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Dr. Miczak's Best Picks -
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
For Your Favorite Musician....2008's Top Gear for Guitarists
Now Playing: 2008's Top Gear for Guitarists

2008’s Top Gear for Guitarists



Sometimes you wonder just what to get the guitarist or musician in your life. Fortunately, picking out gear that can be used and appreciated is really pretty easy. While purchasing an actual instrument may be cost-prohibitive, there are many accessories which make playing a whole lot more enjoyable.  Here are some of the best gear choices we've tested that any guitarist will love you for:


Planet Waves Dare Strap:

While most guitarists will favor an old, well worn softened leather strap, the Dare strap offers ergonomic balance and comfort.  This fully adjustable nylon strap balances the weight of your guitar squarely over both shoulders thus avoiding fatigue.  I use it with my solid body stratocaster which is idenstical to the one pictured here and its really super comfortable with no stress on my shoulders or back.  This strap ROCKS!



Planet Waves CTM Chordmaster, Tuner and Metronome

Three great accessories in one unit the size of an iPod!  The Chordmaster allows easy access to nearly endless chord variations.  The tuner works with either a direct cable in or via the onboard microphone for acoustic instruments.  Easy to read and accurate. The metronome helps you keep time and can be set to a variety of beats per measure.  Possibly the most complete accessory because it combines three of the most sought after units for guitarists in one.


Visit them online for more information....


Audio-Technica's PRO 8HEx Headworn Dynamic Cardioid Microphone

List Price


Fantastic vocal reproduction that is both comfortable and ultra-light to wear, the PRO 8HEx is ideal for guitarists, keyboard players, drummers, DJ's and others who need free hands while performing. Its low-visibility headband and cushioned support pads provide a stable, comfortable fit with no shifting. Designed for professional quality vocal pickup with hands-free operation, the PRO 8HEx features a pivot-mounted flexible mic boom that descends from either the left or right side.

  • Ideal for guitarists, keyboard players, DJ's, drummers and others who need the use of their hands during performance
  • Low-visibility headband is worn around the back of the head with cushioned support pads that provide a stable, comfortable fit
  • Pivot-mounted flexible mic boom descends from left or right side
  • Hypercardioid polar pattern improves isolation of desired sound source
  • Hi-ENERGY® neodymium element for articulate vocal reproduction
  • 7.2' (2.2 m) cable permanently attached between microphone and XLRM-type connector
  • Also available as:
    PRO 8HEcW – 55" (1.4 m) cable terminated with locking 4-pin connector for A-T UniPak™ wireless systems

Check out the PRO 8HEx and its wireless counterpart mentioned above, online at Audio-Technica's website:


Giglight Music Light by Lampcraft

Really any musician will love you for this gift!  A portable, powerful music light that clips onto your music stand.  The Giglight easily illuminates two full pages of music with a steady, bright LED light that can be powered by battery or AC adapter.  Folds up easily into its own case and travels with you to your gigs.  Indespensible for perfoming, practice and recording.


Giglight Music Light

 List Price  $49.00




Visit Lampcraft online and get your own Giglight!



Stum-n-Comfort Guitar Picks

These super comfortable picks are perfect for for finger picking styles and those who use thumb picks.  Veteran performer and guitar teacher for over 40 years, Paul Pugliese says these picks are great because they stay on and don't get in the way.  They work well on finger picking styles as well as classical guitar and banjo rolls.  I've used them on my Autoharp and Strumstick and found I can play much longer in comfort yet be in control of the pick without thinking about it.  We tested the Kodiak and Sharktooth crossover picks which work welll for hybrid picking.  They really allow you to focus on your technique and the inventor, Greg Atkin, is coming out with a CD on universal picking which highlights how to get the most from this system.  Greg's website also offers guitar accessories and Music Themed Jewelry that is beautiful and unique.  Some examples that would make wonderful, practical gifts are the Peace Pick which is made of semi-precious stone worn as a necklace and an elegant Guitar Pin.

Stop by Strum 'N Comfort online at:



Alaska Pik Guitar Picks

Alaska Pik. These unique finger picks act as stronger extensions of your fingernails.  In fact, they go over your finger and under the nail which makes them more of an extension of your fingers.  Great for for classical guitar and fingerpicking styles.  Sizes small, medium and large come in plastic while the brass picks are sold in medium and large only. Easy to adjust for a custom fit. These offer the freedom of not having to hold on to a flat guitar pick leaving you free to pick 'n pluck! 

Visit Alaska Pik online at:


Finger-Tone Pro Picks

These picks are so very comfortable and a great improvement over the plastic Dunlops most banjo, guitar and harp players use.  They allow part of your fingerpad to engage which aids in greater sensitivity on the strings.

These metal tips are more accurate for finger picking styles because they are more precise.  You can really isolate the strings for precision picking with these! Comes with a very cool pick case for storage and travel. We will post more as we try them on other types of guitars and with other techniques.

Finger-Tone picks by ProPik are available online at:




The Strumstick by Bob McNally

On its own, the Strumstick is such a cool instrument that you could buy it for anyone and make them happy.  However, one would miss the full potential of this "stick dulicmer".  Having only three strings, one being a drone note, the Grand Strumstick we tested is tuned to the key of D by way of D-A-D.  This means nearly whatever you do sounds melodic and picking out songs is actually quite easy.  Still the best part about the Strumstick is that it is the perfect guitar trainer.  You can practice the same exercises for barring and fretting while making real music.  I found that my attenuation and dexterity for the guitar improved greatly when using the Strumstick.  This is a great instrument to introduce someone to the guitar or even allow seasoned guitarists to compose on.  Fun on a stick!





See all the varieties of Strumstick including the newer electric ones at:






Posted by Author at 2:22 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008 3:24 PM EST
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