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

  1. #51
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell'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 David Lewis View Post
    All great advice, but also look at v-picks.com

    Great service, great picks.

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    Bought one of their samplers a while back. Just bought a few more of the ones I liked the best, based on the sampler pack.
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  2. #52
    Newb Traceyleezle'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 BlueMt. View Post
    I like this stuff better than Gorilla Snot; it's not super sticky and it doesn't stain. It's made for people who shuffle paper all day (poor souls) and I've found it works well for pick slippage. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01...rd_i=490616011
    I was wondering about something like that. I used to be the main vault teller at a bank and we used something similar. I wondered how it would work with picks.
    Cake or death?

  3. #53
    Newb Traceyleezle'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 dschonbrun View Post
    Tracy, what occurs to me when you mention "strumming".... are you having good luck with your pick hold when playing a single string course? Is the challenge only when strumming across all 4 courses?

    Best,
    David
    Yes! This exactly! No issues with single string courses, mainly strumming.
    Cake or death?

  4. #54
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I too suffer from this, and change picks frequently in an attempt to cope. I'm using a Primetone now with the 'grippy' texture which works quite well, but some days a different smooth pick, Wegen, Blue Chip, etc, works fine. Don't know why. I am also trying to pay a little more attention to using the 'front' bevel' very slightly on the downstroke and the 'back' bevel on the upstroke, playing a little more quietly. I play Sally Goodin in doublestops as one drill. A few hundred more hours of drills and I might overcome this

  5. #55
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I use a vibrating-engraver to roughen up the center some times .

    sort of like wiggle scratching with a steel nail
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
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  6. #56
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I am really happy with the V Picks. I have played guitar for many years and as a mandolin player with Parkinson's, it is hard for me to hold on to a pick. The V Picks are so much harder to drop-- it is a dramatic difference. You may want to give them a try. It is true what Mark said-- keep at it and don't lose heart. Some days we can be very frustrated! We all understand.
    2020 Pava Pro A5
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  7. #57
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Don't get too frustrated, it's one of things you'll figure out, just like playing a G chop chord. My daughter was a big fan of Cool picks when she took guitar. I find the mediums that she liked too thin for mando, but I don't mind playing guitar with them (larger triangle sandpaper grip type).

    I prefer Wegen and Bluechips now, which rarely slip, but it still happens on rare occasions. Have an extra couple ready in performance situations. Also, when strumming, in a pinch, there's always your fingernails, lol...been there!!
    Chuck

  8. #58
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I think the question was about guidance to shorten the "you'll figure it out" timeframe, which has been suggested a few times in this thread. I don't think it's about picks, although those that provide a bit of friction reduce the rotation, same as some the variety of adhesives that have been suggested. My earlier comment was about a strategy to try different techniques, some pick angle changes, softer stroke, etc, to reduce the torque that causes the pick to rotate. Without having a death grip. Haven't mastered it, but everyone's mechanical action is a bit different, so determining what works is very individual and will take, so it seems, some experimentation. It's what I got out of my last lesson. I pay more attention to my action now, lots of it just observation.

  9. #59

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Traceyleezle View Post
    Yes! This exactly! No issues with single string courses, mainly strumming.
    Tracy, now that we understand the problem...

    If you're able to pluck a course of strings both up and down (slow tremolo) without the pick falling out or moving, that's a good sign.

    I'm still a beginner too, so take this for what it's worth. I've found that practicing single courses both up and down, and then progressing to double stops (2 courses) with the same focus on technique (getting both the down stroke and up stroke to be equally good tone, consistency, angle of attack, wrist motion) is a good progression after a single course. After 2, then you move to 3. For 4 strings, the pick movement probably involves more than just your wrist... could be you are moving from your elbow, might even involve the upper arm. It's a big change from an isolated wrist movement. No surprise that some things that seemed to work well on single or double stops are now a bit out of whack. Go back to basics, and then if you feel ready to strum, do it slowly and in front of a mirror so you can watch what's going on with your hand. The pick hold shouldn't change... it may be that your hand is rotating as you pluck, (since many players are slightly above the bridge when strumming). Go slow, and pay attention to what your right hand is doing through the motion [playing in front of a mirror allows you to maintain your torso and shoulder posture (important)]. Try not to slouch and look down at your left hand, it will affect the strumming angle.

    You should maintain the same pick and back of hand (plane) angle through the strumming motion. If there's variation/rotation, then you have found the issue. Have your teacher observe you... and he/she will likely be able to help isolate where the "hitch" is.

    I've had to step back and focus on basics after moving ahead to quickly in a desire to "play" and be able to "jam" with 4-finger closed chords. I can totally relate to where you are right now. Getting the basics down pat, while it takes a while and can be frustrating, will set you up for good things in future.

    Best,
    David

  10. #60
    Newb Traceyleezle'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 dschonbrun View Post
    Tracy, now that we understand the problem...

    If you're able to pluck a course of strings both up and down (slow tremolo) without the pick falling out or moving, that's a good sign.

    I'm still a beginner too, so take this for what it's worth. I've found that practicing single courses both up and down, and then progressing to double stops (2 courses) with the same focus on technique (getting both the down stroke and up stroke to be equally good tone, consistency, angle of attack, wrist motion) is a good progression after a single course. After 2, then you move to 3. For 4 strings, the pick movement probably involves more than just your wrist... could be you are moving from your elbow, might even involve the upper arm. It's a big change from an isolated wrist movement. No surprise that some things that seemed to work well on single or double stops are now a bit out of whack. Go back to basics, and then if you feel ready to strum, do it slowly and in front of a mirror so you can watch what's going on with your hand. The pick hold shouldn't change... it may be that your hand is rotating as you pluck, (since many players are slightly above the bridge when strumming). Go slow, and pay attention to what your right hand is doing through the motion [playing in front of a mirror allows you to maintain your torso and shoulder posture (important)]. Try not to slouch and look down at your left hand, it will affect the strumming angle.

    You should maintain the same pick and back of hand (plane) angle through the strumming motion. If there's variation/rotation, then you have found the issue. Have your teacher observe you... and he/she will likely be able to help isolate where the "hitch" is.

    I've had to step back and focus on basics after moving ahead to quickly in a desire to "play" and be able to "jam" with 4-finger closed chords. I can totally relate to where you are right now. Getting the basics down pat, while it takes a while and can be frustrating, will set you up for good things in future.

    Best,
    David
    Thanks for the sound advice. My teacher is consistently critiquing my technique and giving me exercises to work on, such as strumming in front of the mirror.
    Cake or death?

  11. #61

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

    Lots of good advice, another exercise could be to hold the pick as hard as you possibly can between two fingers for about a minute. As you get tired you will start to feel which muscles you really need to use in order to hold the pick, and which muscles you can relax. Start relaxing your shoulders and work down to the wrist while still holding the pick firmly. Then try strumming with a relaxed wrist but very firm pick fingers. Finally start to see how much more you can relax the pick fingers a little at a time. It's not easy at first to learn to separate and consider all the different sets of muscles, but no problem, it's just practice.

  12. #62
    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 Traceyleezle View Post
    Yes! This exactly! No issues with single string courses, mainly strumming.
    There are somewhat different movements involved with picking single course, double stops, and full chords.

    I tend to hold the pick a bit tighter when playing single strings and double stops than when playing full 4 note chords, where I'll slightly loosen the pick grip.

    Next, there is only a small area that the pick needs to cover to play a single course, but when strumming a full chord the pick has to traverse a greater distance, so the actual speed of the hand is a bit faster to cover the bigger space in the same amount of musical time.

    Best of luck!

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  14. #63
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    As others have recommended, I like to drill holes in picks that need a little extra grip.

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  15. #64

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

    I sent this to Tracey, might as well post it here for everyone...

    Golden Gate Tortoise Mandolin (1.25mm)
    WegenPIcks TF100, TF120, TF140 . I like the TF140 best
    WegenPicks BG1.4
    JD Jazztone 207 and 208
    Dunlop 514p1.3 Primetone rounded triangle plectrum
    Dunlop 514p1.5 Primetone
    D'Andrea PRO-346 Rounded Triangle Plec Shell, 1.5mm
    US Blues T3-JazzEX Buffalo Bone and Black Horn
    US Blues T3-Exotic Buffalo Bone and Black Horn

    And here's what I've learned. 1.3mm-1.5mm is about optimal for most general mandolin playing. Slightly rounded corners are better than heavily pointed picks, but a bit of a tip can be helpful in getting a crisp release when playing melody lines. If you're focused on rhythm/accompaniment (strumming chords) then a thicker and possibly rounder 1.2mm - 2.0mm plectrum can be really helpful. Harder picks wear slower and often provide the harder tone. Since Tortoise Shell is illegal, the closest think I've found is bone or horn.

    I find that some kind of surface grip is needed for me to keep a light pick hold and not get cramps. The Wegenpicks have 7 holes in a circle... and this works well for me. I've had the same pattern drilled into my bone and horn picks (as recent posts show, customizing picks is part of the tinkering we all do).

    Pick size is all about your pick hold and anatomy. I don't have giant hands, but for my anatomy (my index finger is most relaxed when well bent, larger picks feel better to me)

    My Favorites...

    Golden Gate Tortoise, good for starting out... I started with this pick and have learned to get better tone with my new mando
    Wegen TF140 - my go-to pick. Helps me feel and hear the pick angle of attack and responds to my form
    Wegen BG1.4 for very fast melody line picking / solos... not as wide as the TF140 and a bit pointier.
    US Blues T3 Exotic Buffalo Bone - working with this one now. Wonderful tone and responsiveness, but demands precision in picking... will be more helpful as I get consistent, I may round the tip a touch

  16. #65

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

    You do not need any type of special pick, or glue, or to do anything special to your hands. The pick slips around on everyone at first. By working slowly and patiently, you will develop the micro adjustments necessary to keep your pick where you want it. Later, some modifications might give you added stability, but I would recommend against them at first, as you want to optimize your grip, rather than compensate for a poor grip with stuff.
    Object to this post? Find out how to ignore me here!

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  18. #66
    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 JonZ View Post
    You do not need any type of special pick, or glue, or to do anything special to your hands. The pick slips around on everyone at first. By working slowly and patiently, you will develop the micro adjustments necessary to keep your pick where you want it. Later, some modifications might give you added stability, but I would recommend against them at first, as you want to optimize your grip, rather than compensate for a poor grip with stuff.
    I've never felt the need to use any sticky materials on picks on any instrument. Nor is any grip on the pick needed, only that the pick not be slick and slippery - I have used a bit of fine sandpaper to slightly rough up those slippery plastics.

    "you will develop the micro adjustments necessary to keep your pick where you want it"

    So much of accurate, strong, but still relaxed picking is about using what you call "micro adjustments" -which is a pretty accurate description.

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  20. #67
    Robert Feivor RFMando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    Get some Monster Grips!

    Silly name, great product!

    RF

  21. #68
    Registered User zedmando'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 TEvans View Post
    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.
    That's what I was thinking as I read the first post
    I vary my grip on different things--and within a song--but a looser grip is much better for pick control & playing as well--at least on guitar.
    I've found it's similar on mandolin.
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

  22. #69

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

    After getting the pick sampler, spending some time practicing, and chatting with other Cafe pickers; decided that I generally like the brite-ness and feel of natural material picks better than man made. With a large reference from the sampler, I ordered materials and have begun making my own plectrums. Here are photos of the first 2. My BlueChip is on the left for reference. The center is pre ban Ivory, and the right is Honey horn. Both are 1.5-1.6mm thick. The squares in the background are 25.2mm/1.0 inch.

    Picks were generally shaped and planed with a bench sander, and then gradually profiled, beveled and smoothed with japanese wet stones that were lightly moistened. Final polishing was done with jewelers rouge on a buffing wheel, and last using a leather strop with green diamond dust compound for the fine edges. I did not polish the center of the picks beyond 200 grit, which provides good purchase.

    Interested to hear what people think.

    For reference, the piece of ivory cost about 5$, and that bit of horn cost about $3.00. I had all the tools and compounds, so there were no added costs.

    Thanks for looking,
    David

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  24. #70
    Newb Traceyleezle'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 dschonbrun View Post
    After getting the pick sampler, spending some time practicing, and chatting with other Cafe pickers; decided that I generally like the brite-ness and feel of natural material picks better than man made. With a large reference from the sampler, I ordered materials and have begun making my own plectrums. Here are photos of the first 2. My BlueChip is on the left for reference. The center is pre ban Ivory, and the right is Honey horn. Both are 1.5-1.6mm thick. The squares in the background are 25.2mm/1.0 inch.

    Picks were generally shaped and planed with a bench sander, and then gradually profiled, beveled and smoothed with japanese wet stones that were lightly moistened. Final polishing was done with jewelers rouge on a buffing wheel, and last using a leather strop with green diamond dust compound for the fine edges. I did not polish the center of the picks beyond 200 grit, which provides good purchase.

    Interested to hear what people think.

    For reference, the piece of ivory cost about 5$, and that bit of horn cost about $3.00. I had all the tools and compounds, so there were no added costs.

    Thanks for looking,
    David

    Click image for larger version. 

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    David,

    They really are beautiful picks, enjoyed all the more I'm sure because they came from your hand.
    Cake or death?

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  26. #71

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

    Thanks Tracey!

  27. #72
    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

    Nice picks!

  28. #73

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    Nice picks!
    Thanks Zach, I may send a few around to get feedback and refine the design. Not interested in making this business, just fun creative time for me. Let me know if interested.

    Best,
    David

  29. #74
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    Default Re: Can't seem to get a grip on my pick, it's always wandering of

    I have put a layer of silicone caulk on mine in the past. Not an issue now, but worked great at the time. Just scrapes off if you don't like it or need it anymore. And, a small tube of caulk at Lowes/Home Depot is pretty cheap.

  30. #75

    Default Here is my solution to slippery pick

    FABRIC bandage. Works perfectly and cheap.
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