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?
Golden Gate ivoroid, @ First quality, Elderly, Amazon, Reverb, etc.
I like this pick pretty well https://www.elderly.com/accessories/picks/thumbpicks/geipel-metal-thumbpick-german-made-8-size-xx-large-114873.htm 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
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 them..lol) 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!
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.
You have a lot of choices https://www.elderly.com/accessories/picks/thumbpicks?limit=50, but important thing is fit and they sound similar and work ergonomicall with your fingerpicks.
clown barfs: http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/330579
blue chip: http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/330235
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.
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.
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.
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. ;)
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.
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
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.
Ok, I've given his picks a good trial run. I think they should a little bright. The blade seems a bit too wide for my taste and they seem light weight compared to others. I keep going back to Yates as my favorite, followed by Showcase, then I'd put these picks followed by Dean's.
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