The reason I developed these picks

I developed ChickenPicks guitar picks in 1987. At the age of 18, I was a guitar player with a dream to study guitar at the Rotterdam Conservatorium (today known as Codarts).
Back then, I used a Scotty’s 0.60 mm red nylon pick. But if I wanted to take playing guitar more seriously, they told me that I needed a thicker pick.

Here on the right you’ll see the Scotty’s pick I used to play with in the early 1980’s

Nylon guitar pick
Gibson guitar picks

Jim Dunlop 2.0 mm

At that time the only thicker pick was a (purple) Jim Dunlop 2.0mm. And maybe some black Gibson Heavy guitar picks.
As seen in the picture I tried several things, like using adhesive band-aid for more grip.
These picks all felt so weird as I missed every feel of balance with them. All of them sounded dull and tiny as well.
Almost immediately I started experimenting with all kinds of materials.
Even an out of order Radio was used to make a pick from the front panel 🙂

The start of ChickenPicks guitar picks

A time of experimenting with different materials started on the search for the perfect material and shape.
And at some point, I came across a layer of 2.6mm thick material that seemed to suit me. It was a layer of high quality thermosetting plastic.
With my dad I made the first guitar picks with the unique bevel at that time. And from that moment on, I only played with my own created picks for many years, not even thinking of selling them.

Hand made picks
Gibson Explorer

Gibson Explorer

Actually the very first picks I made for myself were called Expo. So the name ChickenPicks guitar picks absolutely wasn’t there to find.
Around that time I wanted to have a Gibson Explorer guitar. But as these were way too expensive for me, I made one myself.
I called it “Expo”. Which was short for “Explorer of Eppo”.
From that time I named my home made picks Expo as well for at least 20 years. I still have all picks that I made over the years. Below some of the “Expo” guitar picks. The name Expo was engraved with a Dremel.

Fun fact: I still have the Expo guitar, equipped with all original Gibson hardware, but I have never played it a lot. Shown here on the left.
For the last 30+ years I am totally addicted to Fender Telecasters.

Starting ChickenPicks guitar picks as a joke

As said, I made the guitar picks just for myself and for my musical friends when they asked for a new pick.

My wife Jolanda asked me if we could sell these picks somewhere in 2010. So she made simple website and I went posting on Twitter.
Later in 2010 Jolanda and I started our family business ChickenPicks guitar picks. We said to each other “Let’s try it..!”.
We were both working at a bank and we did not have any experience in being a seller in music industry.
After all it was the best decision we could make to start this brand.

Hand made picks
Hand made ChickenPicks

1,400 picks made by hand

At first I made all the ChickenPicks by hand and soon there were too many orders to handle. In the first 1.5 year I made 1,400 picks by hand. And every pick took about 15 minutes to make. So, I spent some time in the barn behind our house.

As sales increased, we needed to look for another way of production. And in 2013 we found a factory, that was able to manufacture thermosetting plastics. This is definitely a different process than any other plastic production.
Thermosetting means that it is some kind of ceramic plastic. Products made of a thermosetting plastic are extremely rigid and made in a mold under high temperature.
Production of the picks finds place in factories in Belgium and Germany.

The picks you see here on the left are some of the mentioned 1,400 hand made guitar picks that I made from 2010 to 2012.

Hand finished

Since 2013 all picks are machine made and hand finished. they are checked one by one by hand by people at a sheltered employment company in The Netherlands.
We’re very proud this works out well for a lot of people with different kinds of mental- and physical disabilities.

The first picks that were made in factory production were the
Light 2.2mm
Regular 2.6mm
Shredder 3.5mm

Soon there was a follow up and we introduced these 4 picks.
Bermuda III 2.1 & 2.7mm
Badazz III 2.0 & 2.5mm

7 different models in 2014

At the end of 2014 we had 7 different models. After a few small guitar shows in The Netherlands Jolanda and I went to the USA to visit guitar shows.
For a guitar player walking around in Nashville mid summer and visiting the Summer NAMM show is the best vacation ever!

Our first NAMM show

The first show we visited was the 2013 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville TN. And in 2014 we did it again!
We felt that we were ready for the largest M.I. show in the world. So in January 2015 we attended the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim California.
Some people laughed as we only had 7 picks to show, while between all large companies showing off their expensive gear.
But we had a lot of fun at the NAMM Shows and we made a lot of friends!
We attended every NAMM Show from 2015 till 2020

The NAMM Show
ChickenPicks guitar picks

New models again

In the meantime, several different models, like the Bermuda III-P 2.1 & 2.7mm were added. As well as the XL Bass pick.
Since there was no plectrum company that provided a typical Bass pick, we created one.
And although we call it a Bass guitar pick, it is widely used for electric- and acoustic guitar.

In January 2024 we introduced the Shredder 2.4 mm. Now a total of 12 different models are available at ChickenPicks guitar picks. Combining these 12 models provide 53 different pack of guitar picks nowadays including variety sets.

And if you have any questions about the picks we offer, please send us an e-mail. We will be happy to talk to you 🙂

Chicken picker

I still practice guitar every day and I play the music I like. In my early days it was hard rock music like Deep Purple and KISS.
Ace Frehley was for me the reason for picking up the guitar in general.
For the last 30+ years mostly into Country music. You may call me a Chicken picker!

Of course, the name ChickenPicks comes from my favorite style of guitar picking.
Ricky Skaggs, Redd Volkaert and Brent Mason are some of my favorite guitar players in that style.