PDA

View Full Version : Picks?



MrsMeyerMusic
02-14-2011, 06:04 AM
Do you use a pick? If so, what kind? I've always been a purist, but lately I've been playing a lot in my classroom and my fingers are hurting. I've seen felt picks before for ukes...

fitncrafty
02-14-2011, 06:08 AM
I usually use my fingers, however I have a felt pick and have used it. The sound is a little different. Sometimes I use it when trying to pick instead of strum, I can get a cleaner sound, especially if I have broken a nail.

Ken Middleton
02-14-2011, 06:53 AM
I never use a pick, unless I have to. This only really happens when my fingernails are badly damaged and I have to play e.g. at a festival. At NAMM, this January, three of my fingernails were broken. I need to play so I used a pick wherever possible. The problem is that it restricts my playing considerably.

MrsMeyerMusic
02-14-2011, 07:05 AM
How does it restrict your playing, Ken?

sailboats
02-14-2011, 07:09 AM
Id say cause you only can pick one string at a time then.

I have never tried them but people who use picks on ukuleles tend to use felt picks.

I have gotten into the habit of finger picking so much I can't even touch my guitar with a pick.

joeybug
02-14-2011, 07:18 AM
I have a pick, three actually, all felt, and I used them before I could strum with my hands, rarely use them now...

Ingrate
02-14-2011, 07:28 AM
I use Dunlop thin guitar picks. I've been playing for ~9 months, and at this stage, it gives me the best results. I used to play guitar, so that likely explains my abnormality. :rolleyes:

I can't get used to long fingernails, and I can't "find" the strings with thumbpick/fingerpicks on.

It's all evolving, though...

Ken Middleton
02-14-2011, 07:37 AM
How does it restrict your playing, Ken?

I use regular guitar picks when I have to. Sailboat's answer is correct. When I use my fingers I have far more control and can have one finger per string. Fancy strums are also im[ossible with a pick.

Tudorp
02-14-2011, 07:45 AM
rarely use em. Like said, greatly restricts picking. I don't use a pick all the time on the electric guitar either. I like the warmer tones the fingers offers.. I think it started out by habit from my bass playing days, but it just works for me. Back in the day, the pads of my fingers on both hands felt like the sole of a converse court shoe, hahhah...

TCK
02-14-2011, 07:47 AM
My wife used to pick, and she liked the wedgie rubber picks the most. She has moved entirely to fingers at this point though.
Here they are at UW (http://www.ukuleleworld.com/wedgie-rubber-picks/)

MrsMeyerMusic
02-14-2011, 08:11 AM
I am only strumming chords right now, so a pick will probably be fine. Fingerstyle is something I really want to learn, though. I can only pick a single melody line right now.

My local music store is ordering felt picks for me. I will look into those rubber ones, though!

Ken Middleton
02-14-2011, 08:23 AM
I am only strumming chords right now, so a pick will probably be fine. Fingerstyle is something I really want to learn, though. I can only pick a single melody line right now.

My local music store is ordering felt picks for me. I will look into those rubber ones, though!

You need to consider whether you always want to only strum chords or make further progress. You can not easily play the ukulele with picks (IMHO). Particularly felt picks. Felt picks enable you to stand on a stage for hours doing simple up down strums without hurting your fingers. That's pretty much it. I know that some will disagree with me.

Ron
02-14-2011, 08:23 AM
My playing partner in Ukes of Hazard plays with and without pick depending on the song.
He transfers his flat picking guitar style to uke. Sounds awesome

WhenDogsSing
02-14-2011, 08:56 AM
I use a Dunlop .38mm nylon pick when I use a pick. They are fairly thin and work very well for strumming or picking.

southcoastukes
02-14-2011, 09:04 AM
TCK:

My wife used to pick, and she liked the wedgie rubber picks the most.

Ron:

My playing partner in Ukes of Hazard plays with and without pick depending on the song.

Yes! Yes!

I, at least, tend to play softly with fingers. The wedgies give me a lot more volume. Comes in especially handy in a band or group setting, where you are mainly a rhythm player anyway.

For me it's like having two ukuleles for the price of one ukulele and a pick.

MrsMeyerMusic
02-14-2011, 09:22 AM
You need to consider whether you always want to only strum chords or make further progress. You can not easily play the ukulele with picks (IMHO). Particularly felt picks. Felt picks enable you to stand on a stage for hours doing simple up down strums without hurting your fingers. That's pretty much it. I know that some will disagree with me.

I agree that you should always make progress in whatever you do. I do a lot of strumming during my elementary music classes, so the pick would help save my fingers. In my own personal playing I probably won't use it.

ItsMrPitchy
02-14-2011, 09:29 AM
Used to use a pick when i played guitar. Since starting the uke though i just cant turn back.

thatukuleleguy
02-14-2011, 09:32 AM
Personally, no. I feel more comfortable and natural using my fingers. Though, I know plenty of people that do use one and it doesn't diminish their skills.

SailingUke
02-14-2011, 09:39 AM
My wife used to pick, and she liked the wedgie rubber picks the most. She has moved entirely to fingers at this point though.
Here they are at UW (http://www.ukuleleworld.com/wedgie-rubber-picks/)

I think having wedgie and playing ukulele would be uncomfortable.
I have heard the rubber picks leave eraser shavings all over the top of the ukulele.

I pretty much am a finger guy. When I am doing a lot of strumming I use a Fred Kelley freedom pick on my index finger, it saves my finger nail.
It does not seem to interfere with any strumming and only takes a few moments to get used to it.

pulelehua
02-14-2011, 11:54 AM
I think you just need to develop your strumming technique a bit more. I think I could strum for hours and hours (I'm a music teacher, use the ukulele in some lessons and run two ukulele clubs) without it becoming painful. At our local club, we play for 3 hours without much pause. That's never a problem.

With my students, the ones who develop pain are almost always the ones whose fingers hit very side on, where the skin is pinched between the string and the side of their nail. If that's the issue, you can change the angle of your hand, so that you're hitting on the down with the tops of your fingernails, and on the up with the pads of your fingers.

You also might have too much tension in your fingers. Your fingers should breeze through and over the strings, not fight with them. It's one of those things which has to become unconscious. As with almost everything in music, the trick is to relax.

veejayblox
02-14-2011, 12:22 PM
i have two felt picks, just bought them out of curiousity, i don't use them. well just once to see what it sounded like.

jungleturtle
02-14-2011, 01:41 PM
I've never even tried a pick on ukulele. Even on guitar, both acoustic and electric, I only very rarely use a pick.

lozarkman
02-14-2011, 01:56 PM
I have trouble keeping my fingernails at a length that works well for picking, and right now they are out to a very nice picking length and I love the feel of picking with them, but it is Winter and that will change come Spring. I don't care for a wedge pick but do occasionally use a thumb pick and it isn't too bad when thumbnail is in bad shape. Tried finger picks as well, but they just don't have the feel of finger or fingernail. And as said, substitutions for nail or finger seriously interfere with involved strumming. I notice Ukelele Bart uses Acrylic nails? Never tried them. Don't know how they would work? Lozark

ukestang
02-14-2011, 03:57 PM
I often play with a pick, like a thin pick with the fat side toward the strings, like mando players do. Like to make my Uke Bark.

Ron
02-14-2011, 04:57 PM
My playing partner in Ukes of Hazard plays with and without pick depending on the song.
He transfers his flat picking guitar style to uke. Sounds awesome

I meant to say - a very thin Dunlop (second to thinest, I think)

mm stan
02-14-2011, 05:29 PM
Aloha MrsMeyerMusic,
I've always preferred my finger nails, early on I couldn't even use them as they felt akward.....go forward 3 1/2 years and lately I was cleaning my desk and came across two finger picks and I tried to strum
with them and it came to me naturally and I can do it now effortly..go figure...as for finger picking they still feel akward....mine are Dunlop medium from Musician's friend...Hope it helps, Happy Strummings, MM Stan

Ken Middleton
02-14-2011, 08:28 PM
... I notice Ukelele Bart uses Acrylic nails? Never tried them. Don't know how they would work? Lozark

Hi Lozark. Yes, Bartt does have acrylic nails fitted. He goes to a nail salon where the people understand what he wants. He said he got strange looks at first. But he has gone there regularly and has nails fitted that are just the right length and strength. He can get them smoothed out and shaped so that they are perfect for his style of playing.

They are glued on to existing nails. The false nails are perfect for a while but, as his real nails grow, the artificial nails move outwards. He returns to the salon and has everything smoothed out. Eventually a "gap" is created between the quick (living skin) and the synthetic nail. This is also smoothed out so it does catch when he is strumming.

This process can be costly. However, for this cost Bartt gets strong nails that work perfectly for his style of playing. Also, remember that he teaches classes, regularly attends festivals, plays uke in a band, records, etc. Bartt has a very varied playing style, from delecate picking to maniacal strumming - he needs to have nails that work all the time.

countrybumpkin
02-14-2011, 08:52 PM
I saw a leather pick recently that sounded nice. Don't usually use a pick though because I find it harder to find my strings and think it sounds a little too crisp for my taste.

veejayblox
02-15-2011, 07:57 AM
i must add that when i tried out a felt pick, it felt like glass over iron, very strange sensation. wasn't what i was expecting at all.

SailingUke
02-15-2011, 08:09 AM
If you don't want to go though the acrylic nail hassel, try Alaska picks or Fred Kelley Freedom picks.
Alaska picks fit under the nail and some (me included) find them uncomfortable. The Freedom picks are much more comfortable for me.
They take very little time to adapt to. You can feel the strings and with either strumming is not inhibited. Both are like a finger nail extension.

Lori
02-15-2011, 11:35 AM
If you don't want to go though the acrylic nail hassel, try Alaska picks or Fred Kelley Freedom picks.
Alaska picks fit under the nail and some (me included) find them uncomfortable. The Freedom picks are much more comfortable for me.
They take very little time to adapt to. You can feel the strings and with either strumming is not inhibited. Both are like a finger nail extension.
What size did you get for the Freedom Picks? I would like to have something for a back-up when my fingernails split or break. I would try the Alaska Picks, but if I have a way-too-short torn nail, I don't think they would work.
Did you by your picks online or does somebody carry them around LA? Did you get the Delrin or Polycarb?

–Lori

SailingUke
02-15-2011, 12:14 PM
What size did you get for the Freedom Picks? I would like to have something for a back-up when my fingernails split or break. I would try the Alaska Picks, but if I have a way-too-short torn nail, I don't think they would work.
Did you by your picks online or does somebody carry them around LA? Did you get the Delrin or Polycarb?

–Lori
I bought large, one poly & delrin.
I like the clear poly no one can see I am wearing it.
I have not seen them in music stores, I got mine online from Kelley.
Easily sized with a hair dryer.

Lori
02-15-2011, 12:59 PM
I bought large, one poly & delrin.
I like the clear poly no one can see I am wearing it.
I have not seen them in music stores, I got mine online from Kelley.
Easily sized with a hair dryer.

Many thanks Alan!

Ziegman5000
02-27-2011, 11:42 PM
One reason I like picks, though I also play with my fingers, is they can make the tone more percussive. If I am at a uke jam I'll use a pick sometimes to keep a beat for everyone while playing. I still wanna try a felt one cause so far I have guitar picks.

Chickenstein
02-28-2011, 12:12 AM
I use felt picks constantly. The thing is, I wear them out pretty quick. Another problem I have is losing them. I never lost .20 guitar picks, but these for $1.50, I lose all the time.

Moments ago, I ordered a leather one. I give it one weekend, before I am looking everywhere for it.

greenway
02-28-2011, 03:27 AM
I have tried a pick once and I didn't really like the sound (granted it was a pick I use for heavier bass playing).
I also don't like strumming with my fingernails though, I strum with my thumb... am I weird? :P

joeybug
02-28-2011, 04:02 AM
I have tried a pick once and I didn't really like the sound (granted it was a pick I use for heavier bass playing).
I also don't like strumming with my fingernails though, I strum with my thumb... am I weird? :P

I also strum with my thumb, just feels right for me!