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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,323 Member Since:04/02/2011

#21 [url]

Apr 15 17 7:39 AM

Agreed.

And none of it, of course, is anywhere close to as important as a musical mind capable of contextualizing whatever available sound in the best possible way for the music.

It pays to remember that much of the world's favorite music was made by people using whatever happened to be available to them and getting on with it.

brad allen williams

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,106 Member Since:23/01/2011

#22 [url]

Apr 15 17 8:34 AM

zmix wrote:
I do have a sizable collection of guitar picks covering a variety of materials and the difference in stiffness and texture is every bit as important to the production of the tone as a drum stick.

Some simply sound terrible in certain circumstances, but I wouldn't generalize...

Having spent some time evaluating a bunch of different pick materials (and shapes) for sonic properties, I would go even further to say that to me old celluloid sounds better (and less plastic-y) than new celluloid.  By old, I mean maybe maybe 40-50 years old.  I even bought a gross of mandolin picks from the 30's and that is a different sound as well.  

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chance

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,665 Member Since:30/01/2011

#25 [url]

Apr 15 17 10:30 AM

Was talking to Tod who used to be Ringo's drum tech and used to own Ontario music close to me, and he told me that the largest group who purchase nylon tipped drum sticks were marching bands and drum & bugle corps

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jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,515 Member Since:24/03/2013

#26 [url]

Apr 15 17 10:40 AM

zmix wrote:
Some simply sound terrible in certain circumstances, but I wouldn't generalize.
 

Not even regarding hardware emulation plugins, sometimes called "the nylon tips of the signal processing world?"

:)

You and Brad are quite right, but we all have our preferences, don't we?

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morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,304 Member Since:29/01/2011

#27 [url]

Apr 15 17 11:09 AM

soapfoot wrote:

morespaceecho wrote:
anyone ever use wood picks? thoughts?

sound very soft, not very durable.


yeah, i knew they weren't durable....that's interesting they sound really soft, intuitively i'd think that wood would (!) be an ideal pick material, but i suppose not. 

years ago i recorded a bassist who used a felt pick. was an interesting sound but if i remember right it was kind of a pain to get the bass sitting nicely in the mix.

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

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morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,304 Member Since:29/01/2011

#28 [url]

Apr 15 17 11:15 AM

chance wrote:
drum & bugle corps
 


not really on topic, but i first learned how to play drums in fife and drum corps...tri-corner hats, buckles on shoes, frilly blouses, the works. welcome to new england. 

anyway the sticks they gave us kids were giant treetrunks. bigger than 2B's. i've played 7A's my whole adult life and often wondered how my little 10 year old hands were able to muscle around those huge sticks.
 

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

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hank alrich

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Posts: 1,745 Member Since:28/01/2011

#29 [url]

Apr 15 17 11:23 AM

soapfoot wrote:

zmix wrote:
I'd like to interrupt this "Internetz Pile-On" to ask why such contrived ire isn't directed at the plethora of blasphemous non-hickory guitar picks?

If sea turtle carapace weren't illegal to trade, and if those sea turtles weren't endangered and facing extinction, it probably would be.

I'm a lover of animals and would NEVER advocate trading in illegal turtle shell guitar picks, but THIS was the original guitar pick material, and having used them... I can attest that, if there were no legal or ethical quandary, I would most-likely never use a plastic pick again.

Fortunately, hickory and maple trees are not endangered nor illegal.

I have a collection of turtle shell picks fro the darker ages. Recently I showed one to my singing daughter, and played some with it. She said, "Wow. Somehow that sounds much more alive".

I use them sparingly and almost never when playing a show.

hank alrich
http://hankandshaidrimusic.com/
http://www.youtube.com/walkinaymusic

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morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,304 Member Since:29/01/2011

#32 [url]

Apr 15 17 2:20 PM

thread hijack: how do you all hold your picks?

serious question. 

seems to me there's two basic approaches:
1. index and thumb on pick, other fingers splayed out
2. index, middle and thumb on pick, other fingers curled up

as a teenage metalhead growing up i was #1 exclusively. as i got older and my style changed completely, gradually i morphed into #2, that's how i play most of the time now. just seems more comfortable/natural for most things....palm muted riffs and some lead stuff being the exceptions. anyway i'd be curious to hear what others do.

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,323 Member Since:04/02/2011

#33 [url]

Apr 15 17 2:38 PM

there are many, many other ways!

I use two primary methods, one that's a lot like how George Benson holds his (which is very natural to me, and my default), and more traditional, wherein the pick is held between the thumb and the side of the first knuckle of the index finger (more natural for most people).

I find the two grips are good for different types of facility, and I switch between them as a drummer might switch between traditional and matched grip.

In the 'typical' way, which I had to learn 'on purpose,' the pick angles downward. In the "Benson" way, the thumb is double-jointed and cocks backward somewhat, and holds the pick between the thumb tip and the pad of the index finger, and "locks" into position in the crook of the bend of the index finger's first knuckle. This causes the pick to angle backward, or upward.

Benson style:

image
image

"normal" style:

image
image

Now. That's only one axis.

Many players will have the most success also angling that WHOLE thing downward, so that the heel, or rounded part of the pick, points toward the floor. That makes all downstrokes effectively "rest strokes," where the pick is stopped be the next higher string, and all upstrokes are effectively "free strokes"-- the angle means that on the upstrokes, the pick is dislodged from between the strings and flies "out," sort of.

A minority of players will do the opposite-- they'll angle the whole thing UPWARD, with the round part of the pick pointing toward the ceiling. That makes all downstrokes "free strokes," and all upstrokes "rest strokes" as the string comes to rest on the next fattest string.

With the downward pick-slanting, sweep-picking from low to high is very natural, and sweep-picking from high to low is very cumbersome. With upward pickslanting, sweep picking that goes from high strings to low strings is very natural, and downward sweeps are cumbersome.

Consequently, yet another minority of players will change the angle of their pick depending on which direction they are going across the strings-- sort of a hybrid pick-slant, so to speak.

But this is still not the end of the variables.

I also use my right hand fingers in addition to the pick, known as "hybrid picking." This allows me to strike four-note chords simultaneously, as opposed to strumming (where the notes are never truly simultaneous). Many country players and some others use the hybrid approach to give a certain type of linear facility, almost like a banjo player.

But it doesn't end there. We could keep going, and going, and going, and going.

But there are certainly more than two basic approaches!

brad allen williams

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morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,304 Member Since:29/01/2011

#34 [url]

Apr 15 17 3:45 PM

good stuff, i was hoping you'd post something like that, thanks! feel free to keep going.

saying "two basic approaches" was dumb, i know there's a million variables...those are just the two that i use, and it's interesting (to me at least) that i changed from 1 to 2 totally unconsciously, it just developed like that.

the angle of the 'benson way' looks really drastic!

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,323 Member Since:04/02/2011

#36 [url]

Apr 15 17 6:58 PM

compasspnt wrote:
A year ago, I bought one real turtle shell pick made from a very old shell which had hung on someone's wall for half a century (not a new one, no new animals were hurt), for $100.


It's worth ten times that.

Indeed. The first time I tried one was a revelation, similar to the first time I tried real calf heads on drums.

brad allen williams

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,323 Member Since:04/02/2011

#37 [url]

Apr 15 17 7:01 PM

morespaceecho wrote:
good stuff, i was hoping you'd post something like that, thanks! feel free to keep going.

saying "two basic approaches" was dumb, i know there's a million variables...those are just the two that i use, and it's interesting (to me at least) that i changed from 1 to 2 totally unconsciously, it just developed like that.

the angle of the 'benson way' looks really drastic!

You might enjoy a series of web videos by Troy Grady entitled "cracking the code." 

It articulates a LOT of stuff that I did instinctually, and never realized I did (or why) until I watched the videos, and also articulated a lot of things that I never thought (or "felt") to do, that a lot of other players use with success.

What it boils down to is that there are a LOT of ways to skin a cat!

brad allen williams

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compasspnt

Diamond Forever

Posts: 21,184 Member Since:08/01/2011

#38 [url]

Apr 15 17 8:10 PM

soapfoot wrote:
compasspnt wrote:
A year ago, I bought one real turtle shell pick made from a very old shell which had hung on someone's wall for half a century (not a new one, no new animals were hurt), for $100.


It's worth ten times that.

Indeed. The first time I tried one was a revelation, similar to the first time I tried real calf heads on drums.


Yep, people who have never tried a real one would have no idea what a pick can be.

This one on acoustic is a HUGE difference.


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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,743 Member Since:26/01/2011

#39 [url]

Apr 16 17 6:48 AM

Great tips guys.  Very educational.

Being a bass player I could never learn to handle a pick. They never felt right between my fingers. Consequently my index fingernail is flat as any pick... as I've used this as my pick over the years when I want a brighter sharper tone but use my calloused fingertips as well for softer tone. Sort of a chicken pickin style. I have done this with my bass playing as well all my life... that's what really flattened out my nail.

My fingernails are not for sale, sorry.

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

Last Edited By: silvertone Apr 16 17 6:51 AM. Edited 1 time.

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,106 Member Since:23/01/2011

#40 [url]

Apr 16 17 8:49 AM

compasspnt wrote:
A year ago, I bought one real turtle shell pick made from a very old shell which had hung on someone's wall for half a century (not a new one, no new animals were hurt), for $100.


It's worth ten times that.

 
There is (or was--I haven't checked in a while) a company that makes picks from the shells of a non-endangered species turtle... maybe the striped turtle.  I bought one around 7 or 8 years ago.  Seems to me it was around $20-25 dollars.  It has a very different-feeling way of 'exciting' the string.  My recollection is that it sort of grabs the string a little bit--almost like it has a little rosin on it or something.  It's certainly the most different-feeling pick I've used and I've used a bunch of different types.  

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