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Old 01-19-2020, 10:40 PM
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Default Alaska Piks

I just ordered another set of these. The first time I ordered them, (years ago) I ordered a size too small as it turned out. I noticed that my chances of getting rid of that raspy sound on the wounds when I use i or m are slim to none without nails. However, the odds of me growing and maintaining decent nails is even less so I ordered these. Anyone else use them?
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:12 AM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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I used them, and use them occasionally to make sure I can still use them (there is some adjustment required to use them well). They are as good as it gets I think, assuming your own nails or acrylics are not an option.

I will say that they have the advantage of consistency. With acrylics, or without, my i, m and a nails are all different, even if just a tiny bit.

The Alaska Piks give each "nail" an identical starting point, and I find (after filing them down of course) that the tone of each finger is more consistent with them on than when they aren't.

I like them a lot, but I still prefer to use my nails (with acrylics).
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:01 AM
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Maybe Eric Skye will chime in here. He's a long time user of them.

I've tried and couldn't keep them from coming "loose" when I hit a string wrong.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:52 AM
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Maybe Eric Skye will chime in here. He's a long time user of them.

I've tried and couldn't keep them from coming "loose" when I hit a string wrong.
Marty - that’s been the crux of the matter for me too. As my technique has improved (ie. Finer movements of my fingers), my problems with finger picks of all types have lessened. I had solved the Alaska picks ‘flying off’ issue with a wrap of surgical tape, but they still irritated my nail bed and cuticles. Also, I didn’t want to lovingly adjust a set, only to be at wit’s end when one disappeared.

At this point, I either use a thumbpick and bare fingers, or thumbpick and ‘Cling-pro’ finger picks.

Rick
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:13 PM
nightflight nightflight is offline
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For me, these picks (any that fit around the finger) interfere too much with the joint just above the fingernail, making harder to bend my fingers. My hands are small-ish, so maybe this is why.

I keep my nails short, but just long enough to catch the strings. If one tears, I use a temp nail with a glue dot.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:15 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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I don't understand the desire to use finger-picks while playing nylon string guitars. It just defeats the nylon sound to my ears.

I'll use a thumb-pick on occasion to get a louder bass, but the majority of the time, I play with bare fingers with just enough nail to add some tone when needed.

Dave
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:41 AM
Bikewer Bikewer is offline
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The desire is conditioned by the difficulties of keeping one’s nails in good enough shape for playing.
Mine are extremely brittle, and I’m fairly active as well, so just about the time I get the nails in optimum length or shape, I’ll hit something and “crack!” Off goes a chunk.

I tried the “Butterfly” picks.. Could not get them to stay on properly. I might give these a try....
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:11 PM
JERZEY JERZEY is offline
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I find that doing my own acrylic nails or using the super glue/baking soda method is much easier then dealing with Alaska Picks. I cant stand having them on my fingers anymore.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:39 PM
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I use fingerpicks for lap steel and squareneck resonator, can’t do fp’s for guitar. Keep nails relatively short, any longer they split after a shower.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:06 AM
FrankHS FrankHS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
....I ordered a size too small as it turned out. I noticed that my chances of getting rid of that raspy sound on the wounds when I use i or m are slim to none without nails....
Not following you there. Seems that having nails (or any hard pick surface) is what initiates the raspy sound on wound strings, as well as the scraping or clacking noise on smooth strings. Of course, typical classical technique will minimize nail noise. It's also possible to play nailless. A few pros (1%, less?) do so successfully.

The typical solution for your situation is fake nails, such as guitarplayernails.com. Read everything on that site. At least, the concept works for many guitarsts. Today, I "roll my own" plastic nails, but GPN is a place to start.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHS View Post
Not following you there. Seems that having nails (or any hard pick surface) is what initiates the raspy sound on wound strings, as well as the scraping or clacking noise on smooth strings. Of course, typical classical technique will minimize nail noise. It's also possible to play nailless. A few pros (1%, less?) do so successfully.

The typical solution for your situation is fake nails, such as guitarplayernails.com. Read everything on that site. At least, the concept works for many guitarsts. Today, I "roll my own" plastic nails, but GPN is a place to start.
If I use the part of my finger where the nail meets the flesh and use the nail to strike the wound string I don't hear the raspyness when I do this. My technique is the worst so that's probably the real culprit, but I'm going to try the Piks.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:14 AM
FrankHS FrankHS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
If I use the part of my finger where the nail meets the flesh and use the nail to strike the wound string I don't hear the raspyness when I do this. My technique is the worst so that's probably the real culprit, but I'm going to try the Piks.
Sounds like youve cracked the code--nail and flesh on the string at same time (before stroke) is what reduces or eliminates noise. So, what's the problem, again? "Culprit" for what? (Ps, Im not disrespecting Alaska Piks, or anything else that works for some. Experimentation is fun....for a while.)
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:43 AM
FrankHS FrankHS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHS View Post

Sounds like youve cracked the code--nail and flesh on the string at same time (before stroke) is what reduces or eliminates noise. So, what's the problem, again? "Culprit" for what? (Ps, Im not disrespecting Alaska Piks, or anything else that works for some. Experimentation is fun....for a while.)
Okay, never mind, I reread your OP. You're certain you cant have either real nails or fake nails. (But please revisit that assumption now and then.)
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:57 AM
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Yep I tried APs but my biggest issue with any wrap around pick is that feeling of them rubbing and whacking against each other. It’s just something that bugs me and can’t seem to get by it. But they are the thinnest one’s I’ve tried and not as bad as others. Fortunately my nails are fairly tuff but I worked in the construction trade before I retired and nails were not feasible. My solution was to keep them trimmed to have the point just to left of center of the finger and very short. It worked for me.
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Old 11-26-2022, 05:23 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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Thought I'd share something about Alaska Piks I recently experienced.

I have one somewhat hooked nail on my picking hand (my 'i' finger). I've always considered it only mildly hooked, as with the correct filing/shaping, my nail has never limited me thus far (I'm about to complete my 5th year of private lessons).

Well, it never limited me until a week ago. I've been working on this piece that's at ~110BPM and there's a handful of spots that have these flurries of 16th notes. And that darn hooked nail, no matter the filing I tried, just has too much of a snag/drag/hook effect for me to get to tempo. Once I kind of figured out the problem, I thought it couldn't hurt to put on my Alaska Piks to see if they'd help. POOF, it was like magic. My 'i' finger glided through the strings just like the rest of my fingers. Problem solved.

Don't get me wrong, I have always felt like Alaska Piks are cumbersome. It's generally more difficult to play with them than without, so it's not some magical thing I recommend everyone try. But if you have a bit of a hooked nail that's giving you a problem, you may want to consider giving them a try.
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