, and durability.
In their own words, Dragon’s Heart was hell-bent on creating the best guitar pick ever. Did they succeed? Let’s find out.
The Product: Precision Cut Dragon’s Heart Guitar Picks
The guitar pick is available in 4 variants:
The four options vary in only in material and share all other characteristics. The DH Pure is designed for a warm/soft tone using 100% polyamide-imide. It lasts for up to 1200 hours of play. The Original, made from polyamide-imide with 12% graphite, is designed for speed with a promise to last for 1000 hours of play.
The GT is made from polyamide-imide with 30% carbon fiber and intended for 1400 hours of all-round playing. The Hardened pick, made from polyamide-imide with 30% glass fiber, is designed for a bright tone and a mammoth 1500 hours of play.
All variants feel hardy and enduring. You’re more likely to lose them than wear it out. However, I can’t verify these claims regarding longevity unless you are willing to check back for an update in 2022.
Dragon’s Heart Design
- Pick Dimensions: 2.49 x 0.25 x 2.49 cm
- Pick Thickness: 2.5mm
- Made in America
For materials, DH uses ultra-durable polyamide-imide that can be found in aerospace applications as an alternative to metal alloys. Sadly, the picks are only 2.5mm thick so they aren’t going to protect you from the next cataclysmic impact. And, they will still fall into the sound hole.
These picks are hardwearing in the true sense of it. The material’s tensile strength doesn’t compromise the flexibility in any way. What you are left with is an erosion resistant pick that will last you for a thousand hours or more. Overkill or otherwise, the material is tough, and more importantly, it eliminates the annoying picks noises against the guitar strings.
I particularly like the beveled edge, which is not just clever, but it also makes the pick seem a lot thinner than it actually is. This way, you get the best of both worlds – the perceived comfort of a thin pick with the attack/command of a thicker gauge.
The only thing to watch out for is the variants made from blackened graphite. They may “bleed” for the first few days and leave your fingers with a grayish-stain after long hours of play, especially if you sweat. It isn’t of any grave concern and you can wipe it or wash it off without any trouble. The Pure picks don’t do this as they are 100% polyamide-imide.
Three Optimized Edges
The three-playing edges is another well-thought-out design quirk. For starters, it makes the pick pop with an exclusive aesthetic character. However, it isn’t an aesthetic gimmick. All three edges are practicable, based on your genre/style. The three designs, in a way, is the equivalent of having three different picks rolled into one.
Each edge has a different shape and curvature. The primary lobe, the one facing downwards, is the one you’ll be using the most often. It is a middle-of-the-road edge that is neither sharp nor blunt. Compared to run-of-the-mill picks, it feels more balanced and versatile.
The sharp lobe (upper right) sounds fantastic for fast lines and aggressive riffs. It is narrow but not delicate, as other picks tend to feel. The bluntest of the three, the upper left side lobe, is supposedly designed with a dull, wide curve for better harmonics and speedy strumming. It may have some noteworthy uses, but it’s the one I would probably use the least.
The DH picks are thick, solid, and feel great in the hand. I tend to sweat on a humid day, and that didn’t change much in terms of gripping. Some players may take a day or two to adjust to the asymmetrical shape, but they fit right into my style and I didn’t notice anything different.
The beveled edges were the stand out feature. They are evenly smoothed out to ensure that the pick glides easily over the strings. This can make a huge difference in pulling off techniques like shredding and sweep picking.
Sonically, the Dragon’s Heart picks are gratifying. The DH Hardened Pick is among my favorites. Although marginally so, it has a more bright and crisp character to it while playing individual strings. It makes a good case to retire my trusty Dunlop Primetone.
The sharpest edge on the DH has a distinct attack that makes it really easy (and pleasing) to play solos even with a heavy right-handed technique. The attack is well defined but as you may imagine, the sharp edge isn’t all that terrific for strumming.
Between the three edges, you’ve got speed, attack, and consistency covered. The rounded edge works well for harmonics, chicken-pickin’ or flatpicking and the sharpest edge is ideal for aggressive riffing and fast solos.
Overall, this pick enhanced my ability to mess around with the dynamics as I could vary the volume, tone, and attack by switching the edges on the fly. I imagine it would be beneficial to switch sides to alter your tone and attack to suit different parts of a song.
Add picking strength and technique to the mix, and it drastically improves the right hand control and capabilities too. Personally, the heavy gauge sits well with my style of playing. Metal, jazz, punk, and rock players ought to feel at home with this pick instantly.
I recommended the Pure for acoustic guitarists as it seems to be a tad warmer than the rest, especially for strumming. For others, all three options are equally good choices. I personally enjoyed the Dragon’s Heart Hardened because it adds a noticeable zing to the guitar tone, at least to my ear.
Quality & Value
There is a lot of merit to the design of these guitar picks. They do make a noticeable difference in playing speed, especially if you are an intermediate guitarist. Also, they are undoubtedly more resistant to wear than Tortex or Nylon guitar picks if you have an aggressive playing style.
The question is, would you rather have one fantastic pick or a box full of plastic chips? To be honest, one Dragon’s Heart picks is the equivalent of owning three top shelf picks. Mine is a keeper. If you are willing to take the plunge, you could get more value by getting a pack of 4. If not, you can always add it to your wish list for Christmas and start dropping hints to friends and family.
Final Thoughts on Dragon’s Heart Guitar Picks
Guitar picks may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when it comes to elevating your playing. Yet, from our experience, a good plectrum is the medium between emotion and expression. All that research poured into creating this pick has resulted in a fine-tuned option that delivers an excellent balance between control, comfort, and playability.
Is this the ultimate pick? Maybe. Maybe not. I haven’t played every pick out there to say that for certain. What I can say is that it’s one helluva pick that reeks of ingenuity, creativity, and passion. Between a pack of these and three angles on each, all your needs are easily covered.
- Impressive and efficient design
- Among the best shredding-picks
- Reeks of longevity and durability
- Highly versatile
- Takes some getting used to
Dragon’s Heart Alternatives
Dragon’s Heart also sells a 10-pack from their Wyvern Series that uses more classic materials (think Dunlop Tortex picks). They are modestly priced but feel like a notch above the usual store-bought picks. They have the signature Dragon’s Heart shape but are thinner and made from abrasion-resistant polyoxymethylene, which is just a fancier name for textured acetal. If you want something unique and personalized, Dragon’s Heart also offers custom engraving on their website.
Among other brands, the DH picks are reminiscent of a slightly bigger version of Dunlop Jazz III picks. That could be a good option if you want something more conventional. However, you’ll be missing out on the 3-edge design. The sharp edge playing of the DH pick outclasses the Dunlop Jazz, so there is that.
Dragon’s Heart has managed to create something unique yet practical. Their polyamide-imide range of guitar picks show that they have their finger on the pulse of musicians. They also have a #GuitarPickWednesday giveaway for their followers on social media.
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