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Thread: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering off.

  1. #1
    Newb Traceyleezle's Avatar
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    Default Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering off.

    I'm getting frustrated with my strumming. My pick is always sliding around in my fingers and wiggling it's way loose. I've watched a dozen videos on how to hold it and I believe I'm holding it correctly. My teacher says I'm holding it correctly. What gives? Should I be gripping it harder? Right now I'm just using a lowly Fender heave triangle pick. Can anyone suggest a good video on how to properly hold a pick? Maybe I haven't watched the right one. I don't know, it's just frustrating. Any advice would be appreciated.
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Much advice to follow I'm sure.

    I'll offer this - it is kinda normal - hang in there it gets better. One day you'll notice you haven't thought about in a while.

    Learn all you can about grips and try them all. Good luck!

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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Maybe try gripping a little harder, I like to drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the pick, or a bunch of little one's in a circle. Lately it's the one hole for a thinner pick. Seems to help me.
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I lick my fingers and wipe off the excess on my pants. Sounds gross but it works. I use a fender extra heavy on guitar so I know that it works for that pick. I used to have a big problem with my pick moving around when playing guitar (many years ago). The spit technique definitely helped, and I still do it, but I don't have a problem with it anymore. I don't know what changed or when or how, but it used to be a big problem and now I don't even think about it anymore. I think you just get used to it. You definitely don't need to grip it too hard, but at first I guess you need to grip it hard enough so that it doesn't fall out.

    I just remembered something about this. When I used to play with my old band when I still had trouble with the pick slipping in my hand I would tense up about it. I would feel the pick starting to move and I would get more and more tense because I didn't want to mess up the rhythm or my solo. Thinking back on it now it seems ridiculous. Now I would just regrip on the fly. So I think that's part of it. As you get better your fingers will automatically shift and regrip as you go. When I first started I was so scared about moving my fingers or the pick out of fear of messing up.

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    First, in time, you'll get the hang of it. In the mean time there are various things... Some picks have textures applied to them. Some have holes in them. You can drill two or three holes in the picks you already have too. You need more than one hole. Also, there are products out there like GS if you're still struggling.

  7. #6
    Registered User UlsterMando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I used to use the same pick with the rounded shoulders turned to make contact with the strings.
    Perhaps you are using it the same way, but if not it may help to do so.
    I found that the more rounded shoulder of the pick passed over the strings with less resistance than the point.

    I find that making tiny adjustments as a pick moves around in my grip is just par for the course; the blue chip pick
    material is reported to be very resistant to slipping but I find that even these move a little.

  8. #7
    Registered User David Beavers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I think this video by Mike Marshall is excellent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmagoBQunZI
    I've heard several interviews from great players that say you almost want the pick flying out of your hand from your grip being so loose. It seems you're on the right track with your pick not wanting to stay put, ha! Drilling small holes in your picks or experimenting with different picks is viable as well. I like Wegen TF-140s, slip resistant and have holes in them and gives me a slight raspy tone.
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    Registered User msargent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I've found that pick slip is more about the amount of pick hitting the string and the angle of the pick. I would make sure that the pick is just dancing over the tops of the strings - many of my guitar students with pick problems are digging in too hard.

    I prefer for the pick to hit with a slight frontward angle (toward the neck). This varies depending on each player's pick attack, but hitting it square on will raise the chances of the pick jostling in response.

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  11. #9
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I agree with what UlsterMando about finding that making tiny adjustments as a pick moves around in my grip is just par for the course , but different picks work better than others, there is a pick sampler going around you should get on the list , it has lots to try like 2 types of blue chip 3 types of wegen some chicken picks many more. I go back and forth between my 2 bluechip ct55 and td40 and my bluegrass wegen most of the time
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Occasionally, I have the same problem. It's my dry skin and both age and diabetes have made it worse. I use Monster Grips and it's made a big difference. Take a look: https://www.monstergrips.com/

    And, no, I'm not affiliated with the company.
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I think some movement is supposed to happen. I read somewhere that if you don't drop your pick occasionally you are gripping too hard. I don't know if THAT is true, but my pick is looser with mando than with guitar, and I have dropped it while playing occasionally. I think that if you grip too hard you will have more string noise (at least I do.) There seems to be a "happy medium" that I do not always find, maybe you will have better luck. I have watched several videos on how to hold a pick, one was from an instructional series (forget which one,) one was Chris Thile, I happened on another one on youtube. There seem to be many.

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    My pick would rotate in my hand. I now use a Wegen Bluegrass Pick that has some holes which make it more stable and easier to control.

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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Make sure your hands and pick are clean. Skin oils can make a pick slick. Some picks are easier to hold on to than others. Wegan and Blue Chip are both of the easier to hang onto variety. If you don't drop your pick every once in awhile you are gripping it too tightly. Part of your pick moving around in your grip is the angle you hold it as it strikes the string. And as you get used to dealing with a pick you will learn how to adjust you grip angle slip and position " on the fly" and it won't be a big deal. Patience Padawan ...... R/
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    What I've found is, I keep better control over a thicker pick. Maybe it's because that's what I'm used to from guitar, but it does force me to keep the pick from digging too deep into the strings, and it doesn't flex much. The flexing of a thinner pick is what seems to cause it to move around in my fingers.

  18. #15
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Get some Gorilla Snot (yes, that really is the name of it). Eventually you probably won't need it but it makes things a whole lot easier in the beginning and on days when your hands are just too dry.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    In the Very Old Days, some mandolin picks, especially the smaller ones, came with the top 1/3 - 1/2 having a thin layer of cork glued on, to offer a better surface to grip. Worked well. I suspect some sort of generic cork gasket material could be found if you wanted to roll your own, or even a real cork and a single-edged razor blade could be called into service.

    Those above who say that time will turn this into a non-problem are correct, in my experience, but the cork is a nice touch, so to speak.

  21. #17
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I've gotten hooked now on 'non-slip' picks, since picking up the mandolin. My current favorites are Cool Picks 1 mm triangles, modified a bit (rounded tips), and the 1.4 mm Wegen. The Cool Picks I use are two different materials, one has a "sandy" textured spot and the other has the more high-tech little bumps. The Wegen has an indentation in the middle with small holes in it. I like all three of these picks and have much less trouble with the picks getting away from me than with smooth picks. Tracy, have you considered signing up for the pick sampler?
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    When i first began playing mandolin,the hardest part was keeping hold of the pick. I used a tiny piece of Bluetak squeezed flat onto the thumb side of the pick. I eventually found that i didn't need it. However,i have a degree of tendonitis in both hands,not much,but enough to make keeping a firm hold of a pick a tad tricky these days,so,i've gone back to the Bluetak & i'm fine. I've found that even the ''grippy' Primetone picks can get a bit slippy from skin oils,so i use Bluetak on those as well,
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Much advice here, sift through it and decide for yourself. I have always had dropsy issues, so I keep spare picks at the ready...just in case. I simply lick my thumb and pointer fingers a bit, like I do when flipping through a book; keeps the pick in place. Never have been fond of unguents, snots, etc.

  24. #20
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Quote Originally Posted by UlsterMando View Post
    I found that the more rounded shoulder of the pick passed over the strings with less resistance than the point.
    Yes, but that doesn't really pluck the string now does it? The string should have a bit of resistance to the pick.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Get some Gorilla-Snot
    That stuff is sticky alright - perhaps too sticky...but it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob A View Post
    In the Very Old Days, some mandolin picks, especially the smaller ones, came with the top 1/3 - 1/2 having a thin layer of cork glued on, .
    I was going to recommend a pick with a cork grip like these new Claytons:

    http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/clayton-cork-grip.html



    Those old picks looked like this:



    And you can get the corks to add to your picks:

    one of our old threads

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...d-improve-tone

    http://www.###############/price/grip...cks_price.html

    Cork grip tape


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  26. #21
    Registered User Carl Robin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Traceyleezle, I use these nifty picks that have a rubber grip. Not that I ever had a big problem with slipping picks, only occasionally. This topic came up several months ago in the forum, and someone mentioned these as an option. They are not expensive, and I like the feel of them. The thickness where you hold it is about that of 2 pennies. You can switch picks and use any standard shaped pick in the grip.
    "PickWorld MG3D-3 MojoGrip Rubber Grip .73mm Delrin Guitar Pick, Pack of 3, Yellow" I copied and pasted this long description from the site where they were ordered.
    good luck

  27. #22
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I read above that drilling holes was already mentioned. That's my preferred method now as well.

    Good luck and get a grip

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  29. #23
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    If you decided to use the Gorilla Snot, there are some caveats. First, it's sort of messy because it leaves a dark residue on your fingers. It does wash off easily, however. Second, don't spend the high price most places charge for it. Go to a bowling alley and get the non-slip stuff that's used in bowling. It's much cheaper, comes in the same little jar and does the same thing.

    Having said that, the stuff does work but usually requires re-application every 45 minutes or so. I've used it in the past but I much prefer the Monster Grips.
    David Hopkins

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  30. #24

    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Sounds like you grip is close to being right, much better than a death grip. I know two women who have the same problem and love these picks - they come in triangle or rounded and a few different shapes

    http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/primetone-tri-grip

    V-picks are interesting in they get kind of grippy when they warm up to your body temperature, if really works.
    http://www.v-picks.com/

  31. #25
    Registered User TEvans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    looser grip. It's counter-intuitive. But the more you try to hold on tight, the more its going to move around. A very loose pick grip is going to yield better tone, faster playing, and a pick still in your hand.
    Austin, TX

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