Guitar Gear Essentials for Beginners

Guitar accessories for beginner guitar players

Learning to play the guitar is an exciting journey, but having the right gear makes the experience much more enjoyable. 

As a beginner, you don’t need to go overboard buying fancy accessories, but there are a few basic guitar essentials you should have in your arsenal. Let’s go over the must-have gear for every new guitar player.

Guitar Tuner

A guitar tuner is absolutely essential for beginners. Tuning your guitar properly is vital before you can start playing. While you may eventually learn to tune by ear, beginners should start with a tuner to ensure correct tuning. This helps you develop your listening skills and ear for proper tuning over time.

Tuners come in several types – clip-on tuners that attach directly to your guitar headstock, pedal tuners that sit on the floor, and smartphone apps. Clip-on tuners are the most popular among beginners for their convenience, accuracy and affordable price. Apps work too but can be prone to interference from ambient noise.

Always tune your guitar before you start practicing so every note rings out properly. Tuning a guitar involves turning the tuning pegs at the guitar headstock until the string pitch matches the correct note. 

A tuner detects the frequency of the open strings and tells you whether it’s in tune with the appropriate pitch. This gives beginners a precise reference point for tuning.

Guitar Capo

A capo is a device that clamps onto the guitar neck to shorten the playable length of the strings. This allows you to play a song in a higher key while using the same open chord fingerings. Capos are incredibly useful tools for beginners when learning songs.

Here are just some of the benefits of using a capo:

  • Lets you play more songs in different keys without learning new chord shapes
  • Makes it easier to sing along if a song is too low for your vocal range
  • Helps you transpose songs into keys that better suit your voice
  • Simplifies barre chords by allowing you to play them higher up the neck

Beginners will find they can tackle many more songs early on with the help of a basic capo. You can buy capos for all acoustic, electric or classical guitar types. 

Soon you’ll find it indispensable!

Guitar Picks

No guitar playing experience is complete without picks! They may be small, but these flat plectrums are essential for strumming and plucking your guitar strings. Many new guitar players wonder if they should use a pick, we recommend at least trying them when you’re first starting.

As a newbie, you’ll benefit from having a variety of picks to experiment with thickness and shapes to determine your preferences.

Thicker picks around 1mm produce a warmer, rounder tone ideal for strumming chords. Thinner picks around .5mm offer more precision and clarity and are better suited to quick lead playing. 

The shape affects the attack, tone, and how comfortably it fits your fingers. Common shapes are teardrop, rounded triangle, shark fin, and jazz.

It’s a good idea to buy a pick variety pack for beginners so you can find the right fit. Eventually, you’ll likely settle on a favorite pick for your style, but keeping multiple thicknesses on hand is still good. 

The material matters too – plastic and metal picks produce brighter tones, while tortoiseshell and stone have a mellower sound.

Guitar Strap

You’ll need a way to keep your guitar securely hanging as you stand up and jam! Guitar straps help you hold the instrument safely and allow greater movement freedom than sitting down with your guitar.

Look for wide, well-padded straps made of soft materials like leather or suede for the most comfort. The width helps distribute the weight across your shoulders and back. Make sure the strap attachments are easy to clip on and off your guitar when needed.

Adjust the strap length so the guitar rests just below your waistline when standing. This puts the fretting hand in an optimal playing position. Also, consider options like adjustable straps, dual straps for bass guitars, and straps with interesting designs to show off your style.

Slides

Slide playing is a fun technique that beginners can easily learn. You use a smooth, hard tube or bar-shaped tool to slide up and down the neck to produce distinctive sounds, which is not possible with standard fretting. Metal and glass are the most common slide materials to use.

Slide playing can add new dimensions to your solos with glissandos, emotive effects, and country/bluesy vibes. Use slides on various fingers for different sounds. Add some to your accessory collection and start exploring this cool technique.

String Winder

One of the biggest mistakes new guitar players make is not changing their strings. After regular guitar playing, strings will need periodic changing when they get old and dirty. While you can re-string guitars by hand, a string winder tool makes changing strings much quicker and easier!

String winders speed up wrapping the strings by acting as a crank to add tension and wind them up to pitch. Look for a winder with multiple pegs to fit different tuning peg sizes and a cutter to snip off excess string. Tuning your new strings goes faster, so you can get back to playing in no time.

Guitar Polish Cloth

Regular cleaning and polishing keep your guitar looking its best, protect the finish, and prevent grime from building up. The fretboard and strings also require periodic wiping down.

Guitar polish cloths are designed specifically for cleaning and conditioning guitar surfaces safely. Using a dedicated polish cloth helps remove dirt, body oils, and debris that can dull finishes over time.

Look for lint-free, microfiber cloths with a soft texture that won’t scratch. Using a guitar polish solution prevents wiping away protective coatings. Clean your guitar after each use for optimal longevity and shine!

Gig Bag/Case

You’ll need a way to safely transport your guitar to practices, shows, and lessons. While hard cases offer maximum protection, soft gig bags are much lighter and more affordable. They still have adequate padding and support for regular use.

Look for thick padding at vulnerable points like the neck, headstock, and back. Make sure the gig bag fits your guitar model’s shape and dimensions. Extra pockets help hold small essentials like picks and capos.

A tuner, capo, extra picks, polish cloth, string winder, slides, straps, and gig bag constitute a solid starting accessories kit for beginners covering all the guitar basics. 

As your playing improves over time, there are many more cool guitar gadgets you can add to your collection. But start with the essentials first!

The most important things are keeping your new guitar clean, changing strings and tuning it regularly, and always playing with excellent technique. With the right supporting gear, learning guitar will be smooth sailing. 

Stay motivated, and you’ll be making beautiful music in no time. 

Happy jamming!

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