Today we’re going to share with you a few cheap and simple hacks that will make your life playing guitar a fair bit easier. A lot of guys will have seen a few of these, but if you’ve got any other tips let us know and we’ll get them in the list.
1. Hack One: Use a pencil to tune
OK, so the title of this hack is a little misleading, there is no way to tune a guitar with a pencil. However, using a pencil to mark the nut slot (the area where the strings meet the fret board for the first time) can help you to prevent your guitar from going out of tune. This is because strings can catch in the nut slot if it is too tight, while using a pencil to mark the slot provides a rudimentary lubricant allowing the strings to move freely. Ok, if you’ve got a top tier nut, this should be less important, but it will really help on a cheaper model.
2. Hack Two: Velcro
If you’re using battery powered pedals this one applies to you. There is nothing worse than being halfway through a gig only to notice your pedal is out of juice. Getting out the screwdrivers is time consuming and will hold up the performance. Avoid this scenario by ditching the pedal’s screws and replacing them with velcro beforehand. This way you can open and shut the casing in seconds with no tools required. Also buy some velcro cable ties for your cables, the cost very little and will help you keep your cables properly tied saving you time and expense in untangling and replacement costs.
3. Hack Three: Shoelaces
If you need to replace the knobs on your guitar, or simply want to give your guitar a good spring cleaning, you’ll first need to be able to remove them. This can be tricky, especially when the knobs are positioned close to the body. A simple solution is to take a flat shoelace and slip it under the knob. Once the shoelace is securely wrapped around the knob all you need to do is pull.
4. Hack Four: Warm Your Strings
No doubt you will have noticed your guitar drops out of tune quicker immediately after a restring. You can reduce this problem by properly stretching your strings before attaching them to the guitar. An easy way to do this is to warm them up first. Wrap a cloth around the string and run it up and down to create some warmth while you stretch it.
5. Hack Five: Gate Check Your Guitar
If you’re flying with your guitar, and don’t plan on making a viral song about it. See United Breaks Guitars.
Then you can gate check, this means it’s with you up until you board and is one of the last things to get put on the plane, usually meaning it’s not getting thrown around with everything else landing on top of it etc.
However, it is best to check at the desk you can do this first to avoid any issues.
6. Hack Six: Pickups Can Be Speakers
Well not the pickups specifically, but if you hold your phone to your pickups and your guitar is plugged in, it will now come out your amp. This is pretty cool for an improvised loud speaker, if you’ve got something you want to show the guys at practice it can be a cool way to do it.
7. Hack Seven: Grab A Hairband
So, the hairbands can be used as a neck mute, which can do you a lot of favors. Wrapping it over the top of your neck and strings can help cut down on excess noise and has been a favored studio trick for years, but there’s nothing to stop you using a hairband over your guitar live. But, wait it gets better, if you use it with a chopstick or pencil, you can improvise a cappo. And it’s a really easy thing to just leave in your guitar bag.
We hope that at least one of these tips has been helpful to you guys, and don’t forget to comment if there’s anything worthwhile you think we’ve missed.