Introducing the RoughEye Ring Pick
|made from .020″ brass, shown above, right|
|I’m sorry, but the pick is no longer being sold.|
The RoughEye Ring Pick is a guitar pick that is unique in how it’s worn on the hand – but not like a finger or thumb pick. It’s worn on the index finger, between the first and second joints. When the hand is open, the tip of the pick intended for plucking the strings faces away from the palm of the hand, making it possible to play finger style, as well as use the hand to adjust a mic stand, pick up a beverage, sign autographs – whatever. When the hand is closed, the pick comes to a position where the thumb can press against it so it can be held like a normal Flatpick.
Used as a Flatpick
Unlike a Thumbpick – which when used, the pick is attached to the thumb and as a result the playing tip is always a fixed distance from the thumb – the RoughEye Ring Pick allows the player to adjust the thumb to come close enough to the strings which in turn affects the tone of the strings the way he wants to, and even play artificial harmonics. Essentially everything you can do with a Flatpick, you can do with the RoughEye Ring Pick.
When the hand is opened, all fingers can be used to play the strings classical-style, free stroke or rest stroke, arpeggios or scales. The thumb and all fingers can play any combination of strings simultaneously, or in rapid succession.
Next, let’s talk about ergonomics. The hand is used for grasping, and the muscles that do most of the work in gripping are the muscles on the palm side of the hand and forearm. These are the strong muscles of the hand. The weak muscles of the hand are those on the back of the hand and forearm. For this reason, when the hand is at rest the fingers are curled in a graceful arc, the tension of those stronger muscles pulling the fingers somewhat into the palm. If the wrist bends in the same direction of the arc, only slightly, following the curve of the fingers, the hand is much less prone to carpal tunnel syndrome. It is when the wrist bends – even slightly – back in the opposite direction than that in which the fingers bend for extended periods of time, that stress can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. This can happen when playing guitar, or using a computer keyboard while employing the wrong hand position. The RoughEye Ring Pick is designed to promote this natural curve of the hand, wrist and fingers, thus reducing the potential for carpal tunnel.
Here’s one personal note: after using these picks for about 25 years, I’m still using picks from the original batch of less than two dozen that I made by hand. They don’t get lost, period. They don’t fly out of the player’s hand while playing. Quite often while taking a break between sets, I’d keep the ring pick on my finger, walking about and doing as I pleased, until I returned to playing. Before I designed this pick, I would buy guitar picks by the gross. The RoughEye Ring Pick is one of the secrets that enabled me to play seemingly impossible passages on the guitar with relative ease. Now it can be yours.
Above, the pick on the index finger with hand open, below, with hand closed but thumb open.