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Thread: Andrew Marlin's Pick

  1. #1
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Andrew Marlin's Pick

    I like to watch players and their technique, as most of us do. Mandolin Orange is a favorite and currently in our queue... if that is the word for "ready to hear next". Well, as I watch Andrew as he plays, I have noticed two things that are helpful or are giving me ideas to possibly employ as I play.

    One is that he seems to have a very small, jazz-like pick in his hand as he plays. It doesn't appear to be a thick pick, either. Also, he moves up the fretboard with his right hand when he goes to play tremolo. It appears picks that are similar to those he uses are like the Pickboy mandolin (heart shaped?) picks. I think the smaller, pointed pick used up the neck increases ease of the pick's release from the strings to increase speed and smoothness of tremolo. What say ye?
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    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    There are several posts on Andrew's IG account where Wegen (TF 100) picks are clearly shown, and another where he mentions that he tried out some Red Bear picks. All of those are larger, triangle-ish picks. Can't recall seeing him play with a smaller pick.

    I'll have to pay closer attention when we see him with the BIAC crew next month. Can't wait for that!

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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    at 31:13 and other spots there's closeups that do show a pretty small pick https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqWBth_rLgw

    I have a lot of these picks for 6 string guitar , i've tried them for mandolin and other instruments, they give different tone. This is one i have trouble holding onto, it's so small https://www.stringsbymail.com/dandre...ick-18801.html

    I use metal finger and thumbpicks a lot also but those don't work so well on mandolin.
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    I don't personally believe that the size of the pick matters much. I find a larger triangle pick to be faster, in part because it takes very little effort to hold (more surface area to grip) and it's easy to vary how much pick extends beyond the fingers. But I find pointiness to be key to smooth, controlled tremolo. A sharper point seems to activate the strings well with even a light touch, and is also more accurate (at least for me). I'm also trying to work on moving up the fretboard with my pick hand as I play tremolo. Joe K. Walsh and others use this method to vary the tone so much that it sounds almost like a wah-wah pedal.
    Mitch Russell

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Thanks Kevin. Admittedly, it is hard to tell from a video. The one time we saw him in July we had a great seat in the front, but on the side. I couldn't tell from that angle. Anyway, just really curious. And, how do you feel about the smaller pointed picks? Enjoy the concert!
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5 (F-5 Model)
    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by gtani7 View Post
    at 31:13 and other spots there's closeups that do show a pretty small pick https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqWBth_rLgw

    I have a lot of these picks for 6 string guitar , i've tried them for mandolin and other instruments, they give different tone. This is one i have trouble holding onto, it's so small https://www.stringsbymail.com/dandre...ick-18801.html

    I use metal finger and thumbpicks a lot also but those don't work so well on mandolin.
    gtani7, I appreciate the ideas! I went to that link and think that those teardrop picks might be worth a try. Thanks!
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5 (F-5 Model)
    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    onassis, Very interesting thoughts! Thanks for the reply. I agree that the large triangle makes a lot of sense. My best sound and fluid play experiences may have come from my Blue Chip CT55 though I have wondered if I should have bought the rounded rather than beveled right handed version. This is a helpful discussion. I have way too many picks and need to practice so much more! LOL
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5 (F-5 Model)
    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by gtani7 View Post
    at 31:13 and other spots there's closeups that do show a pretty small pick https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqWBth_rLgw

    I have a lot of these picks for 6 string guitar , i've tried them for mandolin and other instruments, they give different tone. This is one i have trouble holding onto, it's so small https://www.stringsbymail.com/dandre...ick-18801.html

    I use metal finger and thumbpicks a lot also but those don't work so well on mandolin.
    At 33:13, as you indicated, that pick does look fairly small. Going up the neck is definitely a technique he uses, also. Interesting! Thanks for the vids.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5 (F-5 Model)
    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Not sure what Andrew is playing with these days, but heís killiní it. Iím a CT-55/Wegen TF-140 guy. Iíve tried rounded (Golden Gate and Primetone Dawg) shapes and struggle to get tone/volume with them. I picked up some pointier Jazz shaped picks on a whim that are good picks, but I just prefer the larger triangles. My old guitar teacher played with nothing but the smaller jazz shaped picks. Canít recall now if he used nylon or Dunlop Tortex, but he preferred them to the BC Jazz pick I gave him for Christmas one year. (Of course, he appreciated the thought behind the BC, but he always played his old stand bys)...

    I picked up a BC TAD 60 3R a couple of weeks ago as I was consigning some mandos, and itís OK, but so far I still prefer the point on the CT-55. Giving it some time, though...
    Chuck

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Thanks Kevin. Admittedly, it is hard to tell from a video. The one time we saw him in July we had a great seat in the front, but on the side. I couldn't tell from that angle. Anyway, just really curious. And, how do you feel about the smaller pointed picks? Enjoy the concert!
    Coming from guitar/bass, I started playing mandolin with a guitar pick. I soon got into the Traveling Pick Sampler here and that really opened my ears as to how much difference in tone the pick makes. Ended up liking the Wegen TF's and Primetone's. The larger triangle shape stays put in my hand better. I tried the smaller, pointier picks and did not care for them much. I'll try and get a good look at what Andrew is using, but it seems he tries lots of stuff.

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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    i just measured the D'Andrea, it's 5/8" wide and just under 1" long, so.. pretty darned small. I thought about dipping in Plastidip but that's really messy toxic stuff

    I also saw the other thread about fingerpicking, including youtube links from https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...style-mandolin. Interesting, I'll have to try that, I've been pedal steeling with these: https://www.elderly.com/products/gre...of-fingerpicks

    and https://clawjam.com/shop?olsPage=pro...eel-thumb-pick
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    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Ah! You tricked me into reading another pick thread!

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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Interesting. When did Andrew start playing a Gibson? I am so out of the loop. I'm looking forward to seeing Mandolin Orange when they come to town next January.

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    He's had that Loar about 6 months or so. They deserve each other.

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Meanwhile, I bought a Blue Chip SR 60, as I have a CT 55 and enjoy that one. I got the round bevel this time to avoid any hang ups on strings when playing tremolo. Good release so far. Haven't been going up the fretboard, either. You guys are good group! Fun.
    Last edited by lflngpicker; Nov-10-2019 at 7:24pm. Reason: spelling
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    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Interesting thoughts. My own experience has taught me that lack of pointiness actually makes for smoother tremolo. A thick, stuff, rounded, beveled pick like a Wegen M250 makes fast, controlled tremolo much easier for me; the pick seems to glide more easily back and forth. Maybe that just means I should practice more.

    Coming from guitar, I initially used thin celluloid picks on mandolin, but after experimenting with a variety of picks, I find that thicker, stiffer picks work better. The closest thing to a guitar pick that I like on mandolin is the Dunlop 2mm Standard Primetone (510P2.0), but I'm usually more likely to be playing with a 3mm Dunlop Big Stubby (purple Lexan, very pointy) or a Wegen M250.
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    I'm not much of a player, so I'll just reply briefly to say that for me the thickness of a pick greatly affects the sound. I play a humble JBovier A5 with a Bluechip, and if I switch to one of my guitar picks, like a Dunlop .88, the sound goes thin and unpleasant to my ear.
    I'm a big Mandolin Orange fan (although they don't come near enough to me in CA to catch them live), and my former partner and I used to do a handful of their songs. But the reason I'm writing at all is to ask, gee, what happened to Andrew's voice? In the Music at the Mansion that someone provided the link to at the beginning of this thread his voice sounds deeper and tighter than I've heard in videos or his albums. It is what it is, of course, but I was really thrown by the difference, and missed his earlier sound. Maybe he had a cold......

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    I like to watch players and their technique, as most of us do. Mandolin Orange is a favorite and currently in our queue... if that is the word for "ready to hear next". Well, as I watch Andrew as he plays, I have noticed two things that are helpful or are giving me ideas to possibly employ as I play.

    One is that he seems to have a very small, jazz-like pick in his hand as he plays. It doesn't appear to be a thick pick, either. Also, he moves up the fretboard with his right hand when he goes to play tremolo. It appears picks that are similar to those he uses are like the Pickboy mandolin (heart shaped?) picks. I think the smaller, pointed pick used up the neck increases ease of the pick's release from the strings to increase speed and smoothness of tremolo. What say ye?
    I use the pickboy picks. They are 0.75mm, pointy, and heart shaped. I use them for classical music, and classical exercises and etudes. I like them for scintillating highs, making the mandolin really bright. I use other picks for other reasons.

    Still the best guide to picks I have ever found: http://jazzmando.com/tips/archives/000718.shtml

    Within the range of picks I use, chosen for the sound they produce, I have not detected much impact on speed of picking or smoothness of tremolo. While their might be some impact, and certainly the wrong pick can screw it all up, but mostly I think picking speed, tremolo smoothness, etc., are gained with technique, and practicing good technique. Within a range, I have come to believe, the type of pick has no impact on speed. Or very little.

    I am an exception I would expect, in that I listen to other mandolin players about as much as I listen to other instruments. And I almost never explore other mandolin players techniques or worry about their gear choices. Occasionally, out of curiosity , sure, but i general I listen to mandolin teachers, and my own Skype mandolin coach. I know that our mandolin heros's performances are the precipitate of talent, very hard work, (more than most of us do), very frequent and focused practice (more than we do), etc. I really don't believe I am going to get much out of noticing how they do this or that in a performance. Maybe a workshop, a tutorial, or a Skype session, but not in a performance.
    Indulge responsibly!

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    Default Re: Andrew Marlin's Pick

    It's not just the thickness of the pick, it's the material and the shape as well. A 3mm Dunlop Big Stubby made of nylon sounds different than the same pick made of lexan (Dunlop makes both). And shape isn't just pointy vs rounded tip; there's also beveling to take into account, for example. I've acquired a variety of picks, some of them on the pricy side (Wegen), and it seems that no two of them sound exactly the same.
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