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Jun 11, 2020 - 5:55:12 PM

carteru93

Canada

5399 posts since 12/14/2006

Jun 11, 2020 - 6:24:12 PM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

252 posts since 8/9/2019

Looks like a Blue Chip JD Crowe thumb pick. Metal thumb band, polymer pick.

Jun 11, 2020 - 7:41:37 PM

chuckv97

Canada

50899 posts since 10/5/2013

$40




Jun 11, 2020 - 7:48:51 PM

carteru93

Canada

5399 posts since 12/14/2006

ahh makes sense.

I never thought JD would use a full metal thumb

Edited by - carteru93 on 06/11/2020 19:54:01

Jun 11, 2020 - 7:50:36 PM
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carteru93

Canada

5399 posts since 12/14/2006

I use only KK or National thumbs and NP2 fingers

 

 A full metal thumb seems like Bluegrass blasphemy lol

Edited by - carteru93 on 06/11/2020 19:51:34

Jun 11, 2020 - 9:02:24 PM
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Players Union Member

Blackjaxe47

Canada

1539 posts since 6/20/2014

If you have never tried a BlueChip you don't know what your missing.

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:32:58 PM

carteru93

Canada

5399 posts since 12/14/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Blackjaxe47

If you have never tried a BlueChip you don't know what your missing.


Thanks for the reply :)

I see you're in Canada as well....do they sell these here or only USA orders? Love to try one and see what I'm missing out on!

 

My KK picks have been great but if there's something that may be better I'm more than willing to try it out! I'd have to check but i think i saw a couple on the BHO marketplace

Edited by - carteru93 on 06/11/2020 22:34:35

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:36:42 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

50899 posts since 10/5/2013

I like them because they’re sleek and not bulky. Lighter too so it feels like the thumb can move quicker. Plus excellent tone. I ordered mine from Blue Chip.

Edited by - chuckv97 on 06/11/2020 22:37:12

Jun 12, 2020 - 12:30:14 AM
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4291 posts since 5/29/2004

BlueChip thumbpicks have become the favourite picks of a lot of top players.....but what do they know.???

I'm not a top player but I wouldn't swap my Bluechip thumbpick for a hundred of the plastic kind.

Jun 12, 2020 - 1:31:45 AM

4291 posts since 5/29/2004

quote:
Originally posted by carteru93

ahh makes sense.

I never thought JD would use a full metal thumb


BlueChip thumbpicks aren't full metal, only the grip part is metal..

Jun 12, 2020 - 5:41:09 AM
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3193 posts since 5/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by carteru93

I use only KK or National thumbs and NP2 fingers

 

 A full metal thumb seems like Bluegrass blasphemy lol


Don't knock a metal thumb pick until you have used one. I haven't used a plastic thumb pick in 40 years.

BTW about 25 years ago a professional banjo player, whose name I won't mention because he is a member of the BHO, told me, "A good banjo player would never use a metal thumb pick." Figuring that he knew more than I did since he is a professional, I had a lot of second thoughts about my ability to play. As a result I have not played in a band since. Being older now I realize that opinions are just one person's point of view but they can still affect your mindset and confidence. But I still play with a metal thumb pick because that is what works for me.

Remember, did plastic thumb picks exist when Earl, and Don, and Ralph started playing?

Jun 12, 2020 - 6:23:11 AM
Players Union Member

SkippyV

USA

6 posts since 6/5/2016

Being a new player I have wondered about this. Why has a plastic thumb pick been considered to be correct?

Jun 12, 2020 - 8:16 AM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

252 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by SkippyV

Being a new player I have wondered about this. Why has a plastic thumb pick been considered to be correct?


tone

Jun 12, 2020 - 8:30:25 AM

Alex Z

USA

3875 posts since 12/7/2006

quote:
Originally posted by SkippyV

Being a new player I have wondered about this. Why has a plastic thumb pick been considered to be correct?


That's an excellent question.

I think the answer is perception and unwarranted conclusions:

      "most commonly seen" gets morphed into "therefore traditional" gets morphed into "therefore correct" gets morphed into "therefor the only correct"  pick.  smiley

There has been plenty of this kind of transformed "knowledge" in the bluegrass banjo world, worshiping the vision of the 1950s.  Heck, for some, even now, the Bill Keith arrangements of the 1960s -- now 60 years old and only 10 years younger than the Earl Scruggs arrangements of the early 1950s -- are seen as "non-traditional."   We can be a very conservative bunch when it comes to banjos.

Jun 12, 2020 - 10:34:47 AM

14844 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by SkippyV

Being a new player I have wondered about this. Why has a plastic thumb pick been considered to be correct?


Because they've been commonly available for a long time, they work well, and they don't cost very much. As a result, they've become something of a standard.

People are always attempting to build a better mousetrap. Many of the plastic thumb picks available are a thermoplastic, but some are made of Delrin or similar materials. Some of the metal band picks have used Delrin or similar materials for their blades. Among the TP makers are brands such as National, Dunlop and Golden Gate. Among the Delrin makers are Fred Kelly.

Many of these innovations really don't catch on. Once in a while, somebody does actually come up with a radically different approach that actually 1) works and 2) catches on. Blue Chip is an example of that. There's nothing particularly remarkable about the banding (beyond the fact that it's arguably of higher quality than anyone else's) but the blade material IS absolutely different.

And it was discovered more or less by happy accident.

Jun 12, 2020 - 11:07:09 AM
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Players Union Member

Blackjaxe47

Canada

1539 posts since 6/20/2014

You cannot buy Blue Chip Thumbpicks in Canada, you have to order from suppliers in the USA. You can order directly from BlueChip or many others such a Banjo Ben Clark, Elderly.
As a side note there really is not much you can order from Canada other than a friendly smile, a wave, or an apology for existing.

Jun 12, 2020 - 11:23:16 AM

KCJones

USA

801 posts since 8/30/2012

Does anyone have a good reason to get a Blue Chip over a Pro-Pik? They seem to be identical to me, but the Blue Chip is 10x more. What gives?

Jun 12, 2020 - 1:07:11 PM

350 posts since 2/28/2006

Steven
I have both and I believe the Blue Chip is a superior product. I did not try the Blue Chip for a long time because I had a Pro-Pik and I did not care for it. Recently I bought a Blue Chip to try and it’s all I use.

As far as quality vs $, that equation is very subjective and as has been pointed out in a recent thread, not everyone comes to the same result. I would never hazard to guess whether it would be worth it for someone else.

All the best.
Brian Saulsman

Jun 12, 2020 - 1:41:45 PM

carteru93

Canada

5399 posts since 12/14/2006

I appreciate all the input.

It started as a simple question, I'm also not knocking metal thumb picks as I've never used one it's just not the "traditional choice" I suppose and one would assume there's a reason. It's all good.

I didn't start this thread to turn into a debate it just looked like JD was using a metal thumb, I know he's a "traditional" 0layer so assumed he would use a "traditional" pick

Everyone chill out a bit lol

Jun 13, 2020 - 6:27:57 AM

14844 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

Does anyone have a good reason to get a Blue Chip over a Pro-Pik? They seem to be identical to me, but the Blue Chip is 10x more. What gives?


Steven, picks are tools - and unusually among tools, they're not just tools we use. They're tools we WEAR while using them.

The primary reason the Blue Chip is so much more expensive than the Pro-Pik is the blade material. Pro-Pik blades are delrin - which is a very inexpensive plastic. The Blue Chip blade material is a high-tech composite that, among other things, has a lot of graphite in it. This material is far more commonly used to make custom fittings for industrial applications that require great strength, stability, durability and the ability to handle high heat and pressure. That material is also jeezeelly expensive.

Matt Goins, who developed Blue Chips, owns a contract machine shop that makes such fittings. Being in Knoxville, just about all of his employees are pickers. One of them, on a whim, took a piece of scrap material from a contract job and shaped it into a pick. Everyone was blown away by it. Matt's genius in bringing these to market was first to get some prototypes into the hands of some pros; they, too, were impressed and started using them. His next piece of genius was figuring out a way to buy and shape this material in such a way that waste was minimized - as I said, this material is EXTREMELY expensive.

The flat picks were easy but developing a thumb pick took nearly two years. Different approaches and designs were prototyped (I still have one of the earlier prototypes) before settling in on the stainless steel band, shaped as it is. A LOT of R&D went into them.

I've tried Pro-Pik thumbs, and they feel NOTHING like a Blue Chip - either in their fit, or the way they come off the string. To me, the difference is night and day. Candidly, I didn't like them very much. In fact, I didn't think they were any improvement on a plain old run-of-the-mill plastic Dunlop.

But that's me. Nobody should get a specific pick simply because *I* say so, or because some pro uses them. Picks are very personal. There are people who love the Pro-Piks (I personally think the best Pro-Pik product is the split-band finger picks - they're really easy to adjust, so I like them for beginners especially) and others who were disappointed in the Blue Chip. To each their own. I personally think they're very much worth the money. Others don't.

Jun 13, 2020 - 9:41:12 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

252 posts since 8/9/2019

Now that Pro Pik is a Deering product I wouldn't be surprised that Pro Pik thumb pick prices magically skyrocket.

Jun 13, 2020 - 10:03:23 AM

14844 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog

Now that Pro Pik is a Deering product I wouldn't be surprised that Pro Pik thumb pick prices magically skyrocket.


They're $14.00+ on Deering's website. As Janet explained in another thread recently, Guptill hadn't raised their prices in years and Deering adjusted prices accordingly. Like I said, I'm not a fan of the thumbs but I do think the splitbands are worth the money, even at $14 per pair.

Jun 13, 2020 - 11:09:27 AM

5407 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden
quote:
Originally posted by carteru93

I use only KK or National thumbs and NP2 fingers

 

 A full metal thumb seems like Bluegrass blasphemy lol


Don't knock a metal thumb pick until you have used one. I haven't used a plastic thumb pick in 40 years.

BTW about 25 years ago a professional banjo player, whose name I won't mention because he is a member of the BHO, told me, "A good banjo player would never use a metal thumb pick." Figuring that he knew more than I did since he is a professional, I had a lot of second thoughts about my ability to play. As a result I have not played in a band since. Being older now I realize that opinions are just one person's point of view but they can still affect your mindset and confidence. But I still play with a metal thumb pick because that is what works for me.

Remember, did plastic thumb picks exist when Earl, and Don, and Ralph started playing?


Yes.  The fingerpicks in use today (including a celluloid thumb pick) were developed and sold for use on the Hawaiian guitar.

Jun 17, 2020 - 8:02:36 PM

picker5

Canada

140 posts since 9/4/2011

Myher's Music in Edmonton AB. had Blue Chip thumbpicks in various sizes/models at the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival at Stoney Plain 2 yrs ago, and I expect they still stock them. I would also be surprised to find that 12 Fret in Toronto didn't carry them as well, though I don't know for sure. They are silly expensive though, due to current exchange rates.

Jun 17, 2020 - 8:18:46 PM

13115 posts since 10/30/2008

Shoot I can remember back in the late 20th century when THE pick to use was the sky blue nylon thumbpick.

Jun 18, 2020 - 7:54:23 AM

2671 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

The Pro-Pik material is Delrin. I remember reading how it was strong and durable. I liked the idea of wrapping around the finger. So, I picked a few up. Upon use, the tips broke off with light strings.

I have yet to break a Blue Chip pic. Their guitar pics are ok. They wear out easily. As they wear out, the tone changes also.

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