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Freedom finger picks

Cap't Bob 21 Aug 08 - 02:50 PM
katlaughing 21 Aug 08 - 02:56 PM
PoppaGator 21 Aug 08 - 04:30 PM
CupOfTea 21 Aug 08 - 05:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 08 - 05:26 PM
Murray MacLeod 21 Aug 08 - 07:27 PM
Cap't Bob 21 Aug 08 - 09:09 PM
alex s 22 Aug 08 - 03:14 PM
Stringsinger 22 Aug 08 - 07:27 PM
Stringsinger 22 Aug 08 - 07:29 PM
Cap't Bob 22 Aug 08 - 07:33 PM
John Hardly 22 Aug 08 - 07:43 PM
Bobert 22 Aug 08 - 08:17 PM
Bobert 22 Aug 08 - 08:26 PM
Cap't Bob 22 Aug 08 - 10:45 PM
alex s 23 Aug 08 - 07:47 AM
Bobert 28 Aug 08 - 05:59 PM
John Hardly 28 Aug 08 - 06:10 PM
Bobert 28 Aug 08 - 06:18 PM
balladeer 03 Sep 09 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,JJthePicker 05 Apr 11 - 09:37 AM
Backwoodsman 05 Apr 11 - 10:04 AM
Will Fly 05 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM
Backwoodsman 05 Apr 11 - 11:41 AM
autoharpbob 05 Apr 11 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Betsy 05 Apr 11 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,jtpott 07 Jun 11 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Guest Betsy 08 Jun 11 - 10:15 AM
balladeer 01 Nov 11 - 07:20 PM
GUEST 01 Nov 11 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Alan Sheppard 13 Mar 14 - 08:26 PM
GUEST 14 Mar 14 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Denis McKay 14 Mar 14 - 08:23 AM
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Subject: Freedom finger picks
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 02:50 PM

A couple of weeks ago I bought some of Fred Kelly's Freedom Finger picks. They are rather unusual picks in that the pick part goes right over the top of the fingernail. The neat thing about them is that they can be used for regular finger picking or for frailing on the banjo. They work really good on the classical guitar as well. It takes a while to get used to the picks but well worth the effort. Sort of neat to be able to switch banjo styles while playing a tune.

Another interesting characteristic is that they are less likely get lost. At five bucks a apiece if you drop one on the ground you are more inclined to keep looking until it's found. Had this experience while camping at a festival last weekend.

My nails are always in some sort of disrepair so the Alaska style wont work..   

Wonder if anyone else has given them a try.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 02:56 PM

You mean like THESE. Neat!


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 04:30 PM

I'm guessing that these allow you to pick in either direction, as opposed to the usual old-style fingerpicks, which allow only down-with-the-thumb/up-with-the-fingers. Try to upstroke with standard fingerpicks and you'll just get snagged.

These newfangled gizmos would indeed afford more "freedom," combining some of the advantages of barehanded playing and fingerpick usage. With bare fingers, you're able to hit the strings in either direction, but the upstrokes are generally less loud and less percussive than the downstrokes, because you have a nail on one side of your finger and not the other.

The $5 price tag would indeed provide incentive to keep looking for a "thrown-off" pick, but I feel that the long hours of effort I've put into bending and shaping my metal fingerpicks to fit, and to stay put as securely as possible, is all the incentive I need to conduct a thorough search. There's been more than one occasion when I've gotten down on my hands and knees onstage and put an eyeball to the floor in the effort to retrieve a pick.

I use two metal fingerpicks and a plastic thumbpick. One of my fingerpicks, the one I wear on the middle finger, is at least thirty years old. Somewhere along the line, I lost its mate and so have to use a newer one on the index; it's shaped a little differently and is not quite as adaptable to being bent in a manner to clamp securely onto my knobby arthritic fingertip. Both picks have the word "NATIONAL" stamped into them along with the same patent number, but they're not quite identical.


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: CupOfTea
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 05:23 PM

Anyone tried these on an autoharp?


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 05:26 PM

Basically a redesigned thimble.


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 07:27 PM

I can see the potential in these picks, and I would dearly love a workable alternative to the acrylic nail, but how am I supposed to know whether I am small medium or large , without actually turning up at the Elderly store and trying them out ?


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 09:09 PM

Unless your fingers are really small I would venture to guess that you would need the large pick. I don't consider my fingers all that large and there was no way I could get them into the small size. The medium felt uncomfortably tight. The large picks are not all that large and I wouldn't be surprised if some people would possibly want an XL size.

I did find the Fred Kelly web page and under "contact" he gives a phone number.   Think its a tole free number but not sure...

http://www.fredkellypicks.com/

I bought three of the finger picks because I often use three fingers when playing the classical guitar and the large size fits all three fingers nicely without slipping.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: alex s
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 03:14 PM

Does anyone know of a mail order supplier in the UK?


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 07:27 PM

I have been researching picks for a long time. I have been trying to get the sound that
Pete Seeger used to get with his home-made picks out of tin cans and shears.

I like Rusty Thornhill's "Perfect Touch" fingerpicks from Tennessee. it's a lot less stress
on the fingers and has a longer fit on the finger so that you don't lose it as easily while playing. The thumbpick is comfortable but has a thinner sound than the standard National or Golden Gate thumbpick.

The problem that I find with most fingerpicks is that going in both directions up-picking
and down-picking (clawhammer) requires some sacrifice in technique. Pete Seeger was able to up-pick with a straightened metal pick on the nail side (usually using his middle finger). The late Erik Darling used two finger picks for up-picking and a straightened
finger pick on the ring finger for clawhammer and "whamming" styles. (Down picks).

Alex Hassilev of the Limelighters designed a two-way pick which I understand he used.
I don't know how it worked.

I'll have to try the Freedom picks and let you know what I think about them.

Here's a rule of thumb from Rusty Thornhill about sizing the picks to your fingers.

Measure the width across the first knuckle of the index finger. If it's less than
3/4" then it's a "small". If it's 3/4"-7/8" then it's a medium.   Over one inch is a "large".

Thumb pick, under 3/4" small, 3/4-1" medium, Over 1"--large.

One of the beautiful things about the Seeger style (Peggy as well as Pete) is that they played up-pick and down-pick with the same fluency. This gave a variety and musicality in their banjo sounds.

I would be interested to know what others have done to solve this problem.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 07:29 PM

http://perfecttouchpicks.com/index.htm


(I can't do the clicky thing)


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 07:33 PM

Alex ~ I sent an email to the Fred Kelly website and got this reply about a UK distributor.

"Yes we a Distributor in the UK Tony Owens
His Store is go to guitars his e-mail is
tonyowens@gotoguitars.com Phone:# 011+44 1925 444696"

Murray ~ I also inquired about how to determine size ~ his daughter answered and said Fred would is out of town on business for 2 weeks. I don't think she had any information about how to determine size.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 07:43 PM

Some useful discussion here, including several who have tried them out and sizing information (and how it can be modified)


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 08:17 PM

Think I'll try *1*... Like P-Gator I have mismatched... Plastic thumb, one plastic finger and one metal finger but I have to remove them all if I'm gonna do some flat pick/strum which I presently do with my 1st finger with a fake fingernail on that is built up with several coats of fake finger nail stuff that makes it a hammer... It would be nice to have somethin' esle that wouldn't catch on a back strum...

We'll see how they work...

B~


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 08:26 PM

BTW, I just ordered 2 in case I like them I'll have a spare... Word to the wise... If ya' have somethin' that works you gotta have a spare...

B~


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 10:45 PM

Interesting comments John. I figured that people with large fingers would have some problems even with the large size. If they get enough input they will most likely be making some in a larger size.

I plan to order another set made with the delrin. The ones I have are polycarb which is more stiff than the delrin which is supposed to produce a softer sound.   

Fitting the picks to the finger takes a bit of practice. The method that works for me is to hold on to the end of the pick and rock it back and forth until I get a tight comfortable feel.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: alex s
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 07:47 AM

thanks to Capt Bob for info re UK supplier


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 05:59 PM

I recieved the picks today in the mail and, okay, they do okay on the first finger but not the middle finger...

I'll prolly end up with my plastic Dunlop thumb pick, the Reedom on the first and metal on the middle... Kinda mixed up but I think I can get that combo to do the trick...

B~


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: John Hardly
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 06:10 PM

Bobert, why can't you heat up the Freedom pick and make it fit on your middle finger?


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 06:18 PM

No, John, it fits fine... It's just that the angle at which my niddle finger strikes the strings is just where the Freedon pick dosen't fully pick... Think of it as a blind spot in a car... What happens is that it strikes the string so that part of tghe pick and part of my finger hit the string which is very disconcerting...

I do, however, like the the feel of it on my first finger and think it might just be an improvement as I it does strum and back pick and well as down pick....

We'll see... It may take some getting used to as it is a little like picking bare finger with the first and a pick on the second geometry wise...

B~


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: balladeer
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 11:56 PM

I just came across this thread.
I started using Freedom picks this week and I can see they might be just what my arthritic fingers have been looking for. I've started regularly losing metal picks inside my guitar, which is a big drag, but these plastic ones seem to fit snugly around the bumps for a good grip. The real test will come next time we're doing a show.

How are you all doing with your Kellys a year later?

Balladeer


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: GUEST,JJthePicker
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 09:37 AM

My finger picking style is self-taught and uses a combination of picking and strumming with my three fingers both pulling up and pushing down across the strings. Conventional fingerpicks can produce decent volume, but because I can't seem to retrain my fingers to NEVER do down strokes, they invariably get caught and/or pop off my fingers. Fred Kelly's Freedom Picks appeared to offer a unique solution.

I just received my order last night: three large delrin and another three large poly. G R E A T ! I love these picks. They were immediately comfortable and I found myself back into all the stuff I used to play back when I was wearing false acrylic fingernails. Except unlike the acrylics, these are hassle free. I quit fingerpicking some years ago because I began playing serious bluegrass. I focused on developing a strong flatpick style because finger picking just couldn't produce the volume I needed on a guitar in an acoustic jam. But these Freedom Picks allow bi-directional finger strokes just as the acrylic nails did, and I can flail the strings in either direction with any of three fingers.

I put the delrins on first, with the solid surface covering my nail, and with a Fred Kelly Speed Pick on my thumb. I played for maybe three hours, and as I became used to the feel of the picks, I found myself recalling all the stuff I used to play. Compared to a flatpick, they're not as loud and they feel a bit less precise coming off the string. I can't get the same speed or quite the same dynamic precision, but that's more to do with my ability than any limitation of Fred's Freedom Picks. The polycarb version seems a bit crisper/brighter and maybe a bit louder, while the delrin is a softer/warmer sound. The Delrins may be a bit more comfortable too, but I find both types very comfortable, even after playing for three hours. I find myself adapting to them very quickly.

Recommended. Great job, Fred Kelly


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 10:04 AM

I tried them a while back, both large and medium size. Might be something to do with the shape of my digits, but I found them painfully uncomfortable, dug into the
sides of the 1st finger-joints and also into the top behind the nail.

I decided to stick with Gel-and-silk-wrap-falsies.

YMMV, however.


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM

You know, I'd dearly love to see you in silk-wrap falsies... :-)

I've very occasionally contemplated false nails when I split or break a nail but, in the end, never bothered (I revert to hybrid picking with a flatpick instead).

I've never yet discovered a fingerpick - and I've tried most of 'em - that give me the response of natural nails. so, nails it is for as long as I can use them.


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 11:41 AM

"You know, I'd dearly love to see you in silk-wrap falsies... :-)"

Trust me Will, you would not! :-)
BWM :0)


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: autoharpbob
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 02:44 PM

Sorry I wasn't here when someone asked in Aug08 if anyone had tried these with an autoharp. The answer is yes of course, lots of people have, including me. I didn't like them, like Backwoodsman I found they hurt too much, but lots of people do swear by them. I LOVE the Perfect Touch picks, though can be tempted to replace the PT Thumbpick with the Fred Kelly speed pick. I also have arthritic fingers, and the way the PT picks can be bent around to fit individually works fine for me.


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 06:18 PM

I've written to Tony Owens to see if he has any large ones as my fingers are like sausages. Hopefully there are large ones available.


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: GUEST,jtpott
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 11:03 PM

I've used the slick pick for years, and tried to custom make picks like the freedom on my own, (mold the fingers, form them with fibre glass etc.) , but just found this thread. I'm gonna try a set of delrins (I use the delrin slick pick, and love it. I've tried fake nails and use naturals now, play all sorts of bues, (electric and acoustic, steel strings and nylon, but just started with with a dobro, the heavier strings are killin me, so I need picks.


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: GUEST,Guest Betsy
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 10:15 AM

I forgot about this thread as Tony Owens didn't acknowledge my enquiry - pity


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: balladeer
Date: 01 Nov 11 - 07:20 PM

Once I discovered JOHN PEARSE HI-RIDER FINGER PICKS I moved on quickly from the Freedom picks because they were straining the muscles in the back of my hand. The Hi-Riders have been my only picks since early in 2010. They solved my problem, which was picks falling off, because they grip my fingers above the first joint (which is also above the arthritic nodules). Also, those Freedom picks would break for no reason, just fall apart in my pick bag.


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 11 - 08:36 PM

Order from Suncreek Music. They have them in stock and ship quickly.


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: GUEST,Alan Sheppard
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 08:26 PM

Are these picks still available and if so I live in Canada. Can they be shipped to Canada?

These may take the place of my easily broken fingernails, so much so, I gave up playing Classical Guitar after years of practice.

These will renew my interest and I will be back at it.

Thanks,

Alan


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 05:19 AM

These days, I'd have thought popping into a nail bar and getting plain acrylics would be a fair option. I don't have many issues with my own nails, so can't speak from experience.

Many years ago, a band I was in shared a dressing room with John Renbourn and we watched him cutting up ping-pong balls and supergluing them on. John Martyn reportedly built his nails up with dental cement.

Loads of discussion of nail strengthening etc on the rec.music.makers.guitar.acoustic newsgroup


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Subject: RE: Freedom finger picks
From: GUEST,Denis McKay
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 08:23 AM

I use three Fred Kelly Freedom Picks (delrin lasts much better than poly carbonate) plus Kelly Delrin thumbpick. I play Autoharp and I prefer the sound over that of brass or nickel silver picks. They stay on much better and don't hurt my cuticles like Dunlop or National picks. I can also play in both directions. In long sessions or very humid weather, I also paper medical tape to ensure that they don't slip off.

Just my $0.02 worth!


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