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"Shootout" between a tweaked Picky Pick and a Kelly Freedom Pick

Posted by banjopogo on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I went to a jam session today hosted by a clawhammer player who is very particular about her clawhammer picks.  I've been sharing my tweaks for the Picky Picks, and she has also gotten good performance with the tweaked picks.

After the jam, I shared a variation on the tweaks that had been shared in a thread here at the BH, and we got to talking about the Kelly Freedom picks.  Turns out she had a medium and a large, and I'd been wanting to try them both.  Turns out the large was perfect for me, and she GAVE it to me!!!

So, when I got home, I wanted to try it out on my banjo.  It had sounded and felt great on a friend's Gold Tone open back, and allowed me to play very accurately.

And it played well on my banjo... BUT, it's got a sharper, crisper attack compared to the Picky Pick that somehow doesn't work as well on my banjo, although it's not altogether unpleasant.   The tweaked Picky Pick is just mellower sounding.

BUT, one nice thing about the Freedom Pick, is that, although it's not TOTALLY immune to slipping, it IS more stable on the finger than the picky pick.

As I looked at the Picky Pick, wishing that I could get the stability of the Freedom Pick with the sound of the Picky Pick, a lightbulb went on in my brain:  I have these small size cable ties that I have been using as a thumb grip for the TUF (Thumb Under Frog) bow hold, to keep the thumb from moving along the smooth under surface of the frog.

It occurred to me that I could loop together two little holes in the flanges of the Picky Pick that wrap around the finger with a cable tie.  I did so, leaving the lumpy part on the OUTSIDE of the pick, of course, and trimming off the excess.  When I tried it, I realized I had gotten it a bit too tight, I thought, but then I pinched the loop flatter with some needle nosed pliers, and that made it about perfect.  The cable tie keeps the flanges around the finger from expanding, which of course is what causes the pick to start to slip.  I was concerned that the bit of cable tie on the inside of the pick would be uncomfortable, but it isn't, and may even help the pick stay on better.

So now, with the cable tie tieing the ends together, the Picky Pick is a LOT more stable!!!



2 comments on “"Shootout" between a tweaked Picky Pick and a Kelly Freedom Pick”

strumn1 Says:
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 @4:44:44 AM

I have been switching between the two mentioned picks (not on the same tune) to get a different sound at times. However, I have not tried the Picky Pick on my Nylgut strung banjo. I have been concerned that the small metal tip (although smooth) would cause the strings to wear and break prematurely. Have you tried the Picky Pick on Nylguts?

banjopogo Says:
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 @11:03:42 AM

Strumn1,

I haven't tried the Picky Pick on Nylguts, because the only Nylguts I have are on my new baritone uke!!! But the tweak to the Picky Picks I do involves bending the point back under to secure the pick under the tip of the nail and finger.
The result is that the tip isn't so pointy or sharp, and that might be better for Nylguts.
The main reason for the bending, however was that I didn't want a pick that extended out beyond the nail more than a little, because then it makes switching from playing with a pick to without a pick (and vice-versa) much harder.
Another reason is to get more stability in the pick so it doesn't flex so much.

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