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Finger picks, how long do they last?

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Feb 28, 2020 - 3:10:57 PM

Black Gold


5 posts since 11/11/2019

So i just wanted to ask how long your picks normally last?

I've been playing for about a year and i've worn out 2 thumb picks in that period.

the ''ring'' around thumb breaks.

Edited by - Lynne on 02/28/2020 19:56:25

Feb 28, 2020 - 4:05:08 PM



1 posts since 9/12/2019

Depends i am using Propik, they did jot break on me yet. Been using them for 1 year

Feb 28, 2020 - 4:48:29 PM



18 posts since 1/20/2012

My brass fingerpicks have lasted for about 30 years, so far. Thumbpicks make it for a few months to a year or so, depending on how often I play. I use them for banjo, guitar and dobro, so they get a bit of use. I use Dunlop thumbpicks, which are nylon, I think. Anyway, they're white and fairly thick. When they get really sharp on one edge, I replace them.

Feb 28, 2020 - 4:50:34 PM



311 posts since 3/25/2009

I've been playing for many years and have never broken a thumb pick the way you've described. Are you using the right size pick? To answer your question, I don't think I've ever worn out a set of picks. The biggest problem has been not losing them.

Feb 28, 2020 - 5:22:02 PM



499 posts since 12/3/2004

I don't break thumb picks or fingerpicks, I do step on them, the dog chews them or I lose them. I have some National fingerpicks I bought in the 60's and they have fatigued and fallen apart, but after 50 years that is not too bad.

Lloyd, I bet what you meant to say was your biggest problem is losing them. Sorry, could resist.

Feb 28, 2020 - 8:32:53 PM
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311 posts since 3/25/2009

A question of semantics? I assume you're not anti-semantic.

Feb 28, 2020 - 9:12:44 PM



499 posts since 12/3/2004

Good one!

Feb 28, 2020 - 11:22:31 PM

410 posts since 2/5/2014

I use Dunlop fingerpicks and thumb picks. When the thumb pick get a bit rough it starts to rasp on the strings. I take a nail file and carefully grind the edge of the pick until it feels smooth again. Normally I lose more picks than break them.
Although my brother’s dog chewed my Snark all to pieces once. I suppose he didn’t care for banjo music.

Feb 29, 2020 - 12:05:48 AM



378 posts since 12/30/2005


I've worn out a good few thumbpicks over the years, but given the plastic material they're made from I guess that's to be expected. However, I've also worn out a pair of Dunlop metal fingerpicks. These were the first picks I ever used, and over the first few years of my playing career I played a lot! It took about five or six years to wear a significant area off the very tip of each pick, eventually rendering them difficult to use accurately. No complaints though, I certainly got my money's worth out of those picks!

Feb 29, 2020 - 1:19:43 AM
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2895 posts since 5/29/2011

I have a set of Dunlop picks, metal thumb pick and all, that I have been using since I was in high school forty years ago.

Feb 29, 2020 - 4:06:12 AM

4452 posts since 11/20/2004

Obviously it depends on how much you play as to how long they last, but a couple of thumbpicks a year is very reasonable, although I wear the tips away rather than break bands. Finger picks usually are good for multiple years before they wear away, but eventually do, if you manage to keep them.

Feb 29, 2020 - 4:45:59 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)


23924 posts since 8/3/2003

If you're breaking the bands on your thumb picks, you may be picking too hard.

My thumb picks last for years and the only problem I've ever had is wearing the tip down where I need to replace or rehape it. Fingerpicks? I've had the same set of finger picks for over 35 years and have had no problem with them at all.

Feb 29, 2020 - 9:35:24 AM



7587 posts since 8/20/2016

Two white Nationals with the gold lettering lasted me about a week each, and both snapped at the part where it curves over my thumb. I have been picking for decades, I know how to use them. I won't be buying them ever again. Dunlop plastic thumbs last me a year or so, metal Dunlops thumbs with the curved pick area last forever. My Clawjammer metal thumb-picks are in the same shape as when I got them - same with the finger-picks. Fred Kelly Delrin picks last forever.

Edited by - Mooooo on 02/29/2020 09:38:05

Feb 29, 2020 - 2:11:24 PM

159 posts since 10/6/2011

SADDLE thumb picks are Nylon and in 6 years of use I have never had a customer have one break. First pick you will find with a infinite adjustable strap that works. You can see one in the picture to your left. Double click picture to enlarge.

Edited by - Richard McVicker on 02/29/2020 14:12:40

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