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Thread: Pick “spinning” while strumming

  1. #1

    Default Pick “spinning” while strumming

    So, to give a little background, been playing mandolin for a month and a half, but have played both upright and electric bass for over a decade. More to the question, been working on my chords and strumming lately, with the goal of being able to jump in on a jam and play basic rhythm/backup. When strumming, the pick will gradually spin in my fingers as I continue to play a song. It doesn’t do this when picking out a melody line, just when strumming chords. I’ve been trying my earnest to always keep a light grip but in order to hold the pick so it doesn’t spin while strumming feels like it’s too much clinching. I’m not dropping the pick, it’s just gradually spinning between my fingers. I’ve thought about drilling a couple holes in the pic, but not sure on the pattern, or if the pic spinning is a sign of bad form/grip. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    Eventually you generally stop doing this but as a guy that has really dry fingers it still happens to me now and then so I keep a little jar of Gorilla Snot (Yes, that's the real name) in my case pocket. A little dab on your finger and that pick isn't going anywhere. Some folks will also try a little violin rosin.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    I have some bass rosin, for when I bow the upright. I assume it’s the same as violin rosin. I’ll give it a go next later today.

  4. #4
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Eventually you generally stop doing this but as a guy that has really dry fingers it still happens to me now and then so I keep a little jar of Gorilla Snot (Yes, that's the real name) in my case pocket. A little dab on your finger and that pick isn't going anywhere. Some folks will also try a little violin rosin.
    I keep the same in my case for those super dry points during winter when I get droppy with my pick.

    Stuff is great. Just sticky enough, washes off easy, only need a little.
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  6. #5
    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    I put a tiny strip (compared to a dot) of textured tape on my pick. Helps with orientation.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    Just in case your curious, I tried the rosin, to some mild success, but it’s old rosin, haven’t bowed in a few years. Plus I’m sure it’s seen enough outdoor summer gigs from when I played in a bluegrass band that it’s lost it’s tacky ness. But on that note, did have some cloth medical tape I had been using on my finger tips for the longer gigs when playing bass, put a small piece of it on the pic, worked like a charm. Still might try the gorilla snot at some point, if for nothing else, the novelty of telling kids I have gorilla snot in my case. Lol.

  8. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    You should know that same company sells Gorilla Snot as a hair care product as well
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    Hi Johnny, the sticky finger idea fixes the symptom but not the cause. From a technique standpoint, try experimenting with only having a tiny bit of the pick (~~~1/8 of an inch or less) protruding from your fingers, and of course keep the loosish grip. You may find this fixes other things as well when you are picking a melody. You may have to give it more than 10 seconds to get used to it.

    Good luck. Let us know you make out.

  10. #9
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Eventually you generally stop doing this but as a guy that has really dry fingers it still happens to me now and then so I keep a little jar of Gorilla Snot (Yes, that's the real name) in my case pocket. A little dab on your finger and that pick isn't going anywhere. Some folks will also try a little violin rosin.
    They also sell stuff called "Pick Honey", which I prefer - less creamy, more sticky.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    They also sell stuff called "Pick Honey", which I prefer - less creamy, more sticky.
    I don't know, Pick Honey just doesn't have the cachet of Gorilla Snot.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  13. #11
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    I hold my picks closer to the edge so that the contact between the thumb and finger tends to trap the pick.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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

  14. #12

    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    I'm glad someone finally mentioned this! I took an extended lesson from Steve Smith last fall, who recommended exactly what you are describing (i.e., showing very little of the pick). I've since discovered that doing this changes >everything< about pick grip and attack. It's amazing to me that the miniscule physical changes required to execute this pick grip prompts such an enormous change in right-hand technique. I'm still getting used to the change in where the pick sits in my hand, let alone the "crowding" action with such little of the pick showing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Free Rein View Post
    Hi Johnny, the sticky finger idea fixes the symptom but not the cause. From a technique standpoint, try experimenting with only having a tiny bit of the pick (~~~1/8 of an inch or less) protruding from your fingers, and of course keep the loosish grip. You may find this fixes other things as well when you are picking a melody. You may have to give it more than 10 seconds to get used to it.

    Good luck. Let us know you make out.

  15. #13

    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    I have used Monster Grips with great success.

    www.monstergrips.com

  16. #14
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    Default Re: Pick “spinning” while strumming

    When my fingers are very dry I love the Gorilla Snot. I works.

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