View Full Version : Not another pick thread
But I do have a question. Do you use a different pick on your tenor guitar than the one(s) you use on your mandolin.
It would make sense for a lot of reasons, different strings, single courses, deeper sounds, different attack angle, different kind of playing, who knows.
In my fooling around with different picks on my tenor I find the ones I love for mandolin are so so nothing special on the guitar.
The Dugain horn pick I got years ago works well on the tenor guitar, but it is entirely wrong for the mandolin.
I switch around quite a bit at first. I used the same pick Wegen TF-140 on both insturments at the start.
This is still my mandolin pick but I have now switched to a Red Bear Trading Co. Mondo Heavy with the "speed bevel".
This to me seems to be a better pick for single strings -- I'm using it on both my dreadnought and my tenor and it really seems to work better than the Wegen.
A plain D'Andrea Pro-Plec seems great on the guitars also -- and that pick used to be my mandolin pick too -- until I switched over to the Wegens.
I agree with you the single and double strings DO present a different pick requirement. And even single string insturments will vary -- I think you would find (like I did) that the tenor banjo is nothing like the tenor guitar when in comes to finding the best pick.
I actually use the Wegen Bluegrass model on guitar, tenor and mandolin at the moment. Works just fine... but of course, I'll adapt my technique to the different instruments.
I tried a friends Blue Chip TAD50 on my tenor a while back and it sounded awesome. Might have to order one of those (too bad they're so expensive).
Bear in mind, I play a TG tuned to GDAE, with heavy strings (45-35-24-15). My TG can take a lot of beating.
Oggy: I tried a friends Blue Chip TAD50 on my tenor a while back and it sounded awesome. Might have to order one of those (too bad they're so expensive).
Be curious to know how you would compare the Wegen vs the Blue Chip?
Did you feel it was a sound improvement only or easier picking as well?
Also have you happened to ever tried a Red Bear? Thanks.
I guess the GDAE tuning feels more like the bottom four strings on a regular steel string guitar?
I haven't tried the Wegen, have mostly used the white one's that Juststrings sends for free. I like those for backing/strumming, but not as much for lead playing.
I caved in and recently got a Blue Chip TD 35. While I have clearly heard and felt differences from pick to pick in the past, the Blue Chip stands out... wins on clean tone and handling.
On my mandolin my picks are the Wegen T140, the Red Bear C heavy w/ sb, and the Blue Chip TAD 60. I switch them around depending on the tune or the playing. I am very impressed for mandolin
On the tenor guitar I have used all three, and for what ever reason none of them was vey impressive on the tenor guitar. They were OK but I think I need to try something real different, perhaps going to a medium pick.
JeffD: On the tenor guitar I have used all three, and for what ever reason none of them was vey impressive on the tenor guitar. They were OK but I think I need to try something real different, perhaps going to a medium pick.
you might give that Red Bear "Mondo" heavy pick with the speed bevel -- I found that one to be ideal for both my dreadnought and my tenor guitars.
Another pick thread ... sigh ... but this time, one I can relate to.
I've mentioned elsewhere, for the mandolin I use a pretty thick Dunlop, 1.5mm I think (it's been used so long the printing is worn off and the point is starting to get too rounded to be useful anymore). But for my steel tenor guitar, I use something bigger and a little thinner, about 1mm and triangular. I've got a Tyler Mountain promo pick, heavy, 1-14"/3.5 cm on a side, and a Clayton 1mm same size my fiddler/guitarist wasn't using. I'm not sure why, something to do with the strings being further apart I suppose.
Funny thing happened the other night at a gig. Our first song used the mandolin, so I was using that Dunlop. The second song called for the tenor, so I switched over, with the pick still in my hand. Just after we started I heard something a little wrong, then I felt the triangular pick still in the strings! :disbelief: I kept going while I nudged the pick onto the ground with my left hand - and managed to find it when we were wrapping up. Funny as that was, it was funnier still that I didn't really notice a big difference betwen the picks. Well, OK, I did, but it worked fine. :mandosmiley: I'm still more comfortable with the larger pick for the tenor. I think it's really that it gives me a larger target to work with, and I'm still (always gonna be) less familiar with the tenor than the mandolin. Plus being slightly thinner it helps lessen the brittleness.
Herco medium thumbpick. It just feels right.
I use the Dunlop Tortex Triangle 1.14 on both. On tenor I have gone down to the 1.00 and it's nice for strumming, but for playing melody I still prefer the 1.14. So for the most part I just adjust my technique. I would also note that I finally broke down and bought the Wegen TF140, and I don't see what the big deal is. It was alright. But I still prefer my Dunlops, and at $2.40 for a pack of six, versus $15 for one Wegen, they're an unbeatable deal. So as of yet I haven't found a brand that would justify paying over a dollar a pick. Of course, others feel very differently and I respect that. If I actually felt I was getting even slightly better tone with one of the pricier plectrums, I would switch in an instant. Also, I completely agree with your premise. I really feel like I should use a different pick for tenor (what with the single course, lower tension, etc). And yet the same one just seems to work best for me on mando and on the tenor. Different strokes for different folks.
I tend to use the same picks on my mandolin and tenor guitar (Wegen TF100 or Kasho 1mm celluloid) but use a more plexible pick on tenor b@$&o. Sometimes, for a different tone on mandolin I'll use other picks (heavier or lighter) for certain tunes or styles.
Part of the problem is that I haven't fgured out how I am going to play on the tenor guitar. Rhythm backup, chord melody, flatpick single note melody and breaks.
I don't care for the Fender or Gibson heavy picks much on the tenor.
The problem for me - and I emhasize, this is just me, YMMV - is the frets on a tenor are so much farther apart than on a mandolin or mandola, that chords are difficult. This hasn't been a problem until recently, as they other guys in the band are knocked out by the funky, ratty, old-tome bluesy sound of it. I can't blame them - it is instantaneously "there," but I would so much rather play the mandola, tuned the same, on which I can rip leads as well as play chords. So I've found I use chord fragments more often than I should. Since I am playing backup on this more than I used to, for the fiddler's sake - and in a trio there's nowhere to hide - I have to come up with some solutions. Gotta do some stretches or get some surgery or something - my left hand is given over to the mandolin, something I realized was happening decades ago, and it seems there's not much I can do about it now. Meanwhile I tend to use basic low-end chords, blunting open strings, since they want this sounding as low in pitch as possible anyway.
And I'm still searching for ways to make my leads sound a little fuller - I'm so used to the double string sound. Lord knows tremolo doesn't sound right, but sometimes I'll throw some staccato 32nd or 64th notes into a run, that varies it a bit. I do like the way half-tones work into runs on this, though; that's something I hadn't used much on the mandolin. I'm also using something between chords and melody sometimes. I'm fond of saying there's more than one way to skin a cat. Sorry, kitty ... ;)
Here's two cuts from our demo. On the first, note the blend between tenor and guitar on the 1 chords. Also how the tenor carries it when the fiddler puts down the guitar and picks up the fiddle around 1:30 - that's that chord/melody blend I mentioned. This was recorded live - pretty slick, huh?
JeffD: Part of the problem is that I haven't fgured out how I am going to play on the tenor guitar. Rhythm backup, chord melody, flatpick single note melody and breaks.
I don't care for the Fender or Gibson heavy picks much on the tenor.
Two great points! Especially the first one -- I think I am starting to come the the idea that I want the tenor guitar in two modes: 1) as a sing along insturment (accompany my voice -- bad as it is) and 2) to pick out the melody of songs as a break between verses. So I need a pick for both chords and picking out melody.
But I'll throw you another curve - - look at the great job some of the Irish guys do with finger picking the tenor guitar and banjo! That really appeals to me.
"first string" About the Wegen TF-140 --I agree with you. It is, without a doubt, my favorite mandolin pick but does not work well for me on the tenor guitar either.