World-famous banjo player and teacher Ross Nickerson
Los Angeles, CA -- Continuing to excite the music world, SharkTooth® Crossover Picks™ are quickly establishing themselves as an indispensable teaching tool by a diverse group of prominent, internationally known music teachers. Teachers of guitar, banjo, steel-guitar and autoharp are the latest group to enthusiastically embrace and endorse the unique benefits provided by SharkTooth Picks™, manufactured and distributed by Strum 'N Comfort Picking Systems®.
Pete Steinberg teaches fingerstyle guitar at a Los Angeles area landmark; the famed McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. As the 1999 Southwestern Fingerstyle Guitar Champion, Pete attracts a steady stream of intermediate to advanced guitar students eager to learn the techniques of such legendary guitarists as Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, among others.
"SharkTooth Picks™ are in my guitar case all the time; I never leave home for a lesson or a gig without them," Pete says, pulling one out from the accessory compartment of his guitar case." If you want to have a flatpick at the ready to accompany fingerstyle playing, there is simply no other product on the market that provides the ease of use, comfort and versatility of the SharkTooth Pick™." This is extremely high praise coming from a guitarist with Pete's credentials.
With a professionalism that belies his years, University of Southern California undergraduate music student, composer and guitarist Donovan Raitt teaches beginning to advanced students at the popular Jim's Music in Irvine, California. Donovan recently discovered how well SharkTooth Picks™ function as a teaching tool with his beginning students.
The first basic skill that Donovan teaches his students is that the proper way to hold a conventional flatpick is to hold it tightly between the thumb and first-finger so that as the flatpick hits the strings, the flatpick does not move or twist. Donovan goes on to explain that while the flatpick is held firmly, proper flatpicking technique requires a flexible wrist and forearm to hit the strings with an up and down motion. Students are taught that pressing the strings down at the appropriate place on the neck of the guitar produces individual notes. Acquiring the ability to make each hand perform an independent, but related task, is the single largest hurdle for guitar students to overcome.
Donovan realized that the SharkTooth Pick™ would make learning easier because it would eliminate a student's focus on tightly gripping the pick, and, at the same time, dramatically reduce instances of students dropping of conventional flatpicks. SharkTooth Picks™ unique neoprene-sleeve holds the pick firmly in place on students' thumbs which eliminates a major source of frustration for beginning guitar students. Immediately upon introducing SharkTooth Picks™ to his students, the beneficial results were overwhelming!
"My students concentrated so hard on holding the flatpick tightly that you could actually see the tension in their faces," Donovan recalls. "Not only that, but my students got really frustrated when they dropped their picks." "You should see my students now!" Donovan proudly exclaims. "SharkTooth Picks™ has given them fewer things to concentrate on. By freeing up their concentration from holding and dropping picks, SharkTooth Picks™ has made it much easier and much more fun for them to learn. I wish SharkTooth Picks™ had been around when I was learning; it really accelerates the learning curve!"
Pete and Donovan are not alone in discovering the benefits of SharkTooth Picks™ as a teaching tool. They are the vanguard of a new movement of music teachers pioneering the use of SharkTooth Picks™ to help their students of all levels learning many different styles of playing.
Electric, electrifying and much-in-demand LA session guitarist and Musicians Institute faculty member Matt Baldoni also reports having extraordinary success using SharkTooth Picks™ in his teaching endeavors. Matt's skills as a cutting-edge electric player are so well known that in addition to teaching and session work with such jazz greats as Keiko Matsui and Mindy Abair, he landed the position of bandleader for the "NFL Show" on the Fox television network.
"SharkTooth Picks™ allow a degree of freedom in playing that my electric students love. When they have a hard time experimenting with improvising new and creative parts, SharkTooth Picks™ are perfect for letting them break out and try something new and daring. I am also finding it to be a great teaching tool because it helps so much with amplifier response, affecting overdrive and dynamics." Sounds like Matt will be discovering even more SharkTooth Picks™ benefits every time he plugs into an amp or an effect pedal!
Changing gears from guitar teachers, world-famous banjo player and teacher Ross Nickerson uses SharkTooth Picks™ extensively in his bluegrass banjo teaching. "I really love SharkTooth Picks™", Ross elaborates, "they are so comfortable, they don't slip and they don't catch on the banjo strings like the curved tips on metal banjo picks - they are great teaching tools!" On his website, BanjoTeacher.com, Ross sells a lot of SharkTooth Picks™. As a testament to the quality and utility of SharkTooth Picks™, Ross notes that all feedback relating to SharkTooth Picks™ has been overwhelmingly positive.
Rounding out this outstanding group of music teachers is Mageshen Naidoo. A native of South Africa, Mageshen is currently a teaching assistant at the University of Southern California. Mageshen offers private guitar instruction in the fingerstyle techniques of Chet Atkins and Merle Travis.
Mageshen's experiences further confirm the applicability of SharkTooth Picks™ as teaching tools. "Picking action is a very personal thing; each student has to find the 'sweet spot' for themselves. SharkTooth Picks™ gives students unprecedented control over the pick's angle of attack. Having a constant angle of attack means students have to make fewer adjustments while playing. Making fewer adjustments means smoother, more fluid playing," Mageshen observes.
Fingerstyle teachers Pete Steinberg and Mageshen Naidoo, jazz-rock-blues-fingerstyle teacher Donovan Raitt, electric teacher Matt Baldoni, and banjo teacher Ross Nickerson are a diverse, eclectic group. From Southern California to South Africa, these SharkTooth Picks™ pioneers are unanimous in their praise of SharkTooth Picks™ as an exciting new teaching tool because they help students with picking techniques in all styles of music. Additionally, it is precisely the fact that it is useful in all styles of music explains its rapid, widespread acceptance among guitarists of all styles and levels. SharkTooth Picks™ is grateful to Messrs. Steinberg, Raitt, Baldoni, Nickerson and Naidoo for pioneering its use as a teaching tool. SharkTooth Picks™ cordially invites music teachers and interested dealers to contact us for a free sample and experience first-hand how SharkTooth Picks™ can help their students to "Improve Skill in Comfort".
About Strum 'N Comfort Picking Systems ®
Strum 'N Comfort Picking Systems ® focuses exclusively on creating comfortable, functional stringed instrument picks and other related accessories. Designed by and for players to facilitate the maximum amount of technical flexibility. Our motto is "Improving Skill in Comfort".
Licensing and distribution inquiries for the Strum 'N Comfort® product line are invited.
Strum 'N Comfort®, strum-n-comfort.com™, SharkTooth® Picks™, SharkToothPicks.com™, Crossover Pick™, & Un-Thumb-Pick™ are commercial marks of Greg Atkin.