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Essential Guitar Accessories for Beginners: A Guide to Enhance Your Playing Experience from Strings to Picks and More

Learn about the essential tools and accessories needed to embark on your guitar playing journey, from strings to picks to tuners and more!

By Shawn Leonhardt for Guitar Tricks and 30 Day Singer

So you bought your first guitar and are taking some beginner guitar lessons. But first you will need some more accessories to help get you going. Depending on whether you are playing acoustic guitar or electric guitar, there are a few different things that will help guitar players in their music journey. Below are some of the basic guitar accessories that are going to be essential as you learn how to play!

Accessories For Playing Your Guitar

Strings

The most important accessory for the guitar is your strings, as they are the main sound and life of the instrument. Strings vary for different instruments, e.g., an electric guitar will use electric guitar strings. Often longtime players will change out strings on a new guitar so it will sound its best. If you aren’t sure what kind of strings to play, try a new kind each month. Changing guitar strings helps you get to know the guitar, and eventually, you will find the brand and material that is perfect for you. There is no set brand for a model or style; try out different popular materials.

Picks & More

Guitar picks are also important, so try as many as you can; different shapes, materials, thicknesses, and finger picks should be experimented with. Slides will help you play in a different style than picking and can be found in large and small sizes. And capos are perfect for quickly changing to a different key. There is nothing bad or cheating about using them; every guitarist should know how to use one.

Tuners

Tuners are also essential; they can be found as guitar pedals, clip-ons, or even as guitar tuners online. A tuner will not only allow you to play the guitar, but it is also useful when later finding chords and scales. As you learn these guitar basics, use your tuner to verify the note you are on. This will help memorize your fretboard and train your ears.

Electric Guitar Accessories

If you have an electric or acoustic-electric guitar, it will need to be plugged into an amp or an interface, depending on what you want to do. If we start at the guitar and follow the signal, we can find the right accessories. First, quality guitar cables will be needed to flow into the amps or maybe even the pedals. There are many classic pedals that beginner guitarists like to use, and don’t forget they need to have a power source!

The best amp for a first-timer is a solid-state modeler that allows you to play in many genres. However, you may also choose to go a more expensive route with an old-fashioned tube amp. If you want to record your guitar on a computer or phone, you will need an interface to help boost the weak signal coming from the cable.

After a couple of months of online guitar lessons, it may be time to experiment with new pickups for a different sound. If you have the right guitar and you want to shred, you can install a Floyd Rose Tremolo System and locking tuners. The guitar isn’t too complicated when it comes to repairs and adjustments, as long as you don’t bite off more than you can chew!

Guitar Practice Accessories

Guitar requires a lot of practice to get better, so it’s important to buy anything that may help your playing. A metronome app, hardware device, or software will keep you in time and help you monitor your practice. Or, even better, you can get a backing track or drum machine. A variety of rhythms provides a chance to learn new strums, styles, and improvisation.

A DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) lets you record your work and create your own songs. There are DAWs on computers, tablets, and phones, along with an interface where you can record any ideas and riffs and, most of all, play along with your own loops. If you don’t have access to a band or other musicians, this will let you make your own!

It also helps to gather as many songs, instructional books, and albums that have to do with guitar. Look for the best guitar lessons online. Immerse yourself in the world of music and study anything that grabs your attention. Try and expand beyond what you already like in genres and styles. When you hear a song or find some music that you like, set it aside for the next practice and build on what works.

The best accessory of all is the right lesson that appeals to you! There are blogs, articles, free guitar lessons online, and tips galore online, so try out different teachers and approaches to see what works. Even if you understand basic music theory and guitar concepts, an online lesson program can help motivate and encourage you.

Accessories For Carrying and Storing Your Guitar

When you aren’t playing or performing, you will need to keep the guitar clean and in a proper storage environment. A guitar cleaning kit will have a cloth, polish, and sometimes a wrench for adjusting the truss rod. That may be a bit advanced of a repair or adjustment for now but it will help in the future. And don’t forget the right kind of guitar strap so you can practice standing and playing.

As far as storing your guitar there are the cheaper and more accessible methods and then pricier options that provide more safety. A guitar hanger for the wall or a soft gig bag is a quick and easy way to store a guitar in your room; however, this isn’t wise for a nice guitar. For that scenario, you should have a hard case with a humidifier. If it is an acoustic, it needs to be in a temperature-controlled and padded environment to avoid warping or cracking.

If you plan to travel with your guitar, it is very important to have a flight case or something more protective than a gig bag. Whether on a bus or plane, the guitar will be thrown around, so it needs to be packed properly. Your storage and carrying needs will vary depending on whether you have a beater or a professional guitar. Check out this article on traveling with your guitar — Traveling With Your Guitar: Tips to Ensuring Your Musical Companion’s Journey.

Conclusion

Know that there is a huge selection of guitar accessories on the market. Guitar accessories will vary for each player and playing experience and for acoustic versus electric guitar. Strings and a case for protection are your most important, the rest you can figure out as you get started playing and seek your music sound. If you hit a wall try a new pick shape, string, or alter the sound of an electric to get new ideas. At the end of the day guitar accessories aren’t just for storing, cleaning, or changing the sound of the instrument, they can also be used for creativity!

Check out these articles for more information on guitar accessories:

Beginner Guitarists: 5 Things You Should Know

Handpick the Perfect Pick: Serve Your Playing

Guitar Amp Buying Guide: Best Guitar Amps for Beginners

Key Takeaways from the Article

  1. Essential Guitar Accessories:
    • Strings: Vital for the instrument’s sound and longevity. Experiment with different types to find the best fit.
    • Picks: Different shapes, materials, and thicknesses impact play style. Try various options, including slides and capos.
  2. Tuners and Practice Tools:
    • Tuners: Essential for maintaining pitch and learning chords and scales. Available as pedals, clip-ons, or online tools.
    • Metronomes and DAWs: Useful for practice and recording. Metronomes help with timing, while DAWs allow for recording and looping.
  3. Electric Guitar Accessories:
    • Amplifiers and Cables: Essential for sound output. Choose between solid-state modelers or tube amps.
    • Pedals and Interfaces: Enhance sound and recording capabilities. Ensure they have a reliable power source.
  4. Practice and Learning Resources:
    • Instructional Materials: Use books, songs, and online lessons to expand knowledge. Experiment with different genres and styles.
    • Backing Tracks and Drum Machines: Aid in practice and improvisation, offering diverse rhythms and styles.
  5. Storage and Maintenance:
    • Cleaning Kits: Keep the guitar clean and well-maintained with cloths, polish, and adjustment tools.
    • Proper Storage: Use hangers, gig bags, or hard cases depending on the guitar’s quality. Ensure proper temperature control for acoustics.
  6. Travel Considerations:
    • Protective Cases: Essential for safe transportation. Flight cases are recommended for significant travel to avoid damage.
  7. Exploring Accessories:
      • Creativity and Adaptation: Accessories are not just for maintenance but can inspire creativity and help overcome playing challenges. Experimenting with new tools can lead to new musical ideas.
Mitch Wilson

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