About Sharkfin

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The Swede behind the plectrum used by The Beatles has died.

Published Monday 17 September 2007 at 2.50 pm, Mitt i musiken

 

Without Stig Landström, The Beatles' guitar riffs would have sounded a little different. In the 1960s Landström invented the shark's fin-shaped guitar plectrum Sharkfin. This new shape of plectrum spread across the world, and also came to be used by international artists in the world of pop, such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys. Now Landström has passed away, at the age of 85. (SR Mim 17/9)

 

Stig Landström was a musician in great demand in the Gothenburg area. He ran his own guitar workshop and also worked for many years at the Levins guitar factory in Gothenburg.

  Ebbot Lundberg

Here is the piece of plastic that makes you a guitar ‘finomenon’.

Published Friday 5 November 1999. Expressen/GT Kvällsposten

 

Ebbot Lundberg, the singer in the Rolling Stones warm-up band Soundtrack of Our Lives, has been playing guitar since he was sixteen. Always with a shark's fin plectrum in his fist.

 

“I started in a small way with a red Sharkfin, but when I was a bit older, about 25, I switched to a grey one.”

 

How did this change come about?
“I think it has something to do with masturbation. You're hand isn't as fast when you get older. The red one is extremely soft, poofy and fussy. You have to have a special hand movement.”

 

So you think you were poofy and fussy when you were younger?
“No. I was tough and a punk, there was a contrast. Now I'm soft and poofy and need a hard plectrum.”
And you always use a Sharkfin plectrum?
“That's the only kind I'm familiar with. I tried a really hard Gibson for a while. But it was so small, it felt has though someone had lost a nail, not appealing at all.”

 

And the grey one still feels right?
“I've fallen in love with it. It's just the right level of hardness, a bit like Sportnäcke crispbread.”

 

Trevor Rabin

Pubished January 1985, Guitar Player 

 

What´s your primary picking technique? Do you use a pick all the time?

I´m hopeless with fingerpicking. First, I bite my nails, and second, I´ve always used a pick. Obviously, when we do some of the old Yes things like "Starship Trooper" (The Yes Album), I use fingerpicking; there´s nothing very difficult in Steve Howe´s fingerpicking from that period. I´ve used Sharkfin picks for the past 10 years, the red see-through ones. In fact, I was paranoid about three years ago when I heard they might be going out of business. So my roadie ran around London frantically buying up every Sharkfin in sight. 

 

Do you vary your techique when going from electric to acoustic?

Yeah, I use a heavier-gauge Sharkfin on the acoustic; I used it on the guitar solo I did in concert with Yes. The nice thing about the Sharkfin is that as you play longer with it in your hand, getting sweaty and warm, it gets softer and sort of becomes part of your hand. 

 

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Silver pendant in shape of a guitar plectrum. Pendant: 35 x 26 mm