What do most of you use on your picks to help keep them slick?
If the plastic thumb picks get scratchy or bumpy, I use Stewart MacDonald sanding pads, 8000 grit through 12000 grit. https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tools-and-supplies/supplies/sanding-and-polishing/sandpaper-and-finishing-papers/micro-mesh-soft-touch-pads/
The small 2x2 pads.
Sanding the edges of a new plastic pick down to 12000 grit before I start using it seems to reduce the wear and roughness, since there is not much anymore for the strings to catch on.
Metal picks, I don't know -- my stainless steel picks have never shown any roughness.
NEVER put lube or polish on a felt pick. Really. Trust me on this.
Originally posted by Owen
Exactly, never ever once thought of lubing my picks. Just play!
The only time i've needed to do this to fingerpicks is when i gouged them with pliers while shaping the blade, then i would try 0000 synthetic steel wool, then 000, 00 etc until I got the gouges out.
Polishing thumbpick blades, same procedure.
if they become damaged throw em away and get new ones. reminds of my wife wanting me to use the same napkin 3 times a day by folding it in various shapes.....she's cheaper than free lunch...lol I asked her one day "I only use one side of toilet paper should I refold it and.......... she said "dont be a wise guy"
Edited by - overhere on 08/19/2021 03:18:34
This is one of the reason I like delrin picks so much. I like the Blue Chip pick for the same reason too, but I don't like the sound of Blue Chip (on my banjo) nearly as much as delrin. Anyway, neither of these get rough with use.
For my fingerpicks I use "Simichrome". I am always surprised by how much tarnish I remove.
Never, ever, in 50+ years, have I polished my picks. Should I ever be inclined to do so, it would be with a ScotchBrite pad. Thousands of uses, readily available knock offs, cheap at Dollar Tree. If that don't get it, replace them.
I have heard that "Earl" would run the picks through his hair, for the natural oil. A wise friend also advised me to run them next to your nose! It does sound odd, but it works! I have noticed, in doing so, not only lubes, but helps quiet pick noise. I imagine any real "lube" would run to the inside,while they slide off! Otherwise, I have been known to oil the strings (lightly,like a few drops on a cloth),sounds good and makes them last!
Oh yeah, there used to be some spray on stuff called finger ease, I think. I had forgotten about that. Now that you mention it, I do recall Earl's comment on running his picks through his hair, & I too heard the nose thing, somewhere.
Fast Fret, use it on the strings in the area where you pick the strings. No more scratchy sound or feel.
Gee, guitarists smooth or reshape their flatpicks all the time. No big deal. Why should a pick manufacturer determine the exact tool you'll be using? How much care are they putting into that 50 cent pick, especially if they are making a million of them per year? Nobody has every reshaped a thumbpick or fingerpick?
Banjo pickers, as a group in general, are often quite proud of their lack of basic maintenance and cleanliness of the instrument and the tools of their trade, claiming they use strings for 3 years, never clean the fingerboard, use various human detritus as lubricants, etc.
I rub the pick against the side of my nose.
I use nose oil to slick up resonator attachment bolts and on other parts too.
It might not be the best, but it's always the handiest.
Fly fisherman rub the ferrules on their rods against the side of their nose before assembling the rod. Oil on the side of the nose lubricates the metal. One thing I don't understand. Why would someone who spent a large amount of $$$ to buy a quality musical instrument worry about spending a few $$$ to maintain the instrument or accessories.
Thanks all. The reason I asked is I have heard some players do use some lubrication now and then on fingerpicks to help them glide off the strings faster.
Be sure to use a high temp lube, so they don't overheat. :-)
You could try DW 40 but I don't recommend it. Maybe some goose or bacon fat from the skillet
One of the old Banjo Newsletter advertisers solved this problem years ago, but it never caught on.
The best treatment for metal picks is to strop the playing surface on leather - your strap is the easiest and most convenient available leather. A belt or boots will work. It cleans and polishes without adding any lubricant.
Lubricant on picks is inviting disaster during the next set.
I polish my picks.
Thumbpicks on printer paper (comes out very glassy) and metal blades on leather.
Any silicon lube should work pretty good.
Put the lube on then wipe with a dry cloth,filling micro scratches.
For serious scratches use 2000 grit sandpaper first.
Check blade contact pattern by coloring the blades with a felt pen and wearing away the ink by playing.
Get the wear in the middle of the blade.
quote:Originally posted by richard baskowskiI have heard that "Earl" would run the picks through his hair, for the natural oil. A wise friend also advised me to run them next to your nose! It does sound odd, but it works! I have noticed, in doing so, not only lubes, but helps quiet pick noise. I imagine any real "lube" would run to the inside,while they slide off! Otherwise, I have been known to oil the strings (lightly,like a few drops on a cloth),sounds good and makes them last!
Strangely enough I have used the nose trick before. Finger picks for me seem to get a little build up from time to time and that kinda slows things down for me and just that little bit of body oil seems to take care of things until I can clean things up proper.
Heck, just buy some banjo pick lube! Makes your picks slicker than owl snot!
I use finger ease spray it on soft cloth then work over the strings real good. Use black Gibson picks from the 70s.
Polish metal picks on the rough leather side of My hunting knife Sheath.
Occasionally I notice the picks start to squeak against the strings... when this happens I rub the side of my nose with the pick surface, and it sorts them out.
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