Learning to play guitar takes time most of us don’t have. The Magic Instruments Guitar, on the other hand, is pretty much pick-up-and-play. It’s still got strings but they end before the fretboard, the latter instead equipped with buttons that play whole chords with a single touch as you strum. To make things even easier the fretboard bears fret numbers plus key and scale indicators along its edge, and works alongside Magic Instruments’ mobile app to make playing (and finding lyrics) super simple. The guitar is also equipped with a variety of controls, inputs and outputs including volume of its built-in speaker, instrument sound controls to switch to differently-sounding guitars, a digital effects control, a 1/4-inch output to plug to an amp, a headphone and mic jack to play on headphones or record your singing, plus a USB MIDI out. It’s basically like a real guitar, minus the hundreds of hours of experience needed to sound good.
Read more at Magic Instruments – $300+
It doesn’t remotely resemble any instrument you’ve ever seen. But don’t take that to mean that the Gittler Guitar is any less capable than its more traditional brethren: rather, it’s the opposite. Composed of a strikingly spartan set of essentials, the Gittler Guitar is entirely crafted of 6AL-4V aircraft grade titanium and boasts headless guitar tuners, 31 rounded frets that produce near-perfect intonation thanks to their low contact area, and Infinite Gliss, which grants the ability to continue playing past the 31st fret all the way down to the tuners. Its frets are also optionally identified using a luminescent fret marking system that employs pinpoint LEDs to create a trail map across the neck, helping with the learning curve. Most importantly, though, it’s fitted with six discrete transducers, six individual magnetically shielded pickups, and six individual MIDI outputs — one of each per string — to not only capture perfect tones but also track them through to popular MIDI units. Otherwise, the design is unforgivingly headless, and sports a string lock mechanism that individually vice grip locks each string to make swapping them quick and painless.
Learn more at Gittler Instruments – $5,750
No complicated wireless setup required and no cables to deal with. The Line 6 Relay G10 is by far the easiest way to cut the cords on your electric guitar setup. Plug the 1/4-inch compact dongle into your guitar and start playing — the transmitter and receiver work together immediately, basically like plugging in a cable, minus the whole annoyingly-long-and-twisted-wire-getting-in-the-way part. It works with all guitar types, lasts for 8 hours on a charge and up to 200 hours on sleep mode (when not in use), and employs 24 bit Relay digital wireless sound quality for amazing detail despite over-air transmission. And when the transmitter needs a recharge, just plug it into the receiver.
Arriving in April. Read more at Line 6 – $250
The Seaboard Grand is undoubtedly amongst the most innovative keyboards to date. But it’s big, possible too big for desk-top use or for taking on the go, and priced to size. Roli’s Seaboard Rise wraps the same technology, notably a pressure-sensitive continuous surface instead of individual keys, into a small lightweight package that now runs on internal batteries. The MIDI controller is compatible with a variety of software — including Equator, which comes bundled with Rise — and hardware synths, and can be mapped and customized in five dimensions using the unique touch faders on its left. Moreover, it measures in at less than one inch thick and includes a protective carry case, making it a solid roadside companion.
Check it out at Roli – $800
While the best time for you to jam out may be in the wee hours of the morning, your neighbors likely don’t agree. And for that Yamaha’s SLG Silent Guitar was designed. Notably devoid of a sound box, the contours of its body are instead determined by two pieces that detach for far greater portability than traditional guitars. The SLG’s sound is recreated using SRT Powered, a system that uses piezo pickups and accurate sound reproduction modelled after the tones of high-end acoustic guitars. So while the sound, which is up to 90% lower volume than ordinary guitars, won’t bother people in the vicinity, just plug in a set of headphones for a full-blown silent practice session.
If run-of-the-mill wiry metal guitar stands don’t do your instrument justice, Hudson Valley Hard Goods Guitar Stands should. Available in three styles, each is made using walnut or ash coupled with copper and brass accessories for cleaner, more elegant designs. The Hyla (shown, left) mounts on a wall and holds your guitar by its headstock, rotating on a central axis to adjust to it while shielding contact points with thick leather pads. Alternatively, the Bord (right) boasts a cantilevered design that secures most Fender or Gibson style guitars by the bottom of the body, no neck support required.
Learn more at Hudson Valley Hard Goods – $165 to $230
Skateboards break, and often. Prisma Guitars’ Nick Pourfard repurposes wood from used up and broken skateboards into colorfully eclectic tops of the bodies of electric guitars, recycling this otherwise landfill-destined wood. Each guitar is hand customized and, naturally as a result of the process, completely unique and one of a kind, literally: styles come and go quickly, and once one is sold that’s it. Each also sounds as good as it looks, which in this case is saying something.
Learn more at Prisma Guitars – $2,300+
At home or at the studio, you prop your guitar up on a stand, so, while travelling, why settle for leaning your guitar against the wall precariously when there’s a better option? The bnd / one Guitar Stand combines extremely flexible materials along with a design that comes apart for easy storage or packing to make that happen. In fact, it’ll easy stow away in most guitar cases along with a guitar, in a backpack, or even within the dead space of an amp. To unpack, just snap it together then bend it to accommodate your instrument of choice, be it acoustic, electric, small in stature, or even a keyboard.
Hit up Kickstarter for more info – $50+