Buddy Black’s Signature Guitar Picks

The Early Years

In the early years, I used a variety of medium gauge guitar picks in teardrop shape. By the mid 70’s I had focused on the medium gauge black Gibson teardrop version. One day I walked into a music store in Milwaukee and tried a soft triangle shaped Fender extra heavy white pick. A love affair began. The white celluloid has a brighter sound than any pick I had ever used. The 3 rounded points are perfect for my approach to the strings and extra heavy made all of that magic happen!! 

Early Guitar Picks
Black Gibson Picks
1977 Buddy Black Gibson Pick in Hand
Fender Extra Heavy White Guitar Picks
Pickworld Buddy Black Guitar Pick
Tribute Buddy Black Guitar Pick
Buddy Black is ready For The Next 6 Songs
Bag Of Pickworld Buddy Black Signature Guitar Picks

Great New Guitar Picks

I bought them in one gross packages For several years. I usually had to order them. Over the years as my playing style developed, I used more and more. Eventually that became a fresh guitar pick for each song. And then it happened. All of a sudden they were getting much harder to find. I walked into Harry’s Guitar shop in Raleigh NC and tried to order 2 gross bags. The supplier said they could no longer get my picks. They were only available in Black or tortoise.  

What Next?

What was I going to do. The perfect pick for me was out of print. My birthday is August 15. I was looking at a pile of dull sounding black Fender picks on my coffee table, and it hit me. Why would I continue to advertise for Fender if they couldn’t sell me what I really want? I searched the web for companies making personalized guitar picks. The one that had the best website was Pickworld. I gave those guys a call. The fellow that answered the phone was very helpful and entertaining. I told him about my problem, that it was my birthday, and asked him to be gentle. He laughed and said I have good news and bad news, which do you want first? I said, start with the bad news. He said, It’s true,,, Fender has discontinued your picks. 

The Good News

The good news is we have made them for Fender since 1972 and will be happy to make them for you!! Happy Birthday! It made my day. I asked him if he knew that the plastic had changed a year or so ago. It was brighter till then. He said the celluloid provider they used until a couple of years ago had just sent them new stock and I could now get the ones I really liked. Even better news was that they were about 2/3 the cost of the ones with Fender on them. I now order 1000 at a time and have made a few special orders for specific events. Those guys at Pickworld are the best. They put my guitar pick, front and center, on the heading photo of their site for a couple of years. 

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From The Swag Store

Why does Buddy Black prefer Peavey Artist Series Amplifiers?

Peavey Artist Series AmplifiersPeavey Artist Series Amplifiers.

The story begins in 1964. Buddy got his first electric guitar amp, a Gibson Hawk. Although it sounded great, it was too small to keep up with the other’s rigs. Sometimes he would be allowed to use his older brother’s Silvertone 6×10. That is where the love for 10″ speakers began, but not much admiration for solid state technology.

The Search Began

The search began,,, First was a 1965 Fender Twin Reverb. During a performance in about 1975 he was playing a newly acquired type of instrument called a lap steel, and flames shot out of the front of the amp. That probably was one of the best things that could have happened for the audience, but put Buddy back to scratch with amplifiers. While it was being repaired the folks at Duncan Music in Winston Salem NC. loaned him an early model Crate amp that was in a case made of old crates. After one show, he went amp shopping!!! “No offense intended” Buddy told the music store owner, “but this thing SUCKS!!” He got them to replace the speakers in the Twin that day and he headed to Raleigh for a show. On the way to the venue, he found a small shop called Whetstone Music. He traded the Fender Twin for a 1957 Fender Vibroluxe. He said he and the store owner were both laughing at the other for their loss,,,, It was the best sounding amp Buddy had ever plugged into and he used it for a couple of years till it and his 1962 Gibson SG were stolen. He went to Camel Pawn in Winston-Salem and bought a 1966 Fender Vibroluxe. That’s where the magic really began. It was an amp powerful enough to keep up on most stages, and the return of 10″ speakers to his life. It had the most liquid reverb Buddy had ever experienced and with Skip to main contentSkip to toolbar About WordPress Buddy Black 00 comments awaiting moderation New View Post SEOEnter a focus keyword to calculate the SEO score Howdy, uIvJrf4uKb Log Out Help Screen Options Edit Post Add New Post draft updated. Preview post Dismiss this notice. Enter title here Why does Buddy Black prefer Peavey artist series amplifiers? 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It sounded pretty good with his Stratocasters too but he believed a little more gain would help, so the hunt was on again.


The Hunt For More Gain

In 1979 he bought his first 1959 Fender Bassman amp. It had more power than the Vibroluxe and four 10″ speakers. He bought another one and 2 Fender spring reverb units. Buddy started using one on each side of the drummer and the stage ROCKED! In 1989 Buddy went in The Music Connection in Raleigh NC. and saw some new models Peavey had started making called The Classic series. They had tweed covers and the Classic 50 looked almost identical to his Fender Bassman amps. There were a couple of things different though. The circuitry was nearly the same as his Bassman amps but had a volume control before and after the preamp and another for output volume. The reverb was built in and was wet and lush like the Vibroluxe. PeaveyClassic_Series_advertA love affair with those amps began and continues today. He has moved up a little in power. His stage rig is several full stacks. 8-10″ speakers powered by Classic 100w heads. The same volume configuration but double the power of the Classic 50. Botique amp designer and builder Marc Auble made a tube driven line conditioner for Buddy so up to 20 stacks can be used at a time without impedence issues. It looks like the hunt for the perfect sound is over. Buddy smiles a lot now!!!

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Mose Henry’s Martin

Mose Henry's Martin

Mose Henry’s Martin

Dead Instruments In The Shop

Mose Henry’s Martin

Hanging in the dead instrument area of Ben Runkle’s shop in Raleigh NC was one of the greatest finds of Buddy’s life. A 1965 Martin D-35 formally owned by Mose Henry. It had been decorated with items from some very noteworthy folks. The silver inlays were from a platter donated to the project by actress Julie Andrews. The silver eagle on the headstock was carved from a dollar by Eddie Arnold. The bridge and cross were made and donated by Pepper Wise. A pearl was added to the headstock by his grandfather.

Needs A Little Work

Mose Henry’s Martin  guitar needed some work to bring it back to life. Buddy Black had Bruce Wei make a fret board with his name in mother of pearl which was installed by luthier Jeff Pippin. It now plays great and sounds like only a Brazilian rosewood vintage Martin can. Fat, loud and crisp. A treasure by anybody’s definition and Buddy’s favorite acoustic guitar!!

Who Was Mose Henry?

Mose Henry was a singer and instrumentalist in a 1960’s era folk band founded by Dave Fisher and four other Wesleyan students. The original members disbanded in 1964 with three attending Harvard and one attending graduate school at Colombia. Fisher remained in the music business and acted as the band’s music director with a new group of members; one of which was Mose Henry.  The Highwaymen, under the leadership of Dave Fisher, recorded two albums titled, Stop Look and Listen and On A New Road. The group performed concerts and appeared on a number of variety shows. The group stayed together until 1967 when Dave Fisher moved to Los Angeles and began a career making music for film and composing over one thousand songs.

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About Buddy Black


Lap Steel

1936 National New Yorker Lap Steel Electric Guitar

One of the Earliest Models

1936 National New Yorker lap steel electric guitar

In regards to lap steels. one of the earliest models. The first version with an exposed bridge pickup. Two more double coil noise canceling (humbucker) pickups are hidden under the fret marker board. It has been said to be the first musical instrument manufactured with multiple pickups!!! Designed to tribute the recently completed Empire State Building. Powerfuland thick tone. The 6 string version was made on the same platform as the ones with 8, giving the player a wider layout. Much easier to play individual strings cleanly. One of the finest and most sought after of the vintage lap steels. Buddy Black used it on several Fine Fine Day tracks!!
View Guitar Gallery

What is a Lap Steel Guitar?

The lap steel guitar is a type of steel guitar which is typically played with the instrument in a horizontal position on the performer’s lap or otherwise supported. The performer changes pitch by pressing a metal or glass bar against the strings as opposed to a traditional guitar where the performer’s fingertips press the strings against frets.The bar placed against the strings is called a “steel” or “tone bar”.

  • Acoustic lap steel guitar: The body resembles a traditional Spanish guitar. These were originally called “Hawaiian guitars”, after theslack-keyplaying technique was popularized there in the late 1800s. These instruments are specifically designed to be played horizontally; i.e., the strings are higher off the fingerboard than a traditional guitar. Traditional guitars can be modified to play this way by using a “nut extender”, a device to raise the strings.
  • National or Dobro-type guitars, which typically have reinforced square necks and feature a large aluminum cone, called a “resonator”, to increase volume.[1]
  • Electric lap steel guitars: These guitars are designed to be played horizontally and feature an electric pickup so they do not require any resonant chamber. Guitars in this category may differ markedly in external appearance and include instruments made from a rectangular solid block of wood. In addition to the lap-played model, a closely related version called a “console steel” guitar often featured more than one neck which made it too heavy to be played on the performer’s lap. It is supported on legs (but does not include the pedals or knee levers of the pedal steel guitar). Electric lap steels typically have six, eight or up to ten strings. [Wikipedia Lap Steel Guitar]

Why Buddy Black Plays Trini Lopez Guitars

Why does Buddy Black prefer Gibson Trini Lopez guitars?

According to Buddy Black, we can start with the obvious. The artist models Gibson made in the 50s and 60s were some of the finest instruments ever. Diamond inlays, 6 in a row headstock, bound diamond shaped sound holes and engraved nameplate make them stand out in a crowd. According to Buddy, every one he has picked up plays like a dream and has a voice like no other. That’s where the not so obvious comes into play. The trapeze bridge and headstock design add up to much longer strings. That may be the real key to Buddy’s attraction to these rare and highly sought after guitars. He says they feel so comfortable in his hands and the humbuckers scream or sing just right for his in your face attack. The center block is as used on the ES345. They have the route for Varitone and were made from denser maple than the ones used on ES335s. Buddy says they are some of Gibson’s greatest secrets!!!!

More About The Trini Deluxe

Buddy has several of the standard models. Some in rarely seen custom colors. The one in the attached picture is Bronze Mist Poly. Most likely the only one ever made. He uses the hollow body version, the Trini Deluxe for some of the softer songs. The rarest Gibson signature model. Only about 300 total production. Buddy has a 1964 Deluxe. One of two shipped during the first year of production. It has a wider fret board than most and early patent sticker pickups. They have non t-top bobbins, purple wire and alnico 5 magnets. Effectively the best of the PAFs. The fattest and hottest sound of any Gibson hollow body he has ever played.

You can read more on Buddy Black here and his music on his site.  More about Buddy and his music is available on this site.