I tried playing the guitar once. I was a huge fan of Jimi Hendrix, but not so entranced with my own sound. I wondered what the hell was wrong with me!

I’m embarrassed to say that I was just picking around, going by trial and error. One thing I thought of doing was changing the pick I used. At the time, I could feel the different picks produced slightly different sounds, but I still couldn’t find Jimi’s.

If I’d had a Pickmaster at that time, I could’ve tried many more picks. The Pickmaster works like a hole punch and cuts teardrop shapes out of plastic sheets like credit cards.

The British-made Pickmaster continues to sell out in England, and that popularity has spread to Japan as well, where distributor DMR Co., Ltd. began selling it online in August for 3,980 yen. Guitar players are spreading the word about the Pickmaster via Twitter and other social networking sites.

“We didn’t expect to sell that many. We only purchased 20 of them for sale,” a DMR manager said. “We sold out of those very quickly, and we’ve sold around 1,000 of them in two months.”

Credit cards, desk pads, and plastic folders make fine guitar picks, but a wide range of plastic products could end up picking out tunes.

“Something as thick as a CD might give the Punchmaster trouble,” the manager said, “but credit cards and membership cards that are flexible are perfect.”

The manager also told us that some people draw images on plastic and then cut them out to create custom picks. Many people even use old student IDs and cut out their faces.

That’s all well and good and artsy, but we’re talking about guitar picks here. How do they handle?

“Many guitar players have told us that they’re very easy to use,” the manager said. “The firmness and sensation of each pick changes the sound, and many players are enjoying trying out different types of plastic.”

We should soon have a parade of guitar players who created their own picks that can’t be found anywhere else on the market and, thus, their own special sound. Other repercussions of the homemade picks should continue to reverberate throughout the world.

“Right now, we only have a Punchmaster for the basic teardrop shape, but we’ve had requests for bass pick shapes and for sharper picks for playing quick tunes.”

It appears that DMR is well aware of these requests and is already communicating them to the manufacturer in England.

The Pickmaster also seems to appeal to a wide range of guitarists of all ages.

“People in their forties and fifties are wanting to buy Pickmasters for themselves and for their kids.”

A famous rock guitarist used to tell a story about making his own guitar out of firewood. I want to get my hands on a Pickmaster and make myself a pick. Maybe then I can write my own unique story and capture what I was looking for so long ago.

Written by Jajouka Teranishi

Translated by Danny MacLeith