Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Wore Out My Expensive Thumbpick?

Sometimes things happen so gradually you don’t notice them.
Today I got Ben’s email about pushin’ licks, and there was a little ad for a JD Crowe Blue Chip thumb pick. Well, I already have one, but something caught my eye in the ad. The pick in the picture was pointed, but mine has a squared off end.
So I squinted real good and peeked at my pick and perceived plenty of wear on the tip of my pick…enough to square it off.

Three questions:

  1. Is a pick with a squared off point worn out?
  2. Assuming I practice an hour a day, is a lifespan of less than a year normal for a Blue Chip pick?
  3. Is there a discount for a repeat customer?

Ha, good eye!

  1. Not necessarily, question is how are playing with it and how does it sound?
  2. I don’t wear them out too fast but I wish I could practice that much!
  3. I perhaps maybe breakeven on Bluechips after the time we spend receiving and shipping them :wink:

Sounds to me like you are ahead of the game by breaking even. Most businesses I know lose a little on every sale…but make it up in volume! :roll_eyes:
I actually re-thought the durability question. You’re a pilot, so you understand engine hours. I’m curious how the Blue Chip hours compare to the standard plastic pick “hours.”
It still sounds good to me! I tried a National today for comparison & darned if it didn’t catch the 5th string a couple times! That doesn’t happen with my Blue Chip. I also tried a Golden Gate and had the same issue, so I may be a committed Blue Chip customer.
Better practice until it’s worn down so much it doesn’t reach the strings! :+1:


Oh yeah, Bluechips endure many many more hours than normal picks.


LOL!! What’s the TBO of a Blue Chip pick… that made my day!


As a retired laser printer engineer I have witnessed paper cut through mild steel resulting from friction. So it doesn’t surprise me that your gonna get some wear on you’re Blue Chip pick. Does your local tyre dealership give you a discount on a set of new tires? Mine doesn’t give me a discount but instead charges me to recycle/dispose of the old ones


I’ll wager the wear is from scraping the head. Shouldn’t be a problem once you either gain enough technique to not scrape the head or you shorten the pick enough to match your playing style…:wink:


No pun intended, but you may have a point. There are too many times I play without picks 'cause I’m just goofing, but I gotta drop the thumb more. If I keep dropping it with the pick on…
You are a pretty insightful fellow!

EDIT: The more I think about it, the more I think you are right. That would also explain why I’m always catching plastic picks on the fifth string.
I hate trying to lose bad habits! :grin:



“I’ve owned a few squared off thumbpicks before.”… he said while looking around innocently…dontknow


This! If you look at the head there’s likely some plastic dust on it. My picks look like that, but in the few years I’ve been playing, I’ve lost and broken picks, but never worn a thumbpick out

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I posed the same question to Blue Chip, and their reply was “You’re scrapping the head.”
Stupid muscle memory So I started paying attention and noticed I’m banging the head with both my thumb and middle finger.
So now I’m back to square one, trying to figure out how to hold my hand so I’m not over-reaching for the strings. I have switched back to a National thumb pick. Sure enough, I started catching that fifth string again, but I figure that’s like Ben slapping my wrist for not doing it right.
It doesn’t happen when I’m playing soft & light, but when I want the banjer to ring I start beating on the head.
I guess I’ll spend a couple weeks re-learning technique