A stalwart of the guitar industry, you’d be hard pressed to find a musician that hasn’t used – and loved – an Ernie Ball product during their career. From industry standard and omni-present guitar strings to utilitarian pedals that are quickly becoming ubiquitous on your Instagram feed, they have your backline covered.
With the holiday season just over the horizon – some would argue its already here – we’ve compiled a list of some of the best Christmas gifts and stocking fillers for you or the guitar aficionado in your life, including gig bag essentials and useful tools you’d be remiss to overlook.
With gigs still a distant memory and the holiday season drawing in, now is the perfect time to get your beloved guitar in peak condition, fully prepped for when the bookings come steamrolling in during the early months of 2021. Here’s where the Cradle Tuner comes in, with its tripod-like shape and removable clip on tuner. Featuring a 2″ LCD screen, it also has a dual-axis 360-degree pivot arm for complete flexibility, plus a multitude of tuning modes as well as selectable clip and microphone sensors.
The Robin to your Cradle Tuner’s Batman, you’ll wonder how you ever restrung or did any maintenance on your guitar without one. The Ernie Ball Power Peg has a motorised string winder that lets you restring your guitar up to 70% faster than a standard winder, and the peg head fits all standard tuner pegs, ensuring that you’re able to quickly setup with ease, or even change that string without even exiting stage left…
As we stated above, it’s unlikely there’s a guitar player in the galaxy that hasn’t used Ernie Ball strings, and for good reason. Their Slinky range is the industry standard, used by Slash, Clapton, Page, you name it. Slinkys are known for their balanced tone and wide-ranging versatility, used by Metal and Jazz players alike. With gauges from 8 right up to 12, you’d be hard pressed not to find what you’re looking for.
Flat Ribbon Patch Cables
To help keep those lovely new stompboxes neat and tidy on your board, you obviously need some patch cables, and that’s where these flat ribbon patch cables come in. They’re super flexible, have a smaller connector than standard pancake cables and feature multiple shielding materials. If you’re looking for a low-profile alternative that’s durable and perfect for those that don’t have much in the way of pedalboard real estate, these are the cables for you.
With an ergonomic clamp-and-release design that facilitates quick, single-handed changes on the fly, the Axis capo is destined to be high-up on your stocking filler list. It has a dual-radius design that easily enables it to adapt to almost all fretboard radii, and even works when you’re using the half-capo technique and channelling Ben Howard or Andy McKee. It also comes in four different colours, so you can match it to the hardware on your guitar. Slick.
When it’s done well, it’s hard to deny the allure of bottleneck guitar and luckily for you, there’s never been a better time to start practicing. Available in chrome plated brass and borosilicate glass, Ernie Ball slides are perfect for working on your best Danny Gatton impression and come in three sizes – small, medium and large – as well as pinky-sized.
The perfect companion for Ernie Ball’s treadle-based pedals, it’s equally adebt with other stompboxes on the market that require a momentary footswitch. Its small form factor and durable footswitch are perfect for those with limited space on their pedalboards, and helps you bring studio-quality, time-based pedal wizardry to your performances. Dave Knudson eat your heart out.
Have you ever tried playing a gig without a guitar strap? No chance, mate. But you need not break the bank to get hold of a durable, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing strap. The Polypros come in 11 colours, are 2” wide and as they’re made of polypropelene they won’t stretch. Unless you want that Tom DeLonge look of course; they extend right out to 72”. If you’re looking for something a little more high-end, EB also offer jacquard straps – with over 30 designs available – plus more utilitarian offerings such as the Polylock and Pickholder versions.
Now that you’ve got yourself a shiny new Polypro strap, add these nifty Strap Blocks too, and swing your guitar around your neck in, relative, peace. They’re made from thick rubber and require no modification to your guitar; no need to remove your strap buttons and drill wider holes this time. Available in red and black, they blend into your strap ends neatly, too. Safety is cool, kids.
Featuring a stellar, dual-function design, the VPJR Tuner combines Ernie Ball’s industry standard volume pedal with arguably the most important – albeit least cool – pedal on your ‘board, the tuner. You heard right, the VPJR Tuner not only makes your tuner actually look cool, it offers up something even more valuable; pedalboard real estate. With a compact, rugged aluminium design and a durable touchscreen that cycles between tuning modes and volume levels, this might be the most useful tuner in the entire guitar universe. Read more about it here.