Good Stuff: Fred Kelly Picks

I’ve gone back to an ugly hybrid of finger and flat picking. I really like playing with a thumb pick and strumming with my fingers. Maybe I never learned proper technique, but it seems so much more natural than strumming with all the motion in my wrist/arm.

I don’t like super thick thumb picks though. They stink for strumming. So, I found Fred Kelly Picks. Specifically, the Bumblebee.

I picked up1 a set of the medium teardrop ones. I made a lucky guess as they ended up being 0.74mm, which is around the normal pick I use. The site doesn’t give that info as far as I could find.

The standard size is kinda small. Smaller than a medium National thumb pick. If one of those National/Dunlop picks is snug for you, get a large.


They are adjustable a bit, but the way they arrive, they will only go smaller.

The pick portion reminds me of a Jazz III. Which is odd, because they offer a jazz model. Not sure how that would differ… But it is just big enough to do some heavy strumming, but definitely small enough for nimble arpeggios.


These things may be odd for traditional finger style players, but worth a try as a way to vary your sound. For flat pickers, if you do a lot of two hand tapping stuff, these are great for leaving all four picking hand fingers open to tap. Almost like a pick with a security system.

Give them a try!

PS- this was not in any way endorsed by Fred Kelly Picks, I just like them.

  1. No pun