I recently received an email from Kevin of Noggin Rockers. He was curious if I wanted to try a product that he’s developed for guitarists. Basically a pocket ‘amp’ that requires no batteries or electricity. Well… I was interested in checking ’em out.
Once the package arrived I was very excited to see what these are all about.. and how this works. The package says – Noggin Rocker | Guitar Amplifier | Works on any string instrument. The quick explanation of how this works, is that it amplifies the natural vibration on the instrument by using something that is similar to a stethoscope. Instead of hearing the heart beat through the chest, it picks up the string vibration and how that vibration reacts to the body material. The stethoscope piece is mounted to the guitar and there is a tube allowing the sound to travel to a pair of earbuds. The stethoscope head is mounted via velcro and the head can be adjusted (tightened or loosened) to increase volume.
I thought it was interesting that you can get different sounds based on the placement of the head. I read the ‘sweet spot’ was neck plate on the back of the guitar. I tried different placements with my Jazzmaster, and I would agree, that spot is the best. I also liked the placement behind the headstock.
Now, this does amplify the sound, but it’s not loud, nor was it designed to be. So let’s talk about the application for Noggin Rockers. How many of you play sitting on the couch, guitar unplugged while the wife/girlfriend is watching TV. It’s good ‘noodle’ practice, but there are times I wish I could hear without disturbing everyone in the room, this is perfect. How many times have you been at a show warming up or trying to remember a guitar part while in the green room waiting to do up and can’t hear the guitar because the noise of the venue? Again, this would be perfect without requiring an amp and the noggin rockers would fit perfectly in your guitar case. Another application I could see is being on the road in the tour van. With the hum of the road and band members talking about farts and standard band banter, you could still do a little light practicing. I know if thought about it more, I could come up with several scenarios where this would come in nicely.
Let me know what you think by commenting below!