The Best Novelty Guitar Picks for Gifts

Whether you’re looking for something different to pluck the old six string with or something for more of an arts and crafts project, the guitar picks on this list will fit the bill.

Guitar picks are always in demand for guitar players, because they’re always getting lost! At least that’s how it seems. Besides, they make for great stocking stuffers, birthday, father’s day or even mother’s day gifts for the guitarist in your life. They’re small, unique and not too pricey.

Premium Meditation Guitar Picks

meditation-picks

Here’s one for the mindful guitar picker – a collection of 10 medium picks, with meditative, “mindfulness” images. Each pick has picture printed on both sides in vibrant color. These medium thickness picks are celluloid and give a warm, fat tone.

These meditation themed picks currently sell for $8.99.

A Bag O’ Picks From Pick Geek

Ask any guitarist and they will gladly tell you that their biggest enemy is not stage fright, it’s the plectrum gremlin that makes off with their picks when they aren’t looking.

It may seem like 51 guitar picks is excessive, but believe me – it’s not.

This is a great deal from Pick Geek

pick-geek50 guitar picks of various weight (extra heavy, heavy, medium, and light) plus 1 bonus steel guitar pick all in one funky holder bag. Each pick features one of 14 different color designs and you can choose from celluloid or Totrex

The Bag O’ Picks currently sells for $14.99 (that’s less than 30 cents per pick!)

Dunlop Lucky 13 Pick Tin

For those players among us who are a bit less funky and a bit more inked, there is this tin of collectible Dunlop Lucky 13 picks. You get 6 medium gauge totex picks with “full-throttle, in-your-face tattoo & rockabilly imagery” all in a Lucky 13 collectors tin.

Celebrate your rebellious side and rock out with piece of Dunlop’s homage to Grease, Gas and Glory.

The Dunlop Lucky 13 collection sells for $7.65

lucky-13-picks

Peavey Classic Marvel Super Heroes Guitar Pick Pack

Fight evil while you rock out with this collection of vintage Marvel super heroes – including Capt. America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Spiderman and more! Each pick has one super hero face emblazoned on it (except the one with the classic Marvel logo) and is medium thickness.

Get your Peavey Marvel Super Heroes pack for $19.95

peavey-marvel-picks

Surrealist Artwork Inspired By Salvador Dali

Talk about a conversation piece! This set of 12 celluloid picks comes with a tin box and leather keychain pick holder. Each pick has 2 stunning miniature reproductions of paintings by surrealist artist Jose Roosevelt. These picks are a standard medium size of 0.71mm and are made of high quality, durable celluloid.

surrealist-picks

These Surrealist Picks sell for $14.95

Vincent Van Gogh Guitar Pick Collection

This set of 12 celluloid picks comes with a tin box and leather keychain pick holder. Each pick has 2 miniature reproductions of paintings by Vincent Can Gogh (one on each side). These picks are a standard medium size of 0.71mm and are made of high quality, durable celluloid.

van-gogh-picks

The Vincent Van Gogh collection sells for $14.95

Renaissance Art Guitar Pick Collection

This set of 12 celluloid picks comes with a tin box and leather keychain pick holder. Each pick has 2 miniature reproductions of paintings by Renaissance masters: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt’s, Vermeer & Munch. (one on each side). These picks are a standard medium size of 0.71mm and are made of high quality, durable celluloid.

renaissance-picks

This Renaissance Art collection sells for $13.95

Dragon’s Heart Guitar Pick

Ok, yeah I know.. nine bucks for a single pick is kind of crazy, but this is no ordinary pick!

The Original Dragon’s Heart pick is made from polyamide-imide with 12% graphite content. This makes it extremely durable. The manufacturer claims that a single Dragon’s Heart pick can endure over 1000 hours play before the edges become marred. With 3 optimized playing edges, this pick is a great gift for the shredder or even jazz player in your life.

dragons-heart-pick

Get your piece of the Dragon’s Heart for $9.69 (that’s less than a penny per hour of durability!)

Guitar Themed Picks

What better way to pick your guitar than with a guitar themed pick?! Of course, you might run the risk of triggering some kind of funky six-string supernova, but hey – why not live a little?

This collection contains 12 assorted gauge (light, medium and heavy gauge) premium celluloid picks. Each pick has a guitar-themed design on both sides, including: Keep Calm and Play Guitar, Without Music Life Would Bb, I heart Guitar and more.

guitar-picks

This collection sells for $15.99

Christian Guitar Picks

Here’s a 12 piece pick pack for Christian pickers – regardless of what kind of music they play. Each pick is premium quality, colorful pearl celluloid of medium (0.71mm) thickness. Each pick features one of six Christian themed, inspirational messages on both sides.

christian-guitar-picks

The Christian Guitar Picks sell for $10.99

The Beatles Guitar Picks

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Here’s a set for the Fab-Four fanatic in your life. Each medium gauge pick features a stylized “The Beatles” logo or Album name on each side. I’m not sure how long these will be available, but I have a set of the previous run (about 6 years ago) with Revolver style Beatles faces and they are among my favorite picks.

Get The Beatles pick collection for $9.99

USA Flag Guitar Picks

Here’s your choice for the American patriot on your gift list. It’s the ChromaCast 10 pack of medium (0.73mm) guitar picks. Each pick features a matte, non-slip finish and speckled American Flag design.

american-flag-picksThis collection of 10 American Flag guitar picks sells for only $3.99

Peavey Star Wars Pick Collection

Here’s a great collection of picks for the Star Wars fan on your list – a set of 12 medium gauge guitar picks from Peavey. Each pick has a full color photo of a Star Wars character from the original series (movies IV, V, VI):

  • Luke
  • Han
  • Yoda
  • Leia
  • Storm Trooper
  • Boba Fett
  • Darth Vader
  • and more

star-wars-picksThe Peavey Star Wars Pick Collection sells for $19.95

Clayton Pin-Ups Picks

Lastly, this set of 12 classic pin-up style beauties from Clayton Picks. Each pick features a matte surface with one of 6 different photo-realistic pin-up designs by artist Susan Heidi.pin-up-picks

Currently sells for $3.58

 

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The Beatles Never Broke Up! (The Beatles Meet Sliders)

What if the Beatles never broke up?

What if you could travel to parallel worlds? The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions.

Quinn Mallory, Sliders.

Millions have wondered what the world of music would be like if The Beatles had never broken up. If you believe James Richards, then we have a first hand account of what that world would be like.

The “Paul is Dead” meme meets Sliders.

You remember Sliders, don’t you?

Well, admittedly, it is somewhat forgettable (thanks to the cement heads at Fox).

Sliders was a science fiction television series in the mid 1990’s about a graduate student in Physics who creates/discovers the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen bridge (A.K.A. Wormhole) to parallel universes.

This is very much like what happened to James Richards, albeit accidentally. Richards isn’t a graduate student in physics, and he’s never built a bridge but he claims to have crossed a special one.

Richards claims to have fallen while chasing after his dog, and to have been knocked unconscious by a hit to his head.

Upon waking, he realized that he was now in an alternate universe.

(Incidentally, here’s a great primer on the Paul is Dead rumor)

Tale of the tape

On Sept. 9, 2009 I experienced something that I still am having trouble believing happened to me.

I came into the possession of a cassette tape containing a Beatles album that was never released.

This is from Richards’ web site, The Beatles Never Broke Up…. You can read the whole sordid tale there. (and what a tale it is!)

He spins a yarn about futuristic technology, alternate culture and history but in the end it’s the tape that matters.

Songs from (Everyday Chemistry)

the-beatles-never-broke-up-everyday-chemistry-cassette

Everyday Chemistry, the “new” Beatles tape.

You see, Richards makes off with a copy of a cassette tape titled, Everyday Chemistry, which is a compilation of Beatles songs that were old by the standards of the parallel Earth but never made at all in our universe.

Here are some of those tracks.

Four Guys

Jenn

Days Like These

Over The Ocean

Sick to Death

Anybody else

Talking to myself

Ultimate Beatles mashups.

In case you haven’t figured this out yet, the whole thing is a very clever back story to some of the best Beatles mashups ever made.

Of course James Richards never crossed into a parallel universe, it’s just innocent fiction – but great fiction to this Beatles fan.

Here’s a break down of this ultimate Beatles mashup, song by song.

Note: These are songs from the solo careers of each of the individual Beatles, but I think it illustrates how they well their individual sounds would still merge, had they never broken up.

Four Guys

This is a mashup of Lennon’s I’m losing you, Harrison’s When we Was Fab, and McCartney’s
Band on the Run

Jenn consists of Ringo’s Hard Times, George’s
Teardrops and Paul’s Jet.

Days Like These is Harrison’s Soft Hearted Hannah and Lennon’s Nobody Told me.

Over The Ocean :

You are here (Lennon)
Heather (Macca)
Back Off Boogaloo (Ringo)
I Dig Love (Harrison)

Sick to Death :

Ringo’s All By Myself

George’s The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea.
Lennon’s Gimme Some Truth

Anybody else

Macca: Somedays
Lennon: One day (at a time)
Ringo: Monkey See-Monkey Do

Talking to myself

I’m Losing You: Lennon
Stuck Inside A Cloud: Harrison
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey: McCartney

In the end, these mashups are done so well that it almost seems believable that The Beatles never broke up.

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Beatles Gear on Let it Be.

Let it Be was the first Unplugged album. It was a “Back to basics” album, so the Beatles gear they used was pretty standard stuff as well.

Even though Let It Be didn’t make it on my list of Top 3 Must Have Beatles Albums. , it still has its moments as any Beatles album does. (Incidentally, that post was featured in last month’s Beatles Carnival – Everything About the Beatles)

Gone were the instruments of psychedelia – the Sitar, the moog, wah-wah pedal and harpsichord. In fact, in the original recordings, there weren’t even orchestral sections. Those were added later by Phil Specter, prompting Lennon to say:

“He was given the shittiest load of badly-recorded shit with a lousy feeling to it ever, and he made something of it.”

I have to agree that Let it Be is not the best Beatles’ effort, but I think it was an awesome idea.

Paul is credited for setting the direction of the band after the exhausting double LP known as The White Album. Let It Be was intended to be a stripped down album with no overdubs and studio wizardry. Just The Beatles and their instruments. So, enough about the album, let’s check out the Beatles gear, specifically guitars, bass and amplifiers.

Beatles-gear-let-it-be-rooftop-concert

Beatles Gear used on Let it Be

Electric Guitars

The slide solo on “For You Blue” was played by John Lennon on a Hofner Hawaiian Standard slide guitar:

Throughout the Let It Be recordings, George Harrison is often seen playing his custom-made rosewood Fender Telecaster, having given his 1957 Gibson Les Paul Standard (named “Lucy”) away. Lucy was originally given to him by Eric Clapton and was featured in the “Revolution” promo film.

For You Blue aside, Lennon is rarely seen without his Epiphone Casino throughout most of the sessions.

Acoustic Guitars

By the time of Let it Be, Harrison and Lennon usually shared Harrison’s Gibson J-200 , and McCartney played his Martin D-28 on “Two of Us.”

Bass Guitars

Since the band was trying to skip the overdubs and favor a more live sound, Harrison and Lennon would take turns on bass when McCartney was playing lead or rhythm guitar, and the bass they usually played was the Fender Bass VI, a six-string bass (Harrison uses it on “Two of Us“; Lennon can be seen playing it on “Dig It.”)

When McCartney was on bass, he used his 1963 Hofner 500/1 exclusively.

Amplifiers

In the early days, The Beatles predominantly used Vox Amplifiers. So much so, that Vox became known as “Beatles Amps.” That changed by the Let It Be sessions, and Fender was the primary Beatles gear provided.

Harrison and Lennon played through a 85-watt “silverface” Twin amps with vibrato circuits and reverb while McCartney used a 50-watt silverface Bassman head and tall Bassman cabinet (Harrison and Lennon also played through the Bassman rig when using the Fender Bass VI).

For more details, facts and back story on the Let It Be sessions and Beatles gear, check out the Guide to the Songs and Instruments Featured on The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ Album from Guitar World.

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Top 3 Must Have Beatles Albums.

This list of the top 3 must have Beatles albums are chosen not for records sales or how often they appear on “best of” lists. These albums are chosen because they best represent specific points in the evolution of the band and its sound.

I’m not a music critic. I’m just a huge Beatles fan, and this is my list.

Top 3 Must Have Beatles Albums

Rubber Soul

Beatles-rubber-soul-cover

Rubber Soul represents the band at a nexus of what it was and what it would become. Here, The Beatles are still operating very much like a live band, but are beginning to take liberties available only to studio recording.

New instrumentation and recording methods were being used, and the Beatles began experimenting more with the recording process as well as the song writing process.

For example, George Martin played a very nice piano solo in the song In My Life but that wasn’t enough for the Beatles. They decided to speed the tape up as it was played back and mixed into the rest of the recording. The result is what sounds very much like a harpsichord, but is clearly not a harpsichord. A truly unique sounding solo.

Altering the tape speeds of recorded passages when played back would become a often used technique in later albums like Revolver and The White Album.

Norwegian Wood is probably the most well known and famous example of new instrumentation. I believe it is officially known as the first use of a Sitar in a rock/folk recording.

In many ways, Rubber Soul marks the end of the unified Beatles sound. They were clearly still engaged and playing as a band here. The albums that follow Soul begin to show more of the individual personalities breaking through.

Revolver is a prime example of this. In fact, in many ways Revolver is the clearest example as McCartney’s songs are heavily melodic while Lennon’s favor more biting rock elements. A definite sign of things to come.

All of which leads nicely into our next must have Beatles album…

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Beatles-sgt-pepper-cover

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is sometimes called the first “concept album”, but that’s a very loose interpretation of the phrase.

It all stems from the Beatles decision to stop touring and focus instead on recording, and Paul’s uneasy feelings about that. McCartney is a performer at heart. It’s why he went back to basics after the Beatles broke up and began touring small venues with a new band. It’s in his blood.

So faced with this drive to perform, but being a part of a band no longer performing live he decided to stage a performance on record as an imaginary band. Thus the concept for Pepper was born.

It’s inclusion on this list is really a no brainer, but here are some main reasons:

  • It’s the pinnacle of the Beatles psychedelic phase
  • It’s a truly revolutionary recording from the way it was recorded down to the songwriting
  • It established the Beatles as artists
  • It inspired countless other bands to step up their game

The recording innovation on Pepper are legendary and too extensive to go into here, but suffice it to say that every assumption was questioned and new ideas were tried with a luxury not allowed on previous efforts.

Songs were inspired by everything from transcendental meditation to newspaper headlines and children’s drawings. This is the Beatles at their most creative and inspired.

Abbey Road

Abbey Road is The Beatles’ swan song and what a song! It’s a real tribute to everything The Beatles were that they were able to end their time together on such a high note.

beatles-four-strangers

“Four Strangers” by Linda McCartney

After all the acrimonious disintegration through The White Album and Let it Be, these “four strangers” came together once again as friends in what they instinctively knew would be their last effort together. They put aside much of their differences and focused on breaking new ground yet again.

Working with their magic team of George Martin, and Geoff Emerick, this is easily one of the best Beatles albums as well as a perennial entry on “Best rock albums of all time” lists.

Abbey Road sounds different from the albums that proceed it because it has a greater sense of unity and is in many ways a return to form of who the Beatles were.

In short, Abbey Road is the culmination of the evolution the Beatles experienced beginning in the early days at the Cavern Club, becoming the first mega-band in history, re-inventing the genre and the business and eventually falling apart. They went through a tremendous amount of growth in just 7 years, and it shows.

Musically speaking, there are new innovations (yet again) and it is a remarkable cohesive album when compared with The White Album and Let It Be.

The Beatles are, for the most part, much more mature in their approach and very restrained in many cases. This is not overindulgence for the sake of it. Where earlier albums experimented with ideas and took them to their logical conclusion sometimes at the expense of the song, Abbey Road employs many of those ideas where they can best help the song and no more.

I think the best example of this is the medley on the second half of the album. If this was Let It Be, those song fragments would have been left as just that, and then Phil Specter would have fleshed out and watered them down to full tracks amounting to little less than filler. Instead, the Beatles masterfully stitched these fragments together in one of the best medleys of all recorded history. And then wrap up the whole affair with yet another medley culminating with The End

Could there be a better ending to the last Beatles album?

beatles-abbey-road-cover

The End sees each of the four members take a solo before the final bow, and in classic Beatles style, they leave us with Her Majesty – a 23 second long snippet of a song not listed on the track listing or liner notes. This could be the first hidden track on a rock album.

In all, much of the success that was The Beatles is the result of an unbeatable combination of the lads from Liverpool, George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick.

Together, these men (and many others behind the scenes) changed musically history not just forever, but for the better.

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