Provides: iPhone support for your guitar
Minimum Requirements: A guitar and iPhone
The App Store is now flooded with music related apps, a wealth of which are useful for guitarists. Setting your iDevice on a desk close by is an okay solution while you’re actually playing, but there has to be a better way. Castiv thinks they have the perfect product to solve the problem. It’s called the SideKick, and it makes it possible to mount your iPhone, iPod touch or other similarly sized device right on the headstock of your guitar.
The idea behind Castiv’s SideKick is simple…possible just a bit too simple, actually. There are three main parts to the SideKick: the holder for the iDevice, a ball joint that makes it easy to position your iDevice, and the clip that actually attaches to your guitar. Assembly and usage are dead simple; just position the clip behind the nut of the headstock on the strings. Basically, this guy just holds on to the strings where they don’t vibrate.
But there’s potentially a problem here that might not cross your mind at first. Depending on your specific guitar, the clip may not fit between the nut and the first peghead. I know this because it didn’t fit on the very first guitar I tried it on, a Peavey Wolfgang. This also happens to be my favorite guitar. Bummer. I don’t think this problem will effect most users, since most guitars have enough space to support the SideKick, but you should definitely check to see if you have about an inch of space between the nut and closest peghead. In the case of my Peavey Wolfgang, there’s a tension bar between the nut and closest peghead.
An easy fix for this would have been to make the clip hold on to the headstock itself with pressure. You definitely don’t want anything that needs to be permanently attached, but I think it’s possible to accommodate all guitars, not just most of them.
Moving on, once you have the SideKick attached, you have a decent amount of control of just where your iDevice will be facing. You can even choose how tight you’d like the ball joint. Looser makes it easy to reposition on the fly, while tighter makes sure that it doesn’t ever move, which is likely a better choice.
The only other concern is how the extra weight on your headstock will affect the balance of your guitar. The guitar I ended up using this on is a Line 6 Acoustic Variax, which has a very light body. The SideKick with an iPhone in it definitely upset the balance even more than it already is. The headstock is constantly wanting to point down. This could affect your playing, but likely won’t be a problem for most electric guitars.
Now, all that’s left to do is decide with what apps you’re going to be using this setup. Good choices include any chord dictionary apps, tuners, metronomes, notated music and more. Two apps that work perfectly with the Castiv SideKick are Ultimate Guitar Tab and Tab Toolkit. Both are guitar tab apps. You might be tempted to use something like AmpliTube with this, but that’s likely to be awkward considering you’ll have numerous cables being routed around your headstock. Alternatively, you could just use this for playing backing tracks for practicing or browsing the internet while your bandmates are screwing around.
Overall, the Castiv SideKick is a decent product for any guitarist who needs to have his or her iDevice within reach while playing. It’s the apps that make or break this guy, so if you’re having a hard time thinking of the best apps, check out Castiv’s list of suggested apps. I really think the Castiv SideKick plus Tab Toolkit are an awesome combo.
Buy the Castiv SideKick