Swiss Picks: Taking One Guitarist At A Time From Jim Dunlop

By Andrew Catania 

Los Angeles-based guitarist Pete Punckowski always had a problem with standard, everyday guitar picks. He wanted a pick that would fit his needs as a guitarist. He tried all kinds of picks that were on the market but had no luck. Primary picks would swivel around in his hand, the kind with sandpaper like grips kept him from readjusting as he played, and they all had that much dreaded “click click” sound when played on guitars being run through high gain amps. Peter felt that if these were the only choices for guitar picks that he could use them, but he always wanted something way better, a guitar pick that was different from all the others. He dreamed of a pick that wouldn’t slide around in his fingers, click on the strings, and would allow his fingers to readjust the pick as he played.

Following the old saying of “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself,” Peter set out to design the ultimate pick. This quest leads him to develop Swiss Picks, the picks that finally met all his needs as a guitarist. The genius behind the Swiss Pick is the unique grip area. Off center holes with raised edges allow the pick to grip to your fingers, preventing the pick from spinning around in your hand. This lets you hold the pick lighter than you would have to with a regular pick and will save your fingers energy and make playing even the hardest guitar licks less hard on your hands. To solve the string clicking issue, Peter opted to make his picks out of the finest USA made Dupont materials, this gives the pick a smoother sound (and stops it from wearing down so fast!).

 

After a while, Peter added the Sharp Cheddar model to his roster. This was similar to the original Swiss Pick; only it had a sharper edge and a thicker base. He was so proud of these picks that he sent some along to guitar virtuoso Rusty Cooley (who’s work Peter loved). Rusty fell completely in love with the ease of use of the Sharp Cheddar and quickly adopted it as his main pick. However, Rusty had one small issue with the material that the Sharp Cheddars were made out of; he found the Delrin to be too warm for his 7 and eight string guitars. Peter’s answer to this was to design Rusty the same Sharp Cheddar pick out of a firmer material named Polycarbonate. This made Rusty’s sound on the 7 and eight string guitars nice and bright and cleared up some low-end muddiness issues. This became the Rusty Cooley Edition Swiss Pick.

 

Since that time Peter has added a jazz mini model, a Rusty Cooley Edition Jazz Mini, a Rusty Cooley Edition Nuclear Cheddar pick,  a Jason Becker Jazz Pick, and an Atomic Glow in the Dark Pick to his roster. Swiss Picks has continued to stay right on the cutting edge of guitar pick design and fuels the playing of guitarists around the world.

You can find and purchase Swiss Picks online at www.swisspicks.com

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