Weapon: Practice and warm-up tool
Price: Around 60$/45€
What's this thing?
Shredneck is a warm-up and practice tool designed for guitarists who are away from their axe. It resembles the first seven frets of a guitar neck, and thus allows the player to exercise his fretting hand.
Shredneck is not a musical instrument, it does not "sound", and it can't be tuned, the strings can't be picked. It's designed to be used with the fretting hand alone.
What's so good about it then? First things first: no one will/should use this thing if they can play a real guitar, that's for sure. The shredneck is for every other situation you can imagine in which you can't have your guitar by your side and would like to practice your fretting skills in a handy way. Some people even use it at the office, surfing on the internet or even watching TV.
Imagine, for instance, that you will spend a few days on vacation at the beach, and you need to take a plane. You don't want to take your guitar and amp to the hotel for just a few days, or fear risking your expensive gear to be shattered in the luggage compartment of the plane... what can you do? You take your shredneck!
Ok,now that we know what this thing is and is not for, let's see how it's built:
It has a head with six tuning pegs, and a neck with seven frets. And, of course, six strings. Its size is easy to imagine: just look at your guitar, and count seven frets, only a little bit less than that, because Shredneck's head is actually smaller than the regular guitar's head. Comfortable enough to carry in any suitcase, even the smallest suitcases that you can take on board on a plane.
The tuning pegs actually work, not for tuning though, they just can be used to adjust the strings tension as desired. And of course, they are used to re-string the gadget in case a string should split!.
One thing that might surprise users first time is that you actually hold it backwards. This means that the head of the shredneck is used as if it was the body of the guitar, you can rest the headstock in your leg and "play" the thing. The frets are designed the opposite way too, so that when you are practicing they have the correct size from the players point of view, with the taper of the neck made so that it's wider at the point where the neck and the headstock/body meet than at the top where the string holes are located. Pretty neat idea. It even has rubber tuner tips which cover the ends of the strings on the headstock/body, so that the player doesn't scratch himself while playing with the arm resting over the "head/body".
Ok, so the head is also the "body" of the guitar, what else is there? Fretboard inlays!: they look good and are helpful, along with side dot inlays on both sides of the neck so that it can be reverse-stringed and used by left handed players. It even has strap buttons in case the user wants to attach a strap and carry it or practice standing. Nice design once again.
The Shredneck is the only warming-up/practice tool that actually feels like a guitar without being so (at least for your fretting hand!). Unlike other gadgets, with the shredneck you actually feel the strings at your fingers and can practice running scales to warm up, study or increase speed.
With seven frets playing repetitive licks, memorizing/practicing chord positions, sliding, bending and shifting scale cages is possible, even trying some two handed tapping. After toying a while with this weird looking thing fingers actually feel warmed up, and once getting used to its size and peculiarities it really feels comfortable and practical.
It even includes a handy gigbag, perfect to store it when it's not in use or carry it along with your T-shirts and the rest of your luggage. A sepparate stand is sold in case you want to have it standing next to your real axes, just for kicks
One last thing that is great about the Shredneck is that it has real strings and real frets, allowing your fretting hand to maintain those hard gained calluses in case you are away from the guitar too many days. Well worth it just for that alone!
There are several models of shredneck available, with a electric guitar feel to them, but also resembling acoustic (dreadneck model) and even classic style (natural model), with electric/acoustic/nylon strings depending on the model. Some of them are "artist models" such as the Jimi Bell, Zakk Wylde and Jon Donais models, which are like the usual electric style demon neck with a different decoration and inlays.
They have released a bass shredneck line too, named "Low rider", in three different colors lately. Overall, there are over 15 different Shredneck models
The pictures bellow show an E-guitar artist series Shredneck along with a bass "low rider" and the acoustic shrednecks:
- It doesn't sound, though that's pretty obvious as it's not its purpose.
- Only good for fretting hand, picking hand isn't used unless you tap.
- Seven frets sometimes is not enough, but that's the price to pay for small size.
Although it seems weird at first this little piece of wood is actually worth trying, as it provides a comfortable guitar-like tool to practice some chops when a real guitar is not available. After getting used to it it really feels like a real guitar neck, only smaller, and running scales up and down becomes second nature as you watch TV or talk on the phone!.
Really useful for those short trips when you will be away from the guitar and want to feel some strings on your fingers at the end of the day, good to maintain the calluses, and to increase speed playing repetitive licks.
It's really well finished: frets are smooth, paint/decoration is nice, the small gig-bag comes included and it even has a small manual with some use suggestions, all packed in a neat box, well protected and ready to use.
If you are reluctant whether this thing is useful, give it a try!, specially if you are planning some trips/vacation away from your guitars in the near future!
- Chrome hardware
- Different finishes: metal, vintage, black, natural, etc.
- Different styles: electric, acoustic, classic, bass
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Tuner tips
There are other finger practicing solutions out there, but they are not really guitar-specific. One of the most used by musicians is a small plastic gadget called "Gripmaster", which can be used to increase fingers strength separately, as shown in the picture:
It's not bad, but it has nothing to do with a guitar and doesn't deliver all the options that a Shredneck provides.
Originally by Fran