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Pickerwannbee

United States
171 posts
since 4/17/10

03/20/2012 04:02:40 Reply with Quote

Ok, so what's the deal with Bluechip Picks?  At $35 a pop they'd have to play by themselves in order for a poor man like me to fork out that kind of cash.  Seriously though, I've heard a lot about them, but don't know what's so special about them except they cost a bundle.  Thanks folks.smiley

slowhand

United States
471 posts since 9/27/08

03/20/2012 06:07:05View slowhand's MP3 Archive View slowhand's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

They're good picks, but like all picks, they won't make you play significantly better. They might improve your tone, you might find they grip better, but they're not a magic bullet. If they were, people would probably pay a lot more than $35 for one. I know I would.

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tomm

United States
424 posts since 2/26/09

03/20/2012 06:43:37 View tomm's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Well put Dave.

There is no such thing as a pick or anything else that will make you better. That is talent and practice.

The Blue Chip subject never goes away. I have been playing them for quite some time.  I like the tone, they play "through" the strings great, grip nicely and don't wear out.

I use to spend the $35 in (what I used to use) picks and Gorilla snot in a year no problem.  

Hey, it's a preference, but I recommend them.

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ccravens

United States
658 posts since 4/11/09

03/20/2012 06:52:18View ccravens's MP3 Archive View ccravens's Photo Albums Reply with Quote


They stick to your fingers well, glide across the strings, and don't have as much pick-click sound as other picks.

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DerekShultz

United States
61 posts since 10/19/10

03/20/2012 07:46:37 Reply with Quote

I lost my Blue Chip recently. It had become my mainstay after picking with TS. The tone is great, but for my skin chemistry Blue Chips are really slick. I have to use fiddle rosin with them. I'll probably buy another, although I like the Wegen I've been using as a replacement. Great grip, tone, and I won't feel near as bad if I lose it.

As far as the price goes, I'd agree $35 sounds high, but it's a very small percentage of what the average flatpicker pays for a guitar.

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seanray

United States
79 posts since 8/29/08

03/20/2012 08:32:37 View seanray's Photo Albums View seanray's Blog Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by DerekShultz

I lost my Blue Chip recently. It had become my mainstay after picking with TS. The tone is great, but for my skin chemistry Blue Chips are really slick. I have to use fiddle rosin with them. I'll probably buy another, although I like the Wegen I've been using as a replacement. Great grip, tone, and I won't feel near as bad if I lose it.

As far as the price goes, I'd agree $35 sounds high, but it's a very small percentage of what the average flatpicker pays for a guitar.


That's interesting,

My favorite thing about the Blue Chips are that they stick to my fingers like glue. Great picks but I find them to be a bit bright for certain guitars and styles. They're a tad brighter than real tortoise, which is the ultimate though hard to come by. I think Red Bear Tortis picks are the closest to real tortoise for feel and tone though they don't last as long. I'm also a fan of Wegan and good old Clayton triangles (1.00mm).

So if you want a modern sounding, glassy flatpicking tone then a Blue Chip is worth a try. On the other hand strumming a Neil Young tune souds and feels a lot better with a Clayton and that's about a $34.60 savings.

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Steve D-18

67 posts since 3/13/12

03/20/2012 08:42:34View Steve D-18's MP3 Archive View Steve D-18's Photo Albums View Steve D-18's Blog Reply with Quote

One Blue chip pick could get you a players union support for the FPHO site. I really like the Clayton 1.00. By the way Thanks to Sean Ray for posting Over the Water Fall
in Dropped D.

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DaddyJ

United States
788 posts since 3/3/10

03/20/2012 19:03:23 Reply with Quote

I'll give out the same advice I always give wrt Blue Chip picks.  Before you get one, make sure you've tried out every other pick on the market, preferably over the course of a year or more.  That's the only way you'll truly appreciate how good they are.

That said, my son finally lost his Blue Chip and had a contest coming up, so I went out and bought a bunch of cheap picks trying to find one that would suffice until we could get him another Blue Chip.  One of the picks I got was a D'Andrea Pro Plec and we think it sounds as good or better than the Blue Chip did.  After a week, he lost it too, so I went back to the store and grabbed half a dozen.  Now I have one too.  You can do that when the pick costs under a dollar!

Anyway, I'm not trying to discourage anyone from getting an expensive pick.  If it makes you happy, and you think it helps you play better, or sound better, it's worth it.  But try a D'Andrea Pro Plec if you haven't already.  You might be surprised.

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bfloyd6969

United States
422 posts since 7/29/10

03/21/2012 21:32:00 View bfloyd6969's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I tried and bought a Blue Chip because I had to know what all the raving was about. It's true that it sticks to the fingers well, glides across the strings well, and has a brighter tone. However, I also feel that good 'ole cellulouid has a nice grip to it and glides across the strings pretty well, but has a pliable factor that I think is closer to real tortoise shell than the Blue Chip. I own a couple of TS picks and I find that bufallo horn comes closer in tone that any of the other boutique picks out today - Blue Chip, Red Bear, Wegen, and the acrylic V Picks and Gravity Picks. I have them all so I am saying this from experience. Of course we all hear things differently so this is just my take on the subject.

However, I am not saying that Blue Chip makes a bad pick, because by all means it is indeed a nice piece of plectrum. If a brighter tone is what you like, you may find the Blue Chip your holy grail :)

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Bonified

5 posts since 1/9/13

01/09/2013 18:06:48 Reply with Quote

It's just depends on your guitar, the woods it's made of, how dry that wood is, and the type strings you use as to what pick will sound and work best for you. Another factor is how you play, your right hand technique. You might try this,..take a pointed pick and rub it real fast on an old piece of carpet that doesn't have any knap. Round the point off some. The heat from the friction will make the edge of the pick nice and smooth. I find that a slightly rounded point makes for a faster pick and I prefer the tone especially on a bright sounding guitar.
I have a real TS pick. It's real nice but I can get just as good tone out of some synthetics. I have a Wegen mandolin pick that I use sometimes that sounds real nice and plays great.

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Peter Dollard

4 posts since 2/21/13

02/21/2013 20:44:04 View Peter Dollard's Classified Ads View Peter Dollard's Blog Reply with Quote

I have gone the other way in a sense I keep thirty or forty different types and brands around. I am trying pretty successfully actually to use all of them equally adeptly.... so I will pick up one and play the same song with a different one...as long as they are 1.00 and a decent triangle I don't seem to have any trouble changing.  I  figure the less you worry about the pick  the more you can concentrate on picking so to speak...I use Cool, Martin, big triangle little triangle...it seems to be working...

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ccravens

United States
658 posts since 4/11/09

02/21/2013 20:46:05View ccravens's MP3 Archive View ccravens's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Peter Dollard

I have gone the other way in a sense I keep thirty or forty different types and brands around. I am trying pretty successfully actually to use all of them equally adeptly.... so I will pick up one and play the same song with a different one...as long as they are 1.00 and a decent triangle I don't seem to have any trouble changing.  I  figure the less you worry about the pick  the more you can concentrate on picking so to speak...I use Cool, Martin, big triangle little triangle...it seems to be working...


 

Interesting approach.

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BoneDigger

United States
32 posts since 4/21/11

02/26/2013 19:55:15 View BoneDigger's Blog Reply with Quote

Okay, I guess I'll be the only negative here.  I have a Blue Chip, and I also have Wegen Bluegrass picks, Dunlop Ultex, Gravity picks, and others.  The Blue Chip is okay for what it is, but I actually prefer Wegen Bluegrass picks over the Blue Chip.  For me, and my style of music, the Blue Chip is just too subdued.  I like a slightly brighter sound out of my picks.  The shape, stickiness (on the fingers), etc. is all great, but if it doesn't have the sound I want...  Well, you get the picture.  For some stuff I like it just fine, but for MOST of my playing I use either the Wegen, the Dunlop, or the Gravity.

Todd

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kjcole

60 posts since 3/21/11

02/27/2013 10:41:47View kjcole's MP3 Archive View kjcole's Classified Ads Reply with Quote

I have a small collection of Wegens, and a Blue Chip TAD 50 and a 60.  I like the Blue Chips for their great bevel, stickiness, and sound.  On my Tony Rice standard the 50 sounds great, while the 60 starts to sound a little less bright.  Works well with the Tony Rice (.013-.057 vintage bronze) which has great hi's and mid's to start with.  I can see where some guitars/setups the thicker BlueChips may not satisfy the player who wants a really bright sound.  Overall, there are so many variables that go into the final sound that you should play with setup before eliminating the BlueChip.

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d18dude

United States
57 posts since 8/16/08

02/27/2013 14:15:00View d18dude's MP3 Archive View d18dude's Photo Albums Send d18dude a Yahoo! Message Reply with Quote

Golly, the shape of the bevel and shape of the pick point are really important when it comes to how a pick can sound. Bright, dull, raspy, or thin, the bevel and point shape are critical for me.

As most poeple know, everybody holds their pick at a slightly different angle to the strings and will wear a slightly different bevel. What works for me is to have my picks to be a bit pointier and that bevel to be exactly how I like it. If I get those two things right, I'm happy.

The $35 price aside, the 2 best things about Blue Chip picks are that I can hold them easily (they feel sticky...others don't, YMMV) and they wear slowly (meaning when it's "broken in" it stays that way for a long time). Plus, to my ears, they sound as good or better than real TS. Again, that's just me.

Find something you like, but get the point and bevel close to a "favorite" pick you have....then make comparisons. :^)

Roy Curry

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teleuwhat

United States
173 posts since 6/1/11

03/03/2013 17:55:58 Reply with Quote

Roy, thanks for checking in, nice to have a 3-time national flatpicking champion here.

I've been using a Blue Chip TAD-3R 50 and have really liked it, but thought about what you said yesterday when I needed a bit more clarity at a Wintergrass jam.I ordered a TAD-1R 50 today, the 2 "sharper" points should come in handy. 

 

 

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BobbyBadd

United States
15 posts since 1/7/10

03/11/2013 12:02:24 Reply with Quote

I tried several picks on a new guitar, 000-18GE I bought about 3 years ago, including tortoise shell, Red Bear, etc, the Blue Chip sounded best IMO, and it sticks to you which is good. But sure didn't sound as good on my HD-28. Not a crisp.
Different guitars, different woods, same strings, different results. Its what works for you, and BC TAD 3R 50 is my choice.

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Turbo

United States
11 posts since 3/12/13

04/02/2013 14:02:17 View Turbo's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I switched from a Wegen Trimus 2.5mm to a Tortois shell 2mm and now I use a Bluechip TAD80 which is 2mm. I love it and would really like to try the TAD100 which is $75 dollars. But when you compare that to what a professional violin bow costs, it's nothing. Especially if you are a professional and play every day. I've certainly made more money WITH my bluechip than I spent on it. 

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oldtimestrings

United States
59 posts since 4/16/12

04/02/2013 17:31:02 Reply with Quote

They're great picks, and well-worth the money to a player with enough technique to make the best of them. It's a bit like a really good bow for a fiddle player: to a novice the good bow won't make any difference, but to a good player it makes a huge difference in tone and playability. Blue Chips are very close in tone and feel to real tortoise shell, but have the added benefits of being durable, consistent, and unquestionably legal. I have three bluechips that I use on guitar and mandolin, different thicknesses, bevels, and shapes. I do also use Wegen picks quite a lot, and like them as well.

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Surel

United Kingdom
8 posts since 9/10/12

04/10/2013 11:02:56 Reply with Quote

My husband paid $40 for a bluechip [JD] thumpick [he's a banjo player].........I was furious.

He did sound better though.

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kjcole

60 posts since 3/21/11

04/10/2013 14:06:41View kjcole's MP3 Archive View kjcole's Classified Ads Reply with Quote

The JD Crowe Bluechip thumbpick is fantastic.  I wouldn't play with any other!

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country frank

United Kingdom
6 posts since 4/12/13

04/12/2013 11:23:49 View country frank's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by kjcole
 

The JD Crowe Bluechip thumbpick is fantastic.  I wouldn't play with any other!


Agreed, they really are comfortable and give a great sound. I spent this past weekend with Bill Evans, [the banjo Bill Evans], and he was using one.

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country frank

United Kingdom
6 posts since 4/12/13

04/12/2013 11:24:52 View country frank's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Surel
 

My husband paid $40 for a bluechip [JD] thumpick [he's a banjo player].........I was furious.

He did sound better though.


I'm the husbandbig

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teleuwhat

United States
173 posts since 6/1/11

04/12/2013 16:53:07 Reply with Quote

country frank, glad you lived to tell the tale!

I have several Blue Chips in different configurations. The picks with the rounded edges generally will be less bright compared to the picks with pointed edges. Thinner picks of the same model will be brighter, but with a slight loss in volume.  I find the "50" series picks to be the best fit for me. A rounded edge may be the best choice for mostly rhythm work, and a pointed edge for those playing lots of leads, or if you just want a bit more crispness in your rhythm playing.

My D-18 and HD-28 like all the picks equally well, but I've made sure I have good quality saddles on both guitars.

 

 

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Lakota Leathers

United States
5 posts since 12/12/09

06/10/2013 06:42:06 View Lakota Leathers's Classified Ads View Lakota Leathers's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I mostly play banjo and have a blue chip that I use exclusively, but also have a flatpick that I use on both my mandolin and & guitar. They are amazing picks. The banjo pick has played well over 1000 live shows as well as additional jams/practices etc. The flatpick not quite as much.. Their durability, tone, and overall feel makes them the best pick I have found. Money isn't an object for me when I consider the fact that I will spend $35 for strings in a few months, or the fact that the instruments themselves cost thousands. I really find it hard to understand why someone would feel that an American made pick of this caliber isn't worth the cost. I've seen a machine that can stamp out picks out of a credit card.. and I've seen "picks by the pound" but if you take your music seriously, the cost of basically a 'lifetime' pick is minimal. If my bluechip lasts ten years (which it easily will do if you don't lose it), then the cost is only $3.50 per year... not hardly worth fretting over IMHO

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Tortoise Tone

United States
5 posts since 9/4/13

09/04/2013 22:26:03 View Tortoise Tone's Classified Ads Reply with Quote

Hey there, folks.  New member here, interested in this thread.  Our business is Tortoise Tone guitar picks and we make picks out of legally sourced turtle shell.  Check them out at www.tortoisetone.com

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