The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #145019   Message #3353570
Posted By: GUEST,songbob
20-May-12 - 11:02 PM
Thread Name: Instruments: plectrums/picks
Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
Picks are a truly personal choice. Some like 'em thick, some thin. And different instruments seem to gravitate to different materials and thicknesses. I use tortoise shell picks on my mandolins, or buffalo horn as a modern substitute. Guitars get Fender medium plastic picks, usually, even the Telecaster doesn't get thins, but the archtop seems to respond to heavier picks than the flattops. I use mediums on the classical, at need (when bare fingers won't do), and for fingerpicking I use a National thumb pick and "1941" metal fingerpicks (essentially copies of pre-war alloys used by the National company).

For banjo, old-time, I use either a flattened and filed-shorter, turned-around on the finger pick, or a copy of an 1850s minstrel-banjo pick. For psuedo-bluegrass, I use the same fingerpicks I use on guitar.

For dulcimer, it's a plastic flatpick (one company makes long, thin ones shaped like dulcimers -- they're okay) or a slice of a bleach bottle or something similar. I even have, and sort of like, but have put away somewhere and can't find just now, wire picks -- banjo strings bent into a long loop, or cut into bundles and bound into a handle. I liked the resulting sound, but somehow got out of using them. Now that I'm reminded, I may go looking for them.

I once tried a stone pick, someone's bright idea. Didn't like it. But I do know that some well-known bluegrass mandolin players use quarters or other coins, for instance.

It's all personal.

Bob Clayton