Other guitar-y things

Holy Thumbpick, Batman…it works!


Interesting.... I am sold. But, I have one concern. Over many years, I mindlessly developed the technique of sliding my pick over to my 3rd finger when I'm not using it. This happens frequently, and I don't even realize any more that I'm doing it. So my right hand swaps between flat picking and finger picking quite a bit.


Interesting post there, Tim. But I'm stickin' with my Golden Gates. If they don't fit (and they mostly don't), a few seconds in a bath of boiling water softens 'em up so I can curl 'em around my thumb, and I'm bump-chickin' away.


I might have to try these too - I've long been keen on the concept of a thumbpick but the reality has always been painful and cumbersome.

I would caution against fingerpicks however - Leo Kottke used to use fingerpicks but almost had to give up playing because they gave him tendonitis. I believe he is strictly all just nails now.

I've adapted to hybrid so much now that I'm not sure about thumbpicks though. I guess if the thumbpick can be used as a flatpick then I could use it, and it sure would make it harder to drop picks. I have though about modifying thumbpicks by cutting off the pick bit and glueing a flatpick to it but never got around to it.


Interestingly the guitar teacher who said that you couldn't quite angle them properly for a flatpick is also on the artist page of the pick company. They were at the counter and I asked for the opinion straight out as I was trying it. I might still get one to goof around when I am no longer a poor as a churchmouse and can experiment with $8 picks. The way the bumblebee ones allow you to adjust the angle seems like a good idea.

I imagine anything like this will always be some sort of compromise. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.


I really don't see most of the issues being brought up. You find the right pick by experimenting with several styles, modify it if need be and off you go. It sounds like some are over thinking how to get comfortable with and use, a thumbpick. When you need to feel like you have a flat pick, just put your index finger against the thumbpick and Bob's your uncle! Watch some Chet videos and see that's how he did it and listening, you can't tell he isn't using a flat pick That's what Joe Maphis did and he's best known as a terrific flatpicker but he often used a thumbpick so he could play both styles in a song.


Interesting how he (Art) uses his thumb sometimes in reverse (upstroke) His tone doesn't suffer at all.. Sometimes a thumbpick can be too loud on certain strings, if strumming voices down or up across the strings).
Using a thummer generally sounds much different to 'nekkid' finger picking anyway, as the angle of string attack is different using a thummer.. Ergo, control of correct velocity and timing becomes a bit more 'hit or miss' using a normal thumbsqueezer IMO,

This looks like a really good geetar prosthetic indeed. Love his tone.

ritchie bg


Well, I've ordered one,maybe this one will be different. I currently use a heavily modded dunlap . But my problem is no matter what, I can do thumb or single notes fine, but really fast strumming I struggle with control as my wrist isn't as free as when I hold a pick. The angle is all wrong. I've tried every pick mentioned,some more that weren't. I'll see if this clicks with me like it did for Tim.


If I grip a thumb pick like a normal pick, but that seems to defeat the object. If I allow my fingers to hang free of the grip, it seems odd to be using the usual up and down strokes. And as I'm used to claw picking, it seems odd to have my index finger available as opposed to just my middle finger. Shoot, Life is tough


As one who finds most aspects of guitar playing, um...... challenging, I appreciate the candor and relate to the struggles shared freely on this forum.

I’ve placed my order and I soon expect to be looking for a mosrite double neck to demonstrate my soon to be proficient thumb stylings.



Maybe someone during NAMMtime called attention to these new-fangling spring-loaded Black Mountain thumbpicks

You're welcome.

And a special shout-out to @geoguy for spelling my name right. It's a trivial thing, but it so seldom happens, I like to recognize it when it does.


Thanks Franks, I thoughts it was yous!


I bought a couple, so anyone coming to the S. Jersey RU can try if you want.


Got my Black Mountain thumbpick this morning and absolutely concur...it immediate feels like I could use this with a bit of practice. Doesn't really feel weird to me in any way. Really cool little thing

nice one Proteus!


Got mine yesterday. Definitely an improvement and the spring is the way to go. Way less cuticle pain and red welts into the flesh around the cuticles.

That alone makes it worth it.

Since I play with my thumb at 36-45 degrees with the strings, I will have to either make a replacement plectrum if I cannot file this one in shape, but the idea is the best I have seen to date.

What would work for me is a combination of the Kelly thumbpick, which I currently use ( Kelly with the swivel plectrum ) and this Black Mountain. If the Black Mountain was swivel, it would have been perfect for me.

So I will combine both and customize to fit my thumb angle.

The only negative is that they do not respond to any emails. I sent two mails in a week, and they ignore it. so it is a matter of buy try and that is it. No communication.


I remember seeing these when they first came out, and they looked promising. I forgot about them til now, so thanks for the reminder. I picked one up at a local store this week.

I'm not a dedicated finger picker, but I've always seen the benefit of a thumbpick/flat pick combo for easy transition between the two styles when needed. I haven't exhausted my options prior to this by any stretch, but I haven't been entirely happy with what I tried. Traditional style thumb picks didn't feel right for flat picking. I tried the Herco hybrid picks and those were better and more comfortable, but still weren't the greatest for flat picking, at least not for me. With some trimming, the Herco was made better, but still not amazing.

For the last several years I've just done the Setzer style pick tuck, and that seemed to work the best for me. For songs that are entirely finger picked, I'll go pickless.

That said, I've been picking up the Herco again lately, as some acoustic songs just need the stronger attack of a pick. That brings me to this week, and the Black Mountain pick.

In a nutshell, it's still not for me. It's better for flat picking than the Herco, but doesn't really do the trick for fingerpicking. Definitely more comfortable, but that relaxed feel on the thumb also makes it feel less secure to me, and I can feel it wanting to rotate on my thumb if I pick with any force. It also required some filing down to suit my style and keep from inadvertently picking adjacent strings, which isn't a big deal. However, by the time I trimmed it down to where I liked it, the open end of the thumb ring started catching on the strings.

I'm sure with some practice I could adjust to some of these things, but the loose feel is a deal killer for me. So for now, I'll stick with bare fingers/Herco/pick tucking as needed. It's a well made pick to be sure and I can see where it would be the perfect fit for someone else, just not the answer for me though.


Well, can't help thinking that it's one of those things-most of us have difficulty relearning a technique after 40 odd years. I got yellow Kelly thumb pick but it still feels loud unless I palm mute and can't do up strokes with any power without it taking a tumble. My index finger should be enjoying some freedom but it just points to my beer.


One of those things I try occasionally, like flat wounds before thinking... Nah


I fatally saw this thread on payday. Well, €20 fatal. I’ll try them in the hope that they’ll be the bridge from flat picks to thumb picks that I’ve been looking for. We’ll see!


Agree with Vince -- the difficulty of relearning a technique you've been using for a very long time, in my case since around 1962! I thought the Kelly Bumblebee was the answer but I wouldn't like to guarantee the results in public when trying to use it as a flatpick.

I still migjt send off for one of these springy devices because I'm a sucker for gizmos like this. I'll give it a try but I reckon I'll still be a bare thumb thumbpicker and a Dunlop .88 flatpicker at the end of it. Maybe I'll try the idea of a small area of superglue on the side of the thumb, just where it hits the strings -- it might just give that extra bit of click.


The picks arrived yesterday. They are definitely easier to get along with than other thumb picks I tried so far. Going back and forth between flat pick and thumb pick last night I noticed what I think might be the reason for the discomfort: I hold the regular pick at an angle, it isn’t exactly flat against the bottom of my thumb as with thumb picks, and that’s where the awkwardness comes from. My daughter thinks they’re the wonderful, though.


I’ll have them available within the next few days


I got mine yesterday. It's better,an improvement for sure,but....... One thing,my thumb is big. The end of the top section ends before it passes my thumb nail which long term is uncomfortable. The spring needs to be half again more forceful. It stays but feels like it could be on the verge of flying off at times. I wish the pick portion was free to rotate like the bee. I wish he offered them in various gauges.


Opie, it starts looking like a trend that players with bigger hands generally find thumbpicks the most troublesome. I can heat mine up and reform them and it never helps the way that it does for players with smaller thumbs as the curves are made for medium sized thumbs to boot. It is sad that the optimum for me and seeming you too is a combination of the Black Mountain and the swivel Kelly.

I will just have to take tools out and make my own. I spent too many years trying to make the existing stuff work with my style of right hand.

But all that said, the Black Mountains are generally great and a big improvement.


Just a heads-up. I have an email from Cole at Black Mountain announcing the availability of his pick in a medium gauge.

Some folks above didn't get on well with the heavies, so now's your chance. I'm sure they're listed here at his site:



Thank you for this recommendation. I just ordered the Variety Pack, 2 x heavy and 2 x medium.

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