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Thread: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

  1. #26
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    Here ye go, MoreThanQuinn: All of the picks below have right hand bevels:

    Here's a reel on my Collings MT-O played using a Blue Chip TPR35 pick:



    This one is using a Blue Chip Kenny Smith 35 pick:



    And this one is using a Blue Chip TPR40:



    Here's one with a Blue Chip Kenny Smith 40 - this time played on my old A-jr:

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  3. #27
    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    I'm too inexperienced to discern between the picks, but damn than Collings sounds lovely! I guess that explains why they are so expensive.

    Lovely playing Jill!
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

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  5. #28
    Registered User liestman's Avatar
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    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    Yep, the picks are ok but your playing is lovely!

    (I use a TAD40 or a TAD30 depending on mood and mandolin and really do like their picks.)
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  7. #29

    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus B View Post
    Hey Baron - why do you prefer the Fender heavy for your Gibson? Do you find it suits Irish music better? I use the Primetone 1.5 with the raised sculpted grip to help with my slowly improving pick position. It is much janglier than my previous less pointed picks, which I don't mind, but I was wondering if the Fender is a bit warmer?
    I like the fender heavies because they are a little thinner and pointier than my big triangle 1.5 primetones. I play pretty hard, and my Ellis can take the 1.5 and still fight back, which I like, where the old Gibson will crumple a little sound-wise when wailed on with a 1.5 and my playing style. The fender heavies are also a little brighter sounding than the 1.5 primetones and that suits my ear when playing Irish stuff, the primetones being more mellow and easier to get lost in the mix of a handful of fiddles and whistles and boxes all playing melody. If I really want to be heard though, there's only one option. Tenor Banjo!

    My picks have also gotten pointier and harder as the years have gone by. In order:

    Dawg (super round, quite soft)
    Pro Plec Big Triangle (pointier, still quite soft)
    Bluechip (slightly pointer than Pro Plecs and much harder)
    Primetone (I just don't hear a huge difference between BC and Primetone for my own playing style).
    Fender Heavy (for the old Gibson and also on 6 string guitar too, I used to use pro plecs and primetones).

    TL;DR - personal preference

    I hope this helps!
    Baron
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  9. #30
    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    Thanks Baron, that helps a lot. This is like a text version of one of your live casts! :-)

    I am at a stage where speed is a problem, and switching from a rounded pick to a fairly pointed Primetone took some getting used to and set me back slightly, but has improved my pick holding and position 500%. Although I do still slip into what was described here as the 'holding a dead moth' pick holding style if I concentrate too much on my left-hand. It's an ongoing fight with myself!

    I am resisting getting a Bluechip so it is good to hear you, and others, note that they don't see much difference between that and the heavy Primtetone.
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

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  11. #31
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    @Jill Wow, thanks a lot for the videos. Awesome playing! And it's super cool to hear some BCs in action on tunes like these. Thank you!

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  13. #32
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    Thanks for the kind words folks!
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 Ome Juniper 19 fret open back tenor banjo
    20?? Mid-Mo mandola
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel
    Blog: rural.trad.punk

  14. #33
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    Want to thank everyone for this. Had been going away from my Blue Chips because of the pick noise, which when sitting around can be distracting to me. However, I've been recently playing with some accordion players and needed extra volume. Got mine back out and my, they do sound nice with my Big Muddy while playing in public.

    FWIW, mine are TAD-1R 40. Two are old enough they just say Blue Chip 40. (Those are probably 10 or more years old.) Strings on the Big Muddy are stock GHS PF250 medium light 80/20.
    1910 Gibson A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 2018 Big Muddy MW-0, 2015 Ashbury Style E OM, 1983 Flatiron 1N
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  16. #34

    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    I'm liking the pointy tip and compact shape of the BlueChip Jazz picks at the moment, I seem to hit more triplets than with rounder tips. As for strings I'm using D'Addario EJ74 on an old Gibson A3 Whiteface, but a much lighter set of Newtones - 30/20/15/10 - on a new-ish De Faoite flattop - it's more lightly built and has a longer scale length than the Gibson, and those are the gauges recommended by the builder. I just filmed myself playing a reel on both instruments, with a BC Jazz LG35:

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  18. #35
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    Default Re: String And Pick Gauges For Irish/Scottish Trad

    I've always preferred stiff picks to thin flexible ones. Used Dunlop 1.14 delrins for years and years on my guitars and mandolin, but recently switched to a 0.88 Dunlop Jazz III for both and find the sharper point helps with speed and accuracy. It also helps for rolling my thumb down to get a really great squealing pinch harmonic on the electric guitar.

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