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Best Headphones To Use with a Guitar Amp

Best Guitar Headphones - 2018 Reviews and Buyer's Guide

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black

Our favorite headphones (2018) to practice and record guitar with:

1. Audio Technica ATH - M50X: A true classic of the modern era, extreme clarity, extended frequency range and super versatile bass response. These are very practical, since they fold for easy storage and come with 3 cable varieties. Check Current Price...

2. Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones:  Check Current Price...

3. Sennheiser HD 598 SR Open-Back Headphone: The look of these things just screams “Premium Guitar Headphones!”, and they are! Over the ear, detachable cable and balanced, crisp sound. Check Current Price...

4. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250: Super comfortable, with very well-defined bass thanks to their “Bass Reflex” technology. Extremely clear. Check Current Price...

5. AKG K240 STUDIO Semi-Open Studio Headphones: A good budget option for guitarists, semi-closed back and decent audio output, comes with a detachable cable. Check Current Price...

Hearing his or her own guitar signal through a decent pair of guitar headphones  truly marks a before and after in a guitarist’s life. Suddenly, every little nuance is evidenced and clean playing can be truly set apart from that which, to put it mildly, requires some rigorous guitar practice with headphones.

And practice is exactly what can be enhanced through the use of good headphones. When playing with an amp, some guitar players tend to fall into the bad habit of muffling their sound through distortion or very loud volumes, which can lead to simply ignoring certain mistakes they could be making.

A good pair of guitar headphones connected to the right guitar amp, can truly let a guitarist appreciate the sound of their be it bass guitar or be it electric guitar as clean as if it was running into an audio console and played on monitors, i.e. how music is recorded, mixed, and mastered.

So which ones are the best headphones for guitar amp if you want to improve your playing, as well as be able to practice at literally any time of the day? Maybe use them for home recording? Here are our top choices...

Considering their critically acclaimed high performance and shining customer reviews (currently 4900+ reviews are written on Amazon for the ATH-M50X) at its current price point, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X is almost underpriced.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black

When it comes to headphones for audio professionals and musicians, these are one of the most celebrated models of all times. They’ve been in such high demand over the last few years, that the guys at Audio Technica decided to redesign the whole “M-Series” in order to come up with a more comfortable and modern design, without losing their distinctive sound.

The newer version, the ATH-M50X, still offers the clarity, extended frequency range and amazing bass response that has made these headphones so popular, but also adds notable improvements when it comes to circumaural design (providing better isolation), rotary phones (great for one-ear monitoring), and overall a more robust construction.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black
  • Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers
  • Proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
  • Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with deep, accurate bass response Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
  • 90 Degree swiveling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring, professional-grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort. Detachable cable
  • Professional grade studio monitor headphones
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black

As if that wasn’t enough, these boys fold for easy storage and they come with 3 types of cable, a 3m curly one, and two straight ones of 1.2 and 3m. This is just great if you tend to practice guitar in different spaces, and sometimes need to move around. It’s also super convenient if you’re going to make these your carry-on guitar headphones for traveling or commuting.

Bottom line, the ATH-M50X offer everything you could possibly expect from closed-back professional headphones at a reasonable price. They’re truly the only option on their price range that features such versatility when it comes to design. You can even purchase an optional Bluetooth adapter for them, for example.

Some notable users of these Audio Technica’s include Matthew Bellamy, James Hetfield, Steven Wilson, and Robert Delong. Talk about saving the best for last!

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black

These widely praised guitar headphones offer great comfort and complete noise cancellation due to their closed back design. The ear cups can swivel 90 degrees for one-ear monitoring (great for you sound pros) and the cable is detachable, which is always a bonus.

The bass has just the right amount of punch and every range in between is bright and clear. The ATH-M50x has a frequency range between 15Hz and 28kHz, which is more than what you'd need even if it isn't the widest range available for headphones for guitar amp. Impedance is at 38 ohms which covers most audio devices but will definitely sound it's best when plugged into an amp, which is...pretty much the point of getting them in the first place.

At a lower price range stands the Sony MDRV6 headphones. Again with over 2500 reviews at Amazon, the Sony MDRV6 has shining reviews and can be considered a perfect buy at its current price point (see full specs and current price).

Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones with CCAW Voice Coil

With a wide frequency response of 5 Hz - 30 kHz, the MDRV6 offers a full bodied sonic experience where your musical nuances won't be lost. It's actually a wider range than what many higher end headphones support!

Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones with CCAW Voice Coil
  • Connectivity Technology: Wired
  • Neodymium magnets and 40mm drivers for powerful, detailed sound
  • Over-ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
  • 10-foot oxygen free copper cord ends in 3.5mm plug; 1/4-inch adapter included
  • Copper-clad aluminum voice coil wire for improved power handling

The cable is 10ft long and non-detachable, which is perfect for guitarists who don't need to move around too much. The design allows for great noise cancellation to really immerse yourself in your music, and the impedance of 68 ohms means it's compatible with most audio devices but will really come alive when plugged into an amp.

The Sony MDRV6 may not be as pretty as the other headphones you will read about in our list, but they're certainly brilliant for the price.

Featuring velour covered ear cups and a light weight, Sennheiser HD598s is ideal for long practice sessions and a sense of comfort that will make the extra dollars worth it. Their impedance is 50 ohms for a full sound experience when plugged into any audio device, and come equipped with a detachable 3m cable (see full specs and current price here).

Sennheiser HD 598 SR Open-Back Headphone
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Sennheiser HD 598 SR Open-Back Headphone
  • Audiophile-grade over-ear, open back headphone delivering exceptionally natural and balanced sound. Connectivity Technology: Wired
  • Padded leatherette headband and luxurious velour covered ear pads provide extreme comfort for long listening sessions.
  • Compatible with virtually every audio device including phones, tablets, computers and stereo components.
  • Two cables provided - a 3 meter cable terminated with a 1/4-inch jack and 1.2 meter cable terminated with a 3.5mm jack that features an in line one button remote with microphone for taking calls..2-year warranty when purchased from an authorized Sennheiser dealer.
  • Impedance:50 Ohm

These open back headphones (which Sennheiser actually invented in the 60's) offer a more "authentic" experience where it will sound like the music is coming from all around you and not just between your ears (this is called 'open soundstage'). But this also means the noise cancellation isn't complete and will 'leak' sound. So if you prefer total immersion with headphones for guitar practice sessions and don't want anyone hearing you play, then these may not be the right set for you.

Sennheiser HD 598 SR Open-Back Headphone

The HD 598s boast a wide frequency range between 12Hz and 38.5kHz, so you’ll be able to hear all those rich sounds coming from your guitar. Note that the Sennheiser is for those looking for a consistent, balanced, and high quality sonic performance, so the bass isn’t the type to send thumping vibrations throughout your body. If that's what your head-banging self is looking for, then any other closed back headphones on this list would be a better choice.

Okay, now we're at the price peak, but hear us out. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 is arguably the best set of headphones for a guitar amp due to it's amazing frequency response of 5 Hz to 35 kHz for unbeatably clear sound and superb bass reproduction. 

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Studio Headphone
  • Closed over-ear headphones, ideal for professional recording and monitoring; Gold plated stereo jack plug (3.5 mm) and 1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)
  • Perfect for studio and stage recordings thanks to their pure, high-resolution sound
  • The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
  • Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship Made in Germany
  • Practical single-sided cable (3.0m cable). Headphone frequency response- 5 - 35.000 Hz. Transmission Type-Wired. Nominal sound pressure level- 96 dB
beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm Studio Headphone

A really great thing about these closed-back headphones is that they’re used for pretty much everything. Mixing, sound design, live monitoring, recording… plain old pleasure listening, you name it! One look at the list of professionals that use them should suffice in order to attest their quality and versatility (see full specs and current price here).

These
Beyerdynamic include replaceable cushions and cables. The first thing you probably noticed were the silver cushions, which are extremely comfortable. That being said, these won’t be that fun to use if you’re in any place that gets too hot, as they’re not exactly made of dri-FIT.

Going further, the DT 770’s offer a solid and well-balanced sound. These are a great bet if you like bass-heavy guitars, as they feature Beyerdynamic’s “Bass Reflex” technology. The low end you hear from these things is very well defined and clear, almost as if you had a subwoofer somewhere in the room, but they achieve this effect without overdoing it. It’s bass response, and not bass enhancement, so these are good even as mixing monitors. A thing of beauty.


With snug velour earpads, impeccable noise cancellation, and up to 250 ohms in impedance for incredible amp performance, it's easy to see why these headphones have consistently made it to the top of every sound-savvy list.

The best part about this German-made set is that all the parts are replaceable, so you can keep them running for as long as possible without buying a totally new set. Half of the customer reviews are just raving about long they've had their Beyerdynamic's for! So yes, this is definitely a top choice for the best headphones to use with a guitar amp. You won't get a more realistic sound than with these bad boys, so choose wisely.

AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Studio Headphones
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AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Studio Headphones
  • Professional studio headphones
  • Semi-open
  • 3 m replaceable cable
  • Audio Interface type: Stereo plug - 3.5mm (1/8-inch) with 6.3 mm (1/4") screw-on adapter

If you are set on using your headphones only to practice guitar with them occasionally, then we understand if you’re a bit reluctant to spend over $100 on them.

The K44’s are absolutely your best option if you identified with that last sentence. They’re pretty budget friendly, semi-closed back and fairly comfortable. The cable is 8’, and they also include the 3.5 / 6.5 mm stereo adapter. They’ve got all you need, really (see full specs and current price here).

As far as sound goes, they are good when it comes to clarity, but do feel a little overdone on the bass and mid frequencies. Luckily the treble isn’t too spiked, otherwise we wouldn’t recommend them, but they’re good to simply practice with. Certainly better than any other more commercial options such as Bose or Beats. Don’t buy those to practice guitar with them!

AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Studio Headphones

Buyers Guide and FAQ

After going into detail with each model, let’s also address some common questions regarding buying headphones to practice or record guitar with.

How to choose the right guitar headphones

Before pulling the trigger on any particular model due to price, brand or look, there a few considerations you should make in order to ensure the wisest purchase.

What’s your practice environment like?

You may know that headphones are usually open ear, closed ear, or semi-closed back. This refers to the level of isolation that they provide, with open headphones letting you listen to the environment (good if you’re playing with a band) and closed ear pairs being much more isolated, letting you hear your guitar and only your guitar.

Hence, the question of what’s your practice environment like should help you determine what type to go for. If you’re in a noisy space, like an apartment building, and want to practice during the day with something that drowns out all that external sound, the closed ears are the obvious choice.

Open ones are good if you practice in a rather quiet space and you’d like to avoid ear fatigue, which is what happens when you use isolation headphones for extended periods of time. If you’d like a good combination of both, as in closed enough for close listening even with outside noise, the semi-closed work wonders.

What do you like in terms of sound?

This question is all about what you like to emphasize and hear when you play guitar. Are you a fan of chunky mid-frequencies? A high-end maniac? Do you really like bassy guitars? All these things should come into consideration as you try to find the headphones that match your taste.

If you’re not sure, going with a very balanced option is the wisest bet. “Balanced” refers to having no particular emphasis on any particular frequency range. This is good because it means you get to hear your guitar exactly as it sounds coming from the amp, with no tampering. That means that if you’re working on a certain sound while using these headphones, that will still sound great once you unplug them and let the sound flood into the room.

What other needs do you have?

Then there’s the question of whether you plan to give your pair of headphones more use apart from playing guitar. If you ever get into home recording, mixing stuff, or even just carrying them around with you to listen to music on your phone, you can find a pair of headphones that fulfils all those needs easily! It’s just a matter of being willing to spend a bit more, but it may well be worth it.

On a final note on how to choose headphones, a good piece of advice is to go for a pair with a detachable cable. Some people are more rough on equipment, and it’s horrible to have a perfectly good pair of headphones be ruined because of a false contact in the cable. This is less frequent with detachable cables, and whenever it happens you can spare yourself the nuisance of getting them repaired and just get a new cable, or use the spare one they came with! 

How to add a headphone jack to a guitar amp

Most guitar amps come with a headphone jack. Using it is just a matter of getting the right adapter, which in these cases usually comes with the pair of headphones, giving you the option of having a 3.5 mm or 6.35 mm jack.

If the amp you happen to be using does not have a headphone out, be advised that using an external speaker out isn’t the wisest thing to do, depending on the amp you have. Doing this with transistor amps does not pose any serious threats to the amp. Tube amps, however, must have a load that is matched to the amp’s output, so using the speaker output to plug headphones without having some sort of a dummy load to absorb the output power, could cause some damage to the amp. More on that here.

Of course, if you’re somewhat of an electricity buff, this video on how to add an output jack to any guitar or bass amp might help.

As another option if you’re also considering home recording, you can just get an audio interface to recording into your computer with, and then just mic your amp or plug it direct.

Technical stuff? Frequency Range? Impedance?!


If you’ve opened some of those links and looked through the product description of any pair of headphones we’ve covered, you might have noticed certain technical terms like frequency range, impedance, or the mention of a headphone amp.

While it’s not essential that you know what they mean in order to make a good purchase and reap all the benefits of practicing with headphones, here’s a brief explanation to help you out:

Frequency range means how many frequencies each pair of headphones is capable of reproducing. Simply put, the higher the better.

Impedance, when it comes to headphones, means the power that they require to deliver certain audio levels. Headphones with low impedance (around less than 25 ohms) require little power to provide decent audio levels, so they’re best used with equipment with low amplification like a phone or a laptop. Headphones with high impedance (more than 25 ohms) require more power to deliver higher audio levels, these are meant to be used with more powerful equipment than your usual home electronics. This is where the term “headphone amp” might have come in.

Headphone amps are used for people that are going to be using several pairs of headphones, usually for monitoring or mixing purposes. Higher impedance headphones work best with this sort of equipment but don’t necessarily need it to perform. That being said, your guitar amp does count as powerful equipment, as the signal it sends to your headphones for guitar amp practice is certainly stronger. That’s why the Beyerdynamic’s, with 250 ohms, are a great bet for guitarists. The higher impedance means they can sustain more powerful amplification without risk of blowing them out.

Final notes

Although you may love the sound of your own music, you probably have neighbours or roommates who aren't exactly the biggest fans of guitar solos at 3am! Fortunately, guitar headphones have always been the answer to keeping our noise to ourselves, and there are specialised headphones for guitarists like yourself who want good quality sound without busting the budget.

Just like everything and anything on the market, there are different versions of the same product and all at different prices when you are going after the best headphones for guitar. But when it comes to headphones for a guitar amp, is it really justifiable to spend over $200?

Naturally, the more expensive you go the better quality sound you'll get, just like any other regular set of headphones. However, you don't necessarily have to spend hundreds of dollars either. There's a certain price point where anything over that is just brand name benefits and not really sound quality benefits. Generally, the best range is between $60 - $260, where anything under that will likely be followed by a better set soon afterwards.

Now, it's worth noting that choosing headphones for amps is very different from choosing regular headphones to listen to music with. Music has already been mastered and processed, whereas your own musical creations are not, and will be powering through your guitar headphones loudly and inconsistently, so a sturdy set that can handle the different frequencies and minimise distortion are a must.

There are plenty more choices out there, but the five headphone models we have reviewed in this article are by far the most recommended by countless musicians like yourself, and who better to get genuine recommendations from than the those actually using them.

As for those of you still thinking "maybe I could get away with getting a cheaper set"... Nope. Bad guitar headphones will only result in lousy audio that will either make your guitar playing sound worse than it actually is. An even more dangerous risk is that it could make it sound better than it actually is, and that's not going to be a sweet surprise when you're finally on stage and hear the real deal.

So make the commitment to a good set of guitar headphones (any from this list will do) that will accurately channel your talent, last you a good few years, and most importantly, avoid any ruckus from the neighbors.

While the best way to play your guitar is plugging it into a good amp and making the room shake with its overwhelming sound, there may be times when you can’t just show the world the sound of your guitar, maybe due to a neighbor’s complaints, or maybe it’s just late and you don’t want to wake up everyone in the house.

For whatever reason, there has to be silence around you, while still being able to play and appreciate that electric guitar sound that makes you so happy, that’s where the trusted headphones come in, however, not any pair of headphones will give you the quality you need in order to get a decent sound from your guitar which differ from the usual set of headphones you would use just to listen to music.

First of all, one of the most important aspects of headphones for amps is that guitar audio signal is much more powerful, inconsistent, and a lot more raw than listening to music that was already mastered and produced, that is why you will need a wider frequency response and more durability to sustain this unbalanced sound otherwise the guitar frequencies may cause the sound to peak and not only damage your hearing but also distort the sound a lot more.

Also remember these are not necessarily just to use when playing guitar, any of these headphones can be used to listen to music with an iphone, android or any other device you want, the only thing is that the ones shown here are those that better suit your needs as a guitar player.

The frequency needed for a good sound is just 20 Hz to 20 kHz range which is what most headphones can deliver, but there is also the fact that not everyone likes the same sound, so there are actually plenty of options to choose from.

So with any of these models, rest assured that your guitar amp is enough to get the full potential out of them. Enjoy!

Best Acoustic Guitar Under $1000

Whether you're a beginner trying to pluck the right notes to "Stairway to heaven", a seasoned player looking for a mid-priced upgrade, or an enthusiast somewhere in between, you're going to want a good acoustic guitar that won't make your audience wish your strings would snap.

There are plenty of acoustic guitars to choose from, and if you're new to the market let me tell you, you're going to want to spend at least $250 to avoid strumming lousy sounding notes of regret. If you're a long-time pro then a guitar under $1000 is probably not the best choice for you, but for anyone looking for a simple, smooth-playing acoustic guitar that will do just what you need it to do, this list is a great place to start.

So let's get to it, here are the best guitars you can get under $1000:

Epiphone DR-212

Forget about the whole "you get what you pay for" for just a minute, because this insanely good acoustic guitar is way under budget. With hundreds of positive reviews backing it up, the Epiphone DR-212 Dreadnought 12-string has proven itself to be the ideal guitar for beginners and casual players.

Constructed almost entirely out of Mahogany, this budget-friendly gem promises quality sound, a great feel, and an extremely durable guitar. It's ideal for learning your strings and strumming out your first songs, so for such a low price it's definitely worth checking the Epiphone out. It has the look of your standard acoustic and plays like a dream, what's not to like?

Seagull S6 "The Original"

Ah, the simple yet elegant Seagull S6. Priced at a humble $390, the Seagull S6 is a top favorite among mid-priced acoustic guitars.

Praised for being the perfect "road trip guitar", the S6 features a solid Cedar top, wild Cherry back and sides, a Rosewood fretboard, and a Maple neck. You can really hear the quality Canadian craftsmanship when playing this soft-sounding guitar, which has proved to be ideal for beginners and advanced players alike.

It's worthy to note that the Seagull S6 has a slightly larger nut width than your typical guitar, making it a very comfortable choice for those with larger hands. It also boasts a Tusq nut and compensated saddle (for better intonation) with a lovely semi-gloss lacquer finish. It looks like a work of art and plays like one too. Your bank account will surely agree that the Seagull S6 is an excellent guitar for a very decent price.

Blueridge BR-160

If you're looking for a vintage look then you're in luck, the Blueridge BR-160 Historic Series Dreadnought Guitar is priced at $682 on Amazon, making it a nice middle choice where you'll receive a traditional acoustic guitar more than capable of modern performance.

This 30's style Blueridge boasts a Sitka spruce top with scalloped braces for a nice, crisp tone, while the solid Indian Rosewood back and sides delivers a deep bass. The neck is made from Mahogany and the Rosewood fretboard delivers the smoothest playability while giving you a great vintage guitar that'll be with you throughout the good and bad.

The glowing customer reviews describe the Blueridge's thousand dollar sound as "incredible" for such a great price, so if this is your kind of guitar, your search ends here.

Taylor 150e

Set at a slightly higher $749, the Taylor 150e Dreadnought is a 12 string acoustic-electric guitar which promises amazing value at a very decent price.

Dreadnoughts are known for their impressive bass, and this Taylor is no different. With solid Sitka spruce back and sides, a Sapele neck re-enforced with genuine African Ebony wood, this is a no-frills acoustic guitar made for incredibly easy playability and long-lasting performance.

For a 12 string made for both beginners and pros, the low cost of the Taylor 150e is almost unfathomable. But the internet people have spoken, and their words are of genuine praise. It's a breeze to play and a pleasure to look at, so if you don't want to go wrong with your purchase, the Taylor is a no brainer.

Martin Road Series DRS1

Here's one for the Martin fans, the Martin Road Series DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar, priced at $759 on Amazon. Designed for working and traveling guitarists, the Martin is made of solid Sapele wood, which has a similar quality to mahogany but is more affordable and adds a little more treble clarity on the high end for a fuller, brighter tone. The neck of the guitar, however, is made of real Mahogany for added durability, while the fretboard is Richlite to achieve that sleek, ebony look.

This model (like the Taylor 150e) is an acoustic-electric guitar, and even if you're a beginner without an immediate intention to plug it in, you'll more than likely want to work up to it once you really get your fingers going. So it's not a bad idea to have a guitar like this to have your back when you do.

With shining customer feedback including phrases like "outstanding piece of musical magic" and "warmest sounding guitar available", it's easy to see why this particular Martin is constantly suggested for consideration to searching guitarists.

Seagull Artist Mosaic Acoustic Guitar

This Canadian-made beauty is currently set at $949 on Amazon, and has nothing but rave reviews on how gorgeous it looks and how stunningly rich and warm the sound is. The Seagull Artist Mosaic is definitely toeing the budget line, but for high quality wood that allows for a beautifully bright tone, it may just be worth it.

The Artist Mosaic is an all solid wood acoustic with a cedar top and mahogany neck, back and sides. It features a Rosewood bridge and fretboard with a wider string spacing, which according to customer reviews makes this fine guitar optimal for fingerpicking. Others chime in with the note that the sound of the Artist Mosaic is noticeably warmer than the Seagull S6, if that serves to sway your wallet hand.

The Seagull S6 is noticeably a highly recommended acoustic guitar for all ranges of talent, and if you've arrived to the end of this list without a clear choice in mind, then the S6 is a sure-fire purchase for amazing playability that won't let you down.

Hopefully, this list of acoustic guitars will help narrow down your search, but even if you do choose to continue the hunt for the perfect fit, keep in mind that each guitar is unique and there are no universal guidelines for the "best acoustic guitar" that'll strike the hearts of every single player. So just remember that in the end what makes you decide on the best acoustic guitar is how it feels and sounds to you. Pro tip: listen to someone else play the guitar since it sounds differently than when you're playing it yourself.

So weigh your options, choose your weapon, and get strumming!

Best Gifts For Guitar Players

guitar-gifts

Playing the guitar is not a cheap hobby, and chances are if you are a musician who is striving to “make it” then your budget is mostly composed of life expenses… like food and rent. I always have really appreciated getting guitar gear as a gift whether it is Christmas, my birthday or if people are generous and it is just a surprise gift (I mean who doesn’t like surprise gifts?!)

However, if you do not play guitar and you are shopping for a guitarist or musician I could only imagine you may be asking yourself, “what the heck should I get?” I hope to answer that question for you with this article. I also really enjoyed writing this article since it is basically a list of what I would love to get as a gift!

Starting Small: Guitar Gifts Under $50

Like I mentioned above, guitar and music in general is not a cheap hobby. However, there are still gifts out there that guitarists use everyday that are under $50. Some of this stuff would be considered quintessential by every guitarist. I’ll get into what those are now:

Guitar Picks

Most people should know what a guitar pick is.. well at least I think so! But if you don’t not to worry. It is a piece of plastic (usually) that guitarists use to “pick” their guitar strings instead of using their fingers. Most styles of music use picks, however, some acoustic styles only use fingers or finger picks so make sure to know at least that before buying a bunch of picks!

The great thing about guitar picks is they are probably the cheapest option out there for you to get as a gift. You can find out more about guitar picks by going to our article on guitar picks!

Tuners

A tuner is another quintessential piece of gear. It is a device that guitar players use to ensure their guitars are in “tune”. What it does is measure the pitch of the string so you know whether you are flat or sharp or right in tune!

There are many different types of tuners out there. Some are small compact electronic devices that are hand held, while other tuners are actually guitar pedals. To understand more about tuners, check out our article on the best guitar tuners!

Strings

Guitar strings are going to be the most frequently replaced piece of equipment for a guitar player. This is because they often break over short periods of time or the lose resonance and will need to be replaced. Strings would be a great gift as I often spend a decent amount monthly on getting good strings.

There are different “gauges” of strings, so ask your guitar playing buddy what kind of gauge they use as this can really impact if they will be used or not. Strings should typically be anywhere from $5 to $30 a pack. If I got 10 packs of strings for Christmas I would be one happy dude! Check out our guide to the best guitar strings to get a good start. 

Some other great cheaper gift ideas could include the following:

Metal or Plastic Slide

Guitar Polish Kit

Humidifier for an Acoustic Guitar

A Cheap Strap

Guitar Gifts Between $50 - $150

Guitar Case

​As a guitar player I am absolutely crazy about keeping my guitar in the best shape possible. I have about three different cases for each guitar... that may be a bit overkill but I know I am not the only one. You see, there are two distinct types of guitar cases: a hard case and a soft case. Then there are cases that are made out of foam as well that are a bit lighter than traditional hard cases but offer more protection than a soft case. Here are a few cases that would be a solid gift idea: 

​Chromacast Hard Case

Faswin 41" Gig Bag (Soft Case)

Nice Strap

​Above I mentioned getting a cheaper strap if you are looking for something that is on the lighter budget side of things. However, straps can be a really nice addition to your kit since it is what keeps your guitar sturdy on your body while playing. Due to this I never cheap out on a strap and always go for good leather or quality fabric straps

Cheaper Pedals

​Pedals could be a solid gift idea too. We have a ton of articles on various types of guitar pedals but if you know your gift receiver well you should know if they have a bunch of pedals or not. If they don't you may want to check out the best reverb pedal options. If you are shopping for a beginner then you will want to pick up a cheaper Donner pedal or just something that is not going to break the bank account. 

Great Guitar Gifts for $150+

​If you are looking to really spoil your musician peeps then you may want to look into getting one of the two big ticket items below. These are going to run you upwards of $150 but there is no price on making a musician happy right?!?! 

Amps

​This would probably one of the best gifts I could ever think of getting as I need a new amp currently. I would be looking to get a tube amp but you can also get solid state amps that are really solid. A great idea would be to get a practice amp for them. A practice amp is a smaller amp that takes less wattage and can be carried to and from band practice or wherever they go! 

However, if you are looking at getting an even bigger amp then I would suggest reading our article on the best guitar amps. ​

Guitars

​Last but certainly not least would be to go full out and get them a new guitar! This would literally make me jump up and down in an embarrassing fit of pure guitar joy. Guitars are fairly expensive if you are getting a good one. I would suggest taking a look at a Fender Stratocastor, a Gibson Les Paul or really anything one of the great guitar players has used. I will have an article outlining how to pick a guitar soon! Stay tuned!!

Marshall DSL 100 H All Tube Amp​ Review

Overview

The Marshall DSL 100 H is part of the ever popular DSL series, which has been appreciated by musicians all over the world. The DSL 100 H is one of the most affordable amps from Marshall in the series and brings exceptional power and tone capabilities so you can rock out… well you can rock out with your you know what out. Marshall has hit a balance between the best of their past and the future with the DSL 100H, and I will explain why.

Quick Glance

  • Part of the DSL series
  • 100 Watt Tone Power
  • Dual Channels & All The Trimmings

Truly Powerful

The Marshall 100H is truly a powerful beast when it comes to tone. Under the hands of an experienced guitar player, it can produce any sound from the classical era and the present time. There are four ECC-83’s in the preamp section. These preamps allow you to enjoy shaping the tone at your will. The 100 H will truly let you play and conquer any stage around the world, especially with four EL-34s in the engine room.

Marshall has not deviated far from the series’ heritage because the 100 H has the same tube placement and features as in the original DSL model. However, the company has taken the heritage and upgraded it to give you more precise control over every sound you make. With the resonance control, you are now in command of the low-end girth. That is not all as you also get a digital reverb (studio grade), a back-panel pentode and triode switch (drops the amp to 50 Watt) and a by-passable back panel FX-loop. You even get a dual way foot-switch for quickly changing the channel and putting the reverb on or off – classic and ultra-gain. The switch allows you to change the modes of each channel and choose between clean or crunch and lead-1 or lead-2.

With the DSL 100 H, you can produce cleans, snarls, high gains and everything else. Giving you the ultimate flexibility of shaping tone, Marshall has given a five way EQ – treble, middle, bass, resonance and presence. These come along with a tone-shift button, ensuring that there is nothing left in your armory to truly rock the show and become take the spotlight!

Features

  • Dual Foot-Switchable Channels
  • Dual Modes For Each Channel
  • Digital Reverb, FX Loop, Level Control.
  • Five Way EQ.
  • Tone Shifting Button For Greater Flexibility.
  • 100 W to 50 W Power Shift

Durability

The manufacturing quality is strong and individuals have observed it to be exceptionally solid. The vast majority of the issues that past variants had, related with sturdiness, are improved so there are no issues to be found. The handles are strong, the wiring is great, the corner protection is made out of plastic, however it is still solid. It appears as though the DSL 100 H is built to last.

Pros:

  • Great balance between overdriven tone and clean tones
  • Perfect Roar Created By Lead 1
  • Great Sound
  • Pedals Can Be Used Easily
  • Versatile Product

Cons:

  • Lead 2 Sound Is Cushy
  • Classic Channel Is Less Dynamic

Conclusion

This is a great product that is going to send the Hendrix wanabees and classic rockers to heaven. The sound is warm and the actual feeling of using the amp is pretty good, however the tone shift would need improvement or preferably be replaced with a low mild boost. Either way, this is a product that does it all, especially considering the price tag that it comes with. Experiment and play on!

Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal Review

Best Delay Pedal Boss DD-7

The Boss DD-7 is the latest addition to the successful range of Boss delay pedals. Among others, the line includes the popular DD-3, DD-5 and DD-6.

The Boss DD-7 Digital Delay is designed in a way that incorporates all of the best features of the delays that come before it and packs them into their signature stomp box enclosure. The engineers at Boss have really outdone themselves with this one, and here is why:

The Boss DD-7 Compared To The Delays Before It

Best Delay Pedal Boss DD-7

The best way to find out what the latest model stands out is to compare it with the previous models. Boss took the reviews and suggestions of their audience into consideration, resulting in the specifications of the DD-7 being a combination of the DD-2’s classic warmth, the DD-3’s pedal look and the DD-5’s evolved functionality. Boss really did their homework this time and worked hard to replicate the DM-2’s sound via the Analog mode of the DD-7.

The DD-5 was the first Digital Delay by Boss that had a tap-tempo feature included, which was used by plugging in an external switch like the FS-5U. The DD-6 decided to go ahead with stereo inputs and exclude the external footswitch, much to the dismay of many loyal users. Boss was quick to take customer feedback into account. Once again the external footswitch jack is equipped on the DD-7, all the same keeping the stereo inputs maintained. So a lot of thought was put into creating the DD-7.

Features:

  • Approximately 6.4 seconds delay time
  • For sounds emulating chorus, a Modulation Delay mode is present
  • The ever popular Boss DM-2 is emulated through the Analog Delay mode
  • Tap Tempo feature through external footswitch
  • Feedback, Delay Time and Effect level is controlled via external Expression Pedal
  • Approximately 40 seconds of sounds is offered on sound recording through the Hold mode
  • Stereo Inputs and Outputs, with Wet/Dry routing and panning

Sound & Performance:

Features aside, it is important to look at the sound quality the DD-7 delivers and how well it executes it. The controls are intuitive and simple, offering the standard Feedback, Effect level and Delay Time functions. Itis very fast and easy to dial in the required amount of both delay and feedback delay.

The sound itself is very clear and crisp, giving a fantastic reproduction with an added hi-fi warmth. The sound is very modern, and feels more alive and soulful. This is definitely one of the best delays that Boss has produced.

The Hold mode is great if you like messing around with basic loops, but there is no feature to save loops. If that is what you want, then you may want to look into getting a dedicated looper, like the RC-300. The DD-7 is still a good choice to give you some experience with looping.

The Modulate mode gives a chorus-like sound to the output. Its control is limited, so it isn’t possible to adjust the depth and rate of the effect. But again, the DD-7 is a good entry level item to help you determine whether or not you want a pedal dedicated to chorus effects or have a small area on the pedalboard to do so.

The Analog mode is the most remarkable feature of this pedal, give a warm and smooth sound output that will put your mind off buying a dedicated analog delay pedal. Certain sound purists argue that the feature is not a perfect emulation of the one provided on the Boss DM-2, but for now it is as good as it can get and is a breath of fresh air in the otherwise sharp digital delay sounds.

The Reverse mode changes any sound played through it by giving it a psychedelic twist to it and basically reversing the signal. This is great for amping up some parts of a song or adding an unexpected flavor to a guitar solo, anyone say Hendrix??

The Tap tempo can be used without an external footswitch by simply pressing the footswitch for 2 seconds, followed by tapping the tempo. But this is sort of wonky for live use so we recommend getting the FS-5U footswitch.

I think it is safe to say that the Boss DD-7 Digital Delay is the king of the delays in the Boss line up for now. It offers something for everyone; analog as well as modern delay sounds, unique and interesting effects, and a tap-tempo that is optional. All these functions will make a great addition to any pedalboard.

Solid State Vs Tube Amplifiers (What’s The Difference?)

Difference between Tube Amps and Solid State Amplifiers

All major guitar amp manufacturers assemble amps using either vacuum tube technology, solid-state technology, or a mixture of both. Some amps incorporate digital technology as well, which is often used to imitate the sound of other amps, either tube or solid state.

However, not all amps are created equal and there’s usually one you'd prefer over the other. At least from my experience. You can find some of my favourite amps in this guide. 

Whether you’re a guitar noob or you consider yourself a professional, even someone in between, it’s highly important that you get to know which amp works best for your needs as it’s so easy to get lost with the various amps available on the market.

First things first, the nomenclature: a tube amplifier is also called a tube valve, while a solid-state amplifier is what some people call a transistor. Knowing these various terms can help you understand this article better as we go along. Let’s now go into the difference between tube and solid state amps.

The Perks of Using Tube Amplifiers

Tube amps are loud, and most have a propensity to be louder for their indicated wattage compared to solid state amps sporting the same specifications. When it comes to loudness and wattage, it rises over solid state amps. This earned the amp the gold standard in guitar sounds. Legendary rock guitarists like Jimi Hendrix used this type of amp, as well.

These amps also produce a warmer sound and add a natural feel. That said, some good solid-state amps can give tube amps a run for their money.

Tube amps are subtle, and the variances in the signals coming from your guitar are more precisely embodied. How hard a player picks can influence tone more so than in a solid state amp.

The tube overdrive is also much smoother and more responsive compared to solid state amplifiers. To give you more control over the sound, you can simply add high-gain pedals to the signal chain between the guitar and amplifier. This can give the signal a harmonic boost that you can play with.

The Pros of Using Solid State Amplifiers

The sounds produced by tube amps are undoubtedly great, but they can break inopportune times. Solid-state amps are generally a more reliable choice when it comes to this aspect. These amplifiers don’t require any maintenance like tubes amps need. It can live on for years or even decades without you ever having to worry about repairs, maintenance, and what not. Solid-state amps are normally less expensive than tube amps – both purchase and up keep; tube amplifiers will require time and money to keep it in the proper working order.

Solid –state amplifiers are pretty much the go-to amp for most guitar players when starting out. It’s an attractive option for most as it provides you with great audio quality, dependable, and most importantly it’s easier to use compared to tube amps minus the cost.

So What Do You choose?

You didn’t read this article just for general information, right? You wouldn’t even be here if you’re not planning to buy your own amplifier. Take our advice and consider your needs realistically when deciding which one to choose. Buying a guitar amp is a serious purchase and you can’t afford to make a mistake by getting caught up mainly in what you “think” you should be playing, or go for what your favorite guitarist is using, or even basing your decision based on the answers you find on forums.

Deciding which amp to purchase is also based on what you can afford. Tube amps are more expensive that sold-state amps so unless you have the funds to purchase one, you’re better off using a solid-state amp without sacrificing the quality of audio and getting the best bang for your buck. This holds true for younger players that go with the hype and buy impulsively just because it’s the current trend, myself included.

If you still can’t decide which one is the best fit for your audio needs and budget, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each amp so you can make a more informed decision. Remember that a tube amp is the ultimate amp for rock, blues and other forms of music. But only look into it if your pocket can handle the hefty price it comes in at and you reasonably think you need it for your playing situation. If you can deal with the cost of maintaining it, then go for it.

Solid state amps are generally great for beginners or the basement and bedroom hobby players, and gigging musicians that don’t want an amp that’s worth more than their bedroom furniture tallied altogether.

Make an intelligent decision and always remember that the tone will ultimately come from you and no one else.

Boss RC-300 Looper Pedal Review

Introduction To The RC-300

Are you looking for an honest review on the Boss RC-300 Loop Station? We thought so and we’re more than willing to share our two cents on Boss’ frontrunner looper. If you have read our previous article on the best looper pedal on the market, then you may already be familiar with this bad boy. However, we wanted to dive a bit deeper since it is such a beast of a loop station. 

This looper is under stiff competition with other loopers in the market – think, Jam Man Delay from Digitech. Not to mention its predecessor, the RC-50 Loop Station is still not out of the picture.

So, what makes the RC-300 Loop Station special? Is it worth your precious time and money? We’ll find out as this review goes deeper into its features.

Details

Let’s now delve in to the main part of the subject in focus and see what makes the RC 300 such a great loop station.

Size:

The Boss RC-300 Loop Station comes in a noticeably enormous size compared to the models that came before it. It’s a little bit over 21 inches wide and nine inches from back to front. It comes in a jagged metal construction with a total of eight foot pedals and a built-in expression pedal to allow you to shape your sound.

Features:

  • · It’s jam-packed with features that you can find in most loopers out in the market – tempo-shifting functions, reverse playback, different stop modes, auxiliary inputs, undo/redo functionality, and rhythm tracks.
  • · This looper makes the process of switching between tracks easier by giving each one a dedicated “Record/Play/Overdub” and “Stop” pedal so you can record onto track one, then hit the pedal for track two and start recording onto it instantly. This feature is perfect for live musicians!
  • · Just like the RC-50 Loop Station, the RC-300 features a variety of outputs for subs and guitar amps; this simply means you can have your bass thumping out of a bass stack instead of your guitar amp. It also comes with standard 99 internal memory locations, with three tracks stored in each location. Another awesome thing about this looper is its internal memory can store up to three hours of recording, way better than its predecessor.
  • · You can also connect the RC-300 using a USB cable straight to your computer which will allow you to increase the amount of loops you can store.
  • · The RC-300 also has built-in effects where you can add phaser, flanger, chorus, pitch-bend, distortion, tremolo, lo-fi effects, and delay to your recordings.
  • · Furthermore, the unit allows you to alter the pitch of recordings without changing the tempo, this is referred to as its transpose function. There is also a particular effect to turn your guitar into a bass, that’s important for “one man band” musicians. They’ve also included a number of vocal effects to make your alter the way your voice sounds – you can sound more masculine, robotic, feminine, you can even experiment on the different levels of voice sounds available and we think that this is a totally cool feature of the RC-300.
  • · Another awesome thing about the new Boss looper is that effects can be set up for use in combination with any of the three available tracks. Depending on how you split up tracks for your songs, you can add wild pitch bends to a lead part without affecting the rhythm. You can also apply the effects to all tracks, if you like.
  • · The RC-300 Loop Station also has the largest selection of rhythm backing tracks (23 of them). It also has 17 different time signatures, each with close to 10 rhythm backing tracks.
  • · In addition to ensuring that your overdubs stay in time with the original recordings, this looper ensures your 3 tracks fit together properly. If you’re a beginner, turn this function on and if you’re more of an experienced user, you can simply turn this function off. It definitely makes the looping process much easier than doing it unassisted.
  • · Another plus that we noticed is that the actual operation of the pedal can be done entirely hands-free. Imagine being able to create a three track loop with multiple overdubs on each using just the foot pedals! This is clearly a huge advantage for live players, and the ability to bring in and take out different tracks according to your preference make the RC-300 Loop Station fitting for complex, hands-free composition.

However, more complex things still require fingers to operate like selecting a specific rhythm track and setting time signature. Luckily, the options that entails the need for you to stoop over and operate the control panel can all be set prior to a performance or between songs. This will result in some silence, though. The good news is, silence won’t happen mid track.

The Verdict

In general, the Boss RC-300 Loop Station has all the features and more that a looper could ask for. It’s quite versatile and can be used during live performances, for complex compositions, as a dependable practice instrument, or anything that’s weirdly in between.

It’s great for performing artist that either work alone or as part of an actual band and the impressively massive memory allows you to store more than enough data without the need to obsess over whether you have enough space or not. Boss definitely has come a long way from the RC-50 and has done an excellent job with designing the feature packed RC-300. This device is totally a worthy investment!

The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

Elixir Strings Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings w NANOWEB Coating, Light

Let us guess – you either have a broken string in your hands or have worn out strings that need replacing, right? Choosing a string for your beloved acoustic guitar isn’t an easy task since not all strings are created equal. With the swarm of guitar string manufacturers flooding the market, choosing the best strings for your needs can be a confusing trip to your local music store or online if you are looking for better deals. You can’t just wing it and hope you’re using the best acoustic guitar string for your instrument.

To help you be more informed & make the right decision, we’ve scoured the World Wide Web & our own experience for the best acoustic guitar strings on the market. This is like our article on the best guitar strings, but only for acoustic strings, so we hope you find it useful!

We’ve listed the top 3 guitar strings along with their unique features and benefits that will serve as your ultimate guide in deciding which one will work best according to your playing style, level of experience, and acoustic guitar skills. Let’s do this, kids!

The Top 3 Acoustic Guitar Strings​

#3 Martin SP, Acoustic Guitar Strings, Medium Gauge, Phosphor Bronze

Martin-SP

Third on the list is Martin SP’s acoustic guitar string, medium gauge, phosphor bronze. These Martin Studio Performance level acoustic strings are perfect when used during studio sessions and live performances.

A lot of effort has been put into the improvement of these acoustic strings to ensure that the result is something that guitar players from all ranks and skill set will love.

The Martin acoustic strings provide acoustic guitar players with maximum string life. They come with superior, high quality steel cores that cam effortlessly resist breakage much better than average strings in the market.

Martin’s medium gauge strings are not intended for beginners as their heavier weight will be ultimately difficult to fret and will injure a beginner’s un-callused fingers. If you’ve been playing guitars for awhile and already possess awesome callused fingers (well… kind of awesome?) then these strings will definitely fit your preference.

The bronze strings are smooth & with the bronze acoustic finish they allow players to experience the most out of its string life. It also adds to the brightness of the sound produced along with the tonal quality. If you’re into superior sound and tone, these strings are the perfect choice for you.

#2 Elixir Nanoweb Light 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

If you’re all for durability, performance, and sound then the Elixir Acoustic Guitar strings 80/20 Bronze with Nanoweb is the perfect string to dawn on your acoustic guitar. Most professional acoustic guitar players prefer playing with these as the Nanoweb coating provides a brilliant, lively tone coupled with long sting life, which is definitely appealing.

Elixir has been around for a long time and has developed strings that appeal to all guitar players no matter what type of music they’re into. The entire string is protected with a super thin coating that ensures gunk are kept out of the gaps that can be found between the windings.

These strings are less likely to produce finger squeaking sounds that can be noticed in some strings from other manufacturers.

These Elixir strings are guaranteed to last longer so you won’t have to frequently change your acoustic guitar strings. Acoustic guitar players that use Elixir strings swear by the strings’ durability and attest that the tone of these strings are by far the best in the market, whether coated or uncoated.

Elixir strings are plated steel strings that are tested and proven to be rust proof and can resist corrosion so the tone quality of the string is maintained.

#1. D’Addario EJ16-10P Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light

Phosphor Guitar Strings

Sitting in the most coveted number 1 spot is the D’Addario’s EJ16-10P. It provides guitar players with the perfect balance of projection and volume making it the most popular choice for guitar enthusiasts.

Made of Phosphor Bronze, the strings are resistant to corrosion and the bronze is applied onto a hexagon shaped carbon steel core. This feature allows musicians to play brighter tones with superior intonation.

The EJ16-10P strings are wonderfully comfortable to play and are the most preferred strings by acoustic guitarists because of their bright and well balanced acoustic tone. The best thing about D’Addario’s strings is versatility, which makes it a perfect fit in playing music of all genres.

The entire line of D’Addario’s strings are manufactured in the US, utilizing technologically advanced machinery to ensure high quality strings are made every single time.

Superior performance, flexibility and durability make these strings the perfect choice for acoustic guitar noobs and professionals alike, no matter what type of music genre you’re into. However, these strings can suddenly break, so it comes in a set of 10 strings to ensure that you have a replacement standing by whenever this happens.

The Best Guitar Picks (A Guitar Pick Guide)

A guitar pick is a necessity for most guitar players. It’s small, affordable, yet it hugely affects the tone and technique of the guitarist. Which is why it’s important to pick out the best guitar picks you can get for your style of playing. 

While a guitar pick will not dramatically effect your tone like say, plugging in a fuzz pedal, a reverb pedal and a chorus pedal. But it will effect the tone enough for you to be concerned about the type of pick you are using! ​

Not all picks are created equal and each one has its own musical purpose that will make your music come off different each time. If you’re looking for the type of pick to use during your next jam, we’re here to help you decide the best fit. In this article we’ll discuss the types of guitar picks in the market including the materials they are made of, as well as the shape and thickness of picks and how they influence the sound that is created.

Guitar Pick Types and Materials

It is no question that guitar picks span far back in guitar history. Some of the earliest picks were made out of some cool materials to say the least. If you are able to find some of these kinds old school picks, consider yourself lucky!

1. Tortoise Shell

These picks are considered old school and not all guitarists have had the pleasure to get the feel of it. The reproduction of these picks were subjected to a ban in the 1970’s so their very hard to find.

According to those who have had the privilege to experience their natural feel, these produce warm tones and could last for years and years due durability. They can also be reshaped easily through filing or sanding.

2. Stone

These picks have small yet strong following due to their unique resonant qualities. They provide easy grip and produce mid to upper range harmonics with little to no effort. Stone picks help players achieve potentially richer sounds as they don't absorb as many harmonics during the initial string attack but these babies can be quite pricey. They are also pretty rare, so you won’t be finding them at your local guitar shop unless it’s a really unique shop.

3. Tortex

These picks feel similar to original tortoise shell and also produce a slightly similar tone. These picks are characterized by good attack, well-rounded tone, and generally a nice feel. The material fades with time making it harder to grip or hold on to. Dunlop develops these picks and they are very easy to find.

4. Celluloid

These picks produce balanced tones with crisp, bright attacks. Their exceedingly typical in today's market despite the fact that celluloid is being produced less and less as the material is highly flammable and decomposes easily.

5. Ultex

Ultex picks are the ultimate combination of flexibility and monstrous attack. These picks are lightweight and quite durable. They grant guitar players with the widest dynamic range out of all the picks in the market. Manufactured by Dunlop, they are also easy to find at most guitar shops.

6. Nylon

Think, Gene Simmons and Jimmy Page. These picks are a crowd favorite played by legends. Nylon picks come in textured grip formats and produce very bright sounds. These also boast unparalleled flexibility that literally adds some springs when you play.

7. Metal

Metal picks have extremely crisp attacks. These include Bronze, Brass, Copper, and Stainless Steel picks. Brass are fairly soft with good grip and warm tones, Stainless Steel being the most durable, Copper is the softest while bronze picks are thicker and can sound more on the jazzy side.

Jimmy Hendrix was a big fan of metal picks. Dunlop actually makes a pick that is based off what he played with. I’ve had the chance to play with a metal pick and can honestly say I like it. It takes a bit of getting used to but overall is solid!

8. Wood

Made from natural material, these picks produce very warm tones and have a natural feel. Some people make their own wood picks out of African Blackwood, Rosewood, Cocobolo, Cherry, Maple, Mahogany, Zebrawood, Walnut, and more. If you’re not into DIY picks, you can purchase wood picks at most music stores for a fair price.

9. Felt

This is the most uncommon type of pick and material used by guitarists due to their weak attack. In some cases, these picks tend to add a unique feel that can bring focus to lower-range sounds. Bass and ukulele players are the most common people who use these picks.

Pick Shapes and Sizes

Most picks come in different triangular shapes – the wider portion allows a firmer grip while the narrow point is used for picking and strumming.

Standard picks

These are the most common shape. The point tends to slide off the string when used for picking, giving a mellow tone.

Equilateral picks

These picks are easy to hold as there is no right or wrong rim to grip. These picks tend to last longer as you can use each edge interchangeably so it doesn’t wear out quickly.

Teardrop and Jazz guitar picks

These tend to be firmer than Standard picks of the same thickness. Players love them for their fast response and bright tone, especially for picking. When strumming, or looking for more mellow tone, simply slide your fingers back slightly and relax your grip.

Shark Fin Guitar Picks

These picks can be used two ways – as a standard pick, or rotated to use the multi-point edge to create multiple contacts during each strum. Some like the multi-contact tone produced by the multi-point edge. Dunlop manufactures these mainly and I would say they are a bit of a novelty but can be cool.

Finger and Thumb Picks

These guitar picks are quite useful for picking individual strings. Some guitarists use artificial fingernails in place of picks. These are available in various shapes, sizes, materials, and thickness.

Thickness of Your Guitar Pick Matters

A pick’s thickness is also important when choosing one for yourself and you can take a look at the best fit for your playing style and needs here.

Extra Light (under 0.40 mm)

This tends to be floppy and produces audible clicks with each strum that tends to be undesirable for most guitarists. But it can help most acoustic guitarists subtly achieve “even” sounds when strumming. All in all, it is not the most popular thickness, well for me at least.

Light (0.40 mm - 0.63 mm)

This thickness is perfect for acoustic guitars and strummed parts. A lot of pro guitarists love them as they tend to be non-restrictive and produce fluttery sounds.

Medium (0.63 mm - 0.85 mm)

This thickness is the perfect place that beginners can start exploring. It’s great for acoustic guitar picking and strumming, as it’s a mix of control, warmth, and durability.

Heavy (0.85 mm - 1.22 mm)

Heavy picks provide extracontrol and volume to the sound produced by your guitar. They help improve your dynamic range due to the higher picking force to string vibration ratio (the flex of lighter-gauge picks spread out some of the force of your picking, resulting in less volume).

Not all guitarists find them ideal to use as they can feel blocky as well as these can produce dull sounding music compared to medium picks. But others like them because they provide unparalleled control.

Extra Heavy (1.22 mm and above)

This picks go as thick as 2.0 mm. These are great for bass and jazzy music. Their designed to give the ultimate transfer of picking force to volume and provide great precision and control over each note.

These picks might take some guitarist some time to get used to. Once comfort kicks in, these picks can greatly improve the kind of music that comes off those strings.

So there you have it, a crash course in guitar picks. As mentioned they are not the most interesting part of your gear bag but they are sure an important part of it. All and all they are a necessity for most guitarists and provide some interesting tones depending on the type of pick you use!

Guitar Tone – How To Perfect Your Tone

This is going to be a fairly short article, but by no means should it be underestimated as this topic is one of the most important part of playing guitar in my opinion. Now, your tone will only be solid if you are actually able to play the guitar well and are capable of hearing minute differences in tone. So with that being said, keep practicing if you don't even know what tone is or don't know what I am talking about! 

Guitar tone is a complex beast. It takes skill and ability to be able to perfect your tone to how you want it to sound. Some guitar players spend their whole lives dedicated to finding the best tone for their style of playing. I may not be that intense but I have been searching for great tone ​for the last 5 years of my life. I went from knowing very little about guitars, guitar amps, guitar pedals and guitar accessories to diving deep down to try and figure out the foundation of great tone. 

Ive gone from using basic and cheap guitar pedals to buying some solid boutique high end pedals that nail a precise tone. However, it is important to not guitar tone should not only be developed through pedals and accessories. You need to start out by picking the best guitar and the best amp that will be right for your playing.

For example, it wouldn't make much sense for a heavy metal guitarist to pick out a guitar that is meant for jazz or blues. Instead they would want something potentially with active pickups and ​a lot of action so they can nail the solos and punch out the heavy parts. However, if you are a blues player you may want to opt in for a more subtler guitar that won't produce such heavy madness. 

In terms of guitar pedals though, you can read all of our reviews to find out what different pedals might sound like. A good place to start would be reverb pedals, fuzz pedals, overdrive pedals and a modulation pedal like a chorus or tremolo. ​

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