Gig Gloves: Musicians, Protect Your Hands
By Anderton |
Musicians, Protect Your Hands
by Craig Anderton
At the 2016 Summer NAMM, when people asked about some of the show’s highlights, these gloves were one of the main products that really stuck in my mind. Gloves?!?
Well, maybe I was influenced by just having relocated, which involved moving a lot of gear. But as musicians, we often have to move speakers, amps, etc., and doing so can be rough on your hands. Like our hearing, we need to protect our hands.
There are specialty gloves for golfers, gardeners, emergency rescue personnel, firefighters, riggers, anti-vibration gloves…why not musicians? Although Gig Gloves have been around for a while, they’re now available internationally so it seemed like a good time to take a look.
You first notice the rubber padding on the back of the gloves, fingers, and thumbs. This protects your hands from impact or being squeezed between what you’re carrying and some other surface (like a wall, or getting squished against a cabinet as you hold the handle). There’s a strap that goes around your wrist and fastens via Velcro to keep the glove on your hand; the glove back has a “breathable” mesh material, while the glove inside, and the space between thumb and forefingers, has a textured, non-slip surface.
Given the amount of protection they provide, Gig Gloves are surprisingly comfortable and flexible. Perhaps the most interesting feature for musicians is that the thumb, index, and middle fingers have slits so you can lift up on the end and expose your fingertips for when you need finer motor control, like when turning a thumbscrew.
However, you can work a touch screen even without exposing the fingertips—perfect for answering that scary text message about how the artist’s plane was delayed in Newfoundland.
THE GLOVE WHISPERER
The founder, Danny Shatzkes, is like “the glove whisperer.” When I cornered him at NAMM, he gave a dizzying explanation of what goes into making these gloves, from the materials to how the stitching keeps the non-stick sections in place. This video of Danny in action shows what I mean…
He also had production prototypes of a three new lines of gloves: The Onyx line is all black for stagehands who want to be as invisible as possible, the Thermo-Gig Gloves have an internal layer of fleece to keep hands warmer when doing load-ins or –outs in cold weather, and there’s also a “version 2” of Gig Gloves coming out in August 2016; these will be available in six sizes, instead of the two available currently (small/medium and medium/large).
At around $40 a pair, Gig Gloves are a highly worthwhile investment if you move music gear around. I wish I’d gotten a pair before I relocated my studio.
Kent Aberle explains why he uses Gig Gloves —
Craig Anderton is Editorial Director of Harmony Central. He has played on, mixed, or produced over 20 major label releases (as well as mastered over a hundred tracks for various musicians), and written over a thousand articles for magazines like Guitar Player, Keyboard, Sound on Sound (UK), and Sound + Recording (Germany). He has also lectured on technology and the arts in 38 states, 10 countries, and three languages.