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Thread: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

  1. #1

    Default We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Maybe five years ago, after forty-five years playing guitar, I bought a $50 mando on a whim.

    Turned out they're a blast. On my fourth now.

    BUT I've never used to flat-picking them. Gone through a lot of 'em, all shapes and sizes. Just impossible. Tried and tried. And tried.

    So I've finally given up and just use finger picks now — two metal Dunlop fingers and a plastic Dunlop thumb. I'm know I'm going to hell, but at least I'll have some fun before I get there.

  2. #2

    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Being a pianist first and foremost, I've thought about trying that now and then but never gave it go (although I do play with a pick and the other three fingers quite a bit on electric).

    Curious to know how it sounds, with the metal finger picks.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Guitar and mandolin builder Wayne Henderson plays mandolin with finger picks. You are in good company.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  6. #4

    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Take your stupid banjo and get out of here.
    Last edited by ColdBeerGoCubs; May-25-2020 at 7:08pm.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

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  8. #5
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Carol Wonderland just uses her fingers:

    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Guitar and mandolin builder Wayne Henderson plays mandolin with finger picks. You are in good company.
    Great guitarist! Didn't know he played mando, too. Good to know. Thanks!

  11. #7
    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Bob View Post
    Carol Wonderland just uses her fingers:

    I watched Carolyn, for years, every Tuesday night in Houston. Good memories.
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE
    Wall Hangers - 1970's Stella A and 60's Kay Kraft

    Whether you slow your roll or mash on it, enjoy the ride.

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  13. #8

    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    Being a pianist first and foremost, I've thought about trying that now and then but never gave it go (although I do play with a pick and the other three fingers quite a bit on electric).

    Curious to know how it sounds, with the metal finger picks.
    My subjective opinion: lots better!

    My more balanced guitar-versus-mando estimation:

    Playing guitar, the tone differences between flat picks, finger picks, and bare fingers is huge. But changing from one flat pick to another on guitar makes much less difference than it does on mando.

    So although the metal picks have their own voice, that voice falls well within the variety of sounds that flatpicks make on mando, especially considering the difference it makes on guitar.

  14. #9
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Maybe five years ago, after forty-five years playing guitar, I bought a $50 mando on a whim.

    Turned out they're a blast. On my fourth now.

    BUT I've never used to flat-picking them. Gone through a lot of 'em, all shapes and sizes. Just impossible. Tried and tried. And tried.

    So I've finally given up and just use finger picks now — two metal Dunlop fingers and a plastic Dunlop thumb. I'm know I'm going to hell, but at least I'll have some fun before I get there.
    You should post a video playing rawhide at about 170.

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  16. #10
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    The first person I saw use his fingers to pick a mandolin was Kenny Hall 50 years ago. Here is a more recent video of the late mandolin man at work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JGU4WWjxM0

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  18. #11
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Radim Zenkl is a very talented finger-picker. If you check out his music, you'll find pieces for which he puts down his flatpick.

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  20. #12

    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Buckingham View Post
    The first person I saw use his fingers to pick a mandolin was Kenny Hall 50 years ago. Here is a more recent video of the late mandolin man at work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JGU4WWjxM0
    Nice vid! Always wanted to see someone play a bowlback.

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  22. #13
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    If Tut Taylor spent his whole career playing Dobro with a flat pick, you can play a mandolin with finger picks as much as you like.
    And a right hand finger will come in very handy for someone who is trying to figure out how to handle the drones in the Prelude to Bach's E Major Partita.

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  24. #14

    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    If Tut Taylor spent his whole career playing Dobro with a flat pick, you can play a mandolin with finger picks as much as you like.
    And a right hand finger will come in very handy for someone who is trying to figure out how to handle the drones in the Prelude to Bach's E Major Partita.
    Thanks for the green light. Glad to have someone watching my Bach!

  25. #15
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Hi Folks-

    go to James Stiltner's YouTube channel and type in Ralph Stanley Playing The Mandolin - East Virginia Blues

    sorry- haven't learned how to use the "embed" feature and my computer is not displaying the full address location on YouTube.

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  27. #16
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Great guitarist! Didn't know he played mando, too. Good to know. Thanks!
    Over the years I used to run into Wayne at festivals in NC and VA and got to witness first hand his fingerpicking a mandolin. He once quipped that he had been disqualified from numerous festival contests after the judges learned he was using fingerpicks.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  29. #17

    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Over the years I used to run into Wayne at festivals in NC and VA and got to witness first hand his fingerpicking a mandolin. He once quipped that he had been disqualified from numerous festival contests after the judges learned he was using fingerpicks.
    Well, three picks instead of one did give him an unfair advantage . . . .

  30. #18
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Buckingham View Post
    The first person I saw use his fingers to pick a mandolin was Kenny Hall 50 years ago. Here is a more recent video of the late mandolin man at work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JGU4WWjxM0
    I met Kenny a number of times. He used his big thick 1st fingernail to pick a bowlback, which he held more upright than most people.

    He was a force of nature.

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  32. #19
    formerly Philphool Phil Goodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Over the years I used to run into Wayne at festivals in NC and VA and got to witness first hand his fingerpicking a mandolin. He once quipped that he had been disqualified from numerous festival contests after the judges learned he was using fingerpicks.
    I remember some years ago, I sat on the front row and watched Wayne pull out a mandolin and pick a few fiddle tunes on it using finger picks. When he finished, he handed the mandolin down to me, because it was the one that he had just finished building for me and he brought it and played it because he knew I'd be there at the performance.
    That was a very memorable evening!!!!
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

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  34. #20

    Default Re: We don't need no steenking flat picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    I remember some years ago, I sat on the front row and watched Wayne pull out a mandolin and pick a few fiddle tunes on it using finger picks. When he finished, he handed the mandolin down to me, because it was the one that he had just finished building for me and he brought it and played it because he knew I'd be there at the performance.
    That was a very memorable evening!!!!
    Wow! Can't top that with a cherry!

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