View Full Version : Preventing Pick Click

Feb-04-2004, 5:13pm
Recently, after a recording session, I listened to the "oh so familiar pick click" associated with the pick striking the scalloped area beneath my fret board.
My style of playing, finds me digging down between the strings on some songs and the nuisance clicking begins. #I've tried felt, though I found it looked tacky and wore out rapidly. #The felt needed to be glued on to the fingerboard, and each time I would replace it, I had to clean up the scalloped area of glue.

The other day, while in my tool room, I happened across some type of self adhesive weatherstriping. #It was 1" wide and 1/8th inch thick rubber type material, sandwiched between an adhesive cover plastic and a clear shiny outer soft plastic. #I cut out a piece to fit my scallop and tore off the backing, exposing the self adhesive. #I carefully placed the new material, which has a smooth plastic like covering exposed with the resilient rubber sandwiched between. #I placed it under the strings and onto the scallop area. Didn't look too bad! After playing a few tunes, I was amazed at how well it performed. #No more clicking...and a bonus....It keeps me from digging to far below the strings, and if I do, the rubber gently cushions the blow from my pick. The shiny plastic exposed to the pick does not seem to show pick marks like most plastic would. The outer plastic makes the scalloped area look shiny black, much like a pickguard.#
I will test it for a week or two and report back. #I am not sure what the rubber stripping came from, so I will need to explore that avenue as well.

Feb-09-2004, 10:55pm
This material which I am using to minimize the pick clicking is working wonderfully well! #The outer plastic is keeping the rubber intact and still looking shiny. #The best part of this material is that it keeps my pick riding higher on the strings which enables me to play a little faster and actually lends to the comfort of playing. #I was worried that the rubber under the plastic would begin to wear, but so far it hasn't been affected by the action of the pick. #I am still trying to locate where I purchased this stripping...and when I do, I will pass it on to all of my mandolin friends. #Of course this #rubber stripping may not work for someone who's scallop is wider than 1 inch, nor would it work if your scallop is shallow and would not allow the 1/8 inch thickness. #But it worked well for mine. #The self adhesive seems to be holding very well also. #I will try to get some pictures on this site, so you will better understand what it looks like. #If anyone has an idea of what this stripping is used for, I would appreciate your reply. #It is almost like a material used for cushioning, rather than weatherstripping, as I called it before.

Big Joe
Feb-10-2004, 9:44am
Two other things that can help correct your technique so you don't dig so deep. One is a pickguard. I realize many don't like them, but it will keep your picking hand at a different angle and not dig so deep. The other is an arm rest. They work well and put your arm at the right angle so you are not so likely to dig as deep. The results are less damage to the instrument, faster picking and usually much cleaner. Just a couple thoughts.

Feb-10-2004, 11:35am
Yes, I agree Joe. #There are other items to prevent picking too deep. #In fact I do use an armrest, which does keep my arm elevated, and gives me a better attack angle to the strings. #Technique is important in keeping my pick on top of the strings to eleviate dragging your pick. #This material I am testing actually encourages my pick to stay in a little higher position. #I guess I could equate it with not having a scalloped fingerboard and playing on top of the fret board, with the ability to dig if I need to, and without the constant pick clicking. The resilent rubber material which is covered by the thin plastic gives my pick a smooth rebound which seems to aid in my playing. I am not an authority on mandolins, far from a professional, but I have found something that seems to work for me. #I would like to hear from others who have used similar materials. If you are currently using felt, I would venture to guess that you would find this material an improvement over felt. I am still in the process of finding a supply or manufacturer of this material, so I may pass it on to everyone. I have a limited supply. About 10 mandolins worth. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Feb-10-2004, 11:46am
I always thought if a light material such as latex rubber glove material were placed over/around the florida, that would help, never have tried it.

Chris Baird
Feb-10-2004, 12:55pm
Saw off your extention. Works wonderfully. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Feb-10-2004, 1:12pm
"the florida" HA!

Feb-11-2004, 11:34am
I often been asked by people why the scallop area is all about? I guess I have never had a good answer to that question. Even with a complete fretted board, the end of the fret board is actually a useless projection. I think over the years, this style has become a standard to f style mandolins. Did someone at one time have the ability to play the fretted area? I can't imagine that, as I have problems playing what is left on my fret board up to the scalloped area. Any answers? I can see why some players take out the hack saw and start chopping! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Steven Stone
Feb-11-2004, 12:03pm
Chopped-off fretboard extensions look goofy IMHO.

I find that I only click on the frets, not the fretboard extension. I've often thought about just removing the frets, not doing a scallop to my Gibson F-5 fern, but the problem (so my luthier friends tell me) is that removing the frets is tought to do without spintering the fretboard wood, especially down by the extension.

I've seen a couple of mild scallops where the fret lines were filled with ebony sawdust, but I've also seen ones where the fret-pull did leave ragged edges.

I'd like to see a picture of this "florida-pick-condom"


Big Joe
Feb-11-2004, 12:13pm
One can also put false frets in the extension...metal or maple or http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif that give the appearance of frets but allow the extension to be scooped and still look right. #Pulling the frets will leave the fingerboard a little messy around the frets, but the area can be filled and smoothed over so it is nearly invisible. #I guess it is whatever the person likes more than the value issue. I've always thought an inlay on the scooped area could be cool. Maybe a shamrock or a cross or http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif Another area to let one become creative without harming the instrument.

One last thought for now. Even if the fingerboard extension is scooped, it can be repaired so it appears as if it never happened. The wonder of a good luthier! You would be amazed at what CAN be done vs what some like to do.

Martin Jonas
Feb-20-2004, 5:50am
Chopped-off fretboard extensions look goofy IMHO.

I find that I only click on the frets, not the fretboard extension. I've often thought about just removing the frets, not doing a scallop to my Gibson F-5 fern, but the problem (so my luthier friends tell me) is that removing the frets is tought to do without spintering the fretboard wood, especially down by the extension.
You've probably seen this, but just in case, here's a link to the Frets.com (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Mandolin/DropTongue/droptongue.html) article on how to get the frets out of the way.

I have to say that I'm glad that my F5 imitation (Washburn's, that is) didn't go for the fingerboard extension to start with and instead left it at 24 frets, similar to the Sam Bush model. I don't dig very deep and if necessary can play above the fingerboard, but just the awareness that I'm so close to the frets would inhibit me when picking above the extension.


Feb-21-2004, 2:11pm
Saw off your extention. Works wonderfully. # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Yep, or buy a mandolin without that vestigal organ http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Feb-22-2004, 9:13pm
Choking up so just a trifle of pick is exposed, and the pickguard grazed by pinky fingernail can be helpful,IMHO.
http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif