What pick do you pick when you pick a pick for your picking?

Rich Cohen

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I like Dava grip picks. They are easy to control, don't slip out of your fingers, and you can adjust where on the pick you put pressure to manipulate the stiffness of the pick.
 

Opsimath

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It must be so. When I first started, I did not understand when people said you had to pull tone out of a mandolin. Now I do. You have to grab it by the neck and force it to sound good. It's not enough to put your finger on the right spot and pluck. It has to be exactly the right spot, right behind the fret. Then you have to have just the right grip on your pick, just so to "pull" the right chime out of the instrument. And if a guitar needs to be set up to the hundredth of an inch, the mandolin need to be in the thousandths. And just when I found an instrument to fit my small hands, I was introduced to the G chop chord! Spent two months on stretching exercises. So yes, when a pick can give me an edge, I use it.

Oh yeah, all the above is big fun. Now if you could just buy a good one for less than $5K.......
Stretching exercises? Such as .... ?
 

walrus

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Stretching exercises? Such as .... ?

This is just one example of possibilities to find on the Internet. I don't do this myself, but people definitely do. I'd much rather practice "stretching" chords in the context of a song or piece of music.


walrus
 

Opsimath

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This is just one example of possibilities to find on the Internet. I don't do this myself, but people definitely do. I'd much rather practice "stretching" chords in the context of a song or piece of music.


walrus
Youch!
 

Br1ck

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Is your snakehead a Jr? The thing with old Gibsons is they are all made the same. You just buy fancy as you go up the ladder.

I really had to reconcile the mando cost issue. I got addicted to scroll, so price doubles compared to an A style. After I built one, I'll never say a mandolin is too highly priced. $7500 seems about right. But the build came out pretty good, if not pretty. But I still dreamed of a fully bound beauty. Set a $5000 limit. After three years, I didn't find one and lowered expectations to just basic well made. One day I walked into Gryphon and found my Weber Yellowstone Deluxe for $3k. It was on consignment. Couldn't believe my luck. Maybe it was the relic job or the lopped off Florida, but I haven't seen one for less than $4k. Happy camper. But it still needs the best pick possible.
 

Br1ck

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Stretching exercises: On mandolin, each finger is responsible for two frets. So playing a major scale with no open strings, you cover six. Now to get speed with accuracy, it is good to keep your index finger over the note you start on so you can shift to the next string over efficiently. Medium to large hands, and this just falls into place. I was shifting up and down the neck slightly to do this. So a teacher had me playing scales starting at the fifth fret and working down to the first, which is a bit longer every time you move down a fret. You start slow so it is clean, and progressively get faster. Your goal is to stretch tendons so that you gain an eitgth of an inch. I did nothing but this for two months at about an hour and a half each day. I don't mind exercises as they get you where you need to go. After a couple of months I tried playing all the major scales and there was an immediate improvement, and my pinky was much stronger. It was well worth the effort.

See, everyone wants to blame hand size, like their fingers are too fat, too short, etc. when most anyone has things their body can and can't do. As someone pointed out, they have taught ten year old girls to G chop. I saw a problem, and paid for a few lessons to correct it. There is no way but hard work.
 
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This is just one example of possibilities to find on the Internet. I don't do this myself, but people definitely do. I'd much rather practice "stretching" chords in the context of a song or piece of music.


walrus
Cool!

I like wide chords. So just playing gives me plenty of stretching exercise!
 
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Is your snakehead a Jr? The thing with old Gibsons is they are all made the same. You just buy fancy as you go up the ladder.

I really had to reconcile the mando cost issue. I got addicted to scroll, so price doubles compared to an A style. After I built one, I'll never say a mandolin is too highly priced. $7500 seems about right. But the build came out pretty good, if not pretty. But I still dreamed of a fully bound beauty. Set a $5000 limit. After three years, I didn't find one and lowered expectations to just basic well made. One day I walked into Gryphon and found my Weber Yellowstone Deluxe for $3k. It was on consignment. Couldn't believe my luck. Maybe it was the relic job or the lopped off Florida, but I haven't seen one for less than $4k. Happy camper. But it still needs the best pick possible.
Mine? Yes, it's an oval A Junior.

Congrats on the Yellowstone! Weber has a good thing going.

Lucky for me and my anemic wallet, scrolls and bling leave me cold. I don't like F-holes, either. Or Floridas. Or twelfth-fret neck joins. Or maple. Had a Red Line A5 for a while (F's, Florida, twelfth join, maple, flashy as hell). Nice little axe, but too sophisticated for me:

charlie mando.JPG

Junior was a basket case when I bought it a couple of years ago, which is why I could afford it. Refinished the top myself, and had a local luthier replace all the parts and some frets. Yes, I splurged on a Cumberland Acoustics bridge. It all came in at well under a grand, including a hardly-used TKL case.

The biggest challenge was finding the clamshell tailpiece. I'd almost given up when I thought of trying Ebay, my source of last resort. Found one in Hong Kong. Price, including shipping: $5.71!

Before:

Junior before.png


After (note D-35 in background):

Junior Gibson.JPG
 
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S100

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I use Dava picks because they’re the only ones I can seem to hold on to.
 

Br1ck

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The benefit of exercises over songs, to me, playing songs can get you into the habit of practicing mistakes over and over. Can't quite make that one chord? well, the rest sounds good. Work the proper exercise, metronome a must, and not only do you make the chord, you make the cord over and over when you encounter it in other songs. I'm very critical of my sloppy playing, unhappy if one note in a three octave scale isn't quite right. I've learned to embrace the real work. As the day goes on, I incorporate more songs. I never noodle anymore unless it has a purpose like improvising over chord changes. But after practicing what I call the bluegrass pentetonic scale in G C and D, at some point you can make the changes at will. I'm at the point where I can wing an instrumental break between verses. I never work it out anymore. Accepting the occasional crash and burn is part of the process. I wish I had been more exacting learning guitar as I've been with the mandoline.
 

Bill Ashton

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At one point (on guitar), I felt my weak spot was not knowing scales. Had my teacher give me a few. I found that learning and practicing them allowed me to "anticipate" where a melody or song was going. Several years on, I had a teacher give me "Segovia scales," those in which all notes are fretted and none open. Again, it helped in what I call "anticipation," especially going up the neck. Not "blocks" but notes.

Then come old-time fiddle tunes on either guitar or mandolin...while some may say "don't practice scales, practice fiddle-tunes," I found that unconciously knowing the scales made fiddle tunes much easier. A tab or chart isn't always needed, if you can get the melody in your head.

OK, off the soap box. Still like my Ultex as the "equal" to BC. @Br1ck, you should try them ;)
 

Br1ck

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At one point (on guitar), I felt my weak spot was not knowing scales. Had my teacher give me a few. I found that learning and practicing them allowed me to "anticipate" where a melody or song was going. Several years on, I had a teacher give me "Segovia scales," those in which all notes are fretted and none open. Again, it helped in what I call "anticipation," especially going up the neck. Not "blocks" but notes.

Then come old-time fiddle tunes on either guitar or mandolin...while some may say "don't practice scales, practice fiddle-tunes," I found that unconciously knowing the scales made fiddle tunes much easier. A tab or chart isn't always needed, if you can get the melody in your head.

OK, off the soap box. Still like my Ultex as the "equal" to BC. @Br1ck, you should try them ;)

I have a pound or two of every kind of pick, and tried many others when Gryphon used to have drawers of them out to just try. Ultex was one. Every year or two, I go through them and every year they go back in the box.

Your observation on scales mirrors my experience. Over time when learning fiddle tunes by ear, your guesses become correct more and more, so what took you a week, now takes a day or two. I find once I can play it in my head, I can play it on a fretboard. Starting scales with different fingers also is huge.
 

Stuball48

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Use Guild picks - medium and or heavy. Using this medium, presently. Always bore five ⅛" holes to aid in gripping!
 

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