I may not be the best guitarist in the world (well, actually not even close–about from here to the moon), but I sure as heck try to find things that will get me a bit closer. Further, I’m a bit of a tinker / experimenter in guitar and life. Just like when you have a meal, sometimes you try different spices to see if it tastes better than what you’re used to.
I’ve done lots of string experiments by using different types and gauges to find my sound. I’ve experimented with different effects and combinations to come up with pleasing sounds. I’ve experimented playing the guitar in different physical positions all just to see which one is, objectively, the best for me. I’ve always thought of making my own 3D pick by putting “Play Dough” on both sides, squishing it, and letting it harden so I’d have a custom pick that would fit my fingers perfectly and not move around. I’ve also been looking on the internet at lots of different products and types of picks. I’ve tried MANY of them and never quite got what I wanted.
I found a great site, Big Rock Engineering, which sells special picks. So what did I do after looking on that site for awhile? I got one of each pick type so I could evaluate if any of them would be better than what I’m using. I figured I’d spend the money with blind faith in that, if I found something I liked, it could be well worth it. If not, it was a possibility. I ordered the picks and was still thinking about them during practice that night. I’ve now had them for over a week and I down-right LOVE them! Did I tell you how much I love them?
At first it was very odd to try a 3D pick when we are so used to a flat object. Before I started I promised I’d give these new Big Rock picks two hours of play and then revert to my normal personal flat picks to see the difference.
I started with the SX-1 and really liked the idea that my thumb/finger would not slip off this picks no matter how hard I played or how sweaty I got. At first it was really weird to hold this thing and also not feel any vibration when I did rhythm. Heck, I had no idea there was ever ANY vibration creeping up my hand when I played with a normal pick! But when I switched back to open my box of picks and select my two favorite for picking solos (heavier gauge) and rhythm pieces (thinner gauge), that felt weird to go back to receiving all that vibration while picking/strumming.
The SX-1 has some kind of cushion with sticky stuff holding the pick in-between. I don’t know what it is, but it stops vibration (as a side note, it’s like the vibration dampeners that decent tennis players put on their rackets. They do it to stop unnecessary vibrations). Further, the pick was not nearly as rock-solid stationary as when you have two pieces of plastic on each side of the SX-1 literally holding the pick to your thumb/finger.
I moved on to the F-1. It’s a single-piece design so it does not have any foam or whatever dampening like the SX-1 and it had “wings” on only the finger side. So it feels much more like a traditional pick but does transfer vibration. It did not seem as stationary as the SX-1. I then tried FX-2 that is just like the SX-1 but has TWO picks slightly off kilter so it creates minute off-time sound.
The FX-3 is the same but has 3 picks. I found them hard to control at first and, with the extra picks, seemed stiffer/harder to strum or pick. So you just have to do it a bit harder to get them to work. I did like the FX-3 for single-note picking, yet I will likely stay with single picks for now (I can always do more testing later).
Just so you know – I play a Gibson SG electric so all my results are from playing electric guitar. My theory is that the 3-pick FX-3 would rock on an acoustic to give it a fuller sound. Funny, over these last couple of days I still not have gotten around to creating my own power pick! I have a couple of the X-1 “wings” or whatever that you can use with the foam pads to put on your pick of choice. What does that mean to me or you? You can take your own favorite pick and slap these things on and play better as well as more comfortably!!! I am going to buy another few sets of these make-your-own-power-pick gizmos so I can customize my own picks.
So, after all this time I spent writing this you must think I have some sort of angle, get a cut of the profits they get, or have some ulterior purpose for bothering to write this, right? Sadly, I don’t get a Corvette or a pretty girl for this seeming plug, but I’ll tell you that twenty bucks was darn-well spent and I won’t use a normal flat pick again! That is, until someone, somewhere, comes up with a better device!
My suggestion is to go to the site, buy a set of the X-1/P-82 system kit and put wing things to put on your favorite pick. If you don’t want to customize your own pick, I’d suggest the SX-1 preassembled. I’m writing this because I want other GN guitarists out there to be aware of the possibility of playing better or easier. I just wished they sold these picks in the music stores instead of having to order them online!
If anyone else gets one of these picks please let me know what you think of them.