I went out in the blizzard to my local guitar merchant and bought 3 Dunlop heavy medium gage thumb picks, he probably thought I was nuts, but oh well. I tried fieling them down. It turned out to be a bust. They felt heavy and uncontrolable. So I put some clear finger nail polish on my thumb. Three layers were definetly too thick. Any input is welcomed.
You could go to the local nail salon and have them put some acrylic (or a silk or fiberglass overlay wrap if you're just looking for strength and not length) on your thumb nail to make your own "thumb pick". Sounds girly? There's a lot of great MALE pickers out there that keep acrylics on their picking hand. Clear nail polish might protect your finger nail a little if you're up strumming with the back of your thumb nail... otherwise I don't see how it'd help you too much. Three thin coats shouldn't be too much if you give them a chance to dry a little between each coat, but two is probably sufficient ... allow to dry for a few hours to ensure the polish has set up completely (else it could still be a little soft, think automobile paint... has to set up properly to a hard finish or else the lightest stone could dimple the finish and cause possible peeling). If your nails are thin and you're looking to add strength you could also look in the nail polish section for "ridge filler", finish with one coat of clear.
(hmmm... I never thought my cosmetology licence would come in handy on Chordie with all you guys! LMAO)
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What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.