Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Blue chip chip

Why is it every pick I use, the tip breaks off?

Wow! I’ve never had that happen. Had em break in half many times but never just the tip.

Too much manjo on that banjo.


“Every pick”? Dude, you’re a brute!

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yup, every pick. The bluechip lasted 3 - 4 months, but still I expected it to last me at least a year before it chipped. I still plan on using it. Now thinking about getting one of the other bluechips that is longer. Then I could file it back into shape after it does this. :slight_smile: If they were not so comfortable, I would go back to the cheap ones.

Hmm… My Blue-Chip thumbpick looks like that, but upon close inspection; It’s actually worn-down. As far as actually breaking, mine seems virtually indestructible. Sure you aren’t just practicing up a storm with that pick? :wink:

Yea, it is probably wear. I just did not expect it to wear that quickly. I don’t feel like I play that much more than anyone else. Average about an hour a day.

If you’re touching/scraping a frosted head that is the normal look of a thumb pick that has been sanded down that way…

If there are any marks on the head where your pick might be touching I’d guess this to be the cause.


That is very surprising. If it broke, I suspect BC might replace it. If it is just worn that is even more incredible. I have some (flat picks from BC) that I have never shaped in 8 or so years of use. I would certainly shape it and keep going. The 8-way nail “files” (sanding sticks) are excellent for shaping.

There might be something to what Dave said… sounds like he has been there, done that.

That definitely looks like frosted head wear, both of my thumbpicks did that pretty quickly for the same reason. Surprising on a BC though, cuz I’ve always heard they don’t wear out…

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Ive got a JD Crowe BC Thumb Pick and its been great and shows no signs of wear so like the other said it might be due to hitting the frosted head maybe…

They don’t wear out under “normal use” …sanding the end off doesn’t qualify…:wink:


Heres my $0.02 worth(IMHO), you would think if it was caused by scraping along the banjo head, 2 things, first i would think you would feel/hear some type of dragging. And also, you would think that you would notice a
“drag” mark across the head when you pick up or look at the banjo. I have a BC pik(i dont use it much, the cheaper ones fit a bit better on my thumb). I would contact Blue Chip directly, send them a photo and see what they think might cause it, maybe they will replace it for free, which would be a major bonus.

I do hit the head often. I been trying to work on that. A friend suggested I try anchoring ring finger in addition to the pinky to get more control. I use a rubber band as he suggested to keep the ring finger from floating. Still too soon to tell if that is fixing the issue, but I do think I am more accurate when I try it.

I do, both, but they’re only slightly noticeable. And the string wear marks on the pick are very different. And if you use a white pick, it’s even less noticeable. And hearing scraping when a banjo is being played… you get my drift. Anyway, I don’t know either way, that’s just what it looks like to me

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I’ve been playing for 6 years. I still hit the head with my pick. I’ve had the same head for 5 years and it looks brand new. Well not brand new but there aren’t any thumb pick marks at all.

But I need to change my picks every 8 months or so. They wear the same as JoeB’s and eventually the tip gets too short and affects my playing.
But I’m using cheap clown barfs so they are easy to replace. I thought the Blue Chip material was harder than that (I have a Blue Chip mando pick and it is harder and tougher than, say Ultex guitar pick material I think. Much harder than regular store giveaway guitar picks).

It could be a sign you’re picking too hard. I find that any time I’m hitting the head, if I just lighten up a little on the picking hand force, everything smooths out.


Would have to agree with Mark there. If the tip has indeed snapped off, then maybe its a combination of both hitting the head and string too hard. I couldn’t get on with a BC, and still use a cheap Fred Kelly myself. I’ve used that for over a year and it only has slight wear, never chipped the end off.