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Eight Mandolin Picks
 
Joe K. Walsh demonstrates eight of his favorite picks, including picks from Apollo, Bluebird, BlueChip, D’Andrea, and Wegen.
July 20, 2023
 

For anyone who plays a stringed instrument with a flatpick, the choice of pick is highly personal. Shape, size, thickness, and material have a big impact on tone, of course, and players have different ideas about what constitutes good tone. In recent years, there has been a lot of interest in high-end and custom picks, some of which cost as much as $75 or more. These picks are usually presented as alternatives to traditional tortoise-shell picks, since tortoiseshell has been illegal to trade under the CITES act since 1973. Older tortoiseshell picks are still available as are picks made from antique tortoiseshell that has been used to make other things (such as combs), and while it’s not illegal to own tortoiseshell picks made from old material, trading them commercially is. So there are good reasons for using alternative materials, and the trend toward more sophisticated alternatives to the typical 50-cent guitar pick has provided great options for players looking to expand their tonal palette. Having a choice of bevel and shape is also a good reason to try a custom pick. 

When Peghead Nation instructor Joe K. Walsh was recently in our studio to shoot lessons for his courses, he suggested demoing eight different picks he had been experimenting with. Besides the Wegen TF (which is made from a white plastic with properties similar to tortoise shell) and vintage tortoiseshell pick he usually uses, he also brought along a Bluebird pick made from an antique galalith (also known as casein) material poker chip, an Apollo made from polyetherimide (PEI), a D’Andrea Pro Plec 346 (branded with a Music Emporium logo) made of thermoplastic, a custom casein pick that was hand-made by fellow Peghead Nation instructor Flynn Cohen, a BlueChip TAD-1R 40 (made from a proprietary composite material) , and a Peghead Nation–branded Delrin pick. All the picks have a large triangle shape, and while Joe isn’t sure about the exact thickness for most of them, except for the thinner Delrin pick, they are all similar to the 1mm. BlueChip pick.

In this video, Joe talks about each pick, then demonstrates it by playing his Gilchrist F-5, using his Neumann KM-84 microphone to record the instrument. 

To study mandolin and octave mandolin with Joe K. Walsh on Peghead Nation, enroll in his Octave Mandolin, Bluegrass Mandolin Jam Favorites, Swing and Jazz Mandolin, Improvising for Mandolin and Fiddle, or The Advancing Mandolinist courses!

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A great duo performance captured at the Fretboard Summit.
 
 
 
 
 
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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2024 PegheadNation.com