Practicing Guitar with a Headphone Amplifier
With so many things competing for our attention, finding the time and place for practice has become quite a challenge. Thankfully, the same technology that distracts us, also provides us with ultra-portable practice tools called guitar headphone amplifiers. We take a look at what these little wonders can do for you and your practice time.
When you hear the word amp, the first images that come to mind would be the bulky combo amps that we are all familiar with. Guitar headphone amps will soon change this common perception, providing big life-like tones while retaining a small profile that lets you save on both cost and space. Some of the new headphone amps even plug straight to your guitar minimizing the need for audio cables and reducing clutter. Since you will be listening via your headphones, the sound will be as discrete as the unit’s size, allowing for virtually unlimited practice opportunities without disturbing the peace.
Since they come in a small profile, guitar headphone amps are easy to carry around. With a size comparable to that of a small MP3 player, you can easily slip it inside your gig bag or guitar case, or you can carry it inside your pocket. These miniature amps are also battery powered, which means that you can use them wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. Be it on top of a mountain at noon, or in your dorm room in the middle of the night.
Practice with Multiple Tones
Headphone amps let you play with various tones. Some offer basic clean and overdriven tones but focus on providing close approximation and feel, these are ideal for blues, rock and country players. Vox is offering a variety of these basic headphone amps, carrying the sound of their popular big amps like the AC30. Other headphone amp manufacturers go all out, focusing instead on flexibility, they come with multiple modeled amps and effects allowing for an expanded tonal palette. Whichever your preference maybe, there will be one that will fit your need.
Practice with a Virtual Ensemble
To make practice more enjoyable, most guitar headphone amplifiers allow you to plug-in your media player so you can jam with your favorite tracks. Other models take it a step further by providing accompaniment in various styles. Although virtual bands will not be as fun as jamming with other musicians, they make practice more interesting and help you improve on important ensemble playing skills like timing, groove and feel.
Practice Without Breaking the Bank
Thanks to their low price tags, availing a good quality guitar headphone amplifier is easily within reach. Many of them are retailing for under $100, while some of the more feature packed units cost a bit more, but don’t go above $150. With all these benefits, owning a guitar headphone amplifier is a practical and wise investment, with the end result being you playing guitar better.
Check out GuitarSite’s round up of some of the best guitar headphone amps available today.