Mandolin pick for injured hands can be great help when you suffer an issue with your hand(s). People with hand injuries can not properly hold the pick, or hold it for a long time. The questions that these people usually ask are:
- What are the available alternatives?
- What is the difference in using a thumb-pick compared to a flat-pick?
- Is tone affected from thumb-picks?
Let’s try to answer them one-by-one.
Please note that this article was inspired by a thread in Mandolin Cafe forum and was written in order to make the information accessible to more people facing injuries. Nevertheless, not all injuries or hand problems are the same, so what has worked for others may not work for you. The good point is that almost all options are cheap (2-10 USD), so feel free to experiment with a mandolin pick for injured hands, till you find a solution you are happy with.
Mandolin pick for injured hands – Available options
The available options seem to be:
Description from their site: Strum ‘N Comfort Picking Systems ® focuses exclusively on creating comfortable, functional stringed instrument picks. Designed by and for players to facilitate the maximum amount of technical flexibility.
ProPick tries to reduce the amount of grip strength required to hold the pick.
Marketing Description: A two-in-one combo thumb pick and flat pick. The heavy plastic pick is riveted to a metal thumb clasp, the angle of the pick can be adjusted.
FRED KELLY BUMBLE BEE TEARDROP PICK
Marketing description: The distinctive black and yellow Bumble Bee is a state-of-the-art, fully adjustable combination flat and thumb pick designed and built by Fred Kelly. Its unique design makes it user-friendly, easily adapted to your individual playing style. The blade is made of delrin.
BCT-JDL was designed by JD Crowe and constructed to his very exacting specifications. It is constructed using a custom designed stainless steel band and a 50/1000 of an inch(1.25mm) thick BlueChip pick. They are are laser etched, professionally machined, and hand beveled to create the best thumb pick available.
How does a thumb-pick compares to a flat pick?
- Thumb picks obviously work well in keeping the pick on your thumb.
- They may feel awkward when alternate picking.
- The thumb joint now becomes a possibilty to produce notes (for specific products).
- A thumbpick is not going to work for most people. It can work if you adapt to it or have reason to.
- They can be relaxing, since you don’t need to grip the pick very much.
How Tone is Affected
As control can be more difficult when compared to flat picks, practice is needed not to overpower double stops.
I have just been given an Octave mandolin.( I am currently learning 5 string banjo.) I dont have a lot of music experience and looking for some instruction. Your site came up searching for Octave. Should I just do mandolin lessons with my Octave or do you recommend getting a mandolin.?
Hi Brett and Merry Christmas,
I do not see any reason why you should not start mandolin lessons using an octave mandolin. Strings are the same (G-D-A-E) as the mandolin, so you will not have any difficulty reading tabs.
The only issue you may face is that due to its bigger size (octave is longer than the mandolin) you may find it difficult to play some chords or play fast.
I remember when I first started, I did my first lessons using a mandolin but soon the maestro gave me the octave although I was only 10 years old.
So go for it but I predict that you may end up with two instruments. An octave and a mandolin!
Good luck and enjoy the journey!