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Thread: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

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    Default Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Hello everyone,

    I am playing the mandolin for a week now (an Eastman 304) and would like your help choosing different picks.
    I would like to try several picks knowing I m playing Irish music and classical music (I started with a bourrée from Bach).

    My only pick for the mandolin is a Dunlop Gator Grip 1,14. After one week, it's already used and the bottom touching the strings is already black. But I really like it compare to the other light picks I have for the guitar.

    For the Guitar, I am used to light picks but I found out it was easier for me to hold a heavy pick ( I don't know how to hold a guitar pick properly...).

    Since buying picks for mandolin can be expensive, I would like to try different ones without spending 20 euros per pick and would like your advices.

    I live in France and will probably buy from Thomann.

    Here are the picks I was thinking of :

    - V-Picks Tradition light BL (1,5mm)
    - V-Picks Large Light Rounded (1,5 mm)
    - V-Picks Medium Pointed Light (1,5 mm)
    - Dunlop Primetone Triangle (1,5 mm)
    - Dunlop Big Stubby 2

    What do you think about them ?
    Would you recommend me other picks to try ?

    Thank you in advance for your help !

  2. #2
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    ...at least, BCs have been excluded already...
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    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Personally, I like the thinner Wegens. I'm not a fan of the V-picks, but then again, others are, which is why there are a lot of different picks out there. You'll end up trying them all, anyway. Certainly start with the V picks, but for the music you're playing, you might like the Wegens. Or not.

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Dunlop Ultex or Clayton Ultem triangles here.
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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Your own choices aren't a bad place to start. I particularly like the Primetone triangle. I think you'll find that for mandolin, stiffer picks drive the strings better than thin picks. 99% of the time I use a 1.5mm sculpted triangle on which I've slightly rounded one of the points for easier tremolo and fast picking. The bonus is that I can get two distinctly different sounds from one pick.
    Find the thread on the Cafe about the pick tour and sign up to try a whole pile of different picks.
    I have a whole lot of picks that I tried and NEVER use. If you weren't so far from Earth, I'd be glad to send them to you ;-)
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    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    1 WEGEN TF140
    2 Dunlap Primetone
    3 Danderea Pro Pleck

    These are all reasonably cheap so eventually get all 3.

    Wait 2 years after these and then youll appreciate the BlueChip. You are smart. Doubt you could appreciate the difference in the beginning. What you think you like now will be different after some play time. Experimenting is of course part of the fun.
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  10. #7

    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Hi Artmusic,

    I've tried V-picks and there are things I like and don't like about them...

    On the plus side, they feel really sticky and secure in the hand, so you're very unlikely to ever drop one! On the down side, I've found them to be very "clicky" on the strings. That could just be my technique, and it may not bother you at all, but after a while the constant click, click, click made me look elsewhere. If I HAD to use a V Pick, the Saga is nice. It's got a good shape, nice thickness and it's Blue so you won't have a problem finding it if you do drop it on the floor! Most of the other V-picks are clear acrylic so they tend to go into stealth mode when they're not in your hand!

    The Dunlop Primetone large brown 1.5mm triangle (brown, not clear amber) is a great pick. I was sent one to try out by a fellow Cafe member a couple of years agao it's great. Big, chunky, low pick noise, good volume and great tone. I used one exclusively for well over a year and have spares in my jeans, my pick box and my wallet.

    To be honest I now use a Blue Chip TP60 most of the time - I find it just gives a little extra "something" over the Prime Tone, but I won't hear anything bad said against those Prime Tone large brown 1.5 triangles - they're ace! The Prime Tone teardrop plain brown (not clear amber) 0.96mm is also a fantastic guitar pick for acoustic guitar. Just bought another 3-pack this week as I was down to my last one. A great blend punchiness, clarity and warmth.

    Enjoy the journey!

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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    +1 for the Wegen TF140. You might like to try one of the "Dawg" picks. I like to use them late at night so I don't disturb anyone - I have great difficulty trying to coax any sound from a mandolin using one!

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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    With picks you have three questions to answer for yourself ..... shape / size .... thickness ... material, which is where it gets expensive. Check out the traveling pick sampler. Each of us is after "that tone" and it will be different from one player to the next. So take your time and enjoy the search. The Wegan 1.4 is a very good pick and worth a trial. I didn't much care for the Dawg and Golden Gate picks but they have their adherents also. I have not tried Primetone but many here rave about them. And the list goes on from there. I also recommend a look at Tortex and Delrin picks. Both good materials and available in a number of thicknesses and shapes. Enjoy the journey. R/
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    The Wegen 1.4 is very popular, but not for me. I like the Wegen pick, but in the 1 (the lightest). It still gives me warm highs but compliments my bass much more than the heavier picks. If your mandolin has a bright sounding G string go for the heavier. If you mandolin has a deeper sounding G string go for the lighter. Different mandolins like different picks, different mandolinists like different sounds.
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by UsuallyPickin View Post
    With picks you have three questions to answer for yourself ..... shape / size .... thickness ... material, which is where it gets expensive. Check out the traveling pick sampler. Each of us is after "that tone" and it will be different from one player to the next. So take your time and enjoy the search. The Wegan 1.4 is a very good pick and worth a trial. I didn't much care for the Dawg and Golden Gate picks but they have their adherents also. I have not tried Primetone but many here rave about them. And the list goes on from there. I also recommend a look at Tortex and Delrin picks. Both good materials and available in a number of thicknesses and shapes. Enjoy the journey. R/
    Right on answers-try a bunch of em, I like Blue Chips, V-picks aren't bad and over the years like the forbidden "tortoise shell if ya can get em" For the past 3-4 years been using a Blue Chip TPR-40 and same pick, no wear! "Enjoy the journey"

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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Dunlop Ultex or Clayton Ultem triangles here.
    ...forgot to say (since wear has been mentioned): these wear down quite fast, I wear down all three tips of a triangle in a month. But then they are cheap. I wonder if they could make self-growing ones, like fingernails.
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    Smile Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Artmusic View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am playing the mandolin for a week now (an Eastman 304) and would like your help choosing different picks.
    I would like to try several picks knowing I m playing Irish music and classical music (I started with a bourrée from Bach).

    My only pick for the mandolin is a Dunlop Gator Grip 1,14. After one week, it's already used and the bottom touching the strings is already black. But I really like it compare to the other light picks I have for the guitar.

    For the Guitar, I am used to light picks but I found out it was easier for me to hold a heavy pick ( I don't know how to hold a guitar pick properly...).

    Since buying picks for mandolin can be expensive, I would like to try different ones without spending 20 euros per pick and would like your advices.

    I live in France and will probably buy from Thomann.

    Here are the picks I was thinking of :

    - V-Picks Tradition light BL (1,5mm)
    - V-Picks Large Light Rounded (1,5 mm)
    - V-Picks Medium Pointed Light (1,5 mm)
    - Dunlop Primetone Triangle (1,5 mm)
    - Dunlop Big Stubby 2

    What do you think about them ?
    Would you recommend me other picks to try ?

    Thank you in advance for your help !
    On my Eastman MD315 I started out with a Dunlop Nylon .88m, which was my longtime favorite. I tried a V-Pick Lite Large rounded, which I really did not like. Too much pick noise, no good tone, I was disappointed... Since my husband plays the electric guitar and ONLY uses V-Picks I tried another one years later and found a fairly thin one, the Tremolo and since I have that I have not used any other. It is just what I wanted - not too thick, hardly any pick noise and a great tone.
    So if your first choice is not right, don't give up, maybe another version is just right, waiting for you.

  18. #14
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    For an affordable pick that you won't break the bank if you lose it I'd go for for the Dunlop Primetones. Not a fan of the V-picks either here - tried 'em out when I was first starting and didn't like how they felt on the strings, and found them a bit noisy too.
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Yes

    The Primetones are very good picks, but I prefer Wegen TF 140 or my Bluechips. But, we're all different, so the only way you'll know what you like is to try a bunch. Like Paul, I've got a bunch of picks I've tried but didn't like. I keep them around for other pickers to use if needed, or give them away. Primetones and Ultex (1.14 and 1.4 mm) are my backup/lake picks.

    For inexpensive choices, Fender and Gibson extra heavies aren't bad...
    Chuck

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    This trying thing, btw. is not a passing phase. Your whole life through, you will be searching for the ideal pick.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    After a long time , I have 2 types the large rounded 'wankle' triangle ala Fender 346, and the thick rounded Dawg/Goldengate.

    if you get a lot of the 346 you can reshape them to try a variety of point/rounded options.


    My different mandolins , each have a pick, that functions better, on that mandolin..

    Yea , collect a basket sample for test variety.



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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Contrarian opinion here.

    Playing only for a week or so - the type of pick you have is not the most important thing to be focused on. I think the 1.14 that presently have is more than good enough to tackle most of everything you need to tackle. I.e. it is for sure that the type of pick you are using now is not holding you back.

    Picks do make a difference, and eventually you will want to figure out what pick you like for this application and what pick you like for that scenario. But at present, I think, it could well be a distraction.

    IMO YMMV
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  23. #19

    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Thank you for all your answers !!!

    I have a lot more info now !

    I checked on internet where I could easily find the picks you talked about and I will be able to order :

    - WEGEN TF 140
    - DUNLOP PRIMETONE Triangle 1,50 mm
    - DUNLOP PRIMETONE SEMI-ROUND 1,30 mm
    - DUNLOP DELRIN 1,50 mm
    - V-PICKS 1,50 mm (only one V-Picks)

    The PRIMETONE TEARDROP 0,96 mm for the acoustic guitar, thank you Johnny60

    I am also trying to find out if I can order in the US because you have a larger choice and the prices are cheaper. Here, I can't find any dawg picks and the clayton or d'andrea pro pleck are very expensive and usually sold by 6 or 12...

    And if I don't use some picks after a try, I will gladly send it to someone who wish to try it, in Europe :-D

  24. #20

    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    I've only been playing the mandolin for about a year so I know the struggle of finding the perfect pick.
    My collection includes:
    Fender large heavy
    Fender large mediums
    Primetone 1.4 with point
    Primetone 1.3 rounded
    Golden gates
    The v pick sample pack
    Planet waves 1.0
    D'addario 1.1
    Wegen 1.4
    There is no one perfect pick for me. I use them all depending on the music I'm playing and the mood I'm in. I will say that I tend to use my wegen more than the others. Good luck.

  25. #21
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Just get a few, try them, and one of them will talk to you.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Another vote for the PrimeTone. It's a good pick and less expensive than a Blue Chip.

    Personally, the Blue Chip is one of my two go-to picks, the other is a rounded triangle from http://www.manouchepicks.com/

    The Manouche picks are easily the best picks I've tried. For my playing style. Been using them on both guitar and mandolin since a Dutch musician clued me in to them. Am using rounded triangles in thicknesses of 1.3 to 1.5. About the same price as a Blue Chip here in America. Definitely worth trying if you want to spend the money.
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    I have tried many different picks, and may I also add that if you get a different mandolin in the future you may prefer a different pick on the different instrument. So you may trade away picks you hate, or keep them in case (when?) MAS (mandolin-acquisition syndrome) kicks in......

  28. #24
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Artmusic View Post
    Here, I can't find any dawg picks and the clayton or d'andrea pro pleck are very expensive and usually sold by 6 or 12...
    Try Martins Musikkiste in Germany, he is a nice guy to communicate:
    https://www.martinsmusikkiste.eu/zub...d-grisman-plec
    And
    https://www.martinsmusikkiste.eu/zub...?number=201371
    Cheap and available in Europe...

  29. #25
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which different picks should I try for my first mandolin

    Try the teardrop shaped Primetones. They have more treble response than the triangular ones (i have some). I bought some of the 2.0mm thick Primetones & they do give a more powerful sound,but they also come with more 'pick click' than i care for,so i settled on the 1.5mm ones which i've been using for a long while now,as being the 'best' for me.
    The 1.5mm 'smooth' ones are a tad 'smoother' in tone than the 'gripy' ones (i have both),
    Ivan
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