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Finger picks...straight or angled...

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Jul 10, 2020 - 1:15:50 PM
955 posts since 6/13/2012

I have been using ProPik straight blade finger picks for a long time. But they also come in angled blades as well. I use the double wrapped ones which will stay on and fit my fingers very well. They also come in brass or nickel plated. Depending on the position of your right hand over the cone, the angled picks might work to your advantage. Have any of you out there experimented with the the angle of your particular preference of blades ? Left or right angled or straight. Do you modify the curve of the blade to attack the strings ? Let's hear from you on this subject.

Jul 10, 2020 - 4:50:20 PM

islandgirl

Canada

269 posts since 6/4/2012

You’ve made me think about this, Tom. I just automatically bent the blades over my fingertips because that’s what I do with my banjo picks, but thinking about it, the angle of attack is totally different. One is flat and the other upright. I’m going to experiment. Maybe straight blades would work better for me on reso. I haven’t noticed the bent blades not working, but maybe they would be improved straight.

Jul 10, 2020 - 5:34:27 PM

badger

USA

419 posts since 8/10/2008

I tried them when they came out, and they didn't seem to make a difference. My preference is straight picks (I'm really sold on the Bob Acri stainless, but used the double wrap PP for years) slightly angled on the fingers towards the thumb. Blades are slightly bent in to fit closer to the finger pad. Every time I've attempted to change blade angles has ended badly. just my $.02

Jul 10, 2020 - 6:05:54 PM

chipmunk

Canada

91 posts since 8/12/2008

Hmmmmm...now you have me thinking Tom, and that is scary for an older fellow wink.  I have used the ProPik Reso for a number of years mainly because of the blade angle (angled away from the thumb when looking at the palm of your open hand).  I didn't realize that the other models also came with angled blades until I just took a look on their website.  I have used other straight blade picks but found that I had to angle the blades to fit my attack angle on the dobro, sometimes not very successfully.  I am playing a lot of lap steel now and they seem to work ok there as well.  I guess muscle memory comes into play.  I prefer the split wrap as they tend to stay on better.  Nickel/silver for dobro and brass for lap steel...just my preference.

Jul 10, 2020 - 6:43:07 PM

RezBluez

Canada

148 posts since 1/24/2015

I have to use the angled ones, but they are angled back towards the bridge. My thumb is so short I really have to angle my hand. The reso picks put me right back on track to strike the strings square on.

Jul 10, 2020 - 10:28:53 PM
likes this

995 posts since 1/10/2009

I use the same picks on steel, dobro and banjo, Dunlop .020s. They aren't angled, but to compensate for the angle of my pick stroke I rotate the picks a little on my fingers so they strike the string squarely more or less. Randy Kohrs showed me this and I think many top players do the same. Looking from above, the blade rotates toward the bridge enough so that you are striking with the center of the blade and not the edge.

Jul 12, 2020 - 11:06:39 AM

1061 posts since 9/29/2009

Second what Greg said. I first noticed the the wear on one edge of the picks from the wound strings, so rotated as he said, such that the string contacts the center of the blade. To my ear the sound is fuller and fatter, and may not wear the strings as quickly. If you play multiple instruments like Greg, your hand position might not be exactly the same on each one, and so require a slightly different degree of rotation.

Jul 12, 2020 - 4:07:51 PM

resotom

USA

955 posts since 6/13/2012

Some players have blades curved right around their fingers while others prefer to bend them to get more 'bite' on the strings. What is your preference on this subject ?

Jul 12, 2020 - 4:45:28 PM

Bob Blair

Canada

158 posts since 12/17/2010

I curve my picks around my fingers quite a lot which works for my hand position - sometimes I uncurl them and I find I can play with them either way and in any case my fingers will drop between the strings enough that the mass of my finger is behind the picking stroke at the start. Unlike Greg I don't use the same picks for pedal steel as I do for dobro - I like the ACRI picks a lot but they just don't work for me on pedal steel - I mostly use old Nationals for that. When I use the Nationals on dobro I hear a bit more scratching than I like to hear. I think I do rotate the blades a bit too to get a more square attack but I don't think about it a lot and it just seems to have happened unconsciously. I've tried the angled picks and they felt weird to me.

Jul 13, 2020 - 8:17:41 AM

PeterJ

USA

135 posts since 8/5/2008

I do the same as Greg - Dunlop .020s, slightly rotated, same picks for banjo, reso and lap steel. Since I switch between steel and banjo mid-set, I can't switch picks, too.

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