August 3, 2020

Review – Honey Picks Flight 3mm

The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
William Blake

Like all creative endeavours, the Plectroverse has a cast. Characters crop up time and time again, and while there is certainly room for everyone, it’s wonderful when someone comes along and shakes up the script a little. Makers also take inspiration from each other – often this is an obvious move, when it’s a Jazz III/351/346 derivative – but on occasion, the influence is more subtle, and that influence results in something that stands on its own. As a categorical example of this, today we’re going to take a closer look at the Honey Picks Flight.

Bee Proud
For a maker that’s been around for a relatively short period of time, Rick Calhoun has made a lot of friends. This is partly because he’s a top dude, but also because his work has been right on the button since day one. As you read this, the Honey range has grown from a few models in Acrylic (as pictured here) to include Purpleheart, Kirinite, Raffir, phosphorescent works and a sensibly broad range of models from the conventional Jazz types to offsets and more. The Flight measures 32mm long by 28mm at its widest point, and this example is a healthy 3mm thick. The Honey logo and ambling bee are lasered into the face, as is a ‘3’ to denote the plectrum’s thickness.

Hive Mind
All the finishing on the picks I was sent is excellent, and I’ve seen no evidence that this hasn’t continued across the range. One of the most pronounced aspects of Rick’s work is his mad-sharp edges. This is something of which I’m not generally fond, but as there’s a lot more people than just me in the Plectroverse, let’s look at this from some sensible angles.

Big Stinger
The combination of tip and edge plays a huge part in setting out that plectrum’s tonal stall. Blunt is bassy, sharp is toppy, but the tip and the edge are so close as to perform in a symbiosis. Having a pick with such a clear top is a tremendous thing if you’re playing instruments outside of the guitar. The mandolin, mandola and bass can all benefit from having more cut, and a sharper point lends itself beautifully to cross picking and single note work. In a sly move, Rick has brought curvature into his designs more than most, and this arciform approach softens what would otherwise be pointedly aggressive. There’s a lot of geometry that’s gone into the Flight, and the more esoteric designs that I’ve seen from Honey, which is tremendously encouraging.

Wings Of Destiny
Let’s talk about that tone. My travels through the Plectroverse have shown me that a straight edge can take on a very serious persona, and while this is excellent for harder styles or simply to convey directedness, walking a little more softly is not to be discounted. The lines of the Flight give it a much more jovial disposition, with a broad grin and potently likeable charm.

If V Picks is a Camaro on a full tank and Gravity is a serious book in a proper library, Honey is firm, caring hand on the shoulder, an old mate that’s encouraging you to bash the tunes out. Push and treble are the major contributors here, with the slightly reduced bass as a result of the design being a worthwhile trade for the warm character. As acrylic goes, if you bond with this like I do, it’ll work perfectly – those with very slippy hands may want to consider one of the other material options, of which Honey has a few. Limited runs are appearing often, and the results are often superb.

Soaring
It was a weird experience to have my playing taken down a positive road for once. Every pick is full of the spirit of its creator, especially if it’s hand finished. I can tell how much joy went into the creation of this shape, and the cheery nature of it made for a grippy, uplifting play. If you’re looking to plumb Chthulian depths I wouldn’t go straight for one of these, but if you like to see the good in people, the Flight is absolutely ideal. Zing!

Vitals:

  • Acrylic
  • 3mm thick
  • Made in USA
  • A pollinating 7/10
  • Price Per Unit: £6.36 or $7.50-ish
  • Shiny happy bee-ple

@honey.picks
https://www.etsy.com/shop/HoneyPicksStore