Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 37

Thread: Pick Thickness

  1. #1

    Default Pick Thickness

    sorry for a dumb question but Im new to a mandolin. What thickness is proper for a pick? I have played a bit and played guitar for 20 years but want no stones unturned. Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Posts
    1,672

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Many people like 1-1.5mm. But some like real thin, and some 2 mm or thicker.

    As you can see, mileage varies.
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  3. The following members say thank you to Bill McCall for this post:


  4. #3
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Shutesbury, MA
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    My experience is that the particular instrument you are playing may impact your choice of pick thickness. For example, I prefer a thinner pick for my bowl back. I suspect that most people will prefer a thickness in the 1.0 to 1.5mm range. Bevel and point also have a significant impact on your choice of thickness. Balancing these variables to determine what you prefer will probably take time.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  5. The following members say thank you to Tim Logan for this post:


  6. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    St. Louis, MO area
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Ya Bernie2, it’s really hard to say. I have been on a quest for a little bit now trying to discover what I like/don’t like in picks. I have tried from 0.73mm to 3.0mm

    Instrument type, strings, playing style, desired tone, etc all factor in this, and it’s pretty amazing to me the difference you can get out of different picks.

    Dunlop offers a wide variety of shapes and thicknesses. What I have been doing is trying to get about as many different combinations that I can as far as shape and thickness. Ex:

    1mm pointy and 1mm round
    1.5mm pointy and 1.5mm round
    And so on and so on

    I’m fairly new toadfish right now I am just figuring out what “specs” I like. When I feel comfortable with that, I’ll look into different and possibly better materials

    As of right now, it’s kinda looked like a 1.25mmish large rounded triangle for me....

  7. The following members say thank you to Medley12 for this post:


  8. #5

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Yeah, to add to Medley12's comments, I would say shape, edge, and material are all just as important as thickness. Try a bunch, and if you change what kind of strings you're using, try em all again!
    Eastman MD504
    D'Addario Nickel Bronze, Light
    Dunlop Primetone Triangle, 1.4 mm

    IG: @standing.wav

  9. #6
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Whitefish,MT
    Posts
    1,495

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    “I’m fairly new toadfish right now I am just figuring out what “specs” I like”

    Toadfish?

  10. #7
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alvarado/Mansfield, Texas
    Posts
    3,871

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie2 View Post
    What thickness is proper for a pick?
    That would be 1.2775 millimeters thick.





    Just kidding, of course. If you really want to dive into these waters, see here: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...rchid=13837651
    WWW.MARKGUNTER.NET
    ----------------------------------
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN

    ----------------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Blues Mando
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  11. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Invergordon,Scotland
    Posts
    2,466

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    I think it depends what kind of music you play, and indeed how you play.

    I am Scottish, and I nowadays use a .88 Dunlop pick. For my guitar and octave mandolin playing I use either a .73 Dunlop or a white Sharkfin which is a Swedish make and that is only .52.

    http://www.sharkfin.eu/products/

    I have never had much luck with anything heavier than that.

    I realise that this is far lighter than most answers you usually see here, but I feel you should be aware that not everybody likes a thick pick.
    David A. Gordon

  12. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Dagger Gordon For This Useful Post:


  13. #9
    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    For me, Dunlop 0.60mm is about as thin as I go - though recently I bought an electronic tuner, and thrown in the box as a freebie were some very thin plectrums. They sound pretty good. I've also found it depends on which instrument I'm playing, what (musical) material, and what style. I've been using some 1.4 or 1.5mm types, and the most interesting feature of those was not the thickness but the slipperiness of the material. There is a whole different game depending on whether the plectrum will remain fixed, but the strings glide around it, or the plectrum will flex, and glide around the strings. Different sounds and different capabilities result. I like the variety of playing possibilities which arise, it means I get to play the way I want to play, and not be confined by limitations of always wearing the same footwear, as it were.

  14. #10

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    I like 2mm Wegen picks for tone and volume. As soon as I pick up my 1.4mm by mistake I can hear the loss in volume and tone. Used them for 15 years now. I 've said before a Wegen pick makes a £500 mandolin or guitar sound like £1000 or more. They just have the best tone. I have about 12 and keep finding them down the side of my settee. They must have cost me £50 or more but what a great investment over the years. I just don;t get it when people pay hundreds or a lot more for instruments but want to pay 30pence for a plectrum and resent paying say £4. Same applies to set up. Set up is everything for me. Sorry to bring this into this thread but you see the connection. I have no affiliation with Wegen.

  15. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to jimmy powells For This Useful Post:


  16. #11
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Co. Mayo, Ireland
    Posts
    3,090

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Echoing what has already been mentioned here, the type of mandolin you're playing/how heavy your strings are may influence your preference, in addition to what type of music you play. I play Irish trad music and my go to pick for years has been a BlueChip TPR 35 (.89mm), and for a cheaper alternative I like Dunlop Delrin 500 .96mm teardrop picks (but I use the shoulder end of the pick to play, not the pointy end). When I had my Gibson A-jr I found that a 1.0mm celluloid pick sounded and felt the nicest to play with. I can't go any heavier in pick thickness for my playing as I find it impacts my ability to play triplets/trebles cleanly.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel
    Blog: rural.trad.punk

  17. #12
    Registered User poul hansen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Danmark
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    .73 to 1.0 for single string picking and .50 for tremolo playing
    Kentucky KM-805
    Hora M1086 Portuguese II
    Hora M1088 Mandola
    Hora M1087 Octave
    Dean Tennessee Acoustic-Electric
    Richmond RMA-110-VS
    Noname (German?) mandolin

  18. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,928

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    I use the 1mm Wegen, but I have a couple that I thinned down and they are all I use. I wish they came thinner.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  19. #14

  20. #15
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Kent, Washington
    Posts
    1,052

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Different strokes for different folks! And as you've already seen/read there is no specific favorite pick thickness for Mandolin players.

    I, myself like picks that measure around 1mm to 1.5mm, round and triangle shapes depending on what I'm playing. However, I dont want to limit my choices by making thinner or thicker picks a "deal breaker" when trying something new. Usually the thinner ones get used on my guitars and the thicker ones are given away though.

  21. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    St. Louis, MO area
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Ya I have no idea where “toadfish” came from in my earlier post. I do everything on my smartphone, and sometimes it says what it wants.
    I’m thankful we have so many options, all “voices” if you think about it. Kinda weird, but kinda neat.

  22. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,563

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie2 View Post
    sorry for a dumb question but Im new to a mandolin. What thickness is proper for a pick? I have played a bit and played guitar for 20 years but want no stones unturned. Thanks!!
    Opinions are like b-------s ! Everyone has one ! You just have to experiment yourself !

  23. #18

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Thanks!!

  24. #19
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Spring Hope, NC
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    For me, a Golden Gate MP 12 has been my go to pick for the past 20 years, 1.5 mm, and cost around 1.50.
    2020 The Loar Supreme LM700 VS

  25. #20
    Registered User BoxCarJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    Opinions are like b-------s ! Everyone has one ! You just have to experiment yourself !
    And then give your opinion to everyone.

  26. #21
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    28,151

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie2 View Post
    sorry for a dumb question but Im new to a mandolin. What thickness is proper for a pick? I have played a bit and played guitar for 20 years but want no stones unturned. Thanks!!
    As you can tell there is no one answer but just about as many answers to our question as they are mandolin players. Think about it, though: if you went to a guitar site and said, "I'm new to guitar, what is proper thickness for a pick?" I am not trying to make you feel bad for asking, just that it is a wide open question and I get it that you are taking a survey.

    I would suggest piling up all your guitar picks and trying all those out. They order a bunch of picks in various thicknesses and shapes and experiment. Aside from the premium picks you can invest in a good variety of picks and not break the bank.

    Also, remember that you might evolve through a few different variants, depending on what mandolin(s) you may own or the style of music you play on it/them.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  27. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  28. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    1,047

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    I never really thought about it when I was into guitar, but when I started playing mandolin, seemed the pick had more tone effect

    Dunlop Prime tone 1.5 sculpted is my go to these days, 1.4 is good to but you can hear and feel the difference between them.

    When I play mandolin I expect the string to "vibrate back" at me, too light of a pick I find I don't get that sensation.

    Heavier picks add to volume on arch top instruments, not sure the same is true of flat tops.

    Seems those on the East of the Atlantic prefer the lighter pick?
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

  29. #23
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Posts
    1,672

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Pick acquisition syndrome is orders of magnitude less expensive than MAS. You'll probably end up with a bit of a collection after a while, size, shape, material and thickness, etc. The traveling pick sampler had well over 100 different picks in it last I checked. You might sign up for that to experiment.

    In many circles, its considered quite personal to ask someone how many different picks they have. More than 2 is the polite response.
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  30. #24
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    28,151

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    Seems those on the East of the Atlantic prefer the lighter pick?
    I think it is matter of preferred genre. Players of Celtic music generally prefer lighter picks on either side of the Atlantic.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  31. #25
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: Pick Thickness

    I have been using only blue chip in different shapes and sizes. i find my choice changes depending on my mood and how I hear that day.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •