Ten very little amps that won’t blow any doors down, but might inspire more practice.

Whether you're tight on space, your neighbors hate you, you want a simple practice solution, or all of the above, any of the following 10 micro-amp options can lend a plug-and-play hand. Bonus: All are priced to stuff a stocking without putting a hole in a wallet.

Katana-Mini

Able to run on six AAs or an AC adaptor, this mini houses a multi-stage analog gain circuit, 3-band analog EQ, tape-style delay, and brown, crunch, and clean sound settings.

BOSS
$99

Mini3 G2

Designed to grab and go anywhere, this mini boasts 11 amp models, eight effects, an onboard tuner, and inputs for a mic, headphones, and an auxiliary device.

VOX
$129

Fly 3

This 3-watt, 2-channel compact amp features the company’s Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) for loads of tonal options, a digital tape-delay effect, and can be DC or battery powered.

BLACKSTAR
$59

EL 3.1

This unique yet simple micro is powered by two 9V batteries for 3 watts of power, and houses a 3" high-performance driver, a brightness toggle, and gain control.

SONIC PIPE AMPLIFIERS
$45

MS-4

Own a full-stack Marshall for well under $100 with this 1-watt screamer that has separate volume and gain dials, a stand for angling upwards, and a headphone jack that doubles as a preamp out.

MARSHALL
$64

iRig Nano Amp

This tiny 3-watt amp is powered by three AA batteries and can even drive a 4x12 cab. Additionally, it’ll serve as an interface for iOS devices to access tones and recording functionality galore.

IK MULTIMEDIA
$49

Micro Crush PiX CR3

Dressed in unmistakable Orange styling, this 9V-powered micro features an all-analog signal path, an onboard tuner, and an overdrive switch to bring the heat.

ORANGE
$69

5150 III Micro Stack

Ideal for (really) small-room practice, this 1-watt little brother in the EVH line houses a control set consisting of gain, volume, and tone, and also features an integrated tilt-back kickstand.

EVH
$49

Micro Cube GX

Boasting eight amp tones, eight effects, and a memory function to save your favorite settings, this micro also interfaces with Apple products and can run up to 25 hours on six AA batteries.

ROLAND
$149

Micro Spider

This wee 6-watt amp offers up four Spider amp models, an acoustic-guitar model, a 3-band EQ, six effects, and an onboard tuner with note-name display.

LINE 6
$134

Intermediate

Beginner

  • Use shapes and patterns to think outside of scale-based note selection.
  • Learn a handful of “outside” licks with a shape-based approach.
  • Break out of playing ruts by adding a new approach to your playing.
{u'media': u'[rebelmouse-document-pdf 16163 site_id=20368559 original_filename="GetInShape_May22.pdf"]', u'file_original_url': u'https://roar-assets-auto.rbl.ms/documents/16163/GetInShape_May22.pdf', u'type': u'pdf', u'id': 16163, u'media_html': u'GetInShape_May22.pdf'}
Shapes can be unique and interesting, but the most common one that we run into as guitar players is that of a plateau. While growth and learning are exponential in the early days of discovering guitar, the true struggle for most players seems to be when they reach the middle to upper intermediate phase. Certain habits, muscle memory, go-to licks, and even practice routines
become second nature. This is what I refer to as “the big rut.” Every player has been at this point, where they’ve been spinning their wheels in the same tracks for so long that now they are simply stuck. Nowhere to go and nowhere to grow, seemingly. This is also the point where guitarists tend to start rapidly accumulating gear in hopes that something new will spark inspiration. (Not that you or I would ever do such a thing, right?)
Read More Show less

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less
x