Introducing The New

Hooks’ Electric Banjo Thimbles

Light as Air And Fast as Lightning!

All thimbles are suitable for steel, gut or synthetic strings.


My new “Electric Banjo Thimbles” are made from solid 0.025” thick aluminum and polished to perfection.  They are so light that they it feels like you are not wearing a thimble, yet they produce all the strong and solid tone of the classic brass thimbles. 

1918 or 1921 copy

Woodcut from a 1920s Musical Goods Catalog Provided by John Hoft

My classic brass thimbles have been the standard since Tom Briggs invented it in the late 1840s.  Hand shaped and polished to a mirror finish, they provide a solid tone with so much clarity and volume that you could play a theater with no amplification!


In 1889 S. S. Stewart wrote,  “It has frequently been said by Banjo teachers and players, that thimble playing, or stroke playing, as it is called, was fast becoming obsolete, and was dying out -passing away entirely.

I have, upon several occasions, taken exception to this statement and have said that thimble playing was merely subsiding for a time and would in time revive again and take a higher and better form.”

Now in many forms and called by many names, clawhammer, stroke style, frailing, etc., the movement is the same... strike the strings down with the nail of the finger and pull with the thumb.  Today this style is more popular than ever, yet the banjoist is forced to “make do” by adapting “picks” to protect the fingernail.

Well, I was not satisfied with “making do.”  Bluegrass/ Hawaiian guitar picks worn backwards was just not good enough.  I had tried the other styles targeted to the down stroke banjoist but there was something not right.  The magic was missing.  Plastic was out of the question.

So, out of frustration, I began to fabricate my own by hand.  They worked O.K. but I was limited to thin, weak metal. I still was not happy.

Well friends, no longer do we need to “make do.”  I have decided, at great expense, to reintroduce a long out of production but needed product.

Made of solid .025 brass and precision stamped, I hand shape and finish each one myself.  This is a labor of love made right here in New Hampshire. 

Much is written and discussed about authentic tone in banjo music.  Be it wire, nylon, or gut strings, there is only one way to get “that old time sound.”  One must use the same style of thimble that the old timers used.

My thimbles help give a solid and strong tone.  They are perfect for “knocking out a tune.”  They increase volume and clarity.  Very importantly they protect the fingernail from damage that could ruin a performance or jam.

This is your great granddad's banjo thimble.

On occasion I have get asked about custom thimbles.  I can make up custom designs depending on how busy I am.  Feel free to send me a request and I will get back to you with pricing and a lead time.

AM mc vs dc ae

© Joel Hooks 2020