Castiv's Guitar Sidekick allows guitarists to position portable digital media players or smartphones right at the end of the fretboard. It puts the screen of a digital device comfortably close to the user for viewing scrolling lyrics, music notation or tablature, instructional videos, chord diagrams and so on. It will work on acoustic, electric or classical guitars and won't affect pitch or tone.

Budding guitarists wanting to take a more modern approach to viewing physical sheet music are faced with a problem. Displaying digitized notation or tab on a laptop screen is great but not quite as portable as it could be. For true any time, anywhere flexibility there are numerous iPhone and other smartphone apps available which provide anything from onscreen sheet music to digitized tabs, play along metronomes to tutorial videos and recording and playback suites to chord shapes and tuners. Viewing such things on mobile devices, however, presents its own problems.

Portable digital devices may well be a convenient way to access and play media files but finding a handy surface to sit the device on which also provides a comfortable viewing experience can be troublesome. Plonking it on the sofa seat next to you may well result in a screen image that's too small to see or at the wrong angle for clarity. Sitting at a desk or table might be better but is by no means ideal. A good position for the display would be at the end of the guitar's fretboard, which is probably where you'd be looking anyway.

And this is exactly where the Guitar Sidekick from Castiv places the smartphone cradled within it.

The digital device mount's bracket simply snaps over the strings in the headstock area

a user then slides the Sidekick onto the bracket

and its ready to receive the smartphone

the angle of the display can then be tilted for best viewing

Of course, it's not the first time that such a mount has made an appearance on Gizmag's pages and it's not just for smartphones, users can also benefit from mounting suitably sized media players, tuners or sound recorders without affecting the acoustics of the guitar.

The Guitar Sidekick is available now for US$29.99.