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#453183 - 01/23/18 11:11 AM [Off-Topic] Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial
James Francisco Offline
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Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Northern Michigan
I don't spend nearly as much time on this forum as I would like, but when I have a problem there is always someone here to help.

Well, today, I'd like to give back. Here is a HOW TO article I wrote up to make a special pick holder for people like me who have trouble holding on to a pick. And so, it's named...

Pick Holder for People
Who Have Trouble Holding On To Picks

Guitarists with hand injuries or arthritis often find it next to impossible to hold on to a guitar pick. Commercial options can cost from $10 to $25 for a contraption which is either poorly made or cumbersome. This invention of mine will cost very little, but offer a level of performance that the commercial ones can only hope for. Here is a HOW TO tutorial to make your own!

STEP 1: Everything you need: some picks of your choice, a few hook and loop cable ties (Amazon, Home Depot, etc), scissors and a hot glue gun.

[img:center]https://imgur.com/KQs2mtC[/img]

STEP 2: Cut the opening ends off so that you have
just a small rectangular pad left.

[img:center]https://imgur.com/LOX80vn[/img]

STEP 3: The angle that the pick is glued on depends upon how you hold your index finger when you play. To find the right angle, you may need to hold the pick and cable tie together and see what angle is best for you. For my use, I tried several angles before finding that if I made them straight like an arrow, they were perfect for me.

[img:center]https://imgur.com/S3pqRrP[/img]

STEP 4: Put a good sized gob of glue on the HOOK side of the cable tie (you want the softer LOOP side against your skin). Place your pick down firmly on to the hot glue until it's well bonded. Remember to tilt the pick angle according to your needs.

[img:center]https://imgur.com/9Y1JgsW[/img]

STEP 5: What the glued side of the pick holder should look like. This is the side that goes against your index finger. Very soft. No scratchies! And the added bit of glue gives more to hold on to.

[img:center]https://imgur.com/2Druk2R[/img]

STEP 6: What the pick holders look like from the top side, where your thumb goes.

[img:center]https://imgur.com/C8UYa1S[/img]

STEP 7: The pick holder in use. You can move it up or down on your index finger to get the right amount of "bite" on the pick. I couldn't take the pictures very well with my left hand, but the cable tie goes over the top of your finger between the knuckles, then around and down through the opening toward you, and then the "tail" of the cable tie gets pulled through and wrapped around the top. I've found that a loose noose is better! lol

[img:center]https://imgur.com/eoaSlsA[/img]

STEP 8: You can let go any time and the pick will still be there waiting for you! Very secure and easy to use. And it cost less for me to buy 120 cable ties and the picks than it would cost for one of those commercially made products which easily break. If these break, it will only be the glue letting go, or possibly a broken pick. So... just get out the glue gun and make another one!

[img:center]https://imgur.com/47fBb9G[/img]

Hope those of you that need this (like I do) can use it. Any questions, just ask! g33zrj1m

(The Pictures didn't come out on the post... I can email a .pdf of the whole article to anyone that's interested.)


Edited by James Francisco (01/23/18 09:04 PM)
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#453213 - 01/23/18 12:30 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
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You can also upload the pictures (up to 5 at a time), which display below the text of your post. You have to be in "full reply" mode to access the file manager. Each picture can also have a caption.
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#453218 - 01/23/18 12:58 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: jford]
James Francisco Offline
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Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Northern Michigan
Thanks, I didn't know how to do that and couldn't find it in the FAQ's. But... I still couldn't figure it out. Obviously I need to spend more time on the forum to learn this stuff!

If anyone wants me to send them the pdf, just email me at g33zrj1m at gmx dot com.

Thanks!

Jim


Edited by James Francisco (01/23/18 01:13 PM)
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#453415 - 01/24/18 12:25 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5415
you can also put a drop of superglue on the pick exactly where you would normally grasp and hold the pick to play.... pick it up carefully by the tip, with your other hand being careful not to touch the drops of superglue.....

Now.... grasp it in the exact position you intend to hold it with your playing hand, being sure that the drops of superglue are where your fingers are holding the pick....press your fingers firmly into the drops of superglue.

Hold it for 10 seconds as the superglue sets....

waaa laaaa... you ain't dropping that puppy tonight..... or tomorrow night either.

You can thank me later


Edited by Guitarhacker (01/24/18 12:25 PM)
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#453438 - 01/24/18 02:54 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
James Francisco Offline
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Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Northern Michigan
Well, you can use superglue if you want.

Jim
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#453550 - 01/25/18 06:39 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5415
Originally Posted By: James Francisco
Well, you can use superglue if you want.

Jim



it's a joke.

One of those "hold my beer and watch this" kind of things


Edited by Guitarhacker (01/25/18 06:40 AM)
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#453566 - 01/25/18 07:34 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7479
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Hey Jim,

Great idea, and as you said.. very inexpensive to implement!

Several years ago I had a nerve compression which made it impossible for me to hold a pick securely. At that time I looked all over the place for an un-droppable pick... at the time I couldn't find any.

So, I broke out the 3d modelling program and designed several prototypes that I thought people could print at home on their 3D printer ( why bother investing in tooling to mass produce anything these days when you can just make a model that people can print at home?)

But I found that the rigidity of a solid plastic assembly was counter-intuitive to my style of guitar playing. What worked great for playing aggressive solos was too rigid for strumming.

The flexibility of your design solves most of the problems I experienced with my designs. Good job! And thanks for sharing!

FWIW, here is the best commercial solution I found. It is flexible, easy to hold and impossible to drop. Works for solos as well as for strumming:

ZERO GRAVITY GUITAR PICK

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#453603 - 01/25/18 11:23 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2071
Hey James Francisco,

That is brilliant! Thanks for the tip and the nice step-by-step!

-John

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#453617 - 01/25/18 12:55 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16826
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Pat, it occurs to me after seeing that commercial solution that you could just use the pop top of a beer can. You could have a near endless supply, and after losing two or three on a gig, it wouldn't much matter anyway.

James, very nice. Thanks for sharing.
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#453690 - 01/25/18 03:59 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: Matt Finley]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7479
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Pat, it occurs to me after seeing that commercial solution that you could just use the pop top of a beer can. You could have a near endless supply, and after losing two or three on a gig, it wouldn't much matter anyway.


;-) I bet that has been tried before. Guitar players will use just about anything for a pick. Coins, sea shells, bread bag clips, cut up credit cards, 2 liter plastic soda bottles trimmed to shape with scissors... and Pop tops.


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#453743 - 01/26/18 12:28 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: Pat Marr]
sinbad Offline
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Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 669
Loc: Germany
I like the Herco picks, a cross between a plectrum and a thumbpick, and they come in three thicknesses.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HE112P
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#453746 - 01/26/18 01:42 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
RichMac Offline
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Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 1533
Loc: New Zealand

Thanks James for posting your pick idea.
Will try it.
I usually use my fingers having learned swing bass years ago.
Guitar picks seem too small to me and too rigid
so I cut up a 2 liter ice cream container
which is nice and flexible into a shark fin shape about 3 inches long
and 1 to 1 and a half inches across the top.
Will try the zero gravity pick suggested by Pat also.

Cheers.
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#453768 - 01/26/18 05:47 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: sinbad]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7479
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Originally Posted By: sinbad
I like the Herco picks, a cross between a plectrum and a thumbpick, and they come in three thicknesses.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HE112P


I use these too. I prefer them to traditional thumb picks because they aren't so rigid that they hurt my thumb (To me, traditional thumb picks are like having my thumb in a vise)

The feel of using one is also closer to that of using a regular guitar pick. Considering how much of musical performance depends on muscle memory, I don't like any gizmos that require me to change the way I play.

To me, that's the functional equivalent of practicing baseball with a whiffle ball bat, then trying to play live with a real bat. Timing will be different

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#453788 - 01/26/18 07:34 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5415
When it came to picks....

I used the Fender Medium white picks. I would have half a dozen or so in a holder on my mic stand.

Drop one? no problem, grab another new one. Since it was white, it was easy to see on the dark floor of the clubs, and when it was notched from too many string slides... throw it to the audience.

I used to buy them by the gross.
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#453841 - 01/26/18 10:48 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
KeithS Online   content
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Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 872
Loc: Mobile, Alabama
I’ve used the the Herco picks for years but I have an additional little trick that I use with both them and my finger picks: Poster Putty! Put some on your nail and push the pick down on it and that pick isn’t going anywhere.
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#453886 - 01/26/18 02:30 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: KeithS]
Pat Marr Offline
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Posts: 7479
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Originally Posted By: KeithS
I’ve used the the Herco picks for years but I have an additional little trick that I use with both them and my finger picks: Poster Putty! Put some on your nail and push the pick down on it and that pick isn’t going anywhere.


great idea about the poster putty, Keith!

A similar trick used by some people: put a strip of black cloth-type electrical tape on the finger tips before putting on the finger picks. It's tacky on both sides, and finger picks won't slide off. The tape also creates a cushion between the sharp metal edges and soft fingers

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#453945 - 01/26/18 10:32 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: Pat Marr]
James Francisco Offline
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Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Northern Michigan
You guys have some interesting ideas to combat this pick-dropping issue! lol

I've tried a lot of things including gorilla snot and even medical tape. The bottom line is whatever works for you!

I don't claim my idea is the end all of designs for a non-droppable pick. Just that it's cheap and effective, at least for me. Glad it may help some of you. I do agree that playing fingerstyle is a good alternative, but unfortunately the same thing that makes it hard to hold the dang pick also makes it difficult to move your fingers. Old age sure is fun, huh?

Anyway, thanks for the comments, everyone. Hope you have a great time pickin and grinnin, no matter what you use for a pick!

Jim
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#454022 - 01/27/18 07:58 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
Pat Marr Offline
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James,

I guess we kinda hijacked your thread... but I want to conclude my participation in the topic by saying once again that I think your idea is excellent and I appreciate the fact that you took time to present it so clearly to the forum!

And just so you know, I will be trying your idea.

As an aside: you can see from the ideas in this thread that this is a fairly common problem for which there aren't a lot of commercial solutions available. You might want to consider selling your picks on ebay

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#456087 - 02/06/18 06:49 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
James Francisco Offline
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Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Northern Michigan
Thanks, Pat, for the words of encouragement, and the idea of selling them on eBay!

My daughters (all grown) thought I ought to patent the idea. But it takes a ton of money to bring a product to market. When you see how easy it is to make these, I just don't see too many people willing to spend their money on something they can make themselves in less than 10 minutes.

I have made about 15 or 20 of these with all types of picks from heavy plastic Vicks, Fender and Gibson to light nylon Dunlap. My favorite thing about 'em, though, is that I can hold a pick loosely or tighter depending upon what I'm trying to play. Couldn't do that before without dropping the pick every time.

g33zrj1m
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#456112 - 02/06/18 10:14 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
Teunis Offline
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Registered: 12/20/16
Posts: 147
Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
I don't want to sound like a smart alec or teach folk to suck eggs. Many years ago I would often flick plectrums and often by the end of a night have sore forearm from gripping nice and tight. I started to play golf and would flick golf clubs and was told by the pro that I was gripping the club way too tight and to loosen the grip so it felt as if the club would slide out of my hands. I applied this to guitar I and found if I held the plectrum so loosely it almost dropped from my fingers I rarely flicked the plectrum from my hands. Having a loose grip also stopped my arm tiring and allowed me to be faster. I have had this discussion with a number of guitarists and most find the same result.

Having said that I still keep spares handy (usually on top of my amp these days beside the laptop) just in case.

Just a thought

Tony
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#456362 - 02/07/18 10:25 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: Teunis]
James Francisco Offline
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Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Northern Michigan
Probably the only good thing that resulted from this thread is that many people offered alternative methods to combat the problem of dropping picks. Good job, all!

I'm glad you found a solution to your problem with picks. Holding them loosely was never an issue for me! That's pretty much the only way I CAN hold a pick.

But one thing kind of got lost in the discussion... that this was intended to help people with hand injuries or severe arthritis that are unable to hold a pick without some other aid. That's all I wanted to share.

Thanks, all.

g33zrj1m
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#456392 - 02/08/18 04:19 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Pick Holder HOW TO Tutorial [Re: James Francisco]
VideoTrack Offline
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Posts: 7742
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I certainly thank you James for articulating a great idea.

Yes, I definitely understood that you were all about helping people with specific problem solving. I don't play guitar, but I followed your solution with great interest. Good job.
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