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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

6772 reviews in the archive.

Picks: Perfect Touch

Submitted by BoogerWeed on 6/10/2010

Where Purchased: angiesbanjo.com

Overall Comments

I am very reserved about writing this review, as I am simply a humble beginner without extensive experience in playing in the "real world" and without the benefit of trying out a gozillion different finger/thumb picks.

That being said, and this being a review based on personal opinion, I must say that I really do like the new Perfect Touch picks. As noted in a previous review, I have had the brass, rounded PT fingerpicks for a long time; however, as soon as I saw this cyborg-looking thumb pick, I just had to try it out. (Since I got a good deal on the combo-pack which included the fingerpicks, I went ahead and bought all three).

The thumb pick is, for lack of a better word, of hybrid construction. The actual plectrum is stiff plastic, but the 3-prong bendable tabs that fit around the thumb and the plate to which they attach are nickel.

For some reason, the cuticle on my thumb has always been very sensitive to standard thumbpicks, so I have had to modify every one that I've ever used so that there was a cutout around my cuticle. With the PT thumbpick, that is not an issue. Two prongs wrap around the top of the knuckle (looking down in playing position); the other prong wraps 'up' in front of the knuckle so that there is actually no coverage on the back of the thumb. As far as the sound goes, I can't hear any difference at all.

The nickel fingerpicks fit even more comfortably than the brass ones, and I like the feel of the flat tips more than the rounded tips (but this is where inexperience figures in heavily, as I have never used flat-tipped picks before; I don't know if it is the pick itself or the style of the pick).

Like most aspiring banjoists, it is not unusual for me to practice for very long stretches of time. I have experienced no slippage at all, and there is no pain or discomfort in wearing these picks, before during, or after practicing. All in all, I give the Perfect Touch thumb/finger pick combo an A+ rating for what I am looking for in picks. And remember, this review is based upon the personal opinion of one who is still very much a beginner...

Overall Rating: 10

Mutes: Mike's Banjo Mute

Submitted by BoogerWeed on 6/4/2010

Where Purchased: mikesbanjomute.com

Overall Comments

I have been playing with a F-C mute since I started picking, and I have been very happy with it. I saw the ad for Mike's mute in Angie's Silver Strings ezine, and I went to Mike's website (www.mikesbanjomute.com), checked out the videos and testimonials, and ordered one.
First off, I ordered the mute on Tuesday. I got an immediate "thank you" from Mike via email. I figured that, even if this was an autoresponder, it was a nice touch. I replied to his email and almost immediately, Mike replied back! Wow! I got the mute yesterday morning (Thursday; great shipping time!), and I tried it out last night.
I tuned my 5-string before fitting the mute, then, when I put the mute on, I checked my tuning again and WOW!! no need to retune! That was a big plus. I played for about an hour (if what I do can actually be called playing), and the mute never loosened or vibrated at all. I noticed that there was less string buzz, too.
This is a great mute. It looks good, it fits well, and I think the nylon thumbscrews (that "lift' the feet to to the bridge instead of "seating" the plate to the bridge) are a key component to making the mute maintain the actual tone of the banjo and reducing buzzing/vibration sounds.
Great product; heartily recommended! Thanks, Mike!

Overall Rating: 10

Picks: Perfect Touch

Submitted by BoogerWeed on 11/29/2007

Where Purchased: angiesbanjo.com

Overall Comments

I purchased the brass round picks, made by Rusty Thornhill.

They pretty much fit right out of the box; I simply bent the tips a little to my preference, and I was off and running! They are, by far, the most comfortable picks I've ever tried; however, I have never tried any of the more expensive picks.

I wholeheartedly recommend these picks for comfort! The sound is great, too. What's really nice about these picks is that they don't have to 'pinch' your fingers to stay on. I love 'em! (Thanks Rusty!)

Overall Rating: 10

Mutes: Fielding-Cutler Banjo Mute

Submitted by BoogerWeed on 11/19/2007

Where Purchased: Fielding-Cutler Website

Overall Comments

This mute is wonderful! I am a beginner, but one of the greatest hindrances to my banjo advancement is the limitation on when I can play (because it is such a LOUD instrument).

With the mute in place, the banjo is as quiet as, if not quieter, than my acoustic guitar. I play in the room next to where two of my children sleep, and they can't even hear it!

This is a wonderful investment. Well worth the $30 bucks.

Overall Rating: 10

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