View Full Version : Found the right pick....

Keith Erickson
Jul-23-2005, 7:06pm
Hi Folks,

I've finally found the right pick. It is a 1.5 mm d'andrea. It seems to pull the sound that I'm looking for.

However I've been reading some posts that say that you should only pick down and not up when playing scales.

My question is: Does it really matter?

Next question is on the chop.

This seems to come and go for me. My question is, what is the proper tecnique for obtaining the chop.

Some days I think I have it and other days it seems like I don't have it.


Jul-23-2005, 8:55pm
Congratulations! It seems strange to play scales with all down strokes. Playing scales is a exercise that not only familiarizes you with the notes to a certain key, but it is a great exercise to work on the right hand as well. I'm not a pro, but I would use up and down strokes when practicing scales. As for the chop, it depends on the sound you want. Some of the older, if not all of the older bluegrass recordings the player lets their chop ring before muting the strings. Alot of the new stuff that I listen to it is more of a percussive sound. I guess it all comes down to personal preference. I take lessons from Herschel Sizemore and he lets his chop ring before muting.

Keith Erickson
Jul-24-2005, 11:22am
Thank you Daryl for your reponse. You're probably right. I guess I just have to find my personal preference on the the chop.

Thank you again http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jul-25-2005, 1:28pm
Hey 8_String,

That is the same pick I use. Really like them, and have been using them for about one year now.

Scales are usually up down, unless doing jigs where people tend to use dud, or ddu, or other variations. I like dud.

As for chop, I used to let it ring, but have found a kind of dull Thwop keeps the rhythm without stepping on the vocals or other soloists. I do let it ring a bit if backing banjo just because they are so loud it doesn't interfere.

Jim D.

John Zimm
Jul-25-2005, 1:50pm
I tried to use one of those big triangular picks that Chris Thile recommends on his dvd but I could never get the hang of it, so I've gone back to the Dunlop Big Stubby. Easy to hold, slightly rounded on the edges, and makes a nice tone to my ears. I'll have to try a 1.5 mm d'andrea. Sounds like a good one.

I never practice scales with only a downstroke. You might as well get as much out of practice time, and practicing the down-up-down is good exercise for the right hand. I've even started practicing scales in triplets to get the d-u-d-d-u-d pattern down.


Jul-25-2005, 2:54pm
I practice scales in all downstrokes and alternating. I even practice all upstrokes sometimes. But most of the time, alternating.

Jul-25-2005, 3:01pm
My 1.5 D'Andrea is one of the big triangular ones. I like having a point (versus a dawg pick), and the large size makes it easy to hold on to. It is kind of hard to get used to at first after the easy glide of a dawg pick over the strings, but in the end I think it improves articulation.

Jim D.

Mike Bunting
Jul-25-2005, 5:47pm
Picking with down strokes only is good if you are trying to play in the Monroe style.

Bob A
Jul-26-2005, 6:55pm
Playing with all down strokes is good if you're playing something slow enough to get away with it. I'm convinced it is a key to getting much better tone and power from the mandolin.

I was strictly an alternating picker for decades, until I watched a video by a classical mandolinist who described the various techniques. It really opened my eyes and ears. (Gertude Troster, volume 2)