An Ergonomic Guitar Pick?

Big Rock Guitar Pick

That’s what I wondered when I came across the Big Rock guitar pick. In fact, this is exactly what this unique design promises. The F-1 and X-1 guitar picks from Big Rock Engineering improve the guitarist’s grip on the pick through the use of a concave surface that helps the guitarist hold the pick in a consistent position while using less effort.

Many guitarists deal with conventional picks slipping from their fingers and these picks eliminate this problem. The F-1 is their “fixed” design (seen in the photo) while the X-1 is assembled with the guitarist’s choice of one of several picks in either an index finger grip or a thumb grip. A better grip means a reduction in force and tension which is valuable for any guitarist but of particular benefit to sufferers of repetitive strain injury.

UPDATE: Read my long term review of Big Rock Engineering’s guitar pick solutions.

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3 Responses to “An Ergonomic Guitar Pick?”

  1. This with ergonomic pick/picking is elusive at best.

    Even Tuck Andress did almost a forensic Ph.D. thesis way back in 1999 on different picking styles. Of all, Tuck is mainly known for his immaculate fingerstyle picking, so I wonder what made him the best to pursue such a daunting task. This pick X-1 or whatever, above is shown in the most common manner everybody seems to hold a pick. Resting the pick on the side of your index finger, leaves no muscles to give pressure to the pick from that side, only thumb, which induces unnecessary tension, and “picking fatigue” in the long run.

    Holding between thumb pad, and pad of index finger, yields more pressure from both sides, BUT still the pick FLEXES TOO MUCH, due to the softness of both thumb and index fingers soft pads.

    He came to the conclusion that the George Benson style of holding a pick was the best. Like “in a vice” pipe wrench style, with the TIP of both thumb and pad of index finger. Holding like that, angles the pick totally 45 degrees to the string. But it wont flex no matter how hard you pick, and it’s stiffer with much less tension from the two fingers, index and thumb. Tuck Andress also points out and make comparisons when using a pen or pencil. How many variations on pens or pencils out there? Do they talk about ergonomics? No way. Just hold the pen so it doesn’t slip when you write. If you get cramped, take a rest. Whatever suits you. Personally, I am into whatever keeps your pick in place, i e not flexing at all, with as little tension and muscular force as possible, is of a good thing. Ergonomically speaking. I prefer three finger grip on pick, then it doesn’t flex at all.

    For interest and indulgement and dwell on it here’s the comprehensive link for anyone interested to probe really deep, I mean really esoteric:

    1. Interesting thoughts, Mats. Interesting article by Tuck Andress but I’ll admit to having a bit of trouble visualizing all the material. I’ll have to look around for videos or images of Benson’s grip which is intriguing.

      BTW – I’ve obtained a variety of samples of these picks and I’m enjoying them. I’ll have an article about my thoughts in the near future.

  2. So you have trouble visualizing? 😆
    And what about me then, who’s not even mother tounge english. I have very much trouble grasping the difference he makes between “translation, rotation and oscillation” in ways of MOVING the pick. I have still, great trouble understanding what he really means, when it comes down to nitpicking, as he really does in double sense! 😕

    An accompanying video would make sense.

    Funny thing, although he holds the Benson style high, I’ve even read in a “perfect pick techinuqe” book by Ivor Martians that Benson though of his (Ivors) picking style as “perfect” instead , and that he would want to pursue that style way back when he started out only if he knew it. Strange thing that Benson thinks about ANOTHER style (actually the more common one) as more perfect than the one he’s got!

    I know of one advantage of the Benson style. The volume increases very noticeable. It’s almost impossible to get dynamics above one level when you hold regularly. As fast as you hit the strings from the side of the pick, and ther is absolutely not the slighest amount of flex in the pick, you gain tremendous volume!