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Tech: plectrums/picks

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Dave Hanson 20 May 12 - 04:57 AM
Will Fly 20 May 12 - 05:21 AM
Dave Hanson 20 May 12 - 06:11 AM
Leadfingers 20 May 12 - 06:32 AM
Will Fly 20 May 12 - 07:18 AM
JohnInKansas 20 May 12 - 08:55 AM
Tootler 20 May 12 - 04:31 PM
John MacKenzie 20 May 12 - 04:50 PM
Bert 20 May 12 - 05:12 PM
Tootler 20 May 12 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,highlandman at home 20 May 12 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,songbob 20 May 12 - 11:02 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 21 May 12 - 02:36 AM
John MacKenzie 21 May 12 - 05:22 AM
Backwoodsman 21 May 12 - 06:24 AM
Bernard 21 May 12 - 06:40 AM
Bonzo3legs 21 May 12 - 11:56 AM
John MacKenzie 21 May 12 - 01:52 PM
Bonzo3legs 21 May 12 - 02:27 PM
Dave Hanson 21 May 12 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,songbob 21 May 12 - 08:11 PM
Peter C 22 May 12 - 07:43 AM
EBarnacle 22 May 12 - 10:17 AM
Highlandman 22 May 12 - 11:16 AM
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Subject: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 20 May 12 - 04:57 AM

Has anyone else noticed the flood of plectrums/picks on eBay recently, made from old coins or metal, there are so many that there must be a whole industry devoted to this in the USA.

Seems very impractical to me, as they must be almost impossible to play with, being totally inflexible.

Or maybe it's just me.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 May 12 - 05:21 AM

Isn't it Brian May (of Queen) who used an old sixpence as a plectrum?

When I was playing in a soul band, I used a very heavy Stubby "2" pick on my Tele. It gave a great sound and had had plenty of power. Stubby "3" picks are even heavier - and probably wouldn't be far off a small coin in thickness.

But I would question the sound - and the extra probability of strings breaking - of metal hitting metal...


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 20 May 12 - 06:11 AM

It's not just the sound, it's the quantity, suddenly there are thousands of them up for sale, weird.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 May 12 - 06:32 AM

If people wasnt to spend their money , why stop them ?


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 May 12 - 07:18 AM

Just checked eBay out of curiosity. There are indeed a few ads for "personalised" , i.e. with one's name on, stainless steel picks - but I got the impression these might be (at £5.99 a throw) more for show than actual use. There are one or two shown hanging on a chain!


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 May 12 - 08:55 AM

At our big annual festival there are quite a few groups that give away souvenir picks, and people work pretty hard to make sure they get at least a few certain ones every year.

The vast majority of the ones that get used at all end up as danglies on earrings, or in some cases where it fits in with the "collectors'" other hobbies, in display boxes, or being glued onto coffee mugs or some other such bit of "creatove artistry" or foppery.

It amazes me how many people feel "creative" when they've put together a kit that comes in a box, with parts that all snap together and can only be assembled one way, the same way that thousands of others put together the same kit; but I'm probably just warped from being old and grouchy. It seems they're a very popular hobby material(?).

If it makes them happy ....

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Tootler
Date: 20 May 12 - 04:31 PM

There is a satisfaction in putting together kits successfully but it's more the kind of satisfaction you get from completing a crossword or jigsaw, neither of which I particularly enjoy.

I did make quite a bit of use of kits in the days when I was into model railways but they were more a means to an end and they were nearly always customised in some way.


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 May 12 - 04:50 PM

I have one of these , but I won't be getting it out of it's presentation pack to play no guitars ;)


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Bert
Date: 20 May 12 - 05:12 PM

The plastic or metal triangular picks are a peculiarly modern phenomenon.

Traditionally a pick was made from an eagle's quill. This tradition has developed into the modern Oud pick made from a plastic bottle. You choose a bottle of the desired thickness and cut a strip about half an inch wide and a good four inches long and point the end to your own requirements.

It is much easier to hold than one of those fiddly little ones that keep slipping in your fingers and the flexibility can be finely customized.

If you really need a metal one you can always cut one from a sheet of shim stock or phosphor bronze.


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Tootler
Date: 20 May 12 - 06:10 PM

I've made some ukulele picks out of old credit cards. They are quite flexible and work quite well, but when it comes to it, I much prefer to use my fingers, especially for strumming.


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: GUEST,highlandman at home
Date: 20 May 12 - 08:35 PM

I don't always use a pick, but when I do ...
I use plastic.

I always thought that playing with those steel finger pick things sounded like throwing a harpsichord down the stairs. Much too jangly for me.
On my old Tele I used the thinnest picks I could find. I often had the ends sliced clean off by the strings.

Stay picky, my friends
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: GUEST,songbob
Date: 20 May 12 - 11:02 PM

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


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 21 May 12 - 02:36 AM

I have a collection of souvenier flatpicks from places that I have visited like Opryland, The Ryman, Country Music Hall Of Fame, Ernest Tubb Record Store, and the Martin factory and Gruhn Guitars that I stick onto my guitars. When playing I usually use a thumbpick for a self-developed roll though.


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 May 12 - 05:22 AM

Dave Goulder put me on to making thickish leather plectra for use on my mandolin. Similar effect to the felt ones you can buy, but they last a hell of a lot longer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 21 May 12 - 06:24 AM

I use a Blue Chip TPR50 on mandolin. Very stiff, with three rounded corners which make tremolos nice and smooth. Expensive, but excellent.


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Bernard
Date: 21 May 12 - 06:40 AM

"I always thought that playing with those steel finger pick things sounded like throwing a harpsichord down the stairs."

Sir Thomas Beecham once said 'A harpsichord sounds like a bird cage being played with a toasting fork'!!


Fingerpicks I've never been able to get on with, and I only use a (nylon) plectrum on my mandolin. I play guitar and five string banjo with my fingers (fingernails if I have them!!).


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 21 May 12 - 11:56 AM

I can get 5 plectrums from cutting up old plastic credit cards. In fact I still have a number of plastic visiting cards from my company accountant days which I cut up for plectrums when needed!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 May 12 - 01:52 PM

This gadget is what you need.


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 21 May 12 - 02:27 PM

That is unbelievable, what a fantastic invention!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 21 May 12 - 03:38 PM

The subject of this thread is why are there so many plectrums made from coins or metal up for sale on eBay at the moment ?

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: GUEST,songbob
Date: 21 May 12 - 08:11 PM

Why? Because no one wants those coin-picks, much, so they're unloading 'em.

Either that or the sellers think there's one born every minute.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Peter C
Date: 22 May 12 - 07:43 AM

I used to buy plectrums/picks very often, because I kept losing them. Since I discovered self adhesive velcro tape (hook & loop)I have stopped buying them. I stick a small piece of the 'hook' (rough') velcro on the pick, and a corresponding sized small piece of the 'loop' (smooth) on some inconspicuous place on guitar or banjo. Then park pick on instrument (I usually have two on each instrument - luxury!) Ready for instant use! The rough velcro means it is much less likely to slip out of sweaty fingers!


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: EBarnacle
Date: 22 May 12 - 10:17 AM

John, you raised the question I planned to raise. Is the proper plural plectra [latin plural] or plectrums? Plectrums just sounds wrong to me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: plectrums/picks
From: Highlandman
Date: 22 May 12 - 11:16 AM

Until recently I used leather shoulder straps where the small end sort of laces through the big part, making a series of flat pockets that are perfect to stuff picks (plectra) into. Like a bandolier.
Only since I've shifted more and more to fingerstyle I don't use them so much, so they don't get lost as quickly.
-Glenn


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