The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #44967   Message #663462
Posted By: Kaleea
06-Mar-02 - 01:18 AM
Thread Name: Thumbpick help
Subject: RE: Thumbpick help
I also prefer the actual thumb to a thumbpick, however, I do use the thumbpick on the autoharp as the autoharp strings rip the flesh right off one's digits & the fingers alone do not provide enough volume. When one hurts one's thumb, one must make do, so go to your local guitar house & try on all the thumbpicks. There are many sizes to fit most thumbs so we don't have to do alot of work on the little buggers, and quite a few different designs these days. I have a few different ones, including one which is small & has a tiny little tongue depressor shaped thing coming down instead of the "shovel"; perhaps some of the catters can help me with the name of it. It is very accurate for plucking the bass notes on my autoharp & the guitar. If your thumb is really suffering from an "owwie" might I suggest that after placing said thumbpick in boiling water for a few seconds, cover up the thumb with a thin glove so as not to burn one's skin, or at least something like heavy construction paper wrapped around it. Then you place it on the opposite thumb to size the thing so as not to further irritate the angry thumb which has forced you to go out into the world seeking answers to your dilemma. If possible it is better if you can find something about as big around as your thumb to put it on to avoid the chance of skin burns, but we often don't have these such things lying around the house. If the thumb pick is too tight, I would lift it out of the boiling water with needle nose pliers & then after placing it down on a flat survace, place the needle nose inside the hole & open the pliers till the hole is a little bigger & then place in cold water to firm it. If you do this very much, it will weaken the plastic & the pick will be more likely to break. I have found marginal success in attempting to alter the shape with boiling water, I have never attempted the microwave as this can warp some plastics. Since thumb picks come in a variety of sizes & brands, there is usually one which will be close enough to stay on your thumb. If you can find a music store which sells banjos, the banjo shops seem to carry more varieties than guitar shops. Traditional Music festivals are great for finding such things. This is a good reason to pick up some various picks next time we go to a festival as we never know when we might need them! These days, many pawn shops carry a wider variety of picks than do the music shops. Go figure. Good Luck!