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Post new topic Pick Noise Help Needed
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Author Topic:  Pick Noise Help Needed
Brad Richard


From:
Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 31 Dec 2018 1:06 pm    
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Lap steel newbie here. I did a search and couldn't find what I was looking for (even though this has probably been discussed many times). I got a set of Hoffmeyer metal finger picks for my banjo (love them). I found they also work great for my dobro. They also work great on my new lap steel EXCEPT for the noise. Whenever I touch a string there's a very audible "click" and I don't know what to do about it. I'm sure it's partly (or largely) bad technique. I tried plastic picks and they're quiet, but I don't like the feel. I also can go without picks, but then there's not much bite.

I see these players on lesson videos and they sound great and I don't hear their picks at all. Where am I going wrong?
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 31 Dec 2018 1:30 pm    
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Brad, what kind of guitar are you playing? Are you picking right above the pickup? Does your picking technique result in a lot of finger movement to the point where the picks are banging on the strings making them click? Are you using an amp setting with a lot of treble?

Some of these questions might help to diagnose why the noise is happening. It seems you are coming from banjo and dobro. The lap steel requires a more gentle touch—much of the time anyway.
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Brad Richard


From:
Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2019 8:30 am    
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Hi Mike,
I bought a Rogue RLS1 in Nov.to dip my toe in. I've since increased the scale to 22.5" using a georgeboards stick-on fretboard. I replaced the pup with a Bill Lawrence L290 strat humbucker. I don't pick over the pickup, but it still catches the metallic sound of the pick touching the string. I can roll off the treble on the amp and/or guitar which helps, but it cuts down on the sparkle. Maybe there's a sweet spot I need to find.

Is this kind of a typical problem for beginners or...? I'll try to upload a pic of my guitar.

Thanks,
Brad
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2019 8:51 am    
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Be sure there's a ground wire making good contact with the bridge and/or tailpiece.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2019 8:52 am    
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Brad Richard wrote:
Hi Mike,
I bought a Rogue RLS1 in Nov.to dip my toe in. I've since increased the scale to 22.5" using a georgeboards stick-on fretboard. I replaced the pup with a Bill Lawrence L290 strat humbucker. I don't pick over the pickup, but it still catches the metallic sound of the pick touching the string. I can roll off the treble on the amp and/or guitar which helps, but it cuts down on the sparkle. Maybe there's a sweet spot I need to find.

Is this kind of a typical problem for beginners or...? I'll try to upload a pic of my guitar.

Thanks,
Brad


I have a similar GB kit-modded Rogue, so I can offer my own experiences.

Finding that sweet spot on the amp EQ and the tone and volume knob on the guitar are part of getting a bright but not "metallic" tone.

There's a certain amount of interaction between the tone and volume knobs, too, so try combinations of small adjustments until you find the tone you like.

As for your own chops, the cleaner you can pick with the metal fingerpicks the less noise you have and you get a stronger tone. Even a slight hesitation can allow the pick to touch the string enough to get more noise.

Also, move your picking hand slightly further from the bridge too, see if you like that tone color.

Happy New Year!
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George Piburn


From:
The Land of Enchantment New Mexico
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2019 9:23 am     picking
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Hello from GeorgeBoards

It is likely that you are still picking a Dobro/Banjo which means like a Claw not like a steel guitar is played to it's full potential.

Also You are probably hitting the deck or plate with the tip of the picks creating the click sound.

Here is our low priced Picking Techniques instructional -- hopefully it can help you and everyone else too.


iOS app for picking a steel guitar<<CLICK<<
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Brad Richard


From:
Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2019 4:04 pm    
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Thanks for the help. I started fooling around with amp and guitar settings and actually made some progress so all is not lost. George, your app looks awesome. Unfortunately, my stuff's all Android Crying or Very sad
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Don Barnhardt


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 4 Jan 2019 5:30 pm    
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I'm guessing you're practicing alone. Try turning your volume down some. Picknoise is less pronounced in a crowd. As others have pointed out your technique will improve with practice. A lighter touch than you're used to and blocking will help.
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Brad Richard


From:
Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 4:14 pm    
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Thanks, Don. I do think it's mainly technique. I'm working on it!
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Bill Leff


From:
Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Post  Posted 7 Jan 2019 8:58 am    
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Try this trick that Bobby Ingano showed me:

Put you finger picks on as normal.

Turn your hand over so you are looking at the palm of your hand. Turn the picks slightly to the right (no more than a 1/4 inch) so that they are now angled to the right.

Let us know if this helps. It does for me.

Bill
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 7 Jan 2019 9:46 am    
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Bill Leff wrote:
Turn your hand over so you are looking at the palm of your hand. Turn the picks slightly to the right (no more than a 1/4 inch) so that they are now angled to the right.

I achieve a similar result by bending the blade of the picks about 1/8" off axis. Rather than striking a string with the edge of the pick, more of the blade itself comes into contact with the string, producing a stronger, fuller, more robust tone. Been bending my .025 Dunlops in that fashion since the '70s. Works for me.
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