The Story of Norton
Written by Race   

I like to tinker. Over fifty percent of my guitars and amps are modified in some way or another. One of my favorite modifications to make is changing the sound of a guitar by putting in new/different pickups. I’m constantly on quest to achieve some tone or another. Having said that…

Although I don’t remember exactly, I’m going to say the year was somewhere around 2003 or 2004. My brother had relocated to the West Coast from the East and was visiting. We were playing Project Gotham Racing 2 on my newly-acquired Microsoft® XBOX©. I was slightly behind the times regarding gaming consoles so my brother was showing me how to personalize my XBOX©, even to the extent of setting up custom soundtracks to play along with the games. He explained that he and a friend had a favorite “soundtrack” for playing this game that included a couple of songs I’d never heard before. They were both melodic rock songs and both had a driving rhythm that lent itself extremely well to the idea of going really fast, even if it was only on a video game. Not only were the songs extremely catchy, but the guitar tone in the songs was excellent. It had an excellent mid-range grind while still having a full sound all over the EQ. The tone was something fuzzy without being wooly or muddy. I had to know…

Pick One!
Written by GoofyDawg   
On my blog at, I recently wrote an article entitled, “Gear That Has Changed My Life.” In that article, I discussed eleven specific types of gear that have had a profound effect on how I approach guitar playing. But even after writing that article, I felt there was still more to say, especially with respect to picks.

Players who’ve experienced the effect of a great, handmade or high-end pick will understand what I mean, while those who haven’t will naturally ask something along the lines of: “How can something as diminutive and as seemingly insignificant as a pick have the effect of changing your life?” Admittedly, it may not be a life-altering experience, but playing with a handmade pick really does have a significant effect on how you approach your playing. I know, hard to believe, but it’s true. I’ve been playing guitar for almost 40 years. I’m not a great guitarist by any stretch of the imagination. But I will tell you this: If I had discovered great picks earlier, I’d be a way better guitarist today. So in this article, I’m going to share different aspects of high-end picks and what using a great pick has done for me, then wrap it up with a discussion of my favorite picks.
Which Pick To Pick (New Ibanez Pick Holder)
Written by IbanezFreak777   


Just like my love for guitars, and the obvious G.A.S. that is associated with it all, picks also hold a place in my heart as something fun to collect. They are small, come in a wide variety of colors, materials, sizes, shapes and you can get various holders for them. Most importantly you can use them to play guitar and nothing gets a crowd going more than a guitarist flicking picks into the crowd.They are cheap to purchase, and an easy object to store so they make a great item to collect.

Back in my “stoner days” I spent many hours hand shaping Star Wars Tazos into different style guitar picks. They played quite well, but the material was soft and it didn’t last too long, but a lovely waste of my precious time, those were the good old days. So the simple guitar pick can be a source of entertainment, it just takes imagination.Recently I stumbled upon a lovely Ibanez product which is basically a pick holder for your guitar.

Growing up I saw all the greats play with them on the headstock and some on the body of the guitar as well. I wondered what sort of material they used, and did it ruin the guitar in any way. It seems Ibanez in their wisdom have created a product that not only sticks to almost any part of the guitar, but is removable, reusable and reliable. When Ibanez makes a statement one must take it blindly, so if Ibanez says its reliable then it must be.

All jokes aside, the pick holder does seem to do the job nicely, is easy to remove and reuse, and has a lovely Ibanez logo on it, for those who love branding.The whole package includes two pick holders, black and white, as well as 3 Ibanez guitar picks, Thin, Medium and Heavy. They would make a great Christmas present, or an addition to your pick collection. You’re looking at around $10 USD for a packet. So far I have only seen them in Tom Lee Music in Hong Kong, but a quick search online or on the BAY may show up others. The product code is Ibanez PHI101.


Guitar Cases For Head Cases
Written by Guitarnoize   

That is the strap-line that adorns the oddly named company Postal Monkey. These guys have decided that guitar cases don't necessarily need to be just boring plain black hardened plastic or leather, I'm generalising of course, 2 of my flight cases are embossed and I think look very classy just the way they are! But say you have your guitar currently sitting in a boring case or gig bag maybe you should spice things up with something that reflects what is sitting inside?

Who Makes The Hottest Strat Pickups?
Written by Ava   

Who makes the hottest strat pickups? This is the name of JP, the Strat-o-blogster’s newest, coolest entry at the Strat-o-Blogster Guitar Blog.  Tell me, do guitar aficionados think about these things on a daily basis? I’m no guitar aficionado (yet) but perhaps I should be thinking about it, too.  Before considering a pickup upgrade, research is crucial, says JP, otherwise you may not get the results you want. (I’m finding out just how important research truly is through my guitar search!) Also, pickup adjustment is important. As well as strings (he mentions nickel and stainless) and make sure your guitar is always well-tuned.

Well, good to know—I’ll make sure to read up on these upgrades and check out Lindy Fralin’s chart of different Strat pickup sets.  It comes highly recommended.