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Thread: Whats the best type of pick to use?

  1. #1

    Default Whats the best type of pick to use?

    I just started, i've used a Jim Dunlop 2.0mm, a jazz III pick, and fender heavy picks, and i was just wondering what y'all thought were the best type of picks to use

  2. #2
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    you want to keep a turmoil stirred up don't you?

    NB :the blue chip sect has 50 pages of believer's testimonials from it's cult, alone.

    Unlike those, the ones you list, are not $35 each ,

    so you can buy a sampling and try all those semifinalists out for yourself.

    Dawg/GoldenGate and Fender 346, the big rounded side triangles, are a couple i use.
    Last edited by mandroid; Nov-24-2010 at 10:09pm.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    The word picks into search .. See : http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/se...earchid=642610
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Please make it go away, just please make it go away.

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    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    There's no right or wrong pick. Try the ones people say they like (within your budget) and see what sounds good. Keep them as your opinions may change later. If you take lessons, ask your teacher.
    Eastman 605, Strad-o-lin, and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

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    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    It depends on mandolin, strings, player, context/group, and music played.

    I use the Dunlop 206 or other very heavy (dawg, wegen) at crowded jams, Wegen 1.4 when playing with my buddy on guitar, 1.0 tortex at home (quieter). I like my Blue Chip with fiddle tunes, and currently have a ultex .7 next to me as I am visiting my parents and their house echoes and heavier picks make everyone hear me.

    Overall, I change it up a lot, though most often its a wegen or bluechip in my hand.

    To each their own, I would try a variety while realizing the serving the tune and context may not have one universal answer for you.

    To me, variety is the spice of life.

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  9. #7

    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    I just have to say this. I have been watching this pick thing for a while on this blog. Everyone keeps recommending the Blue Chip picks at 40 bucks a pop. So I finally bought one TPR-45. Being very sceptical of this deal being a sales pitch scam. Anyway, I started using it just because it cost so dang much. Now, I am convinced that it is the best Pick I have ever used. High Price or not there is none that compare to this Blue Chip thing. Just don't loose it. I have tried hundreds of picks. The Blue Chip pick is the best.

  10. #8
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    The best pick for your axe?

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
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  11. #9
    Registered User jim_n_virginia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Man you are sure stirring up a hornet's nest! LOL! Not your fault though Lightbread how could you know? It's a legitimate question from someone just starting out eh?

    With that said ... in MY opinion (which won't get you a cup of coffee) Bluechip is the best pick I have used to date and well worth the $38.00 cost (including shipping).

    The way it usually goes ... you will balk at the price, give in and buy one out of curiosity because of all the praise you read about them, realize how good the pick is and then after that you will worship at the alter of the Bluechip forever!

  12. #10
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Not kidding this time... Clayton Ultem 0.80 big triangle, loud and evil, exactly what I need. Let those others chip away at their blues.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Hey Lightbread,

    Here's a sorta funny photo I found somewhere along the line.

    My limited experience finds me switching from pick to pick for subtle to drastic differences of volume and tone depending on the mood I'm in.

    Gobble, Gobble to you and yours.

    frshwtrbob
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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    The best pick for your axe?

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    Bertram: I must take exception to this...I have found that picks with a horizontal rear blade provide much more volume, less pick-noise, and a better tremolo. Also, the ones made in Europe (costing ten to fifteen times more that the Pac Rim made picks) provide a much better feel (of superiority, at least)

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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    There's only one answer to this question. The best pick is the one that you're most comfortable using and gives you a sound you're happy with. You may as well ask what the best type of woman/man is to marry!

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    George Wilson GRW3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Except for the exotics, most picks are cheap and you can try a lot of styles from the tiny teardrops to the giant triangles for little more investment than a big mac meal. I did exactly that, went to music shops that sell individual picks and bought everything that was unique. From there I wandered off the path to first synthetic tortoise ($5/pick) and then to Bluechip ($ as stated above). Do it this way to get the basic form and size that you find the most compatible with your playing. Then you can move to more exotic picks and choose something most likely to satisfy.

    My inexpensive pick quest led me to sort of standardize on a Golden Gate (still cheap at $1). The edge was too round and that led me dressing the edge. I then went to the syn-tortoise that was basically a form cut out of sheet that I had to finish to suit. My first Bluechip was a model (TAD40-1R) that most closely matched the syn-tortoise I had been using. I have since upped the thickness for mando to 60 and I use the 40 for guitar.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to relate is a process. Try lots of picks at the cheap level. It doesn't matter what anybody else likes, it only matters what you like.
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    It depends on mandolin, strings, player, context/group, and music played.

    I use the Dunlop 206 or other very heavy (dawg, wegen) at crowded jams, Wegen 1.4 when playing with my buddy on guitar, 1.0 tortex at home (quieter). I like my Blue Chip with fiddle tunes, and currently have a ultex .7 next to me as I am visiting my parents and their house echoes and heavier picks make everyone hear me.

    Overall, I change it up a lot, though most often its a wegen or bluechip in my hand.

    To each their own, I would try a variety while realizing the serving the tune and context may not have one universal answer for you.

    To me, variety is the spice of life.
    What a great answer. In fact pretty much everyone behaved and restrained themselves thus far in answering this question. That's great to see... I dreaded to click on it. New folks need a few weeks to figure things out. It's good to see that Lightbread didn't get the flamethrower.

    That said, here's my 2 cents. If I had it to do over again, I'd make sure I was holding the pick properly first, whatever pick it was. Learn wrong from the start and it'll be a hard habit to break later. Next, I echo Markus.

    I play a Blue Chip most of the time. But I have a half dozen other types in my case I might use for a different sound or style.

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  21. #16
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by GRW3 View Post
    Anyway, what I'm trying to relate is a process. Try lots of picks at the cheap level. It doesn't matter what anybody else likes, it only matters what you like.
    I really like this advice, as working your way through various cheap picks is the best way to find a pick shape that fits your technique properly. Initially, you should be focused on technique there [as Pikalot brings up] and trying some of these will keep your focus on that.

    Good technique is essential to get everything out of the pick - as changing how tightly the pick is gripped does a LOT. Having this control really allows you to get to know a pick, as having an ultra-loose grip can make some picks really shine more than you'd think [and a few, a very tight grip]. There's a lot of tone in something so simple.

    Having a small collection of picks around is useful if friends come to play and want to borrow one - or when context asks for it.

    It's so easy to focus on what works best for me, what sounds best to myself as I play ... and forget that the music itself might require more than one pick. Crowded bluegrass jams require a pick to generate volume soloing and a chop like thunder, totally inappropriate this afternoon as I play quiet christmas songs with the football game muted and my wife and daughter playing together.

    MAS suggests I have separate mandolins for these varied purposes - best I can currently hope for is separate picks.

    Given that - variety is really useful. I practice and play with a friend or two with my `nice pick' [recently got a Bluechip, though the Wegen still is my go-to]. I figure the tool I use most I can spend a lot on - now that I've got the thickness and shape I want figured out pretty clearly after years playing.

    But ... for the heavy picks I use at the bluegrass jam, the various lighter picks I use in quieter contexts, and the Dunlop with it's round dark sound - I'm not buying spendy picks. When practicing or just fooling around, I've tried to work with some different picks - I've really had the concept of giving each song it's own unique voice in my mind while playing music recently. Picks, technique [double stops, cross picking, etc], and even muting the mandolin against my body all yield slight variations on tone which can help serve this context - picks almost seem like cheating as it's by far the easiest thing to change. I'm unlikely to have anyone ever notice what I'm trying, I'm far too amateur to convey much.

    And for the most part, when playing with friends or out - I'm not going to inflict my personal weirdness upon the world and at most have two or three picks at most in my pocket.

  22. #17
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    I like THIS one. I like the larger triangle and I like something over 1.0 and under 1.5 mm. My current favorite, however, is the Blue Chip CT 55, which I had made with one rounded corner. Yeah, it was $35.00, but I'm faithful to my picks.

    f-d
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  23. #18
    Mandolin addicted...So? Pete Counter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    The one I use of course, clayton big triangle 1.20 white. No other picks are the best!

  24. #19
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    I continue to be amazed at how different picks pull different sounds from my mandolins. Right now I am fond of a couple of "Papa's" picks I picked up at the SXSW guitar store. They are made from casein and sound just like tortise shell. Cost $12 each.

    I read that Bill Monroe used whatever pick he could borrow, beg or steal. Didn't seem to care.
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  25. #20

    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    I prefer Wegen's.

    For banjo's I use this:

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    Note: Also works on Autoharps.

  26. #21
    Registered User mandowilli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    A guitar is an axe.

    The mandolin is a hatchet.
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    willi

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    I think your best bet is the PickMatic, commonly misspelled as "pick mattock". Its automatic picking ability (hence its name) enables incredibly fast action and decreases the amount of effort normally required of the wrist. Having two distinct points enables a variety of picking styles and attacks and their resultant sounds. You will be breaking new ground with this device!
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  29. #23

    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    $38 bills for a pick ! - you guys nuts, but then again, with my add kicking in, I can't find my partial half the time
    keith madison

  30. #24
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Last time I walked through the musky lure section and looked at prices, the BC pick didn't seem so crazy.

    I've spent nearly the same price on something to throw repeatedly in a lake trying to have a toothed fish maul it.

    Put in that perspective, buying 1 BC pick for life seems thrifty. It won't poke you, and getting it back doesn't involve sticking your hand near a bitey fish.

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  32. #25

    Default Re: Whats the best type of pick to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    Last time I walked through the musky lure section and looked at prices, the BC pick didn't seem so crazy.

    I've spent nearly the same price on something to throw repeatedly in a lake trying to have a toothed fish maul it.

    Put in that perspective, buying 1 BC pick for life seems thrifty. It won't poke you, and getting it back doesn't involve sticking your hand near a bitey fish.
    Yea, but I lose everything, even a real ' Mickey Mantle" bat from 61" that was the worse..
    keith madison

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