Stuff the stocking of the one you love!
By Strings Direct – 29 August, 2023
This time next week most of us will be indulging in the post-Christmas meat sweats (or nut roast sweats for all our veggie readers out there)!
But if like me the very thought of hitting the local shopping centre brings you out in a cold sweat, have no fear, we’ve compiled a small list of gifts that would be perfect for your guitar playing friend or family member, to help you on your merry way. Below we’ve selected a few essential items that suit a range of budgets and will help you stay in their good books throughout 2018.
G7th Performance 2 Capo
The G7th Performance 2 range really is top of the tree when it comes to capos (see what we did there….) (sorry there’s more to come!).
A capo is a great little contraption that can aid guitarists in a variety of playing situations. Capos effectively mimic the top nut of the guitar but further up the fretboard so that open strings will ring out at a higher pitch. This neat little gadget is really useful and allows you to transpose songs into different keys whilst still being able to play familiar open chord shapes. So if Auntie Jeanette sounds better singing ‘Rockin’ Round the Christmas Tree’ in Bb, pop that capo on and spare Jeanette’s blushes!!
A capo can also help facilitate a guitarist’s creativity, particularly when playing with somebody else. It’s not always a good idea to play the same chords in the same position as your jam-mate and a capo helps you play the same chords but further up the fretboard. The addition of a capo can really help produce different textures and tonal variations and breed extra life into the other chords being played.
There are literally hundreds of designs of capos available today, however, G7th has a unique patented design. Whereas most capos will fall into the level/clamp or trigger type category, the G7th’s clutch mechanism allows you to simply squeeze the capo against the strings and it just stays put. This innovative design not only makes putting the capo on and taking it off a doddle, it applies just the right amount of pressure to the strings, whereas other capos have a tendency to squeeze the strings too hard (or not enough) which often results in tuning issues.
The cool thing about the G7th is that when it’s not being used it can be safely placed on a guitar’s headstock out of the way. This is really useful as, much like guitar picks, capos are high on the missing list when you return home from a gig. If you put one down somewhere, chances are it’ll go walkies!
The Performance 2 capo is available in a variety of finishes including silver, gold and black and there are also versions suitable for electric, acoustic and classical guitars.
A real cracker of a capo! (sorry!)
Korg PitchCrow Guitar Tuner
The first rule of guitar club – you’ve got to stay in tune!
The second rule of guitar club – you’ve got to stay in tune!
Being out of tune is a cardinal sin for any musician, and no matter how technically proficient you are, belting out Jingle Bells on your guitar won’t sound half as good if you are out of tune.
Clip-on Tuners have become very popular over the past 10 years and have come on leaps and bounds in design. The Korg Pitchcrow tuner possesses many of the attributes we feel that go into making a great clip on tuner.
It has a nice big, bright colour display which if mounted to the outside of your house would give your neighbours' christmas lights a run for their money. A bright display is essential, especially when tuning on a dimly lit stage or dark venue. The display is also fixed to the clip using a ball joint allowing the screen to move freely and be displayed at any angle which suits you best.
The Pitchcrow is also a great choice for beginners as it includes a ‘first string over-winding’ warning which signals when the high E string is in danger of being over tightened… easy mistake to make when you’re first starting out.
This tuner can be used on guitar and bass and one of its best attributes is its accuracy. This thing can tune a note to within 0.1 cents so you can be sure it’ll be Uncle Ted’s voice ruining the family sing-song, not your guitar!
All these features make the Korg Pitchcrow very good value for money indeed! The Turkey’s baubles!
Music Nomad Guitar Detailer
You know they’ll be smelling fresh this year as Auntie Ethel will raid Boots and get them the obligatory body wash/deodorant two-pack again! But what about their guitar? That’ll need to look the bees knees for the big day too!
The Music Nomad Guitar Detailer will do just the trick. The detailer is a fantastic all round cleaner that cleans, shines and protects instruments. It is a water based cleaner that contains no wax so is very safe and can be used on electric, acoustic and bass guitars with either a matte or gloss finish. It can also be used on guitar hardware too and will help remove any dust and fingerprints. (Just as a side note, if you are looking for a guitar polish for a vintage guitar that has a soft nitrocellulose finish, the Music Nomad Polish
may be a safer choice. Of course, if you are at all unsure, just give us a call).
Not only that, as guitar polishes go, the Guitar Detailer smells great too so may give that bottle of Lynx Africa Auntie Ethel bought a run for its money too!
A small and simple, yet brilliant product is the Gruv Gear Fretwrap. This is one of our top selling items and is used to mute unwanted open string noise. The Fretwrap range is particularly popular with players who like to indulge in techniques such as legato and tapping which are prone to producing unwanted string noise. That being said the Fretwrap is also very useful for recording musicians who want to nail the take of that rip-roaring solo. Fretwraps are used by a long list of guitar greats including Guthrie Govan - hey if it’s good enough for Guthrie, it’s good enough for us!
Fretwraps come in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes to accommodate a variety of fretboard widths but the small Fretwrap will accommodate most four string basses and six string guitars. They also come in various colours and designs too; including a leopard print design. So, if saucy underwear isn’t their thing, maybe a saucy Fretwrap might just tickle their sprouts!
D’Addario Guitar Maintenance Kit
Whilst an extended Christmas break for most will mean a weeks’ worth of turkey sandwiches, for some it could mean being roped into some last minute DIY before the year’s out!
Whilst putting up a shelf isn’t everybody’s idea of fun, working on your guitar is the kind of DIY we can all be a bit happier indulging in. Part of growing as a musician is also about knowing your way around some of the basic maintenance to your instrument. The D’Addario Maintenance Kit provides all the necessary tools to help guitarists get started with this. This kit includes a host of tools and essentials to help with simple upkeep such as a string winder, guitar mat and neck rest to help with changing strings, fret polish cloths, and a multi tool to help with altering pickup and saddle heights and intonation. There are also some other useful items included in the neat zip case too; a capo, string ruler for measuring the action and also some lubrication sauce for the nut and other contact points.
A neat little feature we really like is the magnetic strip that is located just inside the zip pouch. This has been designed to help keep all your loose nuts, screws and washers together without the need for carrying that little polythene pouch you inevitable lose along the way anyway. No longer will you be scrambling around the floor or scream the words “Nobody move! I’ve dropped a pickguard screw!”
One of the neat little tools included in the kit above is the D'Addario Multi Tool which can also be bought separately here
. The MultiTool is similar in shape and size to a medium-sized Swiss Army Knife and includes a range of ten mixed US and Metric sized hex keys and screwdrivers so will be suitable for many essential adjustments to most guitars and basses. This is a really handy item and definitely one to keep close by for those crucial on-the-fly alterations.
Ernie Ball Cradle Tune
Last , but by certainly no means least is the Ernie Ball Cradle Tune. This two-in-one package includes a tripod stand and clip-on tuner that helps make string-changing and instrument maintenance a cinch. The tripod props the top of the headstock up whilst the clip-on tuner mounts to the top of the tripod and grips to the headstock. This is not just for guitars either..oh no ho ho! (last one we promise!) The tripod can be adjusted in height and angle to accommodate a range of instruments such as basses, ukuleles, banjos and more.
The tripod and tuner make a great pairing, but the nice touch Ernie Ball have made is allowing the tuner to detatch from the tripod so it can be used as a standalone clip-on tuner for practise or on stage. The display is big and bright and can rotate 360 degrees so can be viewed at any angle. The tuner also has five-tuning modes with variable pitch-calibration. Not to forget, the whole package can fold down to fit in a gig bag so all-in-all a versatile little number!
We hope that this list has helped in some way. Of course, if you need any further advice or help for gift ideas (or a cheeky present for yourself!), please don’t hesitate to give us a call or e-mail and we’d be happy to help where we can.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our customer’s for their continued support over the past 12 months and wish you all and your families a happy, healthy and music-filled Christmas period!