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Felt & Rubber Picks

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Robert Spencer, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Due to a severe arthritic condition in my right hand as a result of finger picking my bass I am no longer able to tolerate the pain of playing.

    I think I might be able to learn to use a pick which does not appeal to me all that much. Recently I have heard about felt & rubber picks. Is their tone more natural than hard picks? I play acoustic/elect Hohners and strive for that upright sound. I live on an island in coastal Alaska where there are no music stores but would be willing to order a few online if I think I can learn to pick & if I think I will be able to get a good sound as a result. Thanks for any input you may care to share. Take care. Bob
  2. I have some Wedgies, the pick I mean....
    They are rubber picks available in different thickness, stiffness, etc.


    They do have that upright, plucked bass sound to them.

    I have the 3.1mm medium ones. They are plenty big.
  3. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Felt picks can really come close to the finger sound.
    They produce a good thumpy tone. They (obviously) will dull the highs that a plastic pick gets. I've not used a rubber pick.
    Try it out. See what you think.
  4. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    I didnt know they still made felt picks!!

    If you can get ahold of some online, I would recommend that. And get some rubber ones too, of different gauges.

    I dont have any experience with rubber picks, but i did use felt picks about 30 YEARS AGO. They have less "attack" than standard hard-plastic picks, and have a more "natural" sound.

    Im guessing the rubber picks would be even closer to the sound you're trying to emulate, but again, thats just a guess.

    See if you can get a sample pack and pick your favourite. (pun intended)
  5. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Yeah, felt is terrible: weak, wear quickly, get felt dust/hair all over, no attack. They never caught in any appreciable way. Of course, there are always those who---for a fleeting moment or two-- defend them as being "special" in some way. They are not. Try the rubber wedgies and try the nylon picks. Tortex is very hard and clacky for your taste I think, if you are after "finger emulation" to some degree.

    That's my advice and I'm sticking to it.
  6. LiamCohl


    Jan 29, 2005
    Toronto, ON
    check out v picks, V-picks picks : Freakishly Large Rounded , Ive been using this one and one a little smaller recently. they sound less aggressive and a bit more finger like for the most part, except when you really dig in, then it responds nice and picky. They make a ton of different shapes sizes and colours. They are made from acrylic, the same as the fake fingernails stuck on the right hand of quite a few guitar players.
  7. Thanks guys. I`m going to try the medium rubber Wedgies. Take care. Bob
  8. There are felt picks and then there are felt picks.

    I use the thick gray ones, and although they are soft and toss a little fuzz on the bass, they give a great sound - but I only usually get two or three gigs outta each one.

    Now here comes some info on the white ukelele picks: they are also felt and they are tough and they give a great muted tug-pop sound that really is unique and recognizable at the same time --- and sound pretty close to a standup bass and catguts.

    OK - I don't think there are any catgut strings any more - but you know what I mean.

    To give a blanket statement that they suck big ones like MEKer said is just illogical.

    Since they are cheap, try them yourself.
  9. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I have the thick gauge Wedgie rubber picks...they last and last and last.
  10. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    I'm normally a finger player, but I bought a couple rubber picks just to try them out. I don't know if they are "Wedgies brand", but I'm surprised at the comments that they last so long. I haven't used them much but here's my experience:
    I was first using them on roundwound strings. After two sessions or so, the first one started to leave little chunks on strings and the pick started to look like a used eraser. So I stopped using it.
    Later, I tried another on some Chromes and they were way too sticky for that. Seemed easier on the pick, I guess, but it was like playing with molasses on your fingers.

    So, when I pick, I use felt. You can get fairly hard felts that start to approach the feel of some plastic(nylon?) guitar picks, but much better for bass. Less clanky, smoother...
  11. Chains


    Jan 22, 2014
    I have been using Mick's Picks rubber and felt to simulate a finger tone. I like the thick dark green rubber picks, they work for me but can feel slippery. I have super glued small strips of sand paper to increase the grip. I am scared to dig in with the felt. I feel like they might break.
  12. I use the grey uke picks with the stiffening layer.
  13. this is an old thread. i am the OP. i tried both felt picks and rubber wedgies. the felts were too harsh sounding for my taste and the sound i want. on the other hand the wedgie rubbers are ideal sounding and have a thumb recess for a non slip grip. i use them half time or more on flats to suppliment the natural tone of fingers. hope this helps someone.
    tripp2k likes this.

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