8 Weird Guitar Gadgets You’ll Probably Never Use
When it comes to an instrument that has been around for hundreds of years, we think we’ve seen everything. Yet people are still trying to come up with something new and innovative. Sometimes it is something groundbreaking like a magnetic coil in your pickup, and sometimes it’s less useful… much less useful. Here are our picks of gadgets that rarely find their customer.
Blues Scale Fretboard Stickers
We all were at a point when we picked up a guitar and didn’t know what to do with it. So we went looking for something to help us learn. Books with guitar lessons – good. Video tutorials – even better. Tabs for your favourite song on UG.com – perfect! Stickers for your fretboard – wait, what?
First of all, why would you do something like that to your guitar? And second – yes, I see the reasoning behind the concept but relying on such aid will definitely slow your process of learning scales not enhance it.
Plectone Double-Pulse Guitar Pick
In theory this thing gives your sound a “fuller” quality, but in essence it just makes your guitar a bit louder and snappier. There is a big learning curve if you try and do some arpegios or just some complex melodies on several strings, because strings will get caught in the gap in between the motions. This thing will probably work for a song or two if you’re into playing country, but will be completely useless if you want to rock out. The 0.5 thick picks doesn’t help either.
That heavily advertised guitar accessory is meant to revolutionize the way you play. You can hit chords with one side and individual strings with the other. That is all well, but really, you can just use a pencil for a same effect, and you’ll be able to write with after. Stick an eraser on it to have that “edge for individual hammering”. There is nothing revolutional in that. There are much better ways to spend 10 bucks for the vast majority of guitarists.
The String Butler
Now that thing is actually cool. It allows for more stable tuning on guitars with 3-3 heads. It does work but the effect it gives you just doesn’t measure up to the price. You also have to restring your guitar in order to install it, so it becomes a very hard sell. I guess you would want to buy such a device if you have a very particular tuning problem and you definitely know that the reason lies in uneven tension of your strings. But for everyone else it’s just not worth it.
This peculiar device takes inspiration from pianos for it’s concept. You press a button and a small hammer hits the string, producing an interesting kind of sound. It’s interesting and it works, but the technology is far from perfection. The adjustment process is rather tricky and you will have to re-adjust the hole thing after a couple of bends. It’s made out of not-so-durable plastic and just doesn’t give you any desire to continue to experiment with it. The installation process also takes time, so you won’t be able to just put it on for a song within a live gig. Also with modern pedals and modulation effects there is less need for contraptions like that.
Guitar Fingertip Protectors
These plastic thingies fall into the “stickers on your fretboard” category in a sense that they will hinder your process of learning the instrument, not make it better. Meant to protect your finger from calluses they will definitely do that but in terms of your guitar skills they will not do you any good. Fingertip protectors will lower your feel of strings significantly, and that may lower your speed and precision, and why would you want that?
Ez-Fret and E-Z Chord Guitar Attachment
These gadgets are beyond my comprehension. I get that we all struggled with certain chords in the beginning but these E-Z will not help. The E-Z Chord will allow you to play four basic chords pressing just one button (one button – one chord), so you will still need to learn the actual chords when this thing breaks, and it definitely will. The build quality is much to be desired (shocker!) and you would have to re-tune your guitar for the installation process.
The Ez-Fret device has a similar concept of pressing buttons to fret your strings but it takes it up a notch by having not 4 but 18 buttons. In theory it should be easier for beginners to play this way, but in reality the button system does not provide enough pressure for a clean sound and the stretching involved in even the most basic chords is ungodly. So – pass.
V-Picks Insanity 11.85mm Guitar Pick
By show of hands, who uses picks thicker than 10 mm? Thought so.
Look, I know people use fat picks. Rob Scallon made his 9 mm Plectrum famous and it works for him. But come on, 11,85 mm that’s insane (oh, I see what V-Picks did there). They claim this pick is great for jazz and Gypsy guitar, but you won’t see any famous musicians using this anytime soon.
There will always be gimmicky novelty gadgets and accessories and who knows, maybe some of them will become the next big thing, but for now we are left with our good old self-tuning half-digital guitars.