Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Pick choice

What kind of picks did you Mando players settle on? I’m only about three weeks in and I can’t seem to find a pick I consistently like. Have to two very heavy mando picks of different sizes and also a medium guitar pick that I seem to favor but not always. The mando picks seem to leave the strings cleaner but the tone is very muted. I keep going back and forth trying them all. All have good and bad qualities…at least for me. What did you guys ends up settling on?

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I use a Dunlop primetone 1.4 large triangle. I don’t like teardrop picks cuz they’re hard to hold, and anything less than 1mm is too floppy.


Picks are something that I went back and forth on for a long time. Finally settled on a couple different ones that I really like. That said, I’ll be experimenting more for sure!!

My favorite right now is a Blue Chip TP1R 40 (at Bens recommendation). Its a triangle pick with 1 rounded side. If you’re doing a lot of tremolo or just want a tone that is a little more understated…mellow…you just spin that thing around to the rounded corner. It has a speed bevel so it is really fast of the strings and I feel like this pick maximizes the tone of my mandolin. Also, this “space age” material is really easy to hang on to which is something I struggled with on other picks. They are $35 in the General Store. I don’t leave it on the coffee table when I’m finished playing and I don’t leave it in my jeans for my wife to wash! Its expensive. BUT, I’ll be buying another because I feel like this pick has really made a difference.

Before I went Blue Chip, I used a Fender Triangle pick in Heavy or Extra Heavy. Not the really angular ones with the really really sharp corners, but the “regular” ones that are just a little bigger than a normal tear drop pick. Jake did a video on sanding picks down to put a speed bevel on them, and that made a huge difference! I watched that video several times and started “whittling” on my picks. Tone got much better, (brighter) and because they are Heavy or Extra Heavy, they do not flop. You need a rigid pick. But you also need one with edges that will give a clear, bright, tone. That is what the bevel does. Also, the shear size of these picks gives you a little more real estate to hang on to.

Haven’t tried the primetones yet, but I will be. I’ve heard great things about them.
Just my experience…hope it helps.


I go back and forth between Bluechips TP40-1R, CT-55, and a custom tortoise shell.


I just cant seem to wrap my head around $35 for a pick.

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Then don’t worry about it :+1: Try an ultex or primetone triangle… there are plenty of good picks for a few bucks. At some point, $35 might not seem like a stretch. Until then, just keep picking!

I’ll say this… you’re a lot less likely to lose a $35 pick. :wink:


I use a Jim Dunlop 1mm pick, I like both the plastic and nylon. The nylon works better for the guitar though.

I’ve tried quite a few pick brands. I’ve bought 2 Bluechips, the 1mm was just too thin for my likings but I lost both of them. I prefer a heavy pick of 1.4-1.5mm, the speed and tone is perfect for my taste. I just prefer my VPicks, I just couldn’t see or hear a $30 difference between the BC and VPick. The Dunlop’s are ok and I keep reaching in my pick box and trying different brands while playing but always coming back to my 1.5mm VPick and I always play with the shoulder of a pick and never the tip. I recently bough a 1.5 jazz mando pick from VPick, it’s a bit bigger than the teardrops I like but I’m starting to get comfortable with the size somewhat but I most always use the Nashville 1.5 VPick.

I’ve tried 2.0-3.5mm no problem with the thickness but the tone is just too deep and bassey for my likes, the 1.5mm is full but can bite any time you need it to bite…but then everyone likes and hears things differently it just takes trying different ones till you find one that suits your likes.

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OK, well that blows my theory. :laughing:


My current pick of choice is the Dunlop ULTEX sharp .90 or 1.0

I do not know what it is exactly but it is just a very easy pick to hold and produces nice bright tones.

My only negative is the color is neutral so it can be harder to find if you drop it.

I have come to appreciate the bevel on my heavier picks as they leave the string easier when I am trying to play faster, however the overall sound is severely muted and the pick noise seems much more pronounced. Or…I could just be doing it wrong.

Yeah I was just trying a .73 and kind of liking the brightness I may have to try a lighter Ultex
I do not know about pick noise though I would have guessed the opposite
If you get too thin it seems like they flap around more. I dunno

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