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Author Topic:  Do you file your thumbpicks?
John Goux

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 4 Jun 2020 12:25 pm    
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Do you file your thumbpicks?

In changing to a new white thumb-pick, I hear an abrasive sound on the wound strings. A couple hours of playing and it’s still there.

I noticed the blade on my old pick was smoothed down. I like the sound better.

I took a a dremel tool they use at salons, called a “high speed mini engraver.”
I held the thumbpick with pliers, and smoothed down the blade of the new pick to be similar to my old orange one.

That succeeded in taking away the “grrr” noise off the attack of the pick. While I was at it, I reduced the band length slightly for comfort.

I bought this old orange pick from Janet Davis Music, and as I remember the color signified a medium. I have not been able to find these. The closest I have found is Fred Kelley in white. It’s similar to the blue Herco but slightly heavier.

I’ll attach a photo where you can see the blades. New white, old orange, new white with the blade filed.

John

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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 4 Jun 2020 1:11 pm    
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Sometimes my thumb pick develops a notch from the strings.
I take some sand paper to smooth out the notch and I'm good to go again. Very Happy
Erv
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 4 Jun 2020 1:11 pm    
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I do, but not as expertly as you’ve done there.

Fred Kelly picks are beveled on both front and back edges. When they wear down, I use a fingernail file to re-finesse the wear. It definitely cuts down on the wound-string scratch you mentioned, which is a a problem for those of us not born with thumbs that bend back 90° so the string can be struck with the face of the thumb pick.

I also clip and file lengthwise for playing guitar. For some reason it doesn’t seem necessary for psg.
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David Nugent

 

From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2020 5:25 am    
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You might try Dunlop 'Zookies'. The blades are bent on an angle to strike the strings squarely (as Fred mentioned: "For those of us not born with thumbs that bend back 90 degrees"). Available in different sizes and blade angles.
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Len Amaral

 

From:
Rehoboth,MA 02769
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2020 6:21 am    
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I use to file my thumb pick but no longer do so with the 20 degree Zookie thumb pick.
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I survived the sixties!
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2020 6:42 am    
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Nope; too much hassle.

I purchase cheap Dunlop 9023Rs in bags of a dozen, and separate 'em into three or four piles of those that feel good/better/best. I keep the best, and toss the rest.

I resigned myself to making do with whatever was readily available since my beloved thumbpicks once marketed by Gibson were discontinued a long, long time ago.

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Steven Paris

 

From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2020 9:34 pm    
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Jack Hanson wrote:
I purchase cheap Dunlop 9023Rs in bags of a dozen, and separate 'em into three or four piles of those that feel good/better/best. I keep the best, and toss the rest.

Can I have the ones you throw away?
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Emmons & Peavey
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jun 2020 4:33 am    
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Steven Paris wrote:
Can I have the ones you throw away?

Guess it all depends on how good you are at picking through the local landfill. I'll save the next batch for you, Steve. You can stop by and get 'em on your next trip to the potato patch.
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jun 2020 5:45 am     Re: Do you file your thumbpicks?
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John Goux wrote:
Do you file your thumbpicks?

I file, shape and polish, my thumb- and fingerpicks where they hit the strings, to suit my picking style, but mostly to get the smoothest/cleanest attack sound…



I have however found that it is a waste of time to do anything to regular, soft-metal and "plastic" thumb- and fingerpicks, as the attack-surface on those only last max a few hours before getting scratched up and ready for the trashcan anyway.

Those in the picture above are made of hard steel and tough/slick "plastic", and have lasted for decades with a minimum of maintenance. They don't get scratched up or worn down, but the metal ones develop rust where the don't get in contact with the strings.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jun 2020 12:49 pm    
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I wonder how many thousand thumb picks I would have thrown away by now if I had only used them all for a few hours.
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