So you’ve already gone and picked out your guitar and started on your very own musical journey. While a whole lot of practising and calluses await in your immediate future – there are also other aspects to look out for. One such area is the world of guitar accessories.
Seasoned guitarists often have their own collection of gadgets and gizmos to help with the playing experience – think maintenance, better sound, and enhanced playability. But with hundreds of guitar accessories out there, what is necessary and what can you do without? Let’s give you a hand with that.
Without further ado, here are some accessories that you should always have handy in your guitar toolkit.
Don’t be that guy. You know, the one who’s always playing away on a completely out-of-tune guitar. Sure, you can try to tune by ear but you’re never going to be dead on. That’s where the humble tuner comes into play! A tuner takes away the guesswork and gets all your notes in sync. They aren’t pricey either and come in a variety of forms – from clip-ons to pedals tuners all the way to free apps. You really don’t have an excuse to be without one!
A pick or a plectrum is your best friend if you like music genres that involve flat-picking or alternate-picking. Picks allow you to play louder and faster in addition to giving you a brighter timbre (in comparison to playing with your fingers). Strummers often prefer larger and thinner variants for their airy tones while shredders often opt for thicker and smaller picks for more precise control.
Experiment with different sizes, thicknesses, and materials. Everyone has their favourites and the only way you’ll know your own preferences is by trying as many as you can. FYI, guitar picks also have the uncanny ability to go MIA – so be sure you have spares with you!
A strap is another accessory that often gets overlooked but is necessary if you value the safety of your instrument and your playing comfort.
Even if you are just playing at home a guitar strap helps secure your instrument to your person and helps avert potential mishaps (such as dropping the instrument). And if you are someone who plays standing up, a good strap will allow you to play standing up for long periods of time without fatigue. Choose one that is wide enough to evenly distribute the load, has ample padding, and can be adjusted to a length you’re comfortable with.
You’ve gone through the time and trouble to pick out that special guitar. After all that investment, surely it makes sense to give your beloved instrument the protection it deserves.
While hard cases are a great option, they can be a tad bulky and getting them open can prove a significant enough deterrent for consistent practice. So what’s the best option? Gig bags of course! Quality gig bags that provide fantastic protection for your instrument whilst being mobile and lightweight. They also allow for quick access to your instrument that makes it easy to just plug in and play.
Gig bags can range from cheap to pricey, offering different levels of protection. But take it from us! Spend more on better protection, it’ll save you a lot more cash by avoiding costly repairs.
Capos aren’t a necessary inclusion per se but they are imperative for accessing different keys and melodies. If you’re an avid cover player, there are just some songs you can’t play without a capo.
The uses go beyond covering your favourite songs though – you can slide the capo around the fretboard so you can adjust your key to your vocal range (or your singer’s range). A capo also allows you to unlock more creative avenues in your songwriting, with chords sounding different all along the fretboard depending where you place your capo.
Want to get good? Get a metronome. A metronome is an underrated and inexpensive tool that returns a whole lot of dividends. While it’s good to practice, it’s vital to practice correctly. Practising with a metronome allows you to slow down for consistency and conversely, speed up to get up to tempo right.
The metronome isn’t just a tool for beginners too. This little gadget brings benefits to players of all levels by instilling an internal sense of rhythm and timing. Remember, a great sense of timing is the difference between a good player and a great player.
You love your guitar and it’s only right to treat it with the care and attention it deserves. Get a cleaning kit with a guitar polish and a plush microfiber cloth to clean up the surface of your guitar after a period of time (depending on how much you play your guitar). Good quality cleaning kits will allow you to get rid of hard to remove sweat and stains super easily without scratching your guitar’s finish.
Also, look out for fretboard conditioners in order to keep your rosewood or ebony fingerboards well oiled and maintained. A good string cleaner is also optimal if you’d like to extend your string life for as long as possible.
If you’d like to shop our full range of guitar gear head over to our online store. If you’re looking for any guitar-related advice, you can always drop us a message and we’d be happy to help you out!
Read more: 2020’s Most Popular Guitar Accessories & Essentials