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View Full Version : Warn guitar players not to use their picks on your ukes!



kissing
04-18-2010, 11:32 PM
Brand new Pineapple Flea from MGM arrived in the mail today.
Absolutely lovin' it.

I let my electric guitarist friend play it.
After he was done, I see some scratches on the surface from his pick!!
ARGH!! It's brand new!!#$@

Brandon7s
04-19-2010, 12:14 AM
I can't think of a good reason to use a ANY kind of pick on a ukulele, personally. Well, if you haven't grown out your fingernails than I imagine that they'd have a purpose, but otherwise I don't see much of an advantage to using them.

In any case, scratches are just character being imprinted on your instrument. :D

casarole45
04-19-2010, 12:43 AM
I don't use a pick, but I'm sure certain people find it works well with their style, if someones plays a uke really well using a pick, then theres no way thats a bad thing, you could get some ultra bright and clean sound using one.

I'm hoping its a gloss finish so you can just buff the scratches out if not like Brandon says it'll add heaps load of character... and next time you play his new guitar... I think you know what to do ;)

Tudorp
04-19-2010, 12:56 AM
I rarely use a pick. When I do, it is usually a thumb pick when I am specifically picking and not strumming. But, like said above, I don't worry about scratches from just standard playing and use. Don't abuse your instrument, but signs of use is always a better thing then an instrument laying dormant. Look at SRV's guitars.. He used his stuff, lol..

ichadwick
04-19-2010, 01:07 AM
Nothing wrong with using a pick. Merely a matter of style. In fact, a pick can make a mellow uke sound much brighter and louder.

It's the user's technique that's sloppy, not the pick. I played guitar for many decades and made almost no marks on any of the dozens of guitars I owned from picks.

Plus there are different density picks you can use - i always preferred the thinner, more flexible picks because I felt they gave more control over how the notes were played. So they'er less likely to mark the surface.

I prefer my fingers on a uke becuase of how I play - a mix of strumming and picking - plus the nylon strings require a softer touch with the pick than I was used to with steel-stringed guitars. But now and then I play with one because flatpicking can do things fingerpicking can't.

SailQwest
04-19-2010, 02:08 AM
What a bummer that your "friend" beat the crap out of your new ukulele.

I never let anyone use a pick on my ukes. If they want to beat up their own instruments, that's cool. But doing that to someone else's instrument, especially a brand new one, is very inconsiderate.

And reading the above responses is a good reminder that lots of people only read the title of a thread, and not the actual post. :rolleyes:

Skitzic
04-19-2010, 02:49 AM
Sorry about your uke. That's a bummer.

Maybe it was something in the air this weekend, I let a friend of mine play my guitar (which I have managed to keep mint for 4 years) and put a big old scratch in the top. I plan to buff the heck out of it tonight and hope it goes away.

I feel your pain.

kissing
04-19-2010, 03:33 AM
Its a satin finish, as its a Flea.

I buffed at it frantically with a soft cloth. It's a lot less noticeable now, but it's still there.
I habitually keep looking at it :(

cornfedgroove
04-19-2010, 03:40 AM
you oughta smack that guy and teach him some instrument ettiquette lol

Skitzic
04-19-2010, 03:46 AM
Its a satin finish, as its a Flea.

I buffed at it frantically with a soft cloth. It's a lot less noticeable now, but it's still there.
I habitually keep looking at it :(

Put a sticker over it.

Gaby
04-19-2010, 04:13 AM
don't look at it - play it! :-)

bazmaz
04-19-2010, 04:22 AM
dont stress, flea top surfaces are pretty bad for resisting scratches imho. mine is 18mnths old and worn to hell, and i dont use a pick!

Skrik
04-19-2010, 04:43 AM
you oughta smack that guy and teach him some instrument ettiquette lol

+1

(added to get around the too short posting thing)

Kanaka916
04-19-2010, 05:21 AM
Brand new Pineapple Flea from MGM arrived in the mail today.
Absolutely lovin' it.

I let my electric guitarist friend play it.
After he was done, I see some scratches on the surface from his pick!!
ARGH!! It's brand new!!#$@
Sorry Brah, I feel your pain, but you don't have anyone to blame but yourself. Ya gotta lay the ground rules and control the situation.

Chris Tarman
04-19-2010, 05:42 AM
I agree in part with the "battle scars and character" theory. Of course it is nice if you get to put your OWN battle scars on your instrument, rather than having someone else do it for you...

Dane
04-19-2010, 07:09 AM
Hey, if someone asks what it's from now, you've got a story........... "Oh yeah that was from when Hendrix played my uke live on stage, I wish he had used a leather pick"

Personally I wish my uke had more scratches, I play the thing so hard all the time with no worry about scratches, and the gloss finish is still fine, it has a ton of very small scratches, but you can't see them unless you look for em.

kissing
04-19-2010, 09:16 AM
Thanks for the understandings :)

I don't mind the ukulele getting worn with time with my own influences. But it really sucks when someone else has done it... and on the first day of having it too lol.
He was sort of shredding a bit madly on the high frets on the E and A string, so under those strings are some pick marks. They're actually not that noticeable, and you can only see if it you sort of look at it closely knowing its there. Its more psychological damage to me than on the actual uke, because I'm a rather fussy guy lol.

I guess an important lesson has been learned. I'll definitely inform any future samplers of my uke not to use picks, and explain that the uke is mainly played by hand and that I'd rather if my uke could avoid pick marks.

Because to be frank, under normal hand-playing circumstances, those scratches would never appear.
Actually, sensible picking with a pick wouldn't cause scratches either (the annoyance returns argh).

I did tell him about it, in passing. He did apologise and feels some guilt (though I politely insisted that it wasn't a problem).
I guess life would just have to go on. It's not that big of a deal afterall. An annoyance that was beyond my control at the time.
I find myself compulsively checking that spot each time I pick up the uke, to try and convince myself that it's not too bad. But its not a good feeling.. it'll take a bit more time to get over because I'm such a sook over any damage or unnecessary blemish to my babies.

molinee
04-19-2010, 09:20 AM
What time is your friend's funeral ?? :cool:

Mim
04-19-2010, 10:16 AM
I had a kid use a plastic spoon on one of my "cutomers play" ukes. Then he turned around and used the pop top of a soda can... ugh. If it is not your instrument... ask. It is just courtesy.

haole
04-19-2010, 12:08 PM
Acquire a carbide-tipped pick and ask to try out his newest guitar.

casarole45
04-19-2010, 12:50 PM
Flamenco guitars often have scratch guards on (like steel acoustics), because of the heavy attack of the style, I wouldn't call it bad picking (obviously can't state for this case), some players and styles are just rough that way with or without a pick.

kissing
04-19-2010, 02:40 PM
yeah, I think you're right. He is quite a good guitarist, and he was playing some nice, dynamic solos......... just.... at a cost to my poor Flea's surface underneath the E and A strings :(

But I've slept over it (well the 2 hours I got anyway, staying up studying for a test) and feel a bit better.
I'm such a sensitive wuss when it comes to caring for my ukes. Especially about a newborn :(

Skitzic
04-19-2010, 03:00 PM
If I caught a kid playing my uke with a spoon I would slap his fingers with a ruler

kissing
04-19-2010, 03:38 PM
ah well i once caught a kid playing my uke with one of those asian wooden ear picks that was lying around on my desk.



If I caught a kid playing my uke with a spoon I would slap his fingers with a ruler
LOL, like this guitar legend:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6gWy9jbp1Y

Mim
04-19-2010, 04:02 PM
If I caught a kid playing my uke with a spoon I would slap his fingers with a ruler

I think I embarrassed him because he was in with like 6 other teens and I said "Seriously! Dude! A spoon! Seriously! You gotta be kidding me!" Then when it got to the can tab I just asked him to hand it over and gave him the "Seriously" speech again and the stink eye!

Chris Tarman
04-19-2010, 06:36 PM
I think I embarrassed him because he was in with like 6 other teens and I said "Seriously! Dude! A spoon! Seriously! You gotta be kidding me!" Then when it got to the can tab I just asked him to hand it over and gave him the "Seriously" speech again and the stink eye!

Ouch! Not the "stink eye"! That is serious!

Bassukuguy
04-19-2010, 08:40 PM
had a "friend" play with a quarter on my new takamine acoustic. i literally smacked him with music. of course in doing this he snapped my high e... i was pissed beyond belieif... "i do it on mine" is not an excuse with someone else's instrument.

Dane
04-19-2010, 09:14 PM
LOL, like this guitar legend:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6gWy9jbp1Y

That is my new fav video.

Hey, at least you didn't do this to your uke! haha I kinda funkied that one up...

http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/6226/oopsk.jpg

BobN
04-20-2010, 12:28 AM
You probably don't want this to happen to your uke:
http://gallery.photo.net/photo/6980590-md.jpg

Clear laminating sheets work well for protecting from scratches. Some people have fingernail that can do as much damage as a pick.
These can be cut to shape with a pair of scissors:
http://www.staples.com/GBC-SelfSeal-Repositionble-Laminating-Supply-Letter-Size/product_488786
You can get the same thing from Stewmac for a bit more money:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Pickguards/Pickguard_materials/Clear_Pickguard_Materials.html
Micro mesh pads work well for buffing out scratches:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Sanding_Tools_and_Supplies/Micro-Mesh_Soft_Touch_Finishing_Pads.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=1790

luvdat
04-20-2010, 12:53 AM
If it's any consolation there's scratch marks all over the top portion of my Flea and decent amount of oil from my pinky resting on the top...and I just got it the middle of February. I don't care. I once had tiny blood drops from playing minus picks on a Guild acoustic guitar for years...

With that said, in my travels, there's a whole class of musicians who do find it necessary to scratch up other people's instruments even drop them...becoming suddenly very clumsy. No explaining the mysteries of Jerkdom.

Skitzic
04-20-2010, 02:33 AM
I think I embarrassed him because he was in with like 6 other teens and I said "Seriously! Dude! A spoon! Seriously! You gotta be kidding me!" Then when it got to the can tab I just asked him to hand it over and gave him the "Seriously" speech again and the stink eye!

I would consider him a lucky fellow...after all that only getting the stink eye and a speech. You should give him the stink eye every time he comes in now.

ukantor
04-20-2010, 03:05 AM
A friend accidentally knocked dropped a lantern on one of my favourite ukes. No serious damage, but it pressed the strings against the front, leaving two short but fairly deep depressions. He was SOOO upset and contrite, and insisted on compensating me most generously. The funny thing is, that whenever I look at those marks now, it reminds me of the enjoyable weekend with friends at a campsite, where it happened. I don't welcome damage to my ukes, but in time, it becomes part of the uke's life story.

Ukantor.

Teek
04-20-2010, 08:01 AM
You probably don't want this to happen to your uke:
http://gallery.photo.net/photo/6980590-md.jpg

Clear laminating sheets work well for protecting from scratches. Some people have fingernail that can do as much damage as a pick.
These can be cut to shape with a pair of scissors:
http://www.staples.com/GBC-SelfSeal-Repositionble-Laminating-Supply-Letter-Size/product_488786
You can get the same thing from Stewmac for a bit more money:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Pickguards/Pickguard_materials/Clear_Pickguard_Materials.html
Micro mesh pads work well for buffing out scratches:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Sanding_Tools_and_Supplies/Micro-Mesh_Soft_Touch_Finishing_Pads.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=1790

On the top link, is that the infamous guitar that the IRS said Willie Nelson could keep?

BobN
04-20-2010, 08:20 AM
On the top link, is that the infamous guitar that the IRS said Willie Nelson could keep?

Yup. He named it "Trigger". Martin has offered to repair it for free, but he likes it the way it is..
I didn't know about the IRS, but I imagine that if that guitar was put up for auction it would fetch a few dollars.