Stuff Dave Tried
I may not be the best songwriter, singer or guitarist in the universe but I do spend an awful lot of time trying. Whilst struggling to write and record my songs I use lots of stuff, so I decided to add a few reviews for some of the things I buy and try along the way.
I’m aware that all of this is just my opinion, based on my personal experiences of songwriting and playing guitar so if you agree or disagree, please leave a comment.
First thing to say about the Snark is that it came with its own bag. I'm a sucker for nice packaging so even though it makes no difference to the unit's performance I liked that. In general its a well designed bit of kit. It looks nice, feels ice and seems pretty durable.Getting down to business: As a tuner it performs very well for me. Does all it needs to and seems to be accurate enough. It has a bright and clear screen so easy to see in dim light and the info displayed on screen is big too so that works well. Batteries seem to last well. One downside for me are the little rubber feet on the jaws fall off easily and are hard to put back on (I've lost mine now. Once they're gone you're left with hard smooth plastic that doesn't grip and slips off many surfaces, particularly anything curved. I have an acoustic Ovation guitar and the Snark will no longer clamp on to the head so I have to fiddle around with it on my knee or anywhere else it will stay. But it still tunes well. In Summary: A nicely designed, robust tuner at a very affordable price, just keep an eye on those rubber feet.
Cost £9.99 When I first saw this gadget, I was blown away. What a great idea! As a guy who loses more pics than I can afford to, the thought of having and endless supply was very appealing. So without hesitation, I bought one. When it arrived I set about punching every scrap piece of plastic I could find until I had a big box full of assorted picks. I made pics from old credit cards, margarine tubs, ring binders, plastic boxes, waste packaging from kids toys and anything else I could find. My recycling bin gained more space and my pic box bulged at the seams.I have used the pick punch now for over a year and it's going strong. Punching pics out is easy although with lighter weight plastic there's often a ragged edge but that can easily be smoothed away with a nail file (or the edge of a matchbox). Experimenting with different materials is fun and you often end up cutting real favourites that you cling to as carefully as you can. Today, I'm never without a pocket full of picks and have probably saved myself a small fortune too. The two side benefits I would never have predicted are: 1. I feel good about the recycling element - making useful stuff out of junk feels good every time 2. The pics have memories - old ski passes, membership cards, and stuff like that. Currently my favourite pick is a piece of my youngest son's Dennis The Menace fanclub membership card which I found in a drawer from about ten years ago and cheerfully punched into picks. So in summary: One of the best ways for a guitarist to invest £10. An excellent gadget that saves you cash.
Cost £16.00There are plenty of cheaper strings on the market., so why would you choose these ones? Well, here's what the manufacturers say: "Elixir Strings give your acoustic guitar brilliant, detailed tone that lasts 3-5x longer than ordinary strings." And what's the reality? Well, I've been using these strings for over a year now (don't get excited, I've not used one set for a year, I have changed them a few times). In my experience, it's all true. These are the best strings I've ever used. The have a more vibrant sound than cheap alternatives and they do last 4 or 5 times longer. They just seem to go on and on sounding good. In summary - these strings are magnificent - worth every penny.