Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Blue Chip worth it?

I am considering getting a Blue Chip pick. Are they worth it? Do they mess you up when you go to borrow a Dunlop or something at the local music store?
Then if you get one, how do you decide which one? The original looks like maybe the one I would want since it is similar size to the Dunlop and Golden Gate I have been using.

I always end up going back to the original Bluechip thumb pick that I bought five years ago. I started using a golden gate about a year and a half ago because it came complimentary with some Yates 8’s finger picks. They are very similar in comfort and length. Durability is the biggest difference. I had to open them both up slightly so I could practice longer without losing feeling in my thumb and it weakens the plastic at the bend while the metal band on Bluechip remains strong.
Regarding tip wear, I noticed that the Bluechip showed the same amount of wear and tear after five years as the Goldengate did after six months. I’m on my second Goldengate pick, because I bought two sets of Yates 8’s, and just dealing with it feeling too tight rather than heating it up which seems to greatly weaken the bend. So after 20 minutes of practice I will switch to Bluechip for comfort.
When my second complimentary Goldengate wears down I will go back to being a ‘Bluechip only’ picker. Just using up the freebies as they come to me.
I will not buy ‘all plastic’ thumb picks but will use them if they are given to me.
I’m not great at detecting tone but don’t notice any difference between the two types of pick and band width comfort is the same.
I am an intermediate level picker, practice 4-6 hours/week and jam 6 hours/month.

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Great review. Is it an adjustment moving between golden gate and blue chip?

I just tried switching, to be sure, and they felt the same. I switch once every practice session, lately, so I’m very used to it though.
I did Fireball Mail and Ben’s intro to melodics and noticed no difference in pick accuracy or feel. Bluechip may have made the 4th string more round or mellow but very slightly.


Yes, I think they’re worth it. I use the JD Crowe and there was no adjustment period needed coming from Golden Gate that I can remember.

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Fwiw, I got to the states (where I am now) and got loaned a banjo and found some picks in my grandma’s autoharp case and didn’t have any trouble adjusting to it

They are a very good investment. It’s all I use now.

It glides right off the strings, and takes a little bit of getting used to.

Over extended periods of time, it may loosen a tiny bit, so an occasional adjustment may be needed.

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