String Stretcha - A Handy Invention for Stretching Guitar Strings
As regular readers will know I'm always on the lookout for handy new inventions - I can be hard to impress at times, but this one is something I wish I had from the time I first began playing guitar.
It's an old problem, when you replace your guitar strings the new strings are prone to stretching and quickly go out of tune.
The solution is to stretch the new strings when you put them on - but this has always been a fiddly job.
Now thanks to the String Stretcha, the process of stretching guitar strings has been made easy. So as soon as I stumbled upon this neat little device I emailed Duane Baron and asked him how he came up with this idea.
He told me the invention was a joint effort: String Stretcha is the brainchild of veteran Rock Producer/Engineer Duane Baron (Ozzy Osborne, Motley Crue, Social Distortion, Tracy Chapman), Canadian singer songwriter Jamie Van Scott and their machinist friend Bud McNair.
Whilst working together in the studio, Duane and Jamie discussed the frustration of waiting for newly strung guitars to settle not to mention the arduous task of stretching the strings in the first place. Still recovering from a broken arm, Van Scott and Baron started discussing options to the traditional finger/thumb method used by so many guitarists and techs around the world. Later that day in a local bar they talked with McNair who helped come up with the design of the tool now known as Stretcha.
After several proto types were made, Baron took String Stretcha into the studio whilst recording Social Distortion’s “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes” album in 2010. Mike Ness’s guitar tech Don Nemarnik was at first skeptical. After all he would be using the tool on Ness’s vintage guitars. After using Stretcha on several of Ness’s guitars during the sessions as well as on tour, it was battlefield tested and passed with flying colors. At the end of the day, time is money when it comes to recording in the studio and String Stretcha helped keep guitars in tune much longer and the strings settled much faster than the traditional method. Both Mike Ness and Don Nemarnik jumped at the chance to be the first endorsees of String Stretcha.
Since then, many notable guitarists, guitar techs and guitar smiths have endorsed String Stretcha as well as music legends like Randy Bachman, some going as far as saying “Why didn’t I think of this?” - myself included!
The tool is designed to feel comfortable in one’s hand and to give the string a proper and consistent stretch. The ergonomically shaped tool is made out of a crush-resistant epoxy material.
The hook and heel act as pivot points that spread the forces of stretching in the same way as the fingers and thumb method, only much faster and more efficiently.
It's only $14.50 and you can buy it from selected music gear shops around the world, or you can order it directly from their website at stringstretcha.com
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