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Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks

GUEST,Wayne M. 03 Apr 04 - 09:45 PM
Dave Hanson 04 Apr 04 - 01:54 AM
Strollin' Johnny 04 Apr 04 - 03:01 AM
Roger in Baltimore 04 Apr 04 - 01:45 PM
Strollin' Johnny 04 Apr 04 - 01:49 PM
Big Mick 04 Apr 04 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Wayne M. 04 Apr 04 - 03:36 PM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Apr 04 - 05:30 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Apr 04 - 06:04 PM
BanjoRay 04 Apr 04 - 07:20 PM
Strollin' Johnny 05 Apr 04 - 03:34 AM
DonMeixner 05 Apr 04 - 09:16 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Apr 04 - 09:34 AM
Strollin' Johnny 05 Apr 04 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Todd P 06 Feb 12 - 01:07 AM
matt milton 06 Feb 12 - 06:31 AM
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Subject: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: GUEST,Wayne M.
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 09:45 PM

Deering Banjo sells a finger pick they call the "Alaska" pick. Anyone here ever used'em?


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 01:54 AM

Alaskaround.
eric


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 03:01 AM

Yep, they were useless. Still kept falling off and a nuisance all round. I've used Alaskas, Pro-Piks, National nickel-steel picks and the standard Jim Dunlop plastic picks, and the Dunlops were by far the best.

I've given the all up in favour of fibre-glass or gel overlays at our local beauty-salon. Costs about the same as a set of strings and I get them done every three weeks. VERY hard-wearing (I've never broken one and I'm a hard-player) and so, so convenient - no rooting around in little ex-sweetie or ex-tobacco tins, no losing them, no clumsy bugger treading on them when you accidentally drop them on the floor) - and you get the nice sweet 'ping' that only the fingertip/nail combination can give.

I'm a guitar-player but I know at least one banjo-player who gets his nails done the same way.

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 01:45 PM

Wayne,

I'm a nail biter. The Alaska picks require that you have come nail to hold them in place.

I've used all the ones Stollin' Johnny mentions. The Pro-picks were comfortable and gave me some string feel as well as a clearer sound. I've given up on most everything however and go for the "soft" sound of skin on steel. I usually play a loud dreadnought so I get along OK unless I am in a group, then the Pro-picks come out.

Maybe I should get on down to the nail boutique and try them out.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 01:49 PM

Hey Roger, a good idea. Also gives you the opportunity to listen to all the latest ladies' gossip - amazing what you can hear while having your nails done by a pretty young lady!

Johnny :0) :0)


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 02:11 PM

Rog, it works very well, but can be a pain in the arse to maintain. Also, you must be a bit careful with your instruments and go for a more controlled attack when you are strumming. This is because your nails are very hard and will dent the top of the guitar. They work wonderfully though, on fingerstyle techniques. I quit having it done some time ago, but I am thinking about going back to them.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: GUEST,Wayne M.
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 03:36 PM

Thanks everyone! I play a Deering orange crate without picks in a drop thumb pattern so I keep the nail on my middle finger trimmed for the up-picking but I'd also like to try frailing and I need a nail for that. I'll take Johnny's advice and try a plastic pick.


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 05:30 PM

The name of this pick is not "Alaska", but "A-Laska".

I've tried them for frailing/clawhammer, and they were useless. The frailing/clawhammer stroke pulls them off the finger.

The points were too long for me. The instructions say you can cut them back with fingernail clippers, but I found it not to be so. The contour in the around-the-finger direction combined with the contour in the protruding-from-the-finger direction always forced the pick away from the fingernail clipper (or vice-versa).

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 06:04 PM

I'd like to try Pro-Piks - but where can I get them in the UK?


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: BanjoRay
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 07:20 PM

You can probably get Pro-Piks from Dave Bresnan at Frets Unlimited, in Fazakerly, Liverpool, or maybe from Andy Perkins' shop in Kent
His Website.
I've used silk gel nails from a nail salon for clawhammer banjo. My verdict is that they're totally perfect and are still great even when your nail's grown for three weeks, because there's a good seal between the fake nails and your own. They don't fly off and land in someone's beer like the stick-on ones do.
Cheers
Ray

link repaired by clone


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 03:34 AM

Down-strokes with any kind of finger-pick (other than Alaskas which are designed to represent the shape and poition of a nail) are virtually impossible because they sit on your finger 'upside-down' in comparison with a nail - they catch in the strings and end up on the floor in my experience. They're OK for finger-picking but no good for frailing.

Go down the silk/gel or fibreglass overlays route - don't worry about feeling like a big daft tart when you go to the manicurist for the first time - she'll soon get used to you. I've had some wonderful conversations with young Claire about her visits to Nashville, New Orleans, worshipping at Elvis' graveside, all sorts of muso stuff.

Bye now,
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 09:16 AM

For years I have played Clawhammer ith Dunlop .025 steel finger picks on. I simply turn the one on my right middle finger upside down. This notion is out of the Pete Seeger 5 String Banjo book.
It works fine for me.

HOWEVER

I am going to try the artficial acrylic nail route to see if I like the freedom of not having to look for picks in between tunes at Coleman's Authentic Irish Pub.

Don


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 09:34 AM

The metal ones are better, and the work pretty well. If they are adjusted right they stay on remarkably well, and make a clean sound. You only need a short little bit of nail to hold them, about as much as you probably have on your fretting hand. They're the only fingerpicks that feel like real nails, allowing you to strike the strings up or down, and giving you feedback through your real finger nails.

Only hassle is putting them on, and keeping them organised, because they get flattened if you sit on them, and since your fingers are likely to be different shapes, you really need to know which is which.

And the largest size is particularly useful as a thumb pick with some kinds of playing - the angle at which you strike notes is the same as it would be with a real nail, and completely different from the case when you use a normal thumb pick.

And Dave - if you're trying to shorten a plastic Alaska pick I'd recommend using a nailfile rather than a clipper. (For the metal ones, a real file would do the job.

Here's an enthusiastic write up of them that came up via Google just now. (And they are officially called aLaska piks, just to fool everybody...)


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 11:27 AM

Don, you genius, that's a brilliant idea for the down-stroke with the middle finger. Why didn't I think of that? Excellent!

But yes, it's far better not to have to bother with picks at all. When I used them I had to look very carefully at them and get them on the right fingers - you could hear the feet-shuffling and audience-hum increasing in volume as the punters got bored with watching a daft old duffer peering at his hands! :0)

Cheers,
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: GUEST,Todd P
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 01:07 AM

I was watching the Salute to the cornfield, Roonnie Stoneman says she uses super glue to keep from losing her picks, lol


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Subject: RE: Deering Banjo 'Alaska' picks
From: matt milton
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 06:31 AM

I LOVE the alaska picks. They're the only ones I can use, because they're like false fingernails. The picks that go on the underside of your finger - standard fingerpicks - always seemed counter-intuitive to me.


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