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Thread: Soft Picks ?

  1. #1
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Soft Picks ?

    I need some of advice from some of our pick experts. While I prefer a hard smooth pick, ie.BC for mandolin, I am now looking for a soft pick that's still smooth on the strings but will give me more of a "finger" attack for my 6120 to try and calm it down a bit. I know use my fingers ,but they'll only hold a pick, they told me so. Thanks, Frank

  2. #2

    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Some of the Clayton picks are softer and give a warmer tone. The gold standard is the Wolle soft polymer pick from the German style.

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  4. #3
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    I bought some Dawg picks several years ago and found them too soft for my liking. My recommendation is that you sign up for a visit from the "pick sampler" and try out that collection for "softies". R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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  6. #4
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    I've always felt that the Dunlop Totex picks feel softer to me. Various thicknesses. I haven't used them for mandolin. YMMV
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Don't get the rubber picks IMO.
    I have some in various thickness and they are very harsh.
    Don't know why.

    Pro Plec is a nice choice.

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    I’ve tried most all the picks, and I’ve found the D’Andrea Radex 1.25 I got recently to be really soft, almost a sponge-like feel. Softest I’ve tried, but I haven’t tried a Wolle.

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  12. #7
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    I found a suede feeling triangle from acoustic music works years ago that had a bit softer attack. I use BC for everything and on my Penguin I just changed my strings to the .012s Jazz Swings from TI. Flat wounds, but nothing at all like other flats I have tried and hated. I also use BCs but with different tip shapes. I find that jacks things up or mellows them out just enough depending on the strings used. How does the 6120 sound with the BC if you use a round corner or the end?
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Try a Casein pick - I got one, and it took a bit of the "brightness" off of my Collings for those occasions when I want a little less.

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  16. #9
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    I found a suede feeling triangle from acoustic music works years ago that had a bit softer attack. I use BC for everything and on my Penguin I just changed my strings to the .012s Jazz Swings from TI. Flat wounds, but nothing at all like other flats I have tried and hated. I also use BCs but with different tip shapes. I find that jacks things up or mellows them out just enough depending on the strings used. How does the 6120 sound with the BC if you use a round corner or the end?
    I use a TPR-BC mostly, and being used to it it's my go to pick and has a nice round edge I prefer. This Brian Setzer 6120 is the wildest guitar I have, hard to tame. I have to coax most electrics but this thing needs taming. I just want to remove some bite without having to turn the treble way down. Do those Jazz Swings sound good with-out sounding "flat"or "dead". Thanks for all the suggestions, you guys are the most.

  17. #10
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankdolin View Post
    I use a TPR-BC mostly, and being used to it it's my go to pick and has a nice round edge I prefer. This Brian Setzer 6120 is the wildest guitar I have, hard to tame. I have to coax most electrics but this thing needs taming. I just want to remove some bite without having to turn the treble way down. Do those Jazz Swings sound good with-out sounding "flat"or "dead". Thanks for all the suggestions, you guys are the most.
    I would head to Gretsch talk and ask those Gretch head guys. I like the Jazz Swings they do round the tone off a bit but I had foresworn all flats based on my experience with some DaDarrio I tried years ago. I absolutely hated them, flat dead garbage sound. I do not have these problems on my Penguin but they are expensive. 25$ a set so it would be a pricey experiment, not as much as the TI on the mandolin but still when you're used to getting 6-10$ strings it a jump. I have had mine on for 5 months now and they are going strong. I expect to get at least 18 months out of them. I do run heavier strings though so I can not say how the lighter strings will sound.

    How is your pup height? If you adjust it the TV Jones website has a good starting position posted.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  19. #11
    Registered User GrooverMcTube's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Not entirely sure how I stumbled across these, but I picked up a set of Mick's Picks at Guitar Center one day (NFI). They are a composite felt that is, to my limited experience, absolutely nothing like actual felt. I play them sideways, using the shoulder rather than the point.

    I like them for two reasons. First, they take a lot of the harsh brittleness out of my Eastman 315 and give a much softer tone. Second, they aren't particularly loud, which means I can practice without disturbing my wife, who despises the sound of the mandolin. I am mostly a basement player and wouldn't imagine these would be useful in a bluegrass situation where you are trying to maximize your volume.

    Relative to your Gretsch, there is a guy on one of the Gretsch websites (again NFI) who is obsessed with the Brian Setzer tone. To the extent that he builds stomp boxes that try to cop that tone. A big factor in the Setzer sound is the Roland R-301 SpaceEcho. I just this week received a pedal from this guy, the Mystery Brain that combines his Brain pre-amp (modeled after the SpaceEcho) with a digital tape echo. I get a nice slapback vibe with the Echo and the Brain side is just a great pre-amp for enhancing the dynamics of your picking. Good luck with taming that beast!

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  21. #12
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrooverMcTube View Post
    Not entirely sure how I stumbled across these, but I picked up a set of Mick's Picks at Guitar Center one day (NFI). They are a composite felt that is, to my limited experience, absolutely nothing like actual felt. I play them sideways, using the shoulder rather than the point.

    I like them for two reasons. First, they take a lot of the harsh brittleness out of my Eastman 315 and give a much softer tone. Second, they aren't particularly loud, which means I can practice without disturbing my wife, who despises the sound of the mandolin. I am mostly a basement player and wouldn't imagine these would be useful in a bluegrass situation where you are trying to maximize your volume.

    Relative to your Gretsch, there is a guy on one of the Gretsch websites (again NFI) who is obsessed with the Brian Setzer tone. To the extent that he builds stomp boxes that try to cop that tone. A big factor in the Setzer sound is the Roland R-301 SpaceEcho. I just this week received a pedal from this guy, the Mystery Brain that combines his Brain pre-amp (modeled after the SpaceEcho) with a digital tape echo. I get a nice slapback vibe with the Echo and the Brain side is just a great pre-amp for enhancing the dynamics of your picking. Good luck with taming that beast!
    Our wives must be related, and although I am not nuts about the Setzer sound the Nocturne Mystery Brain is incredible. Actually all of Tavos pedals do exactly what he says. I have put a small fortune into them. I’m sitting here shacking my head at my investment new and used but they were well worth it. I have not tried them with a mandolin. I don’t have a pup in my OldWave but my K&K ooo-18 sound great through it and the Jr Barnyard. Sorry got sidetracked.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

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  23. #13
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Thanx again MC friends. I will try all suggestions I can, I did get hold of a Tortex .73 which I liked other than too thin am going to try the two thickest ones. The tone I'm looking for is not Brians, I just like his stripped down guitar for it's simple electronics. The tone I want is in my head, and I'll get it with no pedals. touch of spring from the amp. Hands, picks, strings, wood ,steel , and heart. Thats where tone comes from. IMHO. Thanx for the heads up on the Gretsch site, I didn't know there was another besides the "MC".

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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Try lowering your pickups, that should warm the tone some.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  26. #15
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Why not try some inexpensive soft picks to see if a softer pick makes the difference you want? If they'll let you, bring your mandolin to a local music store that has a good range of picks and maybe they'll let you "road test" them a bit. The store I used to go to had a jar on the counter with a lot of different pick which customers could use to try out stringed instruments.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

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  28. #16
    Registered User Dan Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    I bought a pick carved from bull horn at the Mid-Winter Bluegrass Festival here in Denver a few years ago. Although it is relatively thick, it’s soft. Takes the brightness out of the high end. Also good when you don’t want too much volume when practicing around the house. The pick will mold to your pick grip due to the heat from your hands. The shape is almost round so you can play with any edge.
    Play em like you know em!

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  30. #17
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    I had to lower the pick-ups from new, they were almost touching the strings, and I've since adjusted them by ear which I prefer over just measurements. So along with heavier strings and better technique I'm sure that I'll achieve my tone. After trying several of these, I'm still testing, pick suggestions I may end up back at the BC since I've found nothing that feels that smooth on the strings and I just like em so much... Again many thanks!

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  32. #18
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Because of this (and another) thread, I ordered some Radex 1.0 mm picks. I expected them to be about like all the rest that I try and discard (I'm very curious and waste money), but I was surprised to find that I actually like the Radex quite a lot.
    I usually use a BC TP 48 or 50 and am happy with that.

    The Radex sounds good; less pick noise than the BC, gives good tone, and stays put in my fingers nicely. They feel softer on the string than BC.
    I've ordered a few of the 1.25 mm thickness to compare.

    This may have just become my regular back-up pick and to use in 'high risk of losing' situations.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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  34. #19
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soft Picks ?

    Okay, the Radex 1.25 picks arrived several days ago. I like like them more than the 1.0 thickness that I described above, because the thicker picks are stiffer. I don't like the slight flex of the 1.0s.

    Because I like the TP size BCs, I used a pair of heavy scissors to cut off about a half millimeter of each side of the triangle and then smooth the edges and smooth the points with decreasing grits of sandpaper. This produced a Radex 1.25 "TP" sized pick which I really like. Still has less pick noise than BC, although not quite as fast off the strings.

    The connection to this thread is that the picks have a 'softer' feel than the BCs. I like them more than any previous BC substitute that I've tried (lots). NFI
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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