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Aug 18, 2019 - 9:22:07 AM
1 posts since 8/18/2019

What are opinions about pointy finger picks? I learned with them but no one seems to use them.

Aug 18, 2019 - 9:47:11 AM

RB3

USA

526 posts since 4/12/2004

They're good for pointing, but not much for pickin'.

Aug 18, 2019 - 10:15:55 AM

1884 posts since 5/2/2012

Ernie Ball Pickey picks are one of the different finger picks I tried when I switched over to Scruggs style. They were just "OK" and I settled on angled ProPiks. Have given some away and kept a set.

Aug 18, 2019 - 10:17:44 AM
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RioStat

USA

4924 posts since 10/12/2009
Online Now

I tried 'em quite awhile back......could never get any volume out of a banjo with them

Aug 18, 2019 - 10:39:26 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

23191 posts since 8/3/2003

Many years ago when I was a beginner, I used those pointy picks. I was told by an excellent banjo player and teacher that I'd never make a bluegrass banjo picker if I used those little bitty pointy picks. I changed to the regular sized/shaped picks and it did increase the volume and the ability to pick cleaner, clearer and faster.

My suggestion: stay with the regular sized/shaped bluegrass type picks.

Aug 18, 2019 - 10:57:39 AM
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PKM

USA

468 posts since 4/19/2011

When I first started playing, my mentor, who was an amazing professional player, advised me to play with Ernie Ball Pickity Picks. I had not reason to question his advice. I played for 30 years that way until switching to Nationals. I found that I got better volume.
That being said,... since there is less pick metal coming in contact with the string, I believe that you get less pick noise with the Ernie Ball picks !! So, for a while, I'd pick with Nationals on stage and at practice, at home, etc. but would put Ernie Ball picks on when I went into recording studio. Producing a loud, projecting volume in studio, where individual instruments can be brought up by the engineer, was not a priority. I found that knocking out pick noise frequencies, was not necessary at all with the pointed picks. There's something else as well, which is hard to describe in words,... the sound from the pointed picks in studio was more... precise, for lack of a better word. The rapid succession of notes had greater clarity and separation. However,...the tone was thinner.
I guess my point is, there is a benefit within a limited scope. But if you want to pick, and sound, closer to J.D. at festivals. Ernie Balls are not the way to go. But perhaps if you're toying around with jazz, classical, or find yourself tired of pick noise in studio,...they have an application. The banjo is a magnificent instrument capable of more than being assigned to only one genre of music.

Aug 18, 2019 - 3:48:25 PM

14256 posts since 12/2/2005

I tried a wide variety of picks - both thumb and finger - before dialing in on what I use now.

The pick hejira included some exotic ones, including the Ernie Ball Pickies. I did not like them.

The fact that I did not like them - and all of the others discarded along the way - doesn't mean they're without value. They were simply without value to ME.

Picks are tools. Unlike most tools, they're tools we don't just use - they're tools we WEAR. Ultimately, each of us - if we stay with the instrument - will arrive at a solution that works for us as individual players.

I would further caution that the fact that a particular combination works well for me is absolutely worthless as guidance for what will work for you.

Anyone who tells you that a given accessory is the be-all and end all is doing you a (well-meaning) disservice. They are simply expressing their loyalty to their own personal solution.

So go ahead, play with those pointy picks if you want to. And maybe try some others for the hell of it. Most of these gadgets don't cost much. And you might be delighted by the result.

 

Welcome to the Hangout, by the way.

Edited by - eagleisland on 08/18/2019 15:50:09

Aug 18, 2019 - 4:49:27 PM

1622 posts since 2/21/2011

Of the 45 years I've been picking banjo, it only took me 30 of those years to finally settle on the picks I now use (i.e., Showcase 41s with the blade twisted).  So, if you're in it for the long haul, I welcome you to the insanity! 


Edited by - Stu D Baker-Hawk on 08/18/2019 16:53:57

Aug 19, 2019 - 4:50:20 AM

122 posts since 6/22/2012

I currently settled on a propik for the middle and an old 97 for the index.
It might change, but I like the combo.

It may be whatever you get used to, but switching around too much has its drawbacks for me.

Aug 19, 2019 - 9:37:29 AM
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6 posts since 8/14/2019

What a fortuitous post for me! My brand new Goodtime 2 is "out for delivery" today and I'm staring out the window waiting for that Fedex truck to appear on the horizon. With my banjo, who I've already named Sugar (different post topic, I know), will be several accessories - the Ernie Ball pickey picks and a Propik Delrim being some. I have scooped up a set of Nationals with a Golden Gate thumb pick, as a "backup set". I will be practicing for several weeks with only the Ernie Balls, I think, just for consistency and muscle memory (I'm a total newb to stringed instruments), but will certainly try my hand at the Nats and GG at some point. Cool to see people discussing these.

Aug 23, 2019 - 6:48:45 AM

111 posts since 3/26/2015

Different picks=different tone. Clean, clear with good timing is first priority. Find something comfortable to you and stay with it awhile. When you get to a point that you are comfortable with timing and clarity, experiment with other picks. The instrument is "your" voice while playing. Find the voice you want to produce. Picks are just one of the many variables. Ain't banjos grand!

Sep 1, 2019 - 1:13:50 PM

Ybanjo

USA

624 posts since 11/15/2009

I started using ProPics several years ago because they are the most comfortable. I also tried the ProPic Sharpies and really like 'em. And I still use them now. They are not a lot smaller, but just enough point on them to make a cleaner pick on the string. At least for my playing style they seem to do best for me.

Sep 4, 2019 - 6:55:29 PM

stanger

USA

7217 posts since 9/29/2004

quote:
Originally posted by eagleisland

I tried a wide variety of picks - both thumb and finger - before dialing in on what I use now.

The pick hejira included some exotic ones, including the Ernie Ball Pickies. I did not like them.

The fact that I did not like them - and all of the others discarded along the way - doesn't mean they're without value. They were simply without value to ME.

Picks are tools. Unlike most tools, they're tools we don't just use - they're tools we WEAR. Ultimately, each of us - if we stay with the instrument - will arrive at a solution that works for us as individual players.

I would further caution that the fact that a particular combination works well for me is absolutely worthless as guidance for what will work for you.

Anyone who tells you that a given accessory is the be-all and end all is doing you a (well-meaning) disservice. They are simply expressing their loyalty to their own personal solution.

So go ahead, play with those pointy picks if you want to. And maybe try some others for the hell of it. Most of these gadgets don't cost much. And you might be delighted by the result.

 

Welcome to the Hangout, by the way.


As usual... Right on, Skip.

I've tried every fingerpick under the sun, and when I began using Dunlop 20 gauge, they were the best for me. They come a bit to straight, so when I first put a new set on, a bend them just a little bit by pressing the points down on my knee. That bends them just enough to be perfect for me.

The .20 flexes just a little under my fingertips, which gives me a feel of the string under them, but not so much that I can't strike the string hard when I want to, and their curvature works really well for me and my right hand positioning. 

I've found that once you fit the pick to your fingertip, it's a really good idea to use that pick only on that finger. When I take my picks off, I slip my index pick, which is closed a little tighter, into my middle finger pick, then keep them together by slipping the thumbpick over both of them. Once a set, they stay that way, and they go on and off in order. The longer I use them the better they get. The picks gradually take on the shape of my fingertips over time, and they all wear at the angle that gives them the most solid tone. The angle on each finger is different.

But if I lose one, I lose them all. That's actually a good thing for me, because breaking all 3 in at the same time  is a lot better than using one old pick and 2 brand-new ones. The old one never works as good as when it was in its proper set.

Since I very rarely lose a set, all my picks are used until they wear their points flat and become so thin the metal begins to curl at the tips. That's usually when I retire them. One set of Dunlops always out-wears at least 2 plastic thumbpicks.

regards,

stanger

Sep 11, 2019 - 4:36:15 AM

SamM

Canada

254 posts since 2/28/2006

I have settled on the Ernie Ball picky-picks and like them. Every once in a while I go back to Pro-picks and do get slightly better tone but I find with the picky-picks i can pick cleaner, with less pick noise and faster.

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