Nobody can deny that musical instruments evolve with technology, but we’re not just talking about modern instruments like synthesisers and all-in-one devices. We love tech that merges with more traditional instruments to make our lives easier or inspire our creativity. Here are our favourite gadgets and gizmos for guitars.
1. Gibson Memory Cable
The Gibson Memory Cable is a completely normal guitar cable for plugging your guitar into amplifiers and computers. The twist is that it can record the audio travelling through the cable with the touch of a button. This is brilliant for sudden moments of inspiration.
You might think that serious musicians would have recording equipment anyway but that’s missing the point. If this becomes your normal cable you always use to play, you can record ideas regardless of where you’re playing. You might be jamming with friends and nowhere near your fancy recording equipment back at home.
The Gibson Memory Cable is available on Amazon for £49.99.
The video speaks for itself. The ACPAD is a wireless MIDI controller you slap onto any guitar and it gives you an electronic orchestra. You can touch controls to play other instruments, samples, and loops on the guitar itself. Imagine tapping our a drum beat on your acoustic guitar and then letting it loop while you play. It was a terrifically successful Kickstarter campaign and it the final product will be released in June.
The ACPAD is available for preorder at the official site for £269.
A lot of serious guitarists will scoff at the idea of an automatic guitar tuner, but nobody can deny that TronicalTune looks like magic. With 18 programmed tunings, the device automatically tunes all the strings on your guitar in seconds with a touch of a button. For live performers switching tunings between songs (or even during songs), this is a dream come true. You can also use its single string tuning feature for a general tune up. We think it would look like this if Harry Potter tuned his guitar.
The downside is the price. You can grab it at Amazon for £167.96 plus £9.75 postage.
4. Roadie Tuner
If the TronicalTune is a bit out of your price range, you might love the Roadie Tuner. It doesn’t look quite as magical but it’s still a cool gadget. The main difference is that it tunes one string at a time and uses your smartphone for control. You set the note you want on the app then attach the Roadie to the tuning peg. Once you play the string, the Roadie listens to the sound and automatically adjusts the string’s tuning to match the app settings. Beginners will enjoy it while they’re still learning to tune for themselves but it’s also a great tool for tuning extremely quickly, especially for unusual tunings that you may not be used to.
The Roadie Tuner is available on Amazon for £79.
5. Super-Vee Mag-Lok
You know that annoying thing that happens when you do a hard bend on a string and the other strings go flat? Ew. That’s the price you pay for having a tremolo arm. It sounds awful and it happens because the tension pulls the bridge up. The Super-Vee’s Mag-Lok uses magnets to stop the tremolo block being pulled forward, stopping the problem. The magnet is strong enough to work well, but weak enough that using the tremolo arm will force the magnet apart so everything works normally.
The Mag-Lok is available on Amazon for £49.99 plus £2.99.
6. Spider Capo
Anyone who appreciates a traditional capo will be blown away by the Spider Capo. Normal capos let you quickly use many different open tunings without having to retune any individual strings. Of course, that it isn’t true for all tunings and you’ll have to retune strings if you want to try every possible tuning. The Spider Capo lets you capo individual strings rather than the whole bridge. As you can see in the video of Patrick Woods playing Storm Watch, you don’t have to capo all strings. It works beautifully and really does allow you to be more creative.
You can the Spider Capo on Amazon for £22.89 plus £3.25 delivery.
Fancy yourself as the next Jónsi from Sigur Rós? The EBow is an awesome hand-held device you use in place of a pick. It sustains notes and lets you mimic the sounds of strings, horns, and woodwind instruments. You can emulate other instruments or experiment with traditional guitar tunes to find a new sound.
The EBow is available on Amazon for £82.40 plus £3.50 postage.
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