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Thread: pointy vs round picks.

  1. #76
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    I have several picks that I regularly play with (Golden Gate, JazzMando 1.50, et al) but I mostly use the rounded edge of a Fender heavy. On most things it just sounds better to me. I like the JazzMando pick for some tunes, and I find that at times when I sit down to play I want that rounded, fatter tone, so I reach for the JazzMando pick. But the Fender sees the most use for some reason. It has a bright sound that I love, and it's rounded edge, or "shoulder," seems perfect for what I do (which isn't much!).

    I've seen great players use the rounded edge (Tim O'Brien) and one of the best mandolin tones I've ever heard was from Butch Baldassari, who used the pointy end. As far as I'm concerned, tone and technique don't get much better than what Butch did. I still think he had about the best tremolo technique as well, and somehow he did it with the pointy end of the pick! I've tried and it's like walking on stilts or something. I just can't get the pick to glide at all with the pointy end.

    And as far as Dawg's and Thile's tone, I like them as well. I don't care what kind of instrument they use or what kind of pick, etc. I just like to hear the music they make.
    ...

  2. #77
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    And as far as Dawg's and Thile's tone, I don't care what kind of instrument they use or what kind of pick, etc. I just like to hear the music they make.
    As the ladies call out at church....BINGO!

  3. #78
    Registered User Ronnie L's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    When I started out playing Mando I used Pointy picks but hated the thin clicky sound so I started using Golden Gate then Dawg picks.Both of which I had to import into the UK from America. I still use them for folky and old time styles but for 'Grass I trim the sides off the Dawgs. They Still have the tone but I can get more definition.

    Getting there...

  4. #79
    Mike Parks woodwizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by John McGann View Post
    The only wrong choice is one that doesn't work for you, I think...
    Now that ... I will for sure agree with.
    I Pick, Therefore I Grin! ... "Good Music Any OLD-TIME"

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  5. #80
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Wow, that Dawg looks like a shaved poodle!

    Just picked up a BC Jazz 50. Talk about a small pick, it is a pronounced teardrop shape down to a small point. I'll try the shoulder.

  6. #81
    Mandolicious fishtownmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    I have been experimenting with a reshaped dunlop ultex triangle pick i cut and filed down. I have to give it a while before i can decide if I like it. I really like the ultex material sound.
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  7. #82
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Well, have had a few days with the Blue Chip Jazz 50. Using the shoulder, I love it. I bought 2 other BCs before this, a 50 and a 60. They stay in the pick pouch.

    I wrote to Matt, the BC guy, seeing if he can customize a Jazz 50 to the shape of my fave.

  8. #83
    Registered User Mark Marino's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    I recently tried these really odd looking round picks- kinda like a small frisbee. Met the company owner at a festival and was given a few. They are pretty good- ridged pocket in the middle so it's almost hard to drop them- and tremelo worked out really well. Best of all, they are about a buck a piece. Would be nice if they were harder material- maybe they'll look into that down the road.

    Check them out- http://www.pointlesspicks.com/
    "If you hit a wrong note, then make it right by what you play afterwards." - Joe Pass

  9. #84
    Registered User Chunky But Funky's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by John McGann View Post
    Seriously, it would be cool to have a pressure activated section of the pick that would shoot a lighter extension out at the moment you want the lighter pick for the triplets...I'm sure top engineers are working with the nanotechnology specifically for this application at this very moment!
    Isn't that why they invented these: Dava Control Pick

    Pretty cheap as far as mando pick experimentation goes!
    (I couldn't get the companies site to load, so I had to use GC)

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    As far as I'm concerned, tone and technique don't get much better than what Butch did. I still think he had about the best tremolo technique as well, and somehow he did it with the pointy end of the pick! .
    His is the tone and tremolo I strive for.
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

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  12. #86
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    His is the tone and tremolo I strive for.
    Same here. I still watch his instructional tapes just to hear the mandolin. Often times I don't even have my mandolin out of the case; I just watch him do his thing. He was truly a master of the instrument.
    ...

  13. #87
    Mandolin addicted...So? Pete Counter's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Just a few quick statements of mine own opinion that popped into mine head while reading this thread. First on tone..Ive always found that the thinner the pick the thinner the tone, the fatter the pick, the fatter the tone. Secondly on thile, I have the video he made at 15? and he is using a pointy pick, I also know the blue chip chris thile is pointy. I havent read the afore mentioned article but the pronouncement that he uses a round pick is news to me, maybe he switched to a round pick for 5 minutes around that time and switched back, I dont know. I started on dawg pick, golden gate round ones and then tried clayton triangles and found I didnt have to work as hard for the notes. Now I am a sworn wegen user (TF-180 no holes) made just for me and I have no interest in trying anything else.

    Ps. No snobbery or down nose looking was used in this post. All opinions are sole property of the poster and are not neccasarily those of the mandolin cafe.

  14. #88
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    A very old thread ! Any updates on comparisons ? I use both but lately I have been using a BC pick rounded edge on certain tunes.
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  15. #89
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    The BC pick I have landed on for the moment is a TP50. I am not at all fond of the really rounded ones and the much heavier. I like TAD40 for guitar but smaller for mandolin. I have a TPR50 and TPR60 and they were OK but I missed a pointier pick so I ordered a TP50 and that works really well for me. BTW all my BCs are bevelled right hand.
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Sep-22-2020 at 12:44pm.
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    I'm mostly a guitar player, but on guitar or mandolin, I prefer beveled pointy picks used at a angle/slant against the strings. Round picks work fine for me if I rotate the pick to strike flat against the string, but at an angle, the round tip sort of flops off the string without snapping it, so it doesn't make much of a note.

    My favorite pick shape is Dunlop 208 or Flow Jumbo. But those materials make too much noise against the strings. I'd like to find a pick in that shape using a bit softer plastic - like D'Andrea Ultra Plecs, or even celluloid. I suppose I could make one myself out of a 346/rounded triangle pick, but I never get around to it.

  17. #91
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by John McGann View Post

    Maybe you should tell Dawg and Chris their tone is lacking Better yet, show 'em how it's done right!
    What picks others use, and how much we need follow heros, I talked out here. https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/e...-a-second-take
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

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  19. #92
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Even if everyone played the same way, and even if everyone had the same playing goals, and even if everyone had the same tastes in tone and playing, there would still be reasons one might choose either pointy or round.
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    I always find it funny how tastes can change overtime. I started out using very pointy picks (e.g., Dunlop Jazz). I then gradually moved into rounder picks, ending up with the Golden Gates. Now I've moved back to pointier, going through the BC TAD 3R to the TAD and ending up with the CT55 as my current go-to. As my technique has morphed (and frankly improved) over the years, I've found that the point gives the most reward for the least effort, and playing with less effort gives me more attention to focus on tone and clarity.

    A buddy who plays guitar has gone the other way, moving from the point of a teardrop pick to the shoulder. He says it's taken a while to to accustom his ear to the change from "bright" to a more "round" sound.
    Mitch Russell

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  22. #94
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    I’m with Onassis on pointy picks, “most reward for the least effort”, and generally use nothing rounder than the Wegen 120, and quite often the pointier JT’s pix.
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  24. #95
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Really admire the folks who can pull out the tone they want to hear with a round pick. Still have some and keep trying to get it to click. Or rather, not click. Maybe it's the guitar background. Or the groups I play in. But get closer to the tone I want to hear with a pointed pick. The pick can vary and I don't have a permanent favorite. Right now it's Dunlop Primetone smooth .96 or 1.0. But that can, and will change. Depending on the situation, other players and my mood.
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    I used a round pick for years, but have come full circle and back to Wegen TF100. I thin them down some as I like the sound better thinner. Sometimes I may use the round when using a p/u as it is warmer, but these days simply keep playing the triangle.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  26. #97
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Fender, Via Shops, sells picks by the dozen, 6 and 12 dozen I like the rounded edge triangle ones # 346 I believe ,

    get a bunch re shape them & experiment ... #81 did the reshaping with one of that style by another company..


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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    You can have something in the middle of the two. I find rounded picks too rounded and regular picks a little too pointed. I use a salon 4-way file to slightly round the tip of a TAD down where if I press on the tip with my finger it doesn't feel sharp. Hard to see the difference but you notice it playing. Makes tremolo and picking easier for me while maintaining volume and tone of pointed pick

  28. #99
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    You can have something in the middle of the two. I find rounded picks too rounded and regular picks a little too pointed. I use a salon 4-way file to slightly round the tip of a TAD down where if I press on the tip with my finger it doesn't feel sharp. Hard to see the difference but you notice it playing. Makes tremolo and picking easier for me while maintaining volume and tone of pointed pick
    Iím with Mark. Thatís exactly what works for me.

  29. #100
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: pointy vs round picks.

    Me too, I like a little more rounded than a regular point. That's the best compromise between fat sound and clarity, for me.

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