First time I came across these, I was deterred by the name thinking they are made for chicken picking country music only 🙂 . After a while I realized that’s not the case at all. Two important aspects set them apart from the other makers – termosetting plastic they use is very unique – very hard, dense material that rings like bone when dropped on the table top and feels almost like stone in hands. Also, they feature bevel that is more aggressive and sharper edge than most other picks I’ve seen. Material and pick shape combined produce very loud and bright tone.
Material resembles the stuff used by Wegen, but unlike Wegens which are machined, Chicken Picks are molded into shape, so they feel slightly differently. Also, due to the process, they do require some time to be broken in. In the first few weeks they have more aggressive sound that sounds a bit scratchy on acoustic guitars. After the breaking-in period they settle and sound the same for very, very long time.
Badazz III 2.0 and 2.5mm
As the “III” in the name would suggest, this model is aimed towards folks who like Jazz III style of picks. Compared to Jazz III, it’s got pointier tip and sharper edges as well as wider and pointy “shoulders”. Pointed, sharp tip means that you can jump around strings very quickly and precisely and it also makes the sound very loud and bright, it’s among the loudest and brightest picks I’ve tried.
The two remaining tips can also be used for playing. They are pointy, but not as pointy as the main one, so they do feel and sound a bit different. However, Badazz shape is not symmetrical like Bermuda, so when you switch to using the other two tips, the pick doesn’t sit nicely between the fingers as one of the “wings” (the main tip) becomes longer than the other. There’s no night and day difference between the 2.0mm and 2.5mm versions. Early on, I liked the 2.0mm better, but after using both for a while I slightly prefer the thicker model now.
Shredder has tip contours almost identical to the Jazz III, but it’s noticeably longer, much thicker and has wider “shoulders” and almost flat bottom. Judging by the name, I was expecting a very small pick which is usually associated with shredding but it’s pretty hefty compared to most shred/jazz picks. That can be a good thing if you’re used to regular sized picks and would like to try something very different without having a feeling that it will get lost between your fingers.
It has a less pointed, more conventional tip, so it’s a bit less bright sounding and a bit more versatile than Badazz. If you are very used to very small picks, the flat, wide bottom makes it a bit bulky and uncomfortable to hold at first. But after playing it for a while, it stands out as a great pick suitable not only shredding, but for almost any style. Works well even with acoustic guitars.
The thickness of 3.5mm may sound intimidating, but it really doesn’t feel too thick. It is thick at the center, but the actual edges that come in contact with the strings are very thin, so you can move fast around the strings. All in all, it’s a great and versatile pick, but may need some time to get used to.
What I like about them
What I don’t like about them
Being a pointy pick fan, Badazz quickly grew into being one of my top 3 picks for electric guitar, but the lack of comfort was still bugging me. So I took few pieces of sandpaper (grade 100 through 2000) and reshaped the back edge of the pick to make it more rounded. It made a world of difference! Now I have a great performing pick that doesn’t cut into my fingers. I couldn’t be happier with it. Check out the photo below, it’s easier to show than explain what exactly I changed.