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Thread: Why do you like the picks you like?

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Well .… grip factor. noise factor, wear ability, cost, shape ….. I use B C picks these days, natural shell was given up in favor of the tortoise population. Swim on friends. CT 55 and TAD 60 are what I have settled on. They are pricey but I have yet to wear one out and they are easy to keep a hold of. R/
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  2. #27
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    I like the 346 shape. Thickness and material favorites vary as I make slight adjustments to my pick stroke. So I have several
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  3. #28
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Like Jill's post above, I play almost exclusively Irish and Scottish trad, and I like a thinner pick that facilitates "treble" ornaments.

    I also like being able to use the same pick for mandolin, octave mandolin, and acoustic guitar, and thick picks don't work so well on guitar for me.

    For years now, I've used a Blue Chip TAD40-1R (roughly 1.0mm) with a right hand speed bevel, played on the point. To avoid too bright a tone on mandolin, I hold it at a very slight thumb-down angle for a "thicker" sounding attack on the strings.

    I've gotten so used to the TAD40-1R that holding any other pick feels weird and wrong. I do try to test other picks now and then, but I keep coming back to that one. Since I use it for all my fretted instruments except for nylon string guitar, I only need one main pick and one backup. Keeps it simple.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Dawg picks because they're rounded , Fender 346 triangles, because they're not..
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  5. #30
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    3 or 4mm Gravity picks, acrylic polished bevel Stealth triangular. Easiest playing, least noise. Would prefer bare fingers, but these will do.

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  6. #31
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    FWIW several years ago I saw Evan Marshall, in a small place... so at the post set CD sales part ,
    he showed me his pick. quite small. he glued to his index fingertip.
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  7. #32
    Registered User Alcluith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelsenbury View Post
    I'm on the same quest, and the video below is part of it. I've linked it in a couple of other pick threads recently, but it fits in here too.



    The information out there is so confusing that trying things out seems to be the way most people end up going. Some say that thinner picks are better for speed, some say that thicker picks move faster. Some like the grip of a big triangle, others find it too clumsy. Some like a pointy pick to move the strings better, others want a rounder pick for better glide. Some prefer a round bevel, some like an oblique one to suit their picking hand. I'm sure preferences differ according to anatomy, playing technique, musical taste, musical projects and characteristics of the instrument and strings. The solutions are probably found in the right balance rather than the extremes.

    To answer your question more directly: What I'm looking for is a pick that doesn't spin in my hand, sounds bright but smooth, glides across the strings well and picks crunchy triplets. But I don't think I've found the perfect one for me yet. I liked most of the 31 picks I used in that video. The thick round ones are the only ones I don't get along with. The Blue Chip picks that everyone seems to be raving about are very good, but not head and shoulders above the others as far as I can see. I like the Gravity Gold Series, which sounds a bit brighter but probably has slightly more pick click. The Hawk picks are the loudest, I think. And there's nothing at all wrong with the cheaper Dunlop picks.

    The search continues. And I'm well aware that the player makes more difference than the pick!
    Thank you for that in-depth trial of various picks,
    I only wish this was available earlier, like you I have tried many types, thicknesses, materials and shapes over the years, I have a box full of picks and have pass a lot onto my second hand music shop. Like you I settled on the Hawks picks but found that some like the SB was not for me. I currently use the Tonebird 2 that gives that bright ringing tone and the other a Tonebird 10 1.4 which is rounded and gives a more mellow tone which suits songs and airs that I play, I might add that all are with left handed chamfers, given that I am left handed, which is another reason for going for Hawks.
    Alcluith

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  9. #33

    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    "The player makes more difference than the pick." Indeed.

    Think it was Frank Wakefield that said he used picks"round as quarters".

    Alcluith,chamfers is a great word for speed-bevel. I really do not prefer un-chamfered picks. I am guilty of spoiling myself with nice picks. Now if I could just play better.

    Am gladly surprised at how much I like the Dunlop 1.4 and 1.5 big triangles with the pleasure bump grip. Efficiently powerful. Can't see any wear on them yet; have used them for daily play for 6 months or so. Dumped the more rounded Primetone Sculpted Plectra of the same material and 1.3 thickness.

    I have way too many picks(hoarder level). Can't throw them away because I might come back to playing with them. Right?

  10. #34
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post
    "The player makes more difference than the pick." Indeed.
    Agree, 90% player / 10% gear.

  11. #35
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    I wouldn't say I've settled on the Hawk picks. They're one of my current favourites, along with many of the others in that video - Gravity, Blue Chip, Dunlop, and several varieties of each!

    I'm really pleased that you found the film useful, and thank you for mentioning it. So it's serving its external purpose. Its internal purpose was to see whether I had a clear favourite in terms of sound in front of the instrument ... and I still don't!

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  13. #36

    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Fred Kelly derlin speed picks do alright. Itís easy to hold since itís got a thumb hole (think bowling>>Pete Townsend did>who?) - kinda like a hybrid combination of pick & thumb pick. Derlin is some durable plastic which bounces back if stepped on. Comes in 3 color coded gauges (yellow/orange/white - thinner to thicker) so itís not too hard to find. Doesnít eat the wallet, cuz I do lose a few, as did, I imagine, Mr Bojangles. You might find one in the bottom of a bottle, but it ainít no coup díville, more of a Cracker Jack. With the Kelly name, it might be good for Irish Trad, although I havenít tried. Different picks for different..

  14. #37

    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Recently went through that pick whole journey and here's what i ended on and why-

    Shape- tri corner '346' shape - kinda what you referred to in your original post- is my favorite shape as it's the only one that seems equally good for strumming or picking. If I get one without a right hand bevel I like to try and add a subtle one to increase articulation. Ended up liking it so much I now use that shape for acoustic as well.

    Material- I like casein for a feathery tone- brushy highs, and whatever the bluechips are made from for clearer bell like tones. Go back and forth depending on mood.

    Celluloid splits the difference between these pretty well but the final result isn't as inspiring.

    Bottom line- True shell medium Fender 346 w/bevel for the casein sound, TAD50 with bevel otherwise. Gilchrist tri corner celluloid with my own bevel is the pick that lives in my wallet- cheap enough and nice enough to have on hand in case I see a great guitar/mandolin in the wild.

  15. #38
    vintagemandolin.com Charles Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    I use triangular picks I find in old guitar cases. I'm a fan of thin, stiff, and pointed. As for modern picks, a Fender heavy triangle will work in a pinch.

  16. #39
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    I used rounded triangles for a long, long time, Blue Chip, Wegen and D'Andrea Pro Plec. But lately, I've been going for more rounded picks, namely Golden Gate. I've had them for years and didn't get into them, but I guess preferences change over time. I find them easier to do tremolo with and I feel they have what I would call a smoother tone, meaning less of a hard attack. I used to feel I got more volume from the triangle points, but I feel now like my volume is fine with a more rounded pick.

    I always like thick picks, though.

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  18. #40
    Registered User Murphy Slaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Because I'm picky.

    I like Bluechips and Wegens.
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  19. #41
    Registered User Polecat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    I make my own - about 10 years ago I bought a sheet of galalith (what is here referred to as casein), 1.75mm thick. I cut out the shape I like (more or less the fender 351 shape, with the business end slightly blunter) and sand the tip to roughly 1.5 mm thickness, then round and polish the edges with 400-1000 grade emery paper. I don't bother with bevels. Because I only thin the tip down it is slightly tapered (I originally experimented with reducing the thickness of the entire pick and found I liked the tapered version better, it enables one to vary the tone more than just changing the pick-angle allows). It took some time to find what I like and learn to work with the material, but these days I can knock off a plectrum in 10-15 minutes; I usually make 4 or 5 at a go, which lasts me a year or two. Galalith is a funny material, in contrast to celluloid or the stuff we don't mention (which can be found as inlays in some old furniture, jewellery boxes and the like), it gets rougher, not smoother with use, and once in a while I repolish the tip. I like them because they're what I've learned work best for me.
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  21. #42

    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    For mandolin, I have been using Wegen dippers (140) for around 10 years. I like the tone and the shape. They also last and last. I went through the pick sampler, and tried some ones that I liked ( the bc ct55 and a hawk), but not enough for me to change. I use a Clayton .63 teardrop for rhythm guitar - they don’t last very long without needing an emery board, but I like their feel and sound.

  22. #43

    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Wegen 2.00mm guage are 'simply the best'. I've been on mandolins and acoustic guitars for 50 years and tried all the Dawg and every other but for the past 17 years or so I've used nothing else. The reason is simple: Wegen give great volume and tone in equal measure. If I pick up a 1.4 Wegen by mistake I usuaully know right away. Nothing can equal the two main factors: Volume and Tone. I've said for long enough that a Wegen pick will make a £500 guitar or mandolin sound like a £1000 instrument or a £2000 one sound like a £3000 oneor more.

    I have a Big Mon F5 and it loves the Wegen. My guitars are the same. Must be 2.00mm guage.

  23. #44
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Tone and feel. Everything about the pick has to support what a player wants in both. To some players one is more important than the other, or they may be equally important, or it may change based on the application. Generally, they are equally important for me. I like a thicker pick, between 0.060" and 0.080". A rounded tip works best. I find a pointed tip thins the tone a bit more than I want regardless of the material. The most common shapes/sizes for me are the Blue Chip TPR or the Dunlop 207. I have picks of various materials in those shapes, either customized myself or by the maker. I also like the Golden Gate mandolin picks, but they're too rounded to be my everyday pick.
    Todd Yates

  24. #45
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    When playing alone, in a small group, or a small intimate venue, I use a Blue Chip TAD60 or a Red Bear H SB because of the great tone.

    I use a Dunlop Primetone 1.4 mm in regular jam sessions, because it is just about as great as the above, maybe a little more percussive.

    I use a Wegan TF140 for large jams, performances in large venues, and large pick up bands, etc. where I need even more percussivenss and punch to be heard, and the tone of my mandolin cannot be accurately discerned anyway.

    I use the .75 mm pick boy picks for classical, where brilliance is preferred over warmth.
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  25. #46
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    I like a thicker pick, between 0.060" and 0.080"....
    Ummm, that's a very thin pick. To most (for mandolin at least) 1.0 mm is thin pick. 1.5 mm is medium. 2.0 mm and up is where thick starts.

  26. #47
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    Ummm, that's a very thin pick. To most (for mandolin at least) 1.0 mm is thin pick. 1.5 mm is medium. 2.0 mm and up is where thick starts.
    Inches not mm. :-)

    0.060" - 0.080" or approximately 1.5 - 2.0mm
    Todd Yates

  27. #48
    Registered User Alcluith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Just as a little update from my previous post. I contacted Rob of Hawk picks and he has produced, what I would call a "Penny" Pick, not for the price I might add, which is a complete round pick bevelled on both side. I was not sure if it would work, but with a bit of adjustment I find it works really well and it stays on your fingers, and if there is a little rotation it does not matter. Another advantage is you don't need to specify left or right bevels. It really works for me.

    Alcluith
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  28. #49

    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    I spent the first few years I played mandolin obsessing over different picks. After a year or so break, I just got back into it, and I'm just playing instead of deliberating stuff like that. I got 2 BlueChip TAD60 1-Rs, a TPR-60, and a TAD80 (which I'd lent him after his stroke) with my dad's mandolins, so that's what I'm using.

    I love BlueChip because they don't wear out, I can get a killer tone from anything with them, and most importantly, they don't move around when I'm playing.

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  30. #50
    rock in rŰle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do you like the picks you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by allowishish View Post
    I like mine thickíerí, rounded triangle... but not to rounded and with a beveled edge.

    I have not tried a blue chip yet... mostly because Iíve never seen one in a store and I like to see/feel it first.
    You can return BC picks for a full refund, I believe.

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