Christmas Gift Ideas for Musicians

Every year at Christmas, I look forward to getting some new music equipment. I give my wife a detailed list with part numbers, websites and prices so she knows exactly what to get me. I also price stuff from $1 to $200, just to be realistic.

Some ideas to get the musician in your life would be:

:: Guitar Picks
:: Guitar Strings
:: Effects Pedals
:: Guitar Straps
:: Tuner
:: Cables
:: Microphone
:: Drum Machine
:: Headphone Amp
:: Mic Stands
:: Ebow
:: Flat screen monitor
:: Headphones
:: Guitar
:: Drum equipment
:: Tamborine/other percussion stuff
:: Software plugins
:: PC equipment
:: Outboard gear
:: Guitar stand
:: Keyboard/synth stuff
:: Cool lamps and stuff to decorate the studio

These are just a few of the things I’m asking Santa to bring me. I’m sure there are more than I forgot, post some in the comments if you have any good ones.…

10 Steps To Changing Guitar Strings

If it is your first time changing all your guitar strings at once, you might feel a little overwhelmed. Once you’ve done it a few times though you will be an old pro.
steps to changing guitar strings. This is how I personally change my strings every time. Note the trick I use to keep from having to re-tune my guitar over and over again after changing my strings.

Here Are The Basic Steps To Changing Guitar Strings:

1. Gather All Needed Supplies

This will usually include: anew set of guitar strings (duh!), something to trim the strings with, a rag to clean with, a string winder and a comfortable chair (or a carpeted floor if you are a bit of a klutz like me).

2. Put Your Guitar In A Secure Position

Make sure you aren’t going to drop or scratch the guitar while changing the strings. Laps can be good if you are steady but often it is easier to do on the couch, a carpeted floor or even if you have a leftover piece of carpet or a thick blanket to pad it, the kitchen table.

3. Remove all of the old strings

Remove all the old strings from the guitar and throw them out. My wife hates finding old strings laying around the house cause I forgot to throw them away. Do your wife, or mom or sister a favor and get rid of those rusty old things.

4. Clean The Guitar Before Putting On The New Strings

Now is a great time to clean all that grime from the fretboard and to get into places that you can’t normally when the strings are on. Try to get as much dust, dirt, and crud out now.

5. Put On The Strings

Put on the new strings one at a time. Make sure they are laying in the saddle and nut properly.

6. Tighten To Half Tension And Pull! (This Is A Personal Trick That Keeps New Strings In Tune The First Time You Tune Them Up)

Only tighten the strings to roughly half tension for now. Now put one finger across the nut to keep the strings from popping out and grab one string with your other hand right around where you would strum it. Pull away from the body. Do this up and down the string a few times. Do each string individually. Stretching the strings like this will keep them from having to be turned over and over again when you start playing. Don’t be shy, you can tug pretty hard without hurting them.

7. Tune Up!

Now tune up to regular tuning

8. Rock Out!

Play something with lots of hard strumming and bending, this should put the guitar a little out of tune and get the rest of the slack out of the strings.

9. TuneUp Again

Tune up one last time

10. You’re Done!

That’s it. Now instead of having to re-tune 3 or 4 times within the next hour, your guitar should stay in tune pretty well.…

Guitar Picks

I liked this site a lot. Really fun looking stuff. Anyway, they had a few guitar pick sites that I thought were pretty interesting. Wow, I’ve sunk to a new low…I’m finding guitar picks interesting now.

The first was Hot Picks. They had some “scary” looking skull picks. Which I thought were pretty lame. I did, however, like their motion picks. They change images when you move them. Like pogs. Remember Pogs? Hot Picks had designs like the alien head breaking open, the shark attack, burning skull, etc. You get the jist. I also like their website.

The second was the Pickard. Captain Pickard? No, it’s a credit card with four picks cut out. You’re supposed to carry it in your wallet for an “emergency.” What? Just in case the last minute, late night, back alley, guitar showdown breaks out?

You can even put the picks back after use. That’s not a bad idea. There are a few different designs to choose from. Skulls, flags, panther, hamburger, rising sun, Jesus, Canadian flag, etc. Their site doesn’t ever give the price…which leads me to believe they’re overpriced.

Pickard’s website kinda cracks me up, there is a “Look Who’s Talking” section with band testimonials. They have such legendary bands as Crunchy Frog, Another Man’s Trash, and The Morsels talking about how Pikcard rescued them with an emergency pick. Classic.

Check out Pickard and Hot Picks, they are both worth the surf over.…