Playing guitar is good for the soul. But we all feel a little stale sometimes. Luckily, simple and cheap guitar gadgets can bring back the magic fast.
I’ve found 9 great ones. Most are under $100 and my list is sorted by cost. Blue links point mostly to Amazon and open in a new tab. I created guitar gadget #4 with a friend of mine. It’s a guitar app bundle! Let’s begin.
1. Thumb-Picks | $4
I love playing without a pick. It lets me grab the strings in a cool way. Double-stops, rhythmic plucking, you name it. Things get romantic without a pick. However, throwing a thumb-pick into the mix gives you some great practical advantages. And it sounds fresh when you’re feeling stale. Jump to 3:39 in this vid to see a close-up.
2. Slider | $4
Don’t knock it before you try it. And by the way, smarter people than me call this thing a “slide”. I think “slider” is the right name for this tool and whoever named it a slide doesn’t have a clue! Anyway, what matters is that you buy one and leave it in plain sight. In 2 seconds, your strings will sing and you’re back in the swing. A slider is a shortcut back to cool. They make guitar slides in glass, metal, and who knows what else.
3. Capo | $6-20
The capo is a better friend to me than most of my ex-girlfriends were. This little guy immediately opens a door to greener pastures. One minute I’m at death’s door strumming a dreary old tune and the next minute, the hills are alive! Johnny Capo is a constant fixture on my headstock whenever I may need thee. A simple and easy guitar gadget everyone can enjoy!
4. Lead Guitar Toolkit for iOS | $20
Shameless plug here! The Lead Guitar Toolkit is a fun bundle of iPhone apps we made to help guitar players have more fun jamming. Blues and rock licks, jam tracks, a step-by-step modal trainer, and funky groove machine. I may be biased, but I love guitar gadgets that fit in my pocket. Especially ones that help me play better. Check out the demo here!
5. Orange Crush Mini | $69
Can an amp be a guitar gadget? In this case, yes. There’s just something about an Orange amp that screams FUN. Maybe it makes me reminisce about the Smashing Pumpkins, or Halloween? Maybe it’s just a kick-ass amp. The Crush Mini screams “play with me”, and play you will. It’s irresistible. Having this gadget around will make you happy.
6. Hammer Jammer | $80
I love the idea of this thing. You basically piano-ize (pianize?) your guitar strings. And it sounds beautiful. It looks super fun to tap away at. While most guitar gadgets requires voltage, this one is analog and oh so cool. Dare I say…delightful! Check out the sounds this guy makes:
7. Ditto Mini-Looper | $95
My brother has this pedal and I plan on stealing it from him. It’s mini, it’s hip, and it looks like something James Bond would use. It’s definitely one of the ultimate guitar gadgets for under $100. The Ditto hypnotizes you with layers of your own funky looping awesomeness with the tap of a button. And while there are many looper pedals out there, I think this one is the coolest. Keep it around for a rainy day and you’ll see. TIP: even better when combined with guitar gadget #8…
8. eBow | $100
When I use an eBow I honestly believe I’m controlling the universe. It’s magical. This pocket-sized wonder creates endless sustain through some magnetic wizardry. Don’t worry, it’s one of the easiest guitar gadgets to use. Which is why it’s so addictive. Combined with delay or looper pedals, watch out: Your weekend will be lost in space.
9. Seagull Dulcimer | $129
Last but not least, the Seagull Dulcimer! I just bought one from Guitar Center last weekend. What a joy. When I’m bored with my regular guitars, I pick up this little guy and am reborn. Take a look at the fretting. There isn’t a bad note on it! Plus, the light weight of the body makes playing it effortless. The smooth wood give it real charm. Feels like my little Mini Martin. A great addition to my setup and quite possibly the fastest musical purchase I’ve ever made. A fun and well-made instrument.
Music is the best thing ever. Making music is somehow even better than that. These simple guitar gadgets can bring the fun back fast when we misplace it. Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to download our Lead Guitar Toolkit!