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Thread: Pick for Classical Music

  1. #1
    Registered User Wayne Bagley's Avatar
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    Default Pick for Classical Music

    I am a new player and I have fallen in love with the sound of classical music on the mandolin. I have decided that this is the route that I want to follow with the mandolin.
    I have not seen much need for chords at this level and I am having a difficult time finding that perfect pick.

    I am curious as to which pick classical players are using. Any help would be appreciated.
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    Wayne

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    The English virtuoso Simon Mayor plays everything from classical to bluegrass with the same pick. Makes sense to me, I couldn't tell you what it is mind.

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  3. #3
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    I'm just beginning classical but like the sound of a PTFE/teflon pick on Aquila Nylgut strings on my Mandolinetto.

    It takes the shrillness out of the mandolin and sounds softer.
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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    I am an old violinist who discovered the mandolin about 4.5 years ago. Right now, I am happy with the CT-55 picks, although I am always ready to find something even nicer. My favorite strings for classical music are the Thomastik Infeld M154. Both the pick and the strings are expensive, but I am happy with the combination.

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  5. #5
    In training... KristinEliza's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    Wayne-

    Are you wanting to learn Classical Mandolin...or play Classical music on your mandolin? There is a difference and might mean a different pick for you.

    Really...any pick that sounds good and let's you do what you want is the pick you should use!

    But if you are wanting to dive into the Classical Mandolin...and those specific techniques...most would suggest a pick with more of a point. That's all I use now - even for Celtic, Old time, and Bluegrass.
    KristinEliza

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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    I use Blue Chip TD35 and/or TD40 for classical, but I have used Jazz picks too. Basically any pointed pick will work. I prefer a thinner pick in general, but particularly for classical.

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  9. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    Wayne: I saw your post on FB for this topic. I will repeat here: even narrowed down to classical players you will find a wide range of opinions. If you want t narrow down at all pick a school of mandolin playing: Germans prefer small rubbery Woll picks vs. Italians Dogal pointy ones, etc.

    On the other hand I would just accumulate a pile of picks and play around with them to see what works for you. Also, bear in mind that you might want a different pick depending on the piece you are playing.

    On the third hand if you find a strictly classical teacher he/she might recommend a particular pick depending on the techniques they teach. They may also prescibe strings and even a particular mandolin.
    Jim

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    For what it's worth, I've tried a lot of picks but for my bowlbacks I keep coming back to the same choice, which fortunately is both very cheap and super easy to find: Jim Dunlop nylon guitar picks, 0.88mm (the dark grey ones). It has the right mix of rigidity and flexibility for me, half way between the thin pointy Italian ones which allow precise picking but give a bright trebly tone which I don't like and the rubber German Wolle picks which I find too imprecise and mushy in tone. It's a very personal choice -- others may differ.

    Martin

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    The English virtuoso Simon Mayor plays everything from classical to bluegrass with the same pick. Makes sense to me, I couldn't tell you what it is mind.

    Dave H
    According to his "Mandolin Tutor" book, Simon uses a standard Fender medium teardrop guitar pick. A lot thinner than most mandolin players, especially on the f-hole archtops he plays. The book is quite old now, though, and he may have changed.

    Martin

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  14. #10

    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    Back in my old mandolin orchestra days, there was only one pick to use on the mandolin parts (maybe 'dolas too) it was a Pettini pick.

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    Good luck trying to find some, but start with the Providence Mandolin Orchestra if interested.

    Len B.
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  16. #11
    Registered User Brian560's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here are three that I am using: The Red Bear Neapolitan is a light gauge. The Apollo pick was designed to "Eugene's" specifications. The third is a Wolle pick from Germany. I am a novice at this.

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  18. #12
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    I like these PickBoy 0.75 mm picks. Thin and pointy, to bring out all those scintillating highs the mandolin is capable of.
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  20. #13
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick for Classical Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    For what it's worth, I've tried a lot of picks but for my bowlbacks I keep coming back to the same choice, which fortunately is both very cheap and super easy to find: Jim Dunlop nylon guitar picks, 0.88mm (the dark grey ones). It has the right mix of rigidity and flexibility for me, half way between the thin pointy Italian ones which allow precise picking but give a bright trebly tone which I don't like and the rubber German Wolle picks which I find too imprecise and mushy in tone. It's a very personal choice -- others may differ.

    Martin
    And that bright tone with precise picking is why I use a sharp pointed Ultex/Ultem .73mm pick.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I like these PickBoy 0.75 mm picks. Thin and pointy, to bring out all those scintillating highs the mandolin is capable of.
    I have used them, and still do - but mostly it's the .73 Ultem sharps.

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