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Apr 22, 2021 - 5:37:13 PM
144 posts since 2/22/2019

Looking for suggestions on a pick style/brand to use when my fingernail breaks.

Edited by - HighLonesomeF5 on 04/22/2021 17:44:27

Apr 22, 2021 - 6:14:31 PM
Players Union Member



289 posts since 5/16/2017

I am not fortunate enough to be able to play clawhammer with my nail consistently so I use picks all the time. I like the ClingPro frailing pick for the sound closest to a fingernail. It is rather thin and flexible. I usually use the Fred Kelly Freedom pick though. It stays on the finger really well and allows for up-picking in addition to the usual clawhammer down-picking. The ClingPro is not rigid enough to up-pick

Apr 22, 2021 - 11:50:50 PM



770 posts since 7/4/2017

If you learn to use both index and middle then a breakage of one won't need a pick. It seems difficult at first to change, but it's like learning a new tune where in a shortish period of time super difficult becomes super easy. Obviously if you break both a pick might be required.

The pick I have personally is a turned round bluegrass pick (a solid one with no holes) shortened considerably and shaped to almost replicate a fingernail (I used a dremel to do this). I ordered one of the 'cling pros' on a recommendation, but to work for me they require to be turned round at a weird angle. Since I started to use both index and middle I've never really needed my pick though. One thing I did find is that I can use a pick on my middle, but not on my index.

Some folks who have a very vertical 'attack' get by with short fingernails and no pick so it might be worth trying to get used to short nails. Doesn't work for me.

Edited by - AndyW on 04/22/2021 23:52:30

Apr 23, 2021 - 3:26:29 AM

263 posts since 10/16/2011

My votes in for Kelly Freedom pic . The white ones seem to have a lower tone which i like then the clear ones but like the feel of the thinner clear ones . I play with the white ones and if you get a few you can use a file board and try customizing the end to change shape like a more pointed end .

Apr 23, 2021 - 7:05:09 AM

49 posts since 6/5/2006

I damage my nail abut twice a month so I bought every clawhammer pick I could find over the past 50 years. I have attached photos of 13 of them.

I couldn't get the ClingPro to sit on my finger nail.  The Freedom pick is too fat and can damage your cuticle.  Most of the others are either heavy or don't feel secure.  The ones I love are the double-sided Claw Jam (like Kyle Creed's 2 sided pick) and the Diamond Titanium (incredibly light-weight, comfortable and good sound).  The thimble has a fun mellow sound.

picks in vertical photo:

Joel Hooks thimble / Cling Pro

Perfect Pitch / Perfect Pitch

???  /  ProPik

???   / ProPik

Claw Jam silver / old National steel

Claw Jam copper  / Diamond Titanium

    Fred Kelly Freedom Pick

Edited by - restreet on 04/23/2021 07:19:16

Apr 23, 2021 - 7:24:52 AM
likes this

49 posts since 6/5/2006

The Diamond Ti comes in pairs which is good since you'll find you still have it on long after playing and it will end up in a random pocket.

Apr 23, 2021 - 1:55:51 PM

144 posts since 2/22/2019

Thanks all. What are the best sources for these picks? I prefer to deal with a music store, even if its online. Here in CT not many acoustic stores around.

Apr 24, 2021 - 11:45:23 AM



985 posts since 3/22/2017

Richard: how is that titanium pick?, I've heard they're hard to reshape/bend


I've bought picks from Elderly,, Banjo Ben's website, they're all great to deal with if any issues arise. Also bought *a lot* of picks from and reshaped them which is time consuming but satisfying.  Robb at clawjam may have other picks in other materials besides what's shown on his website

Also, to protect your nails you can try scotch taping them when you;re playing and also when you're doing any yardwork or whatever it is that breaks your nails (for me it's nail singular, i can't claw with the middle finger unless i raise the neck way up for some reason)

Edited by - gtani7 on 04/24/2021 11:50:50

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