BWE - Before the Wegen Era

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overtone
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BWE - Before the Wegen Era

Post by overtone »

Wegen picks are relatively new to the market right? What did you guys use before Wegens? An chunk of toilet seat? A gold tooth? does anybody know what django used?

i just made my first pick the other day out of a wooden nickel, probably basswood. patterned it after my wegen gj pick. its functional but very soft sounding. softer even than the rosewood dugain picks...anyways i have found the subject and design of picks to be quite fascinating and want to experiment with different materials. I know there is a book called "Picks!". Paul Hostetter's site also has an interesting section on picks and their varying sizes and shapes. Here's a link if anyone's interested.

http://www.lutherie.net/picks.html

peace y'all,
OT
RICK-D15
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Re: BWE - Before the Wegen Era

Post by RICK-D15 »

overtone wrote:Wegen picks are relatively new to the market right? What did you guys use before Wegens? An chunk of toilet seat? A gold tooth? does anybody know what django used?

i just made my first pick the other day out of a wooden nickel, probably basswood. patterned it after my wegen gj pick. its functional but very soft sounding. softer even than the rosewood dugain picks...anyways i have found the subject and design of picks to be quite fascinating and want to experiment with different materials. I know there is a book called "Picks!". Paul Hostetter's site also has an interesting section on picks and their varying sizes and shapes. Here's a link if anyone's interested.


My good friend Scotsman (I don't know if he wants me to reveal his real name) has made gypsy picks out of corian, ebony, buffalo horn and bone. I really like the ebony pick he made for me. It goes head to head with the Wegen until you start hitting the higher registers, where the Wegen prevails. Still, it's an awesome pick, and I think it has a better sound for rhythm than the Wegen. He tells me the bone is just as good as the Wegen, but I haven't tried it yet.

Shoot Scotsman a PM, I'm sure he'd be happy to mail out a pick to you.


http://www.lutherie.net/picks.html

peace y'all,
OT
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FSUGypsyJazz
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Post by FSUGypsyJazz »

Django used whatever was available. I know Tortise shell is supposed to be the best.
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DKP
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Post by DKP »

About 20 years ago, I met a European guitarist who told me that he had been told by several players who had seen or played with D'jango that he used a French trouser button: round, between a nickel & a quarter in size & made of horn. Seems plausible, but whether that is the truth, I don't know.
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nwilkins
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Post by nwilkins »

Tortoise shell picks are traditionally used, but it is illegal (and not very nice) to be killing tortoises for it nowadays. Most people recommend looking for antiques which use tortoise shell (like old comb handles) and making picks from that. Alternatively you could try here:

http://www.redbeartrading.com/picks.html
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Scotsman
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Post by Scotsman »

nwilkins wrote:Tortoise shell picks are traditionally used, but it is illegal (and not very nice) to be killing tortoises for it nowadays. Most people recommend looking for antiques which use tortoise shell (like old comb handles) and making picks from that. Alternatively you could try here:

http://www.redbeartrading.com/picks.html
I've heard that Water Buffalo horn is very similar in chemical makeup as Tortoise shell
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Teddy Dupont
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Post by Teddy Dupont »

FSUGypsyJazz wrote:Django used whatever was available.
That's right. Django was not particularly interested in the hardware only the music. He obviously had his preferences (although even these tended to change) but he was quite happy to use whatever guitar, strings, plectrum or plectrum substitute was readily to hand. He was not as dogmatic and precious as you lot. :)
devinci
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Post by devinci »

The wegen conspiricy, convincing people thats what you need to play this music. Bireli, Stochelo and many others use various mass produced plastic picks such as big stubys. As long as the pick is rigid you can use whatever.
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Djosh
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Post by Djosh »

In the book I'm reading right now it said that Django used the large tooth from a comb end at one point when he didn't have anything else. Also that he had to play with out extra strings at one point in time and played for a week until he only had 2 left on his guitar. Carzy...


I have been making my own picks for a while and I find that wood is really not that good. I don't even like coconut shell. Too soft and falls apart fast. I like horn, bone and other plastics but have started using a wegen because they last so long. I bet Django would have used a wegen had they been available in his day.
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Teddy Dupont
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Post by Teddy Dupont »

Djosh wrote:I bet Django would have used a wegen had they been available in his day.
Only if they were free.
overtone
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Post by overtone »

i know a guy that was caught with some tortoise picks in the 70's that he had bought from saga. someone had tipped off the feds that he had the picks and he had the FBI and the ATF show up with machine guns and full assault gear. He talked to the judge eventually, but he could have been fined $100,000 per pick that he had in hand, had sold, and had bought!

also, i agree, its not very nice either to kill tortoises for things like picks and combs. :D but i have tried a tortoise pick before and i have to admit there is nothing like it. i felt like saying a prayer for the tortoise that gave its life so i could make beautiful music though.

i'm gonna try some of these 'tortis' picks this weekend, they look neat.
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Djazz Nomad
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Post by Djazz Nomad »

Poor old tortoise..................actually it's turtle shell, normally Hawksbill, protected and rightly so. I once came across a dead one (not in the biblical sense of course, though necrophilia is not without it's supporters and hey, if it swings) washed up on a beach in the Mediterranean, it was a really huge one around 3 feet across and I thought WOW plectrums. Getting closer to it the stench was absolutely horrendous, it was all bloated in the sun and I guess if a skinning(shelling?) was performed the poor critter would have just exploded. ENOUGH.

Cow horn was plobably Django's fave. old buttons were generally made of this material, I had a cow horn one once; the very best, kept the shirt together really well, a slightly softer hold than tortoiseshell, not quite as hard wearing, but a real joy to do up in the morning.
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justjack
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Post by justjack »

Djazz Nomad wrote:Cow horn was plobably Django's fave.
Our old friend Plowboy, who hasn't been posting much lately (ahem), sent me some cow horn picks he'd made-great stuff! I wonder if he's still at it?
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Ivan
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tortis

Post by Ivan »

not to like shamelessly plug my webpage or anything, but since i can only dream of playing with tortoise, i opted for the animal synthetic (?) tortis and it works out ok. pictures of what they look like... http://www.harlequinsb.com/home.html
first person sends me their address (i love getting e-mail), gets a rough copy.
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Scotsman
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Tortis material?

Post by Scotsman »

Nice looking picks Ivan how do they sound and where can you get this material? Just to throw a Question out there is there any difference between a white Wegan or black one other than it being easier to find a white one in the dark? :D
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