Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Bills Pick

  1. #1

    Default Bills Pick

    I've seen comments about the picks that BM used but no specifics.Did he not care or was he real particular? Can't tell from the brief comments.

  2. #2
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    2,569

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    I don't think Bill Monroe was that particular about his picks. Ah, but his toast... well, that's another story...

  3. The following members say thank you to Glassweb for this post:


  4. #3
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,017

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    I remember reading the story of the time when somebody at a festival gave Bill Monroe a pick (or maybe picks). Later on when he was on stage,a person in the audiencs shouted to him - ''What sort of picks do you use ?''. Bill Monroe held up one of the picks he'd just been given & shouted back - ''One of these !''. I think that sums it up (LOL !!),
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ivan Kelsall For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Frederick,MD
    Posts
    2,219

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    I remember reading the story of the time when somebody at a festival gave Bill Monroe a pick (or maybe picks). Later on when he was on stage,a person in the audiencs shouted to him - ''What sort of picks do you use ?''. Bill Monroe held up one of the picks he'd just been given & shouted back - ''One of these !''. I think that sums it up (LOL !!),
    Ivan
    That's a good reminder that the mechanic is more important than the tool.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

  7. The following members say thank you to Paul Busman for this post:


  8. #5

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    My dad used to say "It's not the arrow, it's the Indian".

  9. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Largo, FL
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    I remember reading the story of the time when somebody at a festival gave Bill Monroe a pick (or maybe picks). Later on when he was on stage,a person in the audiencs shouted to him - ''What sort of picks do you use ?''. Bill Monroe held up one of the picks he'd just been given & shouted back - ''One of these !''. I think that sums it up (LOL !!),
    Ivan
    The way I remember reading this story was that someone gave him a rather outlandish looking pick as a joke - purple, over-sized, maybe with some rock band's name on it. Bill still had it when he was asked by an interviewer what kind of pick he used. His answer, "this kind right here..."

    Of course, I read it years ago, and don't remember where, so maybe it's not accurate.
    rfloyd

    Collings MT

    Guitars:
    Santa Cruz VJ
    RainSong WS 1000
    Farida OT-22 OO
    Blueridge BR-142

  10. The following members say thank you to rfloyd for this post:


  11. #7
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,017

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    Hi rfloyd - Your wording might be different,but the story's still the same. No doubt a clear indication that 'picks' were possibly never a big deal to ''Big Mon.'',
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  12. #8

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    I’d suppose that from his era, they might have been made of tortoiseshell or celluloid. But from what I read here is that his favorite pick was the same as my favorite beer ... free.

    ============
    "I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship"
    -Louisa May Alcott
    覧覧覧覧覧
    Loar LM-590
    Kentucky KM-272
    Johnson MA-110

  13. #9
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Frederick,MD
    Posts
    2,219

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    I'll bet nobody ever told Bill or any of the other greats "Y'know, you'd sound a lot better if you used a different pick".
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

  14. #10
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,017

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    Paul - I've been totally amazed over the years regarding the fact that Bill Monroe sounded exactly like Bill Monroe,even playing different mandolins & do we even know if he stuck to the same pick all the time ??. I could pick Bill Monroe's playing out of a million players (maybe ?). The Randy Wood mandolin owned & played by Chris Henry is remarkably similar in tone - so i'll sideline Chris Henry from the pack of pickers !. Apart from Chris Henry's Randy Wood mandolin,i haven't heard any other mandolin that comes close to the tone of Bill Monroe's 'Loar' - even 'unique' doesn't cut it !!.

    I really must try to find out which were the first songs that BM recorded with it. It must have sounded different in the beginning,but my personal ideas as to 'how' it came to have that tone,is that as the wood got older & more dried out,the tone developed. I reckon that there's more moisture in a granite boulder than there was in BM's mandolin - this looks pretty 'arid' to my eyes,
    Ivan
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Bill Monroe's Loar.jpg 
Views:	40 
Size:	245.7 KB 
ID:	173274
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  15. #11
    Registered User Henry Eagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Leer, Northern Germany
    Posts
    1,172

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    According to Tom Ewing's research, Bill first used his Loar on Rocky Road Blues, which was recorded in February 1945, right after Bill purchased the instrument in Miami on January 10th or 11th. For comparison, I suggest to listen to Blue Yodel #7 from an earlier recording on the F7. Both recordings were with the old band, sock rhythm and no Scruggs-style banjo, yet. Then came the "Original Bluegrass Band" in September '46 with Heavy Traffic Ahead - in the same studio. Although in mint condition, Bill's F5 sounded great already back then. It sure sounded different from later after he had played it a lot and scratched off the finish in August 1952.

    Bill's choice of picks must have been really inconsistent. Hard to tell from pictures, I see medium large white picks and a dark version. Not sure, if Bill ever cared about ts.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Monroe 4.jpg 
Views:	33 
Size:	12.3 KB 
ID:	173276
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Monroe 3.jpg 
Views:	42 
Size:	21.5 KB 
ID:	173277
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Monroe 2.jpg 
Views:	40 
Size:	43.9 KB 
ID:	173278
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Monroe 5.jpg 
Views:	40 
Size:	553.8 KB 
ID:	173279
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Monroe.jpg 
Views:	35 
Size:	56.2 KB 
ID:	173280

  16. The following members say thank you to Henry Eagle for this post:


  17. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Warwick,New York
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by courier View Post
    I've seen comments about the picks that BM used but no specifics.Did he not care or was he real particular? Can't tell from the brief comments.
    What could he get.Fender and D但ndrea ?

  18. #13
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,017

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    Many thanks Henry - You did all the work for me,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  19. #14
    Registered User Henry Eagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Leer, Northern Germany
    Posts
    1,172

    Default Re: Bills Pick

    You're most welcome, Ivan.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •