Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Pick Noise Banjo

Hi Ben

Do you have any suggestions/tips as to how to reduce pick noise. I am using ProPik Stainless Steel Picks. I can’t wear Nickel Plated Picks I get a bad skin reaction.

It’s strange I don’t notice it as much when I play my Fender but the volume seems to increase when I play my Stelling it’s weird.

That’s the exact problem I was having when I first recorded Oh Come, All Ye Faithful. In my case, the cause ended up being me playing too hard with my picking hand. I turned down my accompany music, which naturally made me ease up, and the problem went away instantly. An added bonus was that my timing also improved and I could play faster.

Might be worth a shot.


Thanks Mark, I’ll try easing off and see if that helps reduce the noise. I was thinking there might be something physical that I could apply to the pick. I have read all the stuff about pick angle, angle of attack and nose oil but none of that seems to help.

Oh shoot. I think I misread your original post, Archie. You’re talking about hearing the picks on the strings, aren’t you? My problem was my thumb pick hitting the head. Sorry about that.

If it’s your stainless picks making the noise, I wonder if smoothing them out with some fine grit wet sand paper might help. My old nickel picks are slick as a cow’s nose. Maybe yours just need to be smoothed out?

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I need to see a picture up close of your pick in contact with the string, just as if you’re about to play through the string.

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Hi Ben, I just posted Red River Valley in the Video Swap area. Strange there’s not a lot of pick noise on that video. The tune I was having the issue with was Grandfathers Clock I’ll try to find time to record it over the weekend.

Hi Mark My picks are pretty smooth. I don’t think that’s the problem. It’s the noise they make when I strike the string it’s a kind of clicking sound. I’ll try and post a video later.

Hi Ben. I have posted a video of Grandfather Clock in the Video Swap Area. I think the reason I might have been experiencing a lot of pick noise with this one is it has a lot of pinches and inside rolls. Possibly clipping a vibrating string.