Other guitar-y things

Holy Thumbpick, Batman…it works!

51

Ordered a pack of 3 Medium picks as a place from which to start!

52

Just ordered a set of 3. Oddly comforting to learn after all these years that I'm not the only one who could never get along with a thumb pick. i've always found them to be really uncomfortable and it never made sense to me because they seem foolproof from a design standpoint. I hope these do the trick! Happy holidays, all.

53

I tried several types, Herco seemed to be the best compromise at the time, such as it was. But I'm a dyed-in-the-wool flatpicker, so the cost of entry on these is a little high. Still, were I to take another swing at it, they might be worth it.

54

this is a whole little subgenre of guitar accessories i had no idea existed. it seems sensible, but i'm an either/or guy i.e. i either flatpick or fingerpick and my thumb usually stays anchored in the Rev. Gary Davis. i have one brown National thumbpick I've had since the 1980s, and if i lose it i'm gonna be as screwed as i was when i misplaced my slide for several years. nothing else fits. i have the opposite problem to many folks above...i have tiny mandolin player-sized hands and probably couldn't play one of those Selmer Maccaferris because the scale length would keep me from forming chords. any feedback from small-handed users?

55

I'm small-handed, and "normal" one-piece molded thumbpicks still either fall off my thumb or squeeze my thumb off.

The spring-loading of these picks has been magical for me.

56

I have one that I bought at a guitar show a couple of years ago in Vancouver from the guy that makes them. I haven't used it a lot but it does work and is comfortable.

57

I've been picking with my thumb for a couple decades, at least. Got no trouble with alternating, or hitting an intended bass string.

But no thumbpick has ever been remotely comfortable enough for me to persevere through "getting used to it." And I've tried nearly all of them, I'm sure, including a selection from Fred Kelly's table at CAAS.

The problems have been legion: they immediately make me feel as clumsy as if I'd never picked up a guitar, or was being forced to play it left-handed; I can't find the right string; they're too loose and slip in orientation or so tight my thumb aches, loses circulation, and then goes numb and falls off.

So I've gotten perfectly happy with the somewhat more muted, subdued, soft bass notes I get from using the end of my thumb and whatever thumbnail goes along with it (till it wears off or catches and aggravates that split my thumbnail hasn't been able to grow its way out of since Roundup '15 or so when I whacked my thumb against something when loading gear).

Yeah, I don't get that freight train clackety clack, that relentless and merciless hammer of doom that Merle, Chet, and Severe Thumbpickin' Rockabilly Cats get. But that's been OK, because I don't play like that, and, believe it or not, it is possible to tire of in-yer-face root-5th-oct-5th-root variations for which we'd fire bass players for lack of imagination. (I know I'm free to insert short connective walking or contrapuntal lines with the thumb, and do. But you know what I mean. Probably.)

Anyway, while I'm content with my totally-nekkit fangerpackin', I just hate for a guitar-related musical skill to completely defeat me, so I try new thumbpick variations when they float across the transom.

Maybe someone during NAMMtime called attention to these new-fangling spring-loaded Black Mountain thumbpicks, hailing from Vancouver. If not, I ran across them somewhere else, went straight to the website and ordered a couple.

They've been here for awhile, but what with more likely entertaining musical fish to fry, I've been ignoring the package. In straightening up around the studioffice today, I peeled it open and tried a pick.

And I'm here to tell you, son, this design works for me! It's practically magical. In SECONDS, I got more comfortable and functional with this pick than I've ever gotten with another. It's requiring almost no re-training of instinct or technique...the notes are just there. Boom. Big-boy thump.

I can tell that as the tip of the pick wears a bit, loses some of its typical-Fender-351 pointiness, it will be smoother. And when gripping it for standard flat-picking action, I'm not quite as fluid as with one of my nicely worn flatpicks. But it's not far off, and I can tell I'll adapt if I keep at it.

I've played for an hour or so, jaw slack and drooling in amazement. I'm still a little clumsy, but I haven't torn it off in frustration for stifling the MUSIC, and my thumb hasn't fallen off yet.

Sometimes in this guitar-playin' bidnit, the smallest things can make the biggest difference. This is one of them.

If you're not completely happy with your thumbpickin' relationship - or you've not been able to get out of the starting gate because it feels like you're trying to dance ballet with stilts - you need to go the mountain and order a couple of these. I couldn't be impresseder.

https://blackmountainpicks.com

Might change your life.

You know, a little. And even if not, part of the pick is RED, and you gotta love that.

– Proteus

I was so excited, I bought 3.. but like all the rest..they spin on my stupid narrow bamboo thumbs.

58

Wrap yer thumb fat with that white bandage tape.

Or can you drop the pick in really hot water and (using tools, not your hands...) shape it tighter?


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