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Post new topic Pick shaping, for beginner to intermediate players
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Author Topic:  Pick shaping, for beginner to intermediate players
Dale Hansen


From:
Hendersonville,Tennessee, (USA)
Post  Posted 16 May 2013 12:28 am    
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First off,..this post is not intended to be a 'definitive' "How-to", when it comes to the craft of pick shaping. There are plenty of fellas here, that might disagree with my approach, but it still might warrant a try...
In the winter of 83', I spent a great deal of time with Jeff Newman on the topic, and art, of properly shaping a finger pick.
There has been plenty of good advice, on other topic threads, from fellow Forum-ites, but, the one thing that I've noticed a neglect of - is in the relating of the 'back taper' process.
With the aid of the photos (below), I hope that a few of you might benefit, in your struggle to achieve a decent fitting, and feeling, finger-pick of the straight band variety. (National, Kyser, JF, Diamond Ring, etc...)
*This is cross-posted from my FaceBook page, for the folks who don't subscribe. > https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.567180376659652.1073741825.221235477920812&type=3


These are the bend points. Adjust according to the size of your finger. Mine are sorta small.


In the beginning, the pick will be a sort of a rectangular shape. I usually put the overlap on the index towards the right, and middle finger pick overlap, to the left.


This shows the typically 'un-stated' portion of shaping a finger pick. If you gently pull back on the tangs, they'll form a more natural taper, like your finger.


A 'shaped' finger pick, ready to go... (middle) Notice the slight backward angle of the bands.
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Quentin Hickey


Post  Posted 16 May 2013 2:52 am    
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Great right up Dale! There are lots of people asking about this all the time. I got used to using the JF picks for this reason as they have the diamond shped holes and force a bend at those sections, I havent tried the nationals yet but I hear they are great picks.
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Dale Hansen


From:
Hendersonville,Tennessee, (USA)
Post  Posted 16 May 2013 9:15 am    
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It's kinda tough to find the older, original Nationals these days, but The Np2's seem to be a fairly accurate reproduction.
I still have one set of the original Nationals, which I haven't incorporated yet. They're from a 'gag' "award" that I got from Jeff Newman, at his school in 83'. They're labeled as "Speed Picks" - soldered to a 110 cord, and plug. At times, I've been tempted to break the solder joints, and put the picks into service,...But, I haven't yet.
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chris ivey


From:
california - r.i.p.
Post  Posted 16 May 2013 10:32 am    
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dale, i can't believe you haven't tried at least plugging them in once!
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Dale Hansen


From:
Hendersonville,Tennessee, (USA)
Post  Posted 16 May 2013 1:09 pm    
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I'm part Norwegian, Chris. And, I didn't say that I hadn't...
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George Seymour


From:
Notown, Vermont, USA
Post  Posted 17 May 2013 1:21 am    
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Dale Hansen wrote:
It's kinda tough to find the older, original Nationals these days, but The Np2's seem to be a fairly accurate reproduction.
I still have one set of the original Nationals, which I haven't incorporated yet. They're from a 'gag' "award" that I got from Jeff Newman, at his school in 83'. They're labeled as "Speed Picks" - soldered to a 110 cord, and plug. At times, I've been tempted to break the solder joints, and put the picks into service,...But, I haven't yet.


Hoffmeyer picks are as close as you'll get today to the old Nationals in my opinion

http://www.deanhoffmeyer.com/nationalpicks/frameset.htm

http://hoffmeyerpicks.com/About_Hoffmeyer_Picks.html
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Dale Hansen


From:
Hendersonville,Tennessee, (USA)
Post  Posted 17 May 2013 12:06 pm    
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Thanks, George.
I hadn't ever heard of those. I just ordered a 'standard' set.
Dean has a nice little presentation on the history of the "National" picks, and later versions, & 'like-types' which were inspired by them.
Now,..I can't wait to twist em' up, and give em' a whirl.
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Richard S. Klein


From:
Woodstock, IL
Post  Posted 18 May 2013 11:14 pm    
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Thanks for the tips! I just ordered 6 sets of Kyser Old Style picks and this will help getting them set-up correctly. Question: is there a reason the index pick overlaps to the right and the middle pick to the left?
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Dale Hansen


From:
Hendersonville,Tennessee, (USA)
Post  Posted 19 May 2013 12:36 pm    
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Richard, that's a very good question.
The answer: Nope. It's not like a 'rule' that I would impose on anyone else. I have my own reasons for doing it that way.
I'll explain my rationale. First off, because my middle is the most active for single string passages, I prefer the overlap going towards the left, to eliminate any chance of snagging on a higher string. The Index, isn't quite as risky, so I simply overlap it the opposite way - so, I can tell from a quick glance, which is which.
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Dennis Saydak


From:
Manitoba, Canada
Post  Posted 20 May 2013 8:31 am    
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Dale, thanks for posting this important information. I know I struggled with trying to make my picks comfortable for many months when I first started playing. That was very frustrating to say the least. I'd like to stress the importance of pulling back on the tangs so they form a more natural shape to the finger. This prevents them from digging in and causing hangnails. Here's a picture of my picks. When properly shaped for my fingers the index finger pick slides into the other one.


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Dale Hansen


From:
Hendersonville,Tennessee, (USA)
Post  Posted 20 May 2013 9:10 am    
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That's great, Dennis. Thanks.
I keep forgetting that the overlap doesn't apply to everyone,..just those of us with smaller paws.
I like your way of identifying your own picks, though.
For many years, I didn't pay any attention to the overlap on either one,..And, consequently, I've shaved plenty of hide off of my middle finger, from trying to stuff it into my 'index' pick...
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Fred Glave


From:
McHenry, Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 21 May 2013 7:33 am    
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Great tips on shaping the picks and how to use those needle nose pliers. I used to put the wrong pick on the wrong finger often. I also like to put a very slight downward spur at the end of the pick to give a little extra umph when striking the string.
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Bob Russell


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 21 May 2013 8:00 am     How about the tips?
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Once you get the bands bent to your liking, how are you bending the tips? I've seen people who have their tips pretty much bent back over the fingertips, other who leave them basically "as is". I'd be interested to hear how others are doing it.
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Dennis Saydak


From:
Manitoba, Canada
Post  Posted 21 May 2013 12:11 pm     Re: How about the tips?
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Bob Russell wrote:
Once you get the bands bent to your liking, how are you bending the tips? I've seen people who have their tips pretty much bent back over the fingertips, other who leave them basically "as is". I'd be interested to hear how others are doing it.


Here's some information from an old Jeff Newman PSG Instruction newsletter that is a good starting point:






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Dennis
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