The mandolin reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!
89 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music
I was at a bluegrass camp for guitar and borrowed a BLUE CHIP for guitar- I thought "this thing can't be worth $40".-- WRONG- It was. I ordered one for my guitar-And a LARGER one for the mandolin. Worth every dime. Best picks I ever used. I was using DAWG picks [very good picks- very good price] but the BC was so much better.
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: Bought from the maker
I started making and using real t-shell picks back in 1993 and used the exclusively until I tried out the first Blue Chip pick someone handed to me. I have to give credit where credit is due... the Blue Chip is a better pick than a real shell pick because it *never* wears out and STILL gives great tone, like real T-shell. The pick I'm using now (Blue Chip TAD-60) is going on 5 years of use, without *any* signs of wear. Real T-shell picks WILL eventually wear enough to have to be replaced. But hey...I enjoyed making my own picks and I knew it was only a matter of time until someone came up with a superior material. My style of playing is very aggressive...and the Blue Chip pick can take it, without ever wearing out. Just a super product... ... ...
Overall Rating: 10
Where Purchased: Online from Gravity Picks
This pick has become my preferred pick. The corners are good for picking, and the one rounded off edge suits tremolo just fine (at least for me). Just a little flex in this one. Some folks don't like the clear acrylic, but you can get colored versions too; easier to find when dropped. This is a nice pick that won't break the bank.
Overall Rating: 9
Where Purchased: www.brossardpicks.com
Although they are expensive, Brossard Picks are certainly worth a try and make for an ideal gift for guitar or mandolin players. There are many options for package sets in the 20-30 dollar range.
I received a set of four Brossard picks as a gift last holiday season. The set included picks made from ebony, rosewood, bone, and horn. Each pick is truly a work of art. They are visually appealing and are designed so that they may be attached to a chain and worn as a necklace or bracelet. The true appeal, however, lies in the sound. The use of exotic materials results in an extraordinary range of timbres and tonal varieties. Each pick is approximately 2.5 to 3 mm thick, so they are well suited to jazz or flatpicking styles. My personal favorites are the bone and ebony picks.
The bone pick has a very clear and pronounced articulation. The tone is loud and clean, and basically jumps out of your instrument. The ebony pick has a similar effect, but is slightly warmer than the bone, with a less punchy sound. The horn pick is more mellow than either the bone or ebony, producing a softer sound perhaps better suited for strumming. The rosewood pick, while beautiful, is too soft for my liking. It is fine for strumming, but does not produce the "pop" of the others.
The only downside to Brossard Picks is that they wear down relatively quickly. This is obviously due to the nature of the materials. I have always been rough on picks, as well, so my personal playing style certainly is partially responsible for the accelerated wear and tear.
Overall Rating: 8
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