SMG Review: Chicken Picks

 

WHAT CAME FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE PICK?

You’ll have to ask Eppo Franken, founder and creator of Chicken Picks. Eppo grew up in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His musical journey began with drums as he bashed skins to the likes of KISS and Deep Purple. He picked up guitar along the way, expanding his musical interests to include pop and country and he continues to rock stages today. Inspired by a friend who had made heavier picks from an old telephone, Eppo began custom crafting his own designs and experimenting with various materials including the front of an old radio. Eventually he perfected his design and choice of material and while he never set out to release the picks commercially, a flood of excited feedback and reviews prompted him to do just that. Today his picks are available via his website at chickenpicks.com.

CHICKEN PICKIN’ AIN’T JUST FOR COUNTRY…

Chicken Picks are similar in size and shape compared to standard picks but that’s where the similarity ends. They’re thicker, coming in sizes ‘Light’ (2.2 – 2.5mm) and ‘Regular’ (2.6 – 2.8mm) and they have a taper that comes to a fairly fine edge all around. I can’t quite put my finger on it (bad joke intentionally included), but there’s something about the material that grabs better than typical picks. A pretty pastel flower pattern adorns one side of the pick (don’t knock it – the Dutch are famous for their flowers!) with the logo on the other side. With a much thicker form and virtually no flexibility, I wasn’t expecting much. And then I put pick to string…

Whoa! I think I like this pick! It’s not that I didn’t think I would like it at all, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really do enjoy playing with it. The thickness feels more comfortable and ‘there’ in my fingers. The beveled edge tracks incredibly well and I actually feel like I can pick faster. The tone produced is warmer and rounder than conventional picks with a sprinkle of scratchiness that gives it a more grainy and organic texture I really enjoy. For any of you familiar with surfing, it’s like playing with a surfboard, albeit a reeeeally tiny surfboard that fits between your fingers: thick and buoyant, light and manouverable. The material used is top secret, but the high tech labs at SMG reverse engineered the picks to reveal that it’s a Thermosetting plastic. Actually, Eppo revealed this much, but the specific ingredients are confidential.

THE FINAL WRAP

When I was first asked to do this review, I thought, “Sure, why not.” I wasn’t particularly excited about reviewing another pick but I’m always open to sampling new gear. I’m truly impressed by these Chicken Picks. I’m not trying to blow smoke and claim these are magic picks or God’s gift to your playing, but I’m a fan and using these picks has inspired my playing. Are they for everyone? Are they for every style? Perhaps not. As is the case with a lot of gear, different strokes for different folks, but my old picks are taking a backseat to Chicken Picks and I recommend you check them out.

Direct Price – Light or Regular $8.95, 2-pack of Light, Regular, or Mixed $14.95

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