5 Essential Guitar Accessories for Beginners

essential guitar accessories for beginners
Photo courtesy Maja Dumant via flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Guitar playing is a lot of fun. When I started I was just happy turning the distortion up on my amp and strumming strings.

Sure, it sounded bad but I was making noise! What was even worse was I never tuned the instrument! To help you, I want to list 5 essential guitar accessories for beginners.

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It does not matter if you play an electric or acoustic guitar, you need a tuner.

When you guitar is out of tune, it sound horrible. You may not hear it because your ears have not developed as a musician yet.

But they will. And one way to make sure they develop correctly and you hear the right notes when you are playing them is to make sure your guitar is in tune.

Tuners come in a wide variety. You can purchase a pitch pipe, which is a small device that provides a reference for the open strings on your guitar. Tuning forks work, too.

I recommend spending $10 to $20 and buying a digital tuner. This work well because you can tune your guitar strings easily.

They have a LED that lights when you are in tune and you can see how out of tune you are when you look at the LCD screen.

Besides, if you play heavy metal or alternative music, you will want to play in drop tuning, which will be easy to do with an electronic unit.

Get pickin’

You will want picks. These come in different materials, sizes, shapes, thicknesses and about a million different other options.

Just pick a few that have different thickness and you’ll be picking those electric guitar strings in no time.

Guitar cables

Depending on your guitar, you may need a cable that goes to your amplifier. If you have an acoustic, you do not need one. Got an electric guitar? Definitely buy a guitar cable.

The only real advice about cables is that a cheap one will make crackle noises and break after a while.

More expensive cables — ones that cost between $15-30 — generally have a longer lifespan.

Guitar lessons are worth the money

I think a good instructor is essential. You can buy “how to play guitar” books all day, but unless you understand the material and can implement it correctly, you may struggle to learn efficiently.

A good teacher can teach basic technique, which forms the foundation. No, it does not stifle creativity. Without a foundation, you will never be able to express your creativity.

You will also progress at a faster rate than learning on your own. A good instructor will also motivate you.

Watch out for dings and dents!

I recommend getting a case. This makes transport easy and you do not have to worry about getting your new instrument scratched and dinged up.

Even if you set your guitar on a stand when not in use, it is still going to get dinged. I learned this the hard way.

My bass always sat on a stand and was never in a case. I was careful — so I thought. I got a little careless while vacuuming one day, and bam — my guitar toppled into my amp and got its first ding.

If you transport your guitar to band practice or lessons, you will want a case to make sure it doesn’t get damaged.

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