Big ticket items might not be flying off the shelves at the moment, but the accessories market remains a healthy source of income for many retailers.
Check out some of the latest offerings in the guitar accessories market..
Strings & Things
The GHS Fast Fret (£8.45) is a string and neck lubricant/string cleaner for all stringed instruments. The product is not a spray and contains no silicone – it’s a liquid in an applicator. It can be used on strings, fretboards, or on the back of the neck. It lets fingers slide freely, keeps strings clean and is good for wood.
The Hercules TravLite series GS301 and 302B stands (£16.99) are great for musicians on the go. They offer a solid design and will easily fit in the pocket of most gig bags when folded.
Ernie Ball's Everlast wear resistant fluorescent Delrin plectrums (£6) provide durable high performance. Hardwearing and reliable, the picks are ideal for the gigging guitarist or bassist and come in Medium or Heavy thicknesses.
GuitarMan has the highly compact GMT306 Headstock Mini Tuner (£9.95), which uses chromatic technology. When attached to the guitar, the tuner is barely visible with the main body hidden behind the headstock.
0191 300 3000
Currently the brand’s bestseller, the Planet Waves Pro-Winder DP0002 (£9.75) is a high quality peg winder with built-in clipper, bridge pin puller and string stretcher. It is designed to fit virtually all guitars, basses, banjos and mandolins. Ergonomically designed with durable hardened steel wire cutters, the Pro-Winder is a handy all-in-one restringing tool.
The American Stage cables (£19.99 - £34.99) feature Planet Waves' exclusive In-Out technology for optimum signal transparency, in-line solder joints for superior conductivity and strength and the exclusively patented Geo-Tip design for improved fit in all jacks. The American-made wire reproduces full lows and rich highs, accurately transferring true tone with clarity and noise free operation.
Planet Waves’ Tri-Action Capo (£19.49) ensures buzz-free, in-tune performance at any fret. Its tri-action geometry reduces the force required to open and close the capo, while evenly applying tension, regardless of the guitar’s neck profile. The lightweight aluminum construction also adds negligible weight to the neck of the instrument.
0113 286 5381
Snark has a device for all occasions and all instruments, including the all-instrument QTSN8 (£19.99). Snark has also entered the pedal tuner market with the brand new Snark SN10 pedal tuner (£59.99). Eagle Mountain's Lock-It strap (£19.99) does the job of straplocks without the cost and instrument modifications. Available in Black, Brown and Navy Blue, it features an anti-slip Lock-It mechanism, which holds a guitar strap tightly around the guitar's strap button. Guitar Tech’s accessories range continues to expand. The line now includes capos, FX pedals, pitch pipes, picks, peg winders, transducers, tuners, metronomes, lights, hardware, straps and straplocks, as well as storage and maintenance items. Finally, the popular SpongeBob SquarePants Real Musical Instruments brand offers a wide range of colourful accessories, including picks, straps, tuners and leads.
0141 248 4812
Herco flex picks are extremely durable and long lasting plectrums made from high quality nylon with a unique pattern to ensure a slip-proof grip. Each 12-piece player pack has an RRP of £7.69. The Dunlop maple trigger capo (£24.99) is an alternative take on the brand’s classic trigger capo design, featuring an attractive maple finish.
Also from Dunlop are the Slash limited edition pick tins (£7.50, pixtured) – six exclusive tortex plectrums adorned with Slash’s Apocalyptic Love artwork. Dealers can display them in a counter top display box of 24 packs and customers can also download a free song with every purchase. Dunlop Formula 65 (£6.99) is a multi-function carnuba wax that polishes, beautifies and hides light scratches, while protecting the guitar’s finish. The Cruztools MultiTool (£13.50) is a ten-in-one device for guitar and bass. It features four metric and three fractional hex keys, two Phillips screwdrivers, a 2.5mm slotted screwdriver and a rule for setting the action.
Barnes & Mullins
TGI offers three levels of gig bag: Student, Transit and Extreme. Student (£8.95) and Transit bags (£19.95) are budget and mid-level quality gig bags packaged with the music store in mind – boxed in regular sizes, fully barcoded and clearly marked to show their contents when stored. The Extreme bags (£36.95) are heavily padded and offer a good alternative to a basic hardcase.
For those wanting to upgrade their standard hardcase, the Faith Deluxe hardcases offer a great solution. These arch-topped, tough wood shell accessories have a brown, textured leatherette covering with dark green velveteen interiors; lockable gold clasps and ultra-comfy handles. RRP is £99.
Neotech’s guitar straps are quickly gaining ground. Most notable of these are the Mega-Ax and Mega-Bass (£36) straps. Using neoprene to effectively reduce the weight strain of the instrument, the straps are fully adjustable and offer a great comfort solution for the gigging guitarist or bassist.
Although best known for making the instruments themselves, Tanglewood also offers a wide range of guitar accessories. The TCT 1 (£19.95) is a clip-on chromatic tuner for guitar and bass and the TMT 1 (pictured) is a multi-tune clip-on tuner for all manner of stringed instruments. Its capo offering consists of the TSPC (£19.95), a lightweight Speedbar capo and the FCT 1 (£29.95), a capo tuner, which provides chromatic tuning and a red and green LCD display. The Ultralite by Tanglewood range comprises lightweight instrument stands with adjustable clips. The UBT G1 is for guitar and UBT U1 fits ukuleles. Both retail for £14.95. Available in Brown and Black, the TLGS smooth leather guitar straps with contrast stitching have an RRP of £29.95, while the TLGS DLX straps (£39.95) provide contrast leather and a choice of Tan and Black colour options.
Rotosound’s new range of guitar picks come in packs of six and are made from a range of materials, including celluloid, Delrin and PVC. The plectrums are available in four different thicknesses and a variety of different shapes, sizes and finishes. The packs retail from £3.95.
The new Digital Clip-On Tuner (£16.95) and Metronome Tuner (£17.95) are designed for a range of stringed instruments including guitar, bass, ukulele, violin and viola. The tuners are highly sensitive, easy to use, convenient and reliable, as well as stylish with easy to read displays.
The Rotosound spring-loaded Guitar Capo is designed for one-handed use, allowing ultra quick changes. Made from magnesium alloy, it is small and light, and can be easily applied and removed. The AC01 capos are designed for all types of guitar players. All Rotosound capos retail at £17.95.
The Rosetti RT-200 (£12.95) is a clip-on chromatic tuner with built-in microphone, which offers quick and hassle-free tuning. The RMT-300 (£17.95) is ideal for electric guitars, but also comes with a plug-in clip-on mic for acoustic instruments. It includes a fully-functional metronome and tone generator, along with full-colour LCD.
Bespeco’s Silos Series is a range of high quality, affordable cables for guitarists. All models feature high quality oxygen-free copper wire and resin injected connectors, which help protect the internal connections from breaks and shorts. The cables are available with straight or angled ¼” jacks in various lengths and start from £3.49 for 15cm patch cables to £9.99 for the 6m-long versions.
Randy Straps are made in the UK from high quality leathers and are available in 2” and 3” widths in a choice of Black or Brown. Prices start at £26.95 for the unpadded plain leather 2” strap to £49.95 for a padded 3” Brown and Tan leather strap.
CNB gig bags offer stylish and practical protection for any type of guitar. With extra back support, heavy-duty zippers and contoured handles, these bags are popular for their design as well as their great value (£28.20 RRP). The range includes models for acoustic jumbo, Flying V and Firebird.
LM Guitar Straps produce high-quality straps at great prices, in a wide variety of designs and colours to suit all styles. LM has introduced new designs this year in classic leather and quality cotton fabric. The new Scraps range starts from just £19.99 RRP. The LM strap pack comprises 57 straps with new, fresh designs, as well as a free LM branded space-saving hanger.
Stentor is also the UK distributor for Schaller guitar parts. Schaller’s high quality pickups, tremolo units, bridges, tailpieces and machine heads, as well as the famous Schaller strap locks, are all available from the supplier.
Freestyle – 01924 455414
The compact G-GUITAR ACC BAG (£39.95) has been designed to hold all of a guitarist’s tools and accessories. It features three sets of elastic tool holders, eight various sized storage compartments and can hold strings, picks, wires, wire clips, a screwdriver, tuner and capo. An internal padded pocket for slides is also included.
With The Amazing Spiderman film a summer blockbuster hit, and the DVD release to follow, Peavey says there has never been a better time to get involved with the company and the Marvel branded gear now available from the supplier. The Spiderman leather strap (£15.99) features striking graphics of the Marvel character, a width of 2 ½”, and it can adjust from 44” to 50” in length. A variety of Marvel twelve-piece pick packs are also available for £4.99 RRP. With four character selections on offer, the plectrums come in medium gauge and clam shell packaging.
Sutherland – 02920 887333
The Crafter AFS-100 proved to be a popular accessory for the firm’s UK distributor, Sutherland Trading, so the firm has now added the simpler and lower-priced all-rubber AFS-70 to its range. The product controls feedback without affecting the tone and fits all acoustic guitar sound holes with a diameter of four inches or 101mm. Quick and easy to install and remove, the AFS-70 won’t damage the guitar and helps stabilise the tuning.
Another product that fits snugly into a sound hole is the GHC200 Humidity Controller. Its clear LCD display shows the temperature and humidity both inside and outside the guitar. The readout can be switched between Centigrade and Fahrenheit.
Fender’s FCT-12 Chromatic Colour Clip-On Tuner (£9.99, pictured) is compact and easy to operate, even in darkened stage conditions. It tunes using a built-in vibration sensor for added accuracy and precision, even in noisy areas. The bright, colourful LCD screen with sweep needle display rotates through 360 degrees for easy viewing.
The company’s Monogrammed Leather straps are fully adjustable with a truly ‘broken-in’ feel and built to withstand years of playing. They’re available in Black and Brown for £43.99 RRP.
The Fender Traditional Gig Bag (£24.99) provides a functional and economical design. Made from water-resistant polyester, it offers a 600-denier exterior with 8mm-thick premium foam internal padding, a large outer pocket and a nylon shoulder strap. The Urban Series bag (£39.99) is similar, except for the 11mm internal padding, backpack-style shoulder straps and two outer pockets, rather than just the one.
UK-based Timber Tones has brought out a range of Plectrum Gift Tins for the Christmas gift season. Timber Tones has 14 different plectrum packages, each having between four and six types, making Timber Tones the largest collection of luxury – non plastic – plectrums anywhere in the world. The gift tins retail from £12 - £30 – the best selling tins consisting of four different Timber Tones plectrums for either acoustic or electric guitar.
Bill Lewington – 01268 413366
Now Bill Lewington’s biggest selling guitar accessory line, the Grip Studio wall hangers are made in the USA from tough resin with a steel insert. There are many designs to choose from and they all come with a stud for direct wall placement. Prices range from £40 for the standard models like the Metal Mayhem and Grim Reaper to £99 for the hand painted versions, such as the Scoppio and Undead Fred. A £35 ‘Lumpy Stumpy’ wood design is also available for acoustic guitars, banjos and ukuleles.
Gorilla Tips (£8.95) are precision moulded transitional tools, which offer a real solution for sore fingers experienced when learning to play guitar. They're also ideal for those who play infrequently. Each set comes with four washable, reusable, durable fingertip protectors that the guitarist places over the tips of the fingers touching the fretboard. This allows the user to experience hours of pain-free playing. Available in two colours – Blue or Clear. There are four sizes per colour, from extra small to large.
Madison and Fifth
Mono Cases of California have added the new slimline ‘Vertigo’ guitar and bass cases (£139) to its line of hybrid instrument cases. The cases boast a shock absorbing gel filled ‘heel,’ top loading design and the unique interlocking patented ‘Neckbrace’ system. The Vertigo series joins Mono’s expanding range of stringed instrument cases, guitar straps, keyboard, drum and DJ cases that all feature light-weight, rip-stop outer materials, heavy padding with strategically placed ABS panels and mil-spec rivets, webbing and rubber bumpers.
The RockSlide range of ‘finger-fitting’ solid brass guitar slides has broadened to include carefully ‘aged’ versions of their best selling finishes including the ‘Swamp Slide’ (from £21). A cutout contour at the base of the slide offers finger bending ability and prevents pinching. The inside of the slide is tapered to provide a comfortable, wobble free fit, whilst a flattened edge acts a finger rest. Available in Brass, Nickel and Chrome finishes
Based on an original British automotive industry design from the late 20’s, LOXX straplocks (from £13.95) provide a low profile solution to keeping the guitar strap firmly attached to the guitar. With a one-handed close and release operation, the straplocks are available as a complete package for acoustic, electric and bass guitars. The two upper parts contain the locking head with serrated teeth to grip the strap whilst the wide diameter washer allows the unit to fit a broad range of strap sizes and thickness or safely grip worn strap holes.No tools are required as LOXX provide a unique double ended assembly tool that grips and tightens the washer within the strap and installs the locking pin into the guitar. Finishes include Nickel, Chrome, Gold, Black Chrome and ‘Skull’!