A list of indispensable items for your guitar
Whether you are just beginning with guitar or are a seasoned pro, it is important to have the proper accessories to make your playing more efficient and enjoyable. In this article, we list several items you will find to be indispensable.
Extra Strings and Picks
This may seem obvious to many readers, but having at least one extra full set of strings and a few extra picks (if you use them) in your guitar case is critical. This is especially true if you are a gigging musician, and/or have only one guitar. There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling you will get if a string or pick breaks in the middle of a live performance or studio session, you don’t have a replacement, and the music shop is closed or far away. Don’t be that person! Have an extra set of strings and picks available, and when you use one, make sure you get a new replacement string or pick at the music store as soon as possible to ensure you always have a full backup set.
A capo is an inexpensive accessory that affixes to a chosen fret of your guitar neck, acts like a barre and effectively raises the pitch or key of your open guitar strings. This makes it easier to play chords in keys that sound difficult to you and would be harder to play without a capo. There are many different styles of capo, so check with your local guitar shop to see which brand and model works best for you.
This may be the most essential accessory of all. Fortunately, it is also one of the most readily available. Numerous guitar websites have a free online tuner and you can also download a tuner app for your iPad, iPhone or Android. While these are useful, it is far better to have a portable tuner. This can be a cheap and easy-to-use pitch pipe, a model that attaches directly to your guitar, or a plug-in battery powered model with lights that flicker until your string is accurately tuned. Go online or visit a music shop to see what is available.
Regardless of your guitar’s environment, prolonged exposure to the elements can damage your guitar and strings over time. If you are a traveling or gigging musician, your guitar is at greater risk for bumps, scratches, and dents. Choosing a good guitar case is very important. If you do light gigging or play only at home, a “gig bag” or medium-hard case is fine. If you gig locally, you can still use a gig bag or medium case, but if you travel a lot, a hard case is a better idea.
You must keep the beat! When we think of metronomes, we typically think of the large wooden boxes with a swinging arm. And yes, they can be quite bulky and expensive. Fortunately for guitarists, inexpensive portable models are available. They click or blink on the beat and are typically no bigger than a deck of cards. These are highly recommended.
It’s Worth the Price
Every item listed here is recommended and, fortunately, most of these items are quite inexpensive. Using these items will enhance your guitar playing and keep you going for years to come.