The Best Guitar Accessories for Beginners
You should be proud of yourself if you’ve opted to learn to play electric guitar. You’re making a significant decision that will change your life forever. It’s a decision you won’t be sorry for, but as thrilling as it is, there are some practical considerations. When you get your first guitar, you’ll quickly find that the instrument is only the tip of the iceberg. You may add an endless supply of guitar accessories to your purchase, including more strings, a fretboard conditioner, or audio interface equipment.
How do you discern what accessories you genuinely need versus what companies tell you to need? This cannot be easy. After all, various guitarists have varied requirements based on the sort of guitar they own, the genres they wish to study, and how frequently they want to play.
Some guitar attachments can help you save years of development time, save a lot of frustration, and make your life a little bit simpler. That may seem like a bold claim, but as a guitar instructor, I always observe some accessories’ influence on pupils.
These accessories are must-haves if you’re just getting started with guitar or searching for gift ideas for a musician. There are several guitar accessories available online. So we decided to compile a list of the most important ones. The majority of them are inexpensive yet will have a significant influence on your game.
Best Guitar Accessories | 1. Guitar Tuner
You probably suspected this one was coming! If you don’t already have one, this is the most vital guitar attachment. I realize this is a dull accessory, but it’s difficult to convey to a newbie the necessity of being absolutely in tune.
The short reason is that while you learn guitar, your ears also learn and require the sound of an in-tune instrument. Your ears are attempting to determine what sounds nice and what does not. A lot of the frustration beginners feel is from being out of tune and not understanding it.
The worst situation I’ve encountered is when a newbie learns on an out-of-tune guitar, and their hearing becomes accustomed to the out-of-tune sound. When they try to perform in a band, they are perplexed as to why they instantly sound terrible. They then accuse the other guitarist or their guitar and go out and purchase a new one, only to have the same issue. Training on an out-of-tune guitar could seriously impair your pitch perception.
If you buy a contemporary guitar amp, it will almost certainly come with an integrated guitar tuner. For various reasons, I still advocate purchasing a specialized pedal. The most practical reason is that it provides a fast and simple way to mute the guitar, which will come in handy if you want to play in the future.
There are less expensive tuners available, but purchasing a possibly incorrect guitar tuner is not worthwhile. Get a quality one that will last. The fundamental truth is that playing in tune is critical to your guitar growth. A high-quality guitar tuner aids in the development of your ears and alleviates the frustration of playing out of tune.
Best Guitar Accessories | 2. Guitar Maintenance Kit
Purchasing a guitar is a significant investment, and you must maintain it if you would like it to function well in the future. It has become evident to me over the years that students who take care of their guitars progress more quickly. If you take your guitar carefully, you’ll also take your playing seriously.
Guitar toolkits are available for purchase, such as the Ernie Ball Musician’s Tool Kit, which comprises most of what you’ll need to keep your instrument in excellent condition. I recommend purchasing a kit so you may keep everything together in a carry bag.
Wire cutters, a microfiber towel, a peg winder, a screwdriver, and a hex wrench set are typically included in maintenance kits.
In addition to the items listed above, I recommend purchasing cleaning agents to keep your fretboard clean. Grime and crud will accumulate around the frets on your fretboard over time. Cleaning your fretboard after each string change is a nice habit to develop. Cleaning your strings will increase their life, so have a string cleaner and towel available to wash them down on a regular basis. The grease in your fingertips corrodes the strings, lowering the quality of your tone. It simply takes a few seconds to clean your strings after each practice session, but it significantly impacts the quality of your tone.
Again, this is a tedious purchase, but it may significantly affect how your guitar feels and looks, which will affect how you feel when you play it.
You’re likely to need a capo at some time. Many songs can only be performed with a capo, while others are made simpler to play. A capo is a clamp that you screw onto your guitar to allow you to play chords and tunes higher up the neck. Many acoustic guitarists use capos, but even if you don’t perform the style of music that commonly employs a capo, it’s a handy tool.
A capo, in my opinion, is a must-have for beginners since it may make chords much simpler to play when you’re just starting. This is especially true for small-handed adults or youngsters.
You may have observed that the closer the frets are, the higher your neck travels. This implies that playing a chord high up on the guitar is significantly less of a strain than in the open position. You can transfer all the open chords you practice into a higher position by inserting a capo on the neck.
If you have discomfort in your hand when playing open chords, using a capo higher up the neck can eliminate the ache and make it easy on your fingers. You won’t have to work as hard or stretch as far.
This implies that a capo helps you to gradually learn to play chords. You can begin in a high position and work your way down the fretboard till you can play all chords easily in the open position. Many guitar teachers overlook this application for a capo, so keep this in mind as you practice.
Best Guitar Accessories | 4. Extra Strings
You may have broken a few strings when tightening your tuning pegs. Or you’ve seen rust accumulating along them. Or maybe they’re starting to sound twangy. These are all signs that it’s time to replace your old strings with fresh ones.
Even experienced guitarists might neglect to buy guitar strings until the last minute. However, if you have at least two spare sets on hand, you won’t have to hurriedly check Amazon for the earliest arrival date each time you hear a tug or a snap.
Even as a beginner, spending a little more on high-quality strings that keep their pitch and last for months is advisable. This way, you won’t have to change the strings frequently, and you’ll save money in the long run!
Strings, such as picks and other accessories, are very subjective. What one guitarist enjoys, another despises. So, experiment with various gauges and coatings to find which ones work best for you.
Everyone, no matter how careful they are, drops their instrument inevitably. However, as long as you have a robust guitar strap, you won’t have to worry about it. Guitar straps, especially for heavier acoustics, take some weight off your guitar’s neck and body. Furthermore, they urge you to sit up straight, which aids in the prevention of back problems.
Though they might get hot when playing under strong lights, we prefer leather or suede straps for maximum comfort. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to wear a cotton strap.
As a beginner, you could get away with a cheap strap if you plan to practice for a few minutes per day. However, your shoulders will thank you during longer jam sessions if you invest in a comfy strap to hold your guitar in place.
A metronome is a musician’s best buddy, much as a dog is a man’s closest friend. You must learn a lot about rhythms and harmony, starting as a guitarist. To become acquainted with the timings, you must practice the beats while listening to a metronome.
There are several metronomes available, and there is most likely one for each of your musical requirements. You can also use an app on your phone, but I find it inconvenient because you must always have your phone with you. Some amplifiers also have a metronome, which may be extremely useful but isn’t always practical because an amplifier can be rather hefty and difficult to transport.
If you are new to note values, you will need to practice with a metronome and learn about 1/4 notes, 8th notes, triplets, and sixteenths. Drummers, like most musicians, practice using a metronome to enhance their skills.
7. Guitar Picks
A pick, also known as a plectrum, is a tiny, flat piece of material used to create noise from a stringed instrument, most often a guitar. They frequently differ in form, size, and hardness, which influences the final tone and playability of the pick. The majority are constructed of plastic.
Picks can help guitarists reach new forms of playing that is impossible to attain with just their fingers (tremolo-picking).
Using a plectrum produces a more forceful, driven tone than fingerpicking. Furthermore, people who play steel-stringed guitars may notice that repeated playing will wear down their fingernails and become unpleasant.
That being said, guitar picks are arguably the most visible accessory accessible and will come in useful regardless of your future musical plans.
Almost all electric guitar players use picks. Even if you don’t believe you’ll use them, it’s a good idea to practice with a couple on hand. Picks are available in various thicknesses, ranging from thin to light, thick to heavy, and medium in between. Some manufacturers, like Dunlop, identify their picks in millimeters and provide a broader range of thicknesses.
You may experiment with different gauges to see which one you like.
Best Guitar Accessories | 8. Case or Gig Bag
Do you require a guitar case? You may transport your guitar in a garbage bag if you like, but investing in a good case or gig bag is far better. They not only make it easy to transport the guitar, but they also protect it from scratches, dust, and dents.
A guitar bag will suffice in most instances. Look for one that has some cushioning. Gig bags are less costly than cases; you can get one for roughly $25.
If you anticipate tossing your guitar in with baggage or other scenarios, you should invest in a sturdy case. They provide far greater protection, but they are also more costly.
You don’t need anything fancy for your first guitar, just something to keep you safe.
Best Guitar Accessories | Final Thoughts
Of course, most of these accessories are necessary for your progression as a guitarist. If you want to be a musician, you’ll need picks, a wire, a tuner, extra strings, and even some learning materials. While necessary, some of these additional devices may be added and changed as your profession progresses.
Cases, stands, polishes, and tool kits are essential, and you should not be without them for long. However, their absence will not hinder your progress as a musician. As a result, feel free to take your time amassing your collection.
Most guitarists are continuously tinkering with the gear and accessories. They are always changing the brands and kinds of picks, cables, straps, and other pieces of equipment. Take this article as a starting point. As a beginner, you must begin your stock of guitar gear somewhere, and the things in this article are excellent choices.
Good luck with your guitar learning adventure, and remember to have fun!