A poorly maintained pick will never make the banjo sound to its potential no matter how costly the banjo may be. So, like all things the picks too need to be properly taken care of. While choosing the best banjo picks, learn how to properly care for and maintain your banjo picks.
Care And Maintenance For Banjo Picks
Most banjo players especially those who play bluegrass use a plastic thumb pick instead of a metal one. With prolonged usage, both metal and plastic thumb picks and finger picks too turn soft and loose due to the friction caused by the thumb and fingers. If it happens to be a made from light gauge then it even runs the risk of breaking.
So, to properly maintain them for a long time you need to see how tight or loose they become with usage. You can re-shape them back again by soaking them in hot water. In a cup of boiled water submerge the pick for about ten seconds and take it out. Then put a cloth between the piler and reshape the pick gently depending on how tight or lose you want it to be. Remember, an ill-fitted pick is prone to get damaged sooner.
If your thumb pick or even the metal finger pick makes a scrapping sound while you pluck the strings then there are chances that it has gathered dirt. Wash the thumb pick with water and dry it gently using a dry towel. Ensure that the pick is neither dirty nor oily. For metal finger picks, you can even use sandpaper and rub the blades gently in order to make them smooth. You can also use lubricant or machine oil on the blades of the metal finger picks and leave it soaked for a while before wiping it off with a cloth back again.
Steel, nickel, and bronze picks too need to be lubricated occasionally to make them remain perfect for many years. Try to keep the surface of all the metal picks shiny so that you get the cleanest sound. You can use heat such as fire too for bringing back the metal pick in shape when it has become loose. Always store the picks in an air-tight container so that it comes less in contact with moisture when not in use. Although most people tend to neglect to take proper care of picks but it is indeed very important to do so to make the banjo sound to its full potential.
I own a music instruments shop. My go to instrument is a banjo. My business makes it easier for me to access the instruments from various brands and of various types. I will give my honest opinion here to help out others in choosing the right instrument for them.