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Thread: Pick Click

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Simonson View Post
    My sense of"pick click" it none of the above. I believe that when the pick releases from the string, the string is set in motion and SO IS THE PICK. The force (and energy) needed to set the string in motion is the same for the the pick. I think of the pick as another sounding board, which I wish it wasn't.
    '
    Thanks for clarifying. So, based on what you just wrote, you are referring to noise emitted by the pick after it strikes (i.e. comes off) the string, due to motion imparted by the string-pick release. Actually, that IS "one of the above." It is the sound described in post #21, which said:

    "I use the term "pick click" to designate the noise associated with the pick hitting the strings."

    This is not about pick contact with the fretboard or mandolin top -- which was a source of confusion. It is about pick contact with the string. Therefore, my earlier posts seem to have correctly interpreted what you meant, which addressed the sources, in the pick stroke and in the pick itself, that are chiefly responsible for this noise.

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  3. #27
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    IMO, it is not the pick hitting the string, it's the pick leaving the string. Try this, take two picks, one in each hand, press the surfaces together, and then using a picking motion, drag one pick past the other as though it were a string. I get a click every time.
    -Newtonamic

  4. #28
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    In my case, I was describing pick noise.
    Also, the specific mandolin in question is a flat top, flat back with 80/20 roundwound strings. I try to not pick over a fingerboard. None of mine have a Florida extension.
    Have tried the Dava picks, lack of a bevel sort of ruins it for me. Otherwise would probably try them more extensively.

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  6. #29
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Seruntine View Post
    In Europe, classical mandolinists are fond of softer picks, like the Wolle, which minimize clicking. .
    The German players use these almost exclusively, the Italian players don't. Typically the Italian players use medium-thin, snappy picks that don't attenuate the highs, as many picks do. They're loud too!

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  8. #30
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Simonson View Post
    IMO, it is not the pick hitting the string, it's the pick leaving the string. Try this, take two picks, one in each hand, press the surfaces together, and then using a picking motion, drag one pick past the other as though it were a string. I get a click every time.
    This is getting a bit silly, because we're actually talking about the very same thing, here! When I wrote "hitting" the string, I was using that word to describe the impulse, which lasts only a tiny fraction of a second (typically, milliseconds), associated with plucking a mandolin string with a flatpick. The same ambiguity happens when you describe a bat as "hitting" a baseball. It matters not whether the sound of that hit happens when the bat first contacts the ball, or whether it happens as the ball leaves the bat! Either way, it's the noise of the "hit"!! The noise of a hit in baseball emerges mostly from the vibrations of the bat, by the way (as opposed to the ball), which is why wooden and aluminum baseball bats sound so different. The sound actually starts at the instant that the first contact is made, but further sound is also developed as the ball leaves the bat.

    What you describe as "pick click" (or pick noise, which might be the better term to use) refers to sound emitted by the pick, and not from the string, that's associated with flatpicking (plucking the string). It matters not at all, for the purpose of this discussion, whether this sound begins when the pick first contacts the string, or when it leaves it. Or both, which is a distinct possibility, and quite likely to be the case! Unless you take high-speed video and simultaneous audio, you will not be able to discern which phase of the "hit" (contact or release) produces the majority of the pick noise, since these occur within an elapsed time too short to be heard (ms). Again, for the purpose of this discussion, it does not matter.

    Anyway, this type of noise can be modulated somewhat by changing the stroke angle, as discussed earlier, or by picking nearer to the bridge (but that changes the tone). It is also modulated by the physical properties of the pick, namely, its material, its shape, its tip, its edge bevel, and its thickness. All these properties also affect the tone of the plucked note, as well as any pick noise. You have to experiment with pick properties to find a satisfactory compromise between (1) minimizing any pick noise while simultaneously (2) maximizing the tone that you desire. You may discover that you cannot get both to happen.
    Last edited by sblock; Mar-01-2018 at 4:11pm.

  9. #31
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    Try out the John Pearce Fast Turtle picks, in thin or med. it is the smoothest sounding pick I've tried. It's made out of casin I think, and seems to resist wear pretty well. I don't use it for gigs or jams as it reduced the attack and cut of notes too much, but is sublime for home picking and recording.
    Happy pickin! W/O clicking!
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  10. #32
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    I've always considered three stages of sound production - first the pick hitting the (still vibrating) string, then the noise of pick dragging across string and then sound of the string perhaps with tiny amount of pick noise from release. The dragging noise depends on material, bevel and its smoothness and angle/speed of attack while the first depends mostly on how you hold pick (loose ar hard grip) and pick material, tha last sound depends on thickness of pick and how much it bends during string attack. On mandolin the first contact is doubled because of double courses so can be more intensive than on guitar.
    The looser grip can deaden or mute the pick noise while hard grip makes it brighter. The last one can IMO be harly heard as the string tone is so much louder (except when playing pp)
    The tone itself can contain the initial impulse which Gilchrist called "knock on wood" and considers it a very important part of the tone - it carries majority of the tone color information for your brain... If you remove that impulse you will hardly tell guitar from mandolin.
    Adrian

  11. #33
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Simonson View Post
    My sense of"pick click" it none of the above. I believe that when the pick releases from the string, the string is set in motion and SO IS THE PICK. The force (and energy) needed to set the string in motion is the same for the the pick. I think of the pick as another sounding board, which I wish it wasn't.
    '
    Interesting theory but other than testing picks for the tone they make when dropped, I cannot say I have ever heard the effect you refer to.

    However, in the serious lack of double-blind tests in the music world, I cannot say for certain.

  12. #34
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    I'll worry about pick/string noise if I ever get pick/fingerboard noise under control. Even with a scooped florida I do it, and a new habit, on my L&H my right hand little finger is hitting the pickguard to make another annoying click.

    Pick/string noise seems like small potatoes.

  13. #35
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Simonson View Post
    My sense of"pick click" it none of the above. I believe that when the pick releases from the string, the string is set in motion and SO IS THE PICK. The force (and energy) needed to set the string in motion is the same for the the pick. I think of the pick as another sounding board, which I wish it wasn't.
    '
    Then the distance from the tip that you hold the pick should greatly affect the 'pick click' you describe since this would act as a damper.
    I haven't noticed this and just experimented with my BC pick and couldn't see much difference. So I'm a little skeptical of this theory.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

  14. #36
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    I'll worry about pick/string noise if I ever get pick/fingerboard noise under control. Even with a scooped florida I do it, and a new habit, on my L&H my right hand little finger is hitting the pickguard to make another annoying click.

    Pick/string noise seems like small potatoes.
    perhaps you could move a bit toward the bridge

    or

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    Then the distance from the tip that you hold the pick should greatly affect the 'pick click' you describe since this would act as a damper.
    I haven't noticed this and just experimented with my BC pick and couldn't see much difference. So I'm a little skeptical of this theory.
    All you need is enough pick tip to pluck the strings.

  15. #37
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    I know it's because I'm digging in too far. It's just a matter of good practice, right?

  16. #38

    Default Re: Pick Click

    @Larry Simonson - You might look into one of those rubber picks sold for ukulele and bass.

    After a friend had been pressuring a group of us to try out his expensive pick, we did a blind test at a nice store with lots of mandos. One of the picks, the clear favorite, had great fundamental, and no observable pick click. It was one of those rubber picks, selling for only a few bucks.

    My friend with the expensive pick was embarrassed that he chose the $2 pick over his much more expensive pick in terms of sound, especially since he pushed us into the test in the first place. I asked him if he had picked up one of the picks that had impressed his ear over his own pick, and was surprised that the answer was no. He's never been able to explain his rationale on that, since he had always previously insisted that we should all invest the money just to try his brand for a month. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful motivator, I guess.
    Playing a no-point 14-fret-to-the-body oval-hole with scroll, a Flatiron 1SH mandola (original owner), a McNally Ukulele Strumstick in CGDA mandola tuning, a McNally 4-string Chromatic Strumstick in GDAE octave mandolin tuning, and rocking my six-course, unison-tuned 12-string Ovation mandophone/extended cittern in CGDAEB Full Fifths Tuning...

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  18. #39
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    The ONLY time i ever had any 'pick click' was when i began using a 2mm thick Primetone pick. Using my 1.3mm & my usual 1.5mm thick Primetones,try as i may,i couldn't replicate any pick click. I thought that maybe i was doing something wrong,but it was the pick. I sidelined the 2mm pick anyway,as i found that it was robbing my mandolins of treble 'clarity',it muffled the A & E strings to quite an extent. I found that for me,the 1.5mm pick worked & sounded best,
    Ivan
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  20. #40

    Default Re: Pick Click

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    To Larry (and all others) -- I apologize for my completely wrong idea of what 'attenuate' means. I am going to write "Attenuate means make weaker" 100 times.

    To JL277z -- thanks for the correction.

    Man, I was just so confident. Pride goeth before a fall. Age happens. I'm going to go take a nap.
    It's ok, I'm at that stage myself. In fact, I just woke up from a nap!

  21. #41
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Click

    I think memories of this thread will fade as we all get older and lose our high frequency hearing.

    Hey, let's all go to a rock concert this weekend and speed up the process!
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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