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United States
234 posts
since 9/20/07


08/12/2017 18:09:24 View tloftis's Classified Ads Reply with Quote

ive been trying out different thumb pick lately and am coming to the realization that they have a major effect on tone.  I've tried Blue chip - feels a bit too stiff, National white - too long and can get caught on the strings when playing hard, Dunlap Uttex - best fit but very bright and brittle sounding, Clown barf - a little muted, but still my favorite for Scruggs style. Anyone have recomendations of others to try?






United States
743 posts since 4/13/09

08/12/2017 18:14:36View deestexas's MP3 Archive View deestexas's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Golden Gate ivoroid, @ First quality, Elderly, Amazon, Reverb, etc.


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United States
324 posts since 2/14/09

08/12/2017 18:21:15 View Anthony_N_Ky's Classified Ads Reply with Quote

I like this pick pretty well​  I can't make it an active link but it's the Geipel thumb pick at Elderly Instruments

Edited by - Anthony_N_Ky on 08/12/2017 18:25:06

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rbfour5Players Union Member

United States
621 posts since 11/9/10

08/12/2017 21:10:00 View rbfour5's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

You can trim, bend, shape any of the plastic thumb picks. I still use the old white Nationals that I had back in the 80's and 90's. The blades are different than the new Nationals. Experiment with reshaping a new National until you get it the way you like it. I like the tinkering side of banjos as much as playing and listening. And I would not feel too bad about ruining a $1.00 thumb pick (or maybe a dozen of until I found a way to get them the way I would want them to be. Give it whirl; never know until you try. Have fun!

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United States
3581 posts since 9/21/09

08/12/2017 21:30:30 View banjoman56's Photo Albums View banjoman56's Blog Reply with Quote

The Geipel picks are very comfortable, but the tone it produces is too thin for my liking. I've pretty much settled on the metal Dunlop. It's not quite as comfortable as the Geipel pick, but the tone it produces is probably the best of any pick I've tried. It does require a bit of breaking in though, or you can sand it with fine sandpaper and get right to business.

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gtani7Players Union Member

United States
151 posts since 3/22/17


08/13/2017 05:57:15 View gtani7's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

You have a lot of choices, but important thing is fit and they sound similar and work ergonomicall with your fingerpicks.

old threads:


clown barfs:

blue chip:

Most plastic picks can be dipped in hot water and bent/reshaped with needle nose pliers.  The ones you can't are delrin e.g. Kelly's and polycarbonate (I think dunlop ultex is that).  Also there's talk in some threads that if you cut or file deeply into some the plastic blades, they're hollow inside or can't be sanded/reshaped.

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United States
35567 posts since 7/28/05

08/13/2017 07:10:10 View DeanT's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I'm with Carl! I spent a whopping 75 cents at a festival, for a Dunlop metal thumb pick, in 2005. It was very harsh at first, but I noticed there was a lip on edge of the tip, from the manufacturing of it. I used some fine sand paper and sanded that lip off, and it became music to my ears. It's the only pick I've used since, 12 years and thousands of hours of playing. 

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Badweld Banjo

United States
103 posts since 6/19/11

08/13/2017 10:20:32 View Badweld Banjo's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I've tried several finger picks, and like the Propik finger picks. Thought I would try the Propik thumb pick and liked it also. Thats was I'm using now.

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United States
64 posts since 5/31/16

08/13/2017 11:04:52 Reply with Quote

Start spending some $$$$ and learn fer yerself!

I spent over $60USD on picks, then decided on clawhammer (duh).  I was gonna write a big long diatribe on picks in an attempt to become "sticky", but it boils down to using what you like, nothing more. 

I prefer the ProPik std "metal-/plsstic" thumb picks.  I also tried the ProPik "quick-pik", but it moves the "pick-point" (jes made that phrase up) too far back on my thumb, so went with the standard "ProPik metal-plastic" thumb pick, which puts the "pick-point" a bit further toward the tip of my thumb.  You should also try Herco thumbpicks.  ProPik even makes a metal/plastic version of the Herco pick (which I've never tried).  I like the metal/plasic versions over all-plastic (like Golden Gate and National ) picks cuz the mtl/plstic picks let yer thumb breath.  If you already have a Blue Chip, you know what I mean.   

You can easily spend a couple hundred dollars finding jes the right picks, but the bottom line is shipping costs:

Elderly shipping is really cheap.  They've charged me as little as $2.95USD fer half doz finger picks (I prefer 1941's).

Sam Ash ships fer free, any order over $10USD. 

If you have Amazon Prime, use it!! 

Also, do not be afraid to spend the $$$$.  I settled on Showcase 1941's for my finger picks.  They're worth the higher cost.  I'd even like to try Hoffmeyer picks.  OTOH, if you can afford Bue Chip thumbpicks, you can probably afford anything.  ;)


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United States
1974 posts since 5/29/11

08/13/2017 16:33:45 View Culloden's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I used the Dunlop metal thumb pick for years and still have some that are over 35 years old. In recent years I have been using Dr. Sherpa metal thumb picks which are a little lighter in gauge and I like the sound of them really well.

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357 posts since 6/30/17


08/14/2017 14:08:55 Reply with Quote

dunlop mediums..the white ones or the tortoise shell..i am notorious for losing picks so i get used to using a pick..this goes for finger picks too...that i can replace from almost any music store

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United States
352 posts since 6/5/06

08/15/2017 08:18:00 View nickster's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I use the Golden Gate Large extra thick pearloid thumb picks. They are pretty soft so they don't last very long but are very comfortable on my thumb. I wish they made an ivoroid version with the same shape. Just like most people I just tried everything out there until I found something I like.

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