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Old 03-25-2008, 08:45 AM
BaGz BaGz is offline
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Default Best Thumb Picks

Title says it all, I have only tried one and was not fond of it, so I've just grown my nail out ever since. I'd like to give it another shot but would like to make sure I get a quality one. Suggestions?
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:52 AM
rgregg48 rgregg48 is offline
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I like the Fred Kelly slick pick..

but thats my experience...

Rickr
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:15 AM
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Red Bear propick. They are expensive ($35) but they last forever, sound great, and are comfortable. redbeartrading.com
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:19 AM
mmmaak mmmaak is offline
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I will be writing a short review of the Fred Kelly Jazz Bumblebee soon, as I have found that its Delrin material, combined with the adjustable height and angle make it ideal for fingerstyle

But if you're looking for a regular thumb pick, then +1 on the Slick Picks. Delrin for warmth and Polycarb for brightness.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:45 AM
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Another vote for the Fred Kelly Slick Pick. I like the heavy Delrin type. It took me a while to warm up to the Slick Pick, but after I got used to it, I've really liked it. I do round the tip just a bit with a file to mellow out the tone a bit.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmaak View Post
I will be writing a short review of the Fred Kelly Jazz Bumblebee soon, as I have found that its Delrin material, combined with the adjustable height and angle make it ideal for fingerstyle

But if you're looking for a regular thumb pick, then +1 on the Slick Picks. Delrin for warmth and Polycarb for brightness.
+1 on the Fred Kelly. My only prob with them is that they are too small for my big hands!
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaGz View Post
Title says it all, I have only tried one and was not fond of it, so I've just grown my nail out ever since. I'd like to give it another shot but would like to make sure I get a quality one. Suggestions?
Hi BaGz...
I used to use them for clarity, but hated the way they protrude, so I cut them down on my bench grinder or with sandpaper like this...



Then they worked just like my normal thumb stroke without protruding way down into the strings.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:01 AM
mmmaak mmmaak is offline
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi BaGz...
I used to use them for clarity, but hated the way they protrude, so I cut them down on my bench grinder or with sandpaper like this...

Then they worked just like my normal thumb stroke without protruding way down into the strings.
Hi LJ. Maybe it's just me, but I tried that on one of my FK Delrin picks and it totally killed the sound. It wasn't a hack job as I used various files, grades of sandpaper and emery boards to get the modified tip as close to the original as possible. Maybe others will have better luck
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmaak View Post
Hi LJ. Maybe it's just me, but I tried that on one of my FK Delrin picks and it totally killed the sound. It wasn't a hack job as I used various files, grades of sandpaper and emery boards to get the modified tip as close to the original as possible. Maybe others will have better luck
Hi mmm...
Fred Kelley - the one that looks like a regular pick stuck to a thumb pick or the tiny little finger-like one? Maybe you mean the narrow one that he calls normal.

I never used those because they don't replicate the sound or feel of an actual thumb. When I used thumb picks it was to clarify the note on the bass string with the action still being played like my thumb plays and not trying to use it like a flat pick. I didn't like his ''regular'' thumb picks because they were too narrow (as opposed to thin), and I wanted more surface area to contact the string.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:22 AM
mmmaak mmmaak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi mmm...
Fred Kelley - the one that looks like a regular pick stuck to a thumb pick or the tiny little finger-like one? Maybe you mean the narrow one that he calls normal.
I was referring to the Delrin Slick Pick, heavy gauge:
http://elderly.com/accessories/items/PK6-H-DELRIN.htm

I really liked the sound it produced, clear and warm, but wasn't comfortable with the length of the tip, so I tried filing it down with pretty disastrous results

My current favourite is the Jazz Bumblebee because it lets me play in a very natural position - almost as if I have no thumbpick on at all. It's also made of Delrin, but the sound isn't as thick as the Slick Pick. I'm hoping the x-heavy gauge version will remedy that, though.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mmmaak View Post
I was referring to the Delrin Slick Pick, heavy gauge..
Hi mmm...
Yeah...those picks are not the right width for me, and the material isn't as malleable as just the plain old plastic of the Gibson Medium & Heavy picks (can't get them anymore).

The heavy duty National Picks worked for me too...

It kind of depends on what one wants to accomplish with the pick. If it's just a flat pick attached at the thumb the pick will need to be different than if you merely want a bit of clarity for an already established style of finger picking.

There are sure lots of options out there. I had used thumbpicks for over 25 years and have a good ''stash'' in the back cabinet, but one of the main issues I encountered was getting one that worked and then finding them later (good products from small companies that are here today & gone bankrupt tomorrow syndrome).
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:50 AM
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I've been using Nationals for the last year or so... prefer the Medium if you can find them....But I just got my hands on a couple of Goldengate picks and REALLY like them alot. They both need to be cut down and reshapped but after that they sound good.

Cheers,

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Old 03-25-2008, 11:51 AM
TommyK TommyK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaGz View Post
Title says it all, I have only tried one and was not fond of it, so I've just grown my nail out ever since. I'd like to give it another shot but would like to make sure I get a quality one. Suggestions?
For just plain volume, those metal ones.. Dunlop I guess.

My fave is the plastic ones. Either one, bend them to fit for comfort and stability. The plastic ones you'll need to heat up with hot water or a light bulb to soften so you canbend it and have it stay once it cools.

The plastic ones have a pretty good sized 'paddle' I regard these plastic ones as 'raw material'. I use a fingernail clipper... actually a toe nail clipper to reduce it's size and file, sand and polish like fingernails to get to the right shape, size and pick cross-section. Make the pick a sharpish pint for more 'snap' to the tone. Rounded for a more melow tone. Cut two points to make it sound like a 12 string... sort of, for the price of a 6.

That's maybe why I like the plastic ones... Dunlop I guess.. better. The metal ones are hard to re-work. You have to play with the size they give you.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:31 PM
bransonb bransonb is offline
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I'm a fan of Golden Gates

http://www.elderly.com/accessories/items/PK21-L.htm
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:37 PM
sjino sjino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsdb View Post
Red Bear propick. They are expensive ($35) but they last forever, sound great, and are comfortable. redbeartrading.com
Dang, bro! Is that $35 for ONE pick, or is that a misprint? It had better be made of platinum for that kind of money.

Personally, I like the Ernie Ball thumbpicks because they're a good deal thinner than most traditionally shaped thumbpicks like Dunlops and Nationals. Since I play with natural nails on the other fingers, the thinner gauge blends better and is less overpowering. Doesn't have that thuddy sound you can get with real thick picks either. Cheap, too.

For a slightly thicker gauge, I like the John Pearse thumbpicks. Nicely shaped and reasonably priced.
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