Okay, so I'll preface with the fact that I've been drumming as a classically trained percussionist for over 20 years at this point. The years of building chops, combined with my size (I'm a big guy at 6'2" and 220 lbs) and particularly gorilla-sized hands (I've got a comfortable, open 11th reach on the keys with ring sizes 9-12 for my digits), has made it difficult finding playable thimbles for jamming out on my washboard while playing Bluegrass, Blues, and Jazz.
I searched high and low, scouring the most obscure corners of Ebay, Amazon, and just about every online craft store I could find, but all attempts to get ahold of some extra EXTRA large thimbles, having been utterly failed by each of the standard "Extra Large" thimbles I had previously purchased. Most sewing thimbles I could get my hands on were flimsy enough to allow me to crush them into an oval shape, just to make them "kind of" fit onto the tips of my fore-finger and middle-finger. This resulted in some mild finger bruising around the cuticles, and a thimble launching across the stage or practice room every 4-5 minutes (not so fun).
Enter my discovery of these thimbles on BoneDryMusic.com. I will admit, like many of you likely are, to being highly skeptical of paying over $5 each per thimble plus shipping, considering I'd purchased previous sets of 10 online (see above, "extra large" from ebay) at roughly the same price. But with an upcoming outdoor festival, which'll have much acoustic playing, I decided to buy 2 pairs of these thimbles (18.0 and 19.0 mm) for my 2 primary fingers. Man, I tell you, had I known what a difference these thimbles would make, I'd've saved my fingers much pain, and happily ordered these thimbles MUCH sooner!
First thing I noticed was that they was significantly heavier than any of the other sewing thimbles I'd previously purchased. Smooth inside, perfectly sized as per described to within .05mm (yes, I'm a geek and actually measured with my digital calipers), these thimbles have made an awesome improvement on the sound of my lead-fingers, leaving the 2 smaller fingers left covered with the cheaper ones for the time being as a sound counterpoint when striking and strumming. Having played with these for a few hours now, I can say for sure that I've got one more pair to purchase in the near future to round out the fingertap triplets. Amazingly, the old saying "you get what you pay for" rings true here, and actually with a positive connotation for product for once! Highly recommended for anyone else out there trying to find thimbles with large hands! A Must Have for any serious washboard players!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Solid and smooth!
June 22, 2012
Steve Litsios from Switzerland
I hesitated quite a bit to order some of these because they are considerably more expensive than any thimble I've ever bought to play the washboard with. However I wanted some big 19.0mm nickel plated brass and was curious as to just how heavy duty they actually were so I took the plunge; and it was with a bit of apprehension that I open the package and gave these a try....
Well I don't think I've ever been that excited about thimbles, but my first impression was about being absolutely thrilled! The extra weight does add a bit of body to the tone as well as give a great feel and combining that to the size and width of their tips - at least a millimeter more and most likely two for the 19.0mm (my old thimbles are pretty bashed up and worn down, so a precise measurement was not possible) - makes an exceptionally agreeable thimble for playing the washboard; solid and smooth like nothing else that I've tried so far. Plus they really are heavy duty and normally should last a good percentage longer than the normal sized nickel plated brass thimbles I've been using, so depending on just how long the extra cost may not be so much after all.
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