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Thread: Pick Noise

  1. #26
    mgwhitehead Martin Whitehead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Dear Master, Thanks. I was beginning to think that I had crossed the lines of social propriety and everyone was picking, er, snubbing their nose at me!
    Martin
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  2. #27
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Another thing to keep in mind, when playing accoustically: I don't think the pick click is not projected far. The person behind the instrument hears it the most.

    If you are playing with a mike and it is getting into the mix, I would think there would be a mike placement that would minimize this.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  3. #28

    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by 300win View Post
    I've got to ask you. even though you added 'grin', how is listening to someone else play when you practise going to benefit you ? Since you are already a musician you know that only one thing is going to help in your endeavor to learn, hard work, but learning to play an instrument is the most fun hard work that I know of. Since you are just beginning, I suggest you don't get too bogged down in all the tech. stuff just yet. If you do it might not be as much fun as you are wanting it to be.
    Well, I was joking. I like listening to myself, however cringe-worthy that may be at times!

    So I think I've got the 'click' mostly under control, it seems to have been a combination of factors that mostly relate back to lazy right-hand technique. Choked up on the pick, tightened my grip (not too much!), and even fixing my posture when holding the instrument all seem to make a difference. I can still hear it a little if I'm listening for it, so I try not to do that.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Whitehead View Post
    Dear Master, Thanks. I was beginning to think that I had crossed the lines of social propriety and everyone was picking, er, snubbing their nose at me!
    Well...you probably have...but we who regularly cross the lines of social propriety must hold our noses...er...heads...high and stick together!

  5. #30

    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandowan View Post
    ... 'make sure you're holding it parallel to the strings,'...
    The pick, that is. I always thought that one held the pick perpendicular to the strings when playing.

  6. #31
    jbmando RIP HK Jim Broyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Most players rotate the pick so it is not parallel to the strings. This is how there is such a thing as lefty and righty bevels. I advise to hold the pick so that the plane upon which the pick lies is exactly perpendicular to the plane going though ALL the strings AND that the pick's plane includes the entire string not just one point. If you allow the pick to come to rest on a string during your normal picking motion and slide the pick in toward the mandolin top, the whole pick surface slides along the string, not just an edge. It is so hard to put into words what a picture will illustrate immediately, but I hope you get the idea.
    "I thought I knew a lot about music. Then you start digging and the deeper you go, the more there is."~John Mellencamp

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  7. #32
    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Another way to explain this is to think if you held your mandolin horizontal the pick would be parallel to the strings but when you raise the neck upward the angle described above happens. You still move the pick through the string as though it is parallel but the pick is angled from parallel. If this is clear as mud I suggest you get Mike Marshall's Mandolin fundamentals for all players. Mr. Marshall is very good at splaning these sort of details.

  8. #33
    jbmando RIP HK Jim Broyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Well this is exactly what I do not do. My pick hits the strings NOT angled from the parallel. I realize that some players advocate the angle you are describing, but I do not. If my mandolin is angled up, so is my picking hand.
    "I thought I knew a lot about music. Then you start digging and the deeper you go, the more there is."~John Mellencamp

    "Theory only seems like rocket science when you don't know it. Once you understand it, it's more like plumbing!"~John McGann

    "IT'S T-R-E-M-O-L-O, dangit!!"~Me

  9. #34
    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Uh oh. My bad. The explanation was Mike Marshalls method to get the pick angle without putting tension in your hand and gripe. Sounds like I got it wrong on what you were saying. Maybe your suggestion of a picture(drawing, diagram) might help me visualize your technique. I like Blue Chip CT55's with a very lose gripe with an angle to the strings from the upward neck angle. Your method probably came natural to you as mine did to me. I'm always open to suggestion though. Like I said earlier in this thread I make some pick noise. I've been working on some bad habits with my left hand so now would be a good time to take a hard look at my right hand technique as well.

  10. #35
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Broyles View Post
    Since you say the noise is reduced by holding the pick more tightly, my guess is that you are slapping the strings with the pick. The could mean too much pick is sticking out or you are indeed holding it too loosely. You need a firm grip, but loose hand/finger/wrist muscles. The other possibility is that your pick is too thin, or made of a hard material which clicks before the note sounds. Ivory, bone and hard acrylic picks such as the Big Stubby do this for me. The Dunlop 207 and 208 do it too, for me. Try a celluloid or Ultex pick and see if it still happens.
    I'm quoting this post because I found it especially useful, but others have made great points too. Gotta love the search function. I was getting annoyed about the same thing the other day - too much clicking just before the note sounds, ironically reduced by tightening my grip on the pick. I use triangular 1.14 mm Ultex picks.

    Slapping on the strings - yes, that's possible. I'm sure I can improve this with more practice towards a better attack angle.

    Too much pick sticking out - I've actually recently increased the amount of pick that I leave sticking out of my hand because the fleshy part of my thumb kept brushing against the strings and creating unwanted noise. Perhaps I'm now digging slightly to deep into the strings by accident.

    Holding the pick too loosely - I don't think it's that in my case. I can reduce pick click by tightening my grip, but I often see in instructional videos how the pick is supposed to give and tilt quite a lot when striking the strings. When I tighten things up to reduce pick noise, this no longer happens.

    Thank you for the useful posts!

  11. #36

    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Very old thread but going to bump it. I too suffered from excessive pick click. Having tried everything from .7 - 3.0 mm, nylon to Tortex to acrylic, Wegen, Blue Chip, etc. Finally came to the conclusion that I had too much pick sticking out below the fingers. But no matter how little of the point stuck out, I still had some click. So I overcompensated to the point where my index finger brushed the strings first and voila - no click.I then backed off a thousandth at a time until I reached the sweet spot.

    Long story short, perfect the technique and then worry about the tone.

    Cheers.

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  13. #37
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Carter1157 View Post
    I then backed off a thousandth at a time until I reached the sweet spot.
    .
    Well worth putting in the time to figure it out.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
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  14. #38
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Well worth putting in the time to figure it out.
    I might add, for that or any other mechanical/technical adjustment
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  15. #39
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by 300win View Post
    Blue-Chip pick = no pick 'chirp or noise', scooped fingerboard extension or no fingerboard extension = no 'pick click'. Simple as that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Snyder View Post
    I've got extra fat V picks. I'll send you one if you want to hear a chirpy pick. Great tone, bad chirp.
    And your mileage may vary ... a lot. See, everyone (as well as every instrument) is different. Precisely the reason I resold my BC is because I couldn't stand it's annoying high frequency click, or "chirp" if you will. But I do have and still use some heavy (3 and 4 mm) acrylic picks that I much prefer, because, to my ears there is a lot less of that sound with them.

    And yes, I also think there's such thing as holding the pick too loosely. The wrist must be loose, and some people automatically tense up all the muscles south of the shoulder if they hold the pick too tightly. Don't do that.

    Just experiment.

    bratsche
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  16. #40
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick Noise

    I also gave up using my BC because of the excessive pick noise by comparison with the othes I use.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

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