Playing the guitar can be quite overwhelming for sure. Going to a music store and seeing all that equipment around, sure makes you think if you’ve made the right choice in starting your journey playing guitar.
Although all that equipment exists for a reason, most of it can be neglectable. You won’t definitely need all of that when you start out. That’s why I am giving you a list of the best guitar accessories for beginners.
You won’t need the special pick of destiny, or the $300 distortion pedal, the $100 plus guitar strap in which the only use you will give it, is to play standing up. The 100 different types of capos that all do the same or even a DI box (what the hell is that? you ask).
For a beginner you should definitely go simple and not think much about this part, although you still need to put a little thought into it.
My job here is to simplify your life in that aspect and make playing guitar more straightforward and less overwhelming.
These are the essential guitar accessories that you are going to need:
That’s it! You don’t need anything else if you are starting out. Even 6 more items to buy is already a lot, but you absolutely need these and I’m going to explain them to you one by one. Some of them need more consideration than others.
The guitar cable is the one on this list that can affect your guitar tone, so this is probably the most important on this list.
A good cable can last you decades and even when starting out you can invest in a good quality cable. Today you have a lot of quality guitar cables for affordable prices. I recommend you the Planet Waves Custom Series 10ft Right Angle or Straight.
10ft length is enough when starting out, not need to buy a bigger one since you will almost for sure will be playing near your amp.
What’s a Right Angle cable?
A right angle cable is when on one of the ends the connector makes a 90 degree angle so that it’s easier to plug on some guitars. This may differ from guitar to guitar, so check your guitar first to see what suits better.
Even if you are starting out finger picking or even strumming with your fingers, you will eventually realize that for certain songs and styles you absolutely need a pick. Of course there are some legendary players that are known for never using a pick and that can be a stylistic choice of yours. But having one more trick under your sleeve is always great, so learn to play finger picking and with a pick.
There are several sizes to a pick and widths, shapes and materials. I use the Fender 0,88mm size because I think they are not either too flimsy, nor too stiff, it’s a great balance. I don’t believe there really is a standard is mostly up to personal preference.
A guitar strap is essential to play standing up. You may practice and practice something. Then you play sitting up and everything is different, you don’t know how to play guitar anymore. How did this happen?
You are probably using your guitar too low that it’s making it hard to stretch your hands that well.
For a strap there are also custom looking ones with drawings and different materials. I have a light brown leather strap by Thomann on my main bass. It’s cheap and resistant. You don’t need to be much specific on the materials too. Just keep in mind that taking on and off your strap too many times wears off the holes.
The bag or case is an important accessory. A lot of people neglect this just because they don’t travel with their instrument too often, but a good bag can really help you, even if the guitar stays on the same spot a lot of the times.
A good quality bag can help with the humidity or excessive dry air in a room.
A case for example can be very helpful for you to be sure that you won’t be banging it against obstacles and damaging your instrument.
For this don’t pick the cheapest bag you can find, they usually don’t have any padding at all and the protection is extremely low. For my main bass, the one I usually travel with I have a Protec Contego Bass Case which is absolutely perfect and probably the best bag you can get. It comes with a price though, so for you that is starting out I recommend you a cheaper one.
This is probably the only accessory here that you may have no idea at all what it is.
The capo is used to transpose your guitar to different keys by placing a bar on any fret on the neck of the instrument.
Let’s imagine you have no capo on and you are playing in standard tuning which is E A D G B E.
If you put a capo on the second fret it will transpose your guitar to these notes when playing without fretting: F# B E A C# F#.
This allows you to play the same chord shapes using different keys. You will find a lot of songs using this accessory through your learning so it’s a must-have in any guitar player rig.
For my last gadget on this list I have the most neglected piece of equipment that so many beginners forget and think they can go without. The tuner.
The reason many newbies forget about the tuner is because they don’t yet have a trained ear to understand when their instrument is out of tune. To pretty much sum it up for you, cheaper guitars are usually more prone to be out of tune faster than more high quality and expensive guitars, due to cheaper materials and build.
So, imagine you are playing for 2 hours. You want to tune your guitar 3 or 4 times during that time, unless you actually notice it’s not detuning at all, which is rare.
The tuner I use was bought recently and I think it’s one of the best quality products in my rig and just cost me $50 at the time.
I use the tc electronic PolyTune Clip Tuner. A clip tuner is a tuner that you attach to the head of your guitar and through the vibration of the strings it tells you if it’s tuned or not.
There are dozens or even hundreds of clip tuners and many of them under $10. These cheaper clip tuner ares 90% of the time of very bad quality and don’t respond well to the vibration of the string, so I recommend a better quality one.
You can also use a tuner that you can connect your guitar into, using your guitar cable, but it would be one more thing that you had to plug and unplug all the time. So, for beginners, clip tuners are the go to.
Choices Are Endless, But You Don’t Need Them All
Make it simple and focus on your playing. Don’t fall for the misleading ads that say you need more than you actually need. This is the ultimate guide for the best guitar accessories. Check the rest of TotalCables.com to learn more about your gear!
If you have any questions, leave them below that I will gladly answer them.