The Strum Assistant

Strum Assistant: A guitar pick that can be used without the use of the hand

American International College

Marisa Concilio, Anthony DeFrancesco

Individuals with disabilities greatly benefit from engagement in meaningful leisure including music participation. Instrument modifications and adaptive devices to create equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities for engagement in music is widely recognized (Bell, 2014). Adaptations to the guitar and modifications to guitar accessories, including the traditional guitar pick, is not a new concept. Current variations to the guitar pick focus on alternative grip and pinch methods as well as pick texture and shape (Hendrickson, 2001; Bell, 2014). Other methods exclude the use of the UE and incorporate LE involvement. Neither of which, we believe, emphasizes functional use of the affected UE. The current design of the Strum Assistant allows an individual with an upper extremity partial amputation, congenital limb abnormality, decreased dexterity, decreased fine motor coordination, decreased sensation, or digit contracture to strum the guitar while encouraging active use of the proximal affected limb. The Strum Assistant includes an adjustable strap to accommodate limb girth and a grip that allows for variations in pick thickness and, therefore, is easily customized for use with the individual’s choice of pick. This low technology prototype has universal appeal while adding to the available assistive devices for the guitar.

RESNA Design Brief

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