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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
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    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...

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  4. #3
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    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
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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    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
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    Default Re: Bills Pick

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

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    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.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    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'.
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    Registered User Dave Fultz's Avatar
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    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.

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    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:
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    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. 

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    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    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.
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    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    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 ?

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    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.

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    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills Pick

    You're most welcome, Ivan.

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    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bills Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Eagle View Post
    ...Although in mint condition, Bill's F5 sounded great already back then.
    It may have been new to Bill but it was over 20 years old at that point and know one knows how heavy it was played up to that point. A good instrument can develop a pretty good voice in 20 years.
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