A plectre (or médiator in the jargon of the guitarists and other mandolin players, or quite simply peak or pick in Quebec), is a small accessory which one holds between the inch and the index to play of some string instruments. He plays the part of the Ongle of the inch, in more resistant.
That of the Cithare plays the same part, but is done so that it threads on the end of the finger. One calls this type of médiator a miter, also used for certain styles of music requiring the individual use of all the fingers of the right hand (ex: fingerpicking Country ). In the Eastern instruments as the kânum the plectres go on several fingers.
The plectres exist various forms (often triangular or in “water drop”), various thicknesses (generally, between 0.4 and 1.5 mm) and matters to adapt to the musician. They are generally in plastic today. For the Bouzouki, the Mandoline and the Mandole, the plectre is in rather firm horn. Practically all the professional guitarists who play in the style swing manouche of Django Reinhardt have a médiator in scale of true tortoise. The other matters used for the manufacture of the plectres are generally the Métal and the Bois. Metal will make sound the cords in a way much more brilliant ( “bright” ) and seems to generate better a attacks than the plastic plectres. The wood plectre, on the contrary, will give a its round and marrowy (even choked), while preserving a good attack. There exist also felt plectres intended exclusively for the large cords of the electric low guitars. These very thick plectres can make to 5 Misters.
The médiator comes to strike the cords perpendicular to the table. One can always attack a cord in the same direction (in outward journeys), or alternatively in the two directions (in return tickets), which allows a fast play and brilliance.
For the Oud, as for the Kurdish Saz, one uses a very fine section of very flexible horn of cow.
In the Harpsichord, the plectre in feather of corbel or plastic (delrin or celcon) names a nozzle. It is assembled on a mobile strip at the higher end of the Sautereau.
The Sitar requires the use of one or two plectres metal, the mizrabs.
Mark Knopfler: “The médiator is the smallest amplifier of the world. ”
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