Must Have Guitar Accessories For Every Guitarist
Posted on January 06 2023
You need more than just a guitar to have a flawless performance; great sound relies on gear and practice. There comes a point where to reach the next level in your sound, you need to know which guitar supplies are a must-have and which are mere fluff. Once you have those must-have accessories, you'll be prepared for the day that you get to play at an actual gig or recording session. To help with that, we've narrowed down the list to exactly what you need: the top fourteen guitar accessories that prepare you to play like a pro.
No matter how good your equipment is, having backup guitar strings is a must. Old and worn-out strings are a hazard if they snap, and they'll dull even the best guitar's sound. Fortunately, replacing broken strings is easy—just go to any music shop and find replacements (it helps to use brand names instead of generic ones). Keep plenty of spares on hand because string breakage happens. The best way to prevent this from happening again is by investing in higher-quality strings that last longer than normal. A string can break anytime, and you need to be prepared with a few backup packs.
So, a string has broken in the middle of your gig? We've all been there before. While you can try to prevent it by replacing your strings often, there's always a chance that something will go wrong and you'll be down a string. You don't want the rest of your show cut short in these situations. You should have extra guitar wire handy and a string winder to make the replacement quick and easy. Most have a pair of wire cutters built in, so you just cut the strength to length and use the winder to tighten it up. If you don't know how, it's a good idea to take some time to learn.
Owning a guitar tuner is important for a guitarist because it helps ensure that the guitar is in tune. A guitar that is out of tune can sound dissonant and unpleasant to listen to, making it difficult for the guitarist to play accurately.
Using a tuner can also help a guitarist develop their ear for pitch, as they learn to recognize when the strings are in tune and when they are not. This can be especially useful for guitarists who play with other musicians, as being able to tune the guitar accurately is crucial for ensuring that the band sounds good together.
In addition, using a guitar tuner can help a guitarist develop their overall musical skills, as playing in tune is an essential aspect of good musicianship. By regularly using a tuner to ensure that their guitar is in tune, a guitarist can improve their overall musicality and contribute to the overall quality of their playing.
Guitar cables (or jack cables) connect an electric guitar to an amplifier. Without a guitar cable, you cannot amplify the guitar's sound. Extra guitar cables are also a good idea because cables can sometimes fail or get damaged, and it's essential to have a backup in case this happens. You might even want a few different cable lengths on hand. It might not always be necessary to have a 10-metre cable, but if you have no slack and the cable accidentally gets pulled out, the socket and cable can both end up damaged.
Extra guitar cables are also a good idea because cables can sometimes fail or break, and it's essential to have a backup in case this happens. In addition, if you are performing or recording in a studio, you may need to use multiple cables to connect the guitar to different pieces of equipment, so it's helpful to have a few extra cables on hand. High-quality cables will affect your sound quality, giving you a better tone and clarity of sound. They're just as crucial as your amp.
Electric and bass guitar players need guitar amplifiers to be heard. While there are smaller "practice" amplifiers, it depends on where you're playing. The amplifier allows those notes and chords to be heard, and when paired with foot and loop pedals, gives guitarists the option to alter their sound with effects.
When looking for an amplifier, think about what music you love playing. While many guitar amps are designed to be flexible, you can often find an amplifier that matches what you need. You'll want a clean sound if you're playing pop, country, or jazz. However, acoustic-electric guitar or bass players need a different sound. A bass amplifier, for instance, is made to pump out sound that isn't muddied.
Foot Switch Pedals
Don't overlook foot pedals for your guitar accessories. Pedals are how you add emotions, texture, depth, and uniqueness to your sound. This is where the magic of expression comes into play. Foot pedals control the volume, tone, and effects of the music. They allow you to improvise on a song and make it even more exciting. An overdrive pedal offers an uplift in the energy of your sound while a boost pedal expands your frequency. These foot switches aren't just fun; many great artists get their unique sound from their foot pedals.
Keeping your guitar well-cared for will keep it going longer, and it will be easier to maintain its shape and finish. It should be wiped down after a playing session to keep oils from building up. Use guitar wax once or twice a year to keep the wood moist and prevent cracking. Clean up as needed before applying, so make sure you read your guitar wax's instructions.
Some waxes will have you use lighter fluid to clean off your guitar before you begin to apply it, and you can even find guitar waxes that add a weathered, darkened, or rustic look to your guitar. These often include a stain, so be careful to follow the instructions. You don't want to ruin any custom guitars you have by not checking whether the wax is a stain or meant just to nourish the wood. It's often best to leave staining to the experts since it's permanent once you apply it to your guitar.
Like your car keys, guitar picks have a habit of vanishing inexplicably. Extra guitar picks are essential for both live performances and recording sessions because you never know when you will look down, and it will be gone. They're also helpful during travel and when practising at home because you never know when you might drop a pick and not have time to search through all your pockets, your gig bag, and the floor to find another one.
On that note, consider a guitar pick holder. It might just save you agonising minutes of scrambling around to find your picks. Maybe get a holder for your car keys too.
No one wants an out-of-tune session, whether you're playing electric or acoustic guitar. A guitar tuner can speed up the process. Electric guitarists use guitar pedal tuners that have a setting or input that mutes the guitar signal, allowing them to tune up between songs without anyone hearing it.
A clip-on tuner for an at-home guitarist will work just as well. Guitar supplies may come in a range of fancy options, but a little clip-on tuner can be just as great. Any self-respecting musician should own and keep a tuner in their guitar supplies. You need one whether you play electric or acoustic music and regardless of your level of skill or experience with your guitar.
If you're planning to carry your guitar around, a hard case or guitar gig bag must be added to your list of guitar supplies. It can help protect your guitar from damage if it bumps into other objects. It can also ensure you always have your guitar by your side while protecting it from adverse weather conditions. Plus, you'll be ready for the day you go on tour!
Serious gig musicians need to invest in a hard case, which can be locked and offers better protection than a guitar gig bag. If you're strapped for cash, a guitar gig bag can be cheaper and easier to lug around from place to place. Even at home, a gig bag keeps your guitar protected from dust. If you've got a set of custom guitars, a hard case for them is really the best option to keep your investment protected.
Wall-mounted guitar stands look neat. They're on our must-have list of guitar supplies for a reason. The more you interact with your guitar and display it, the more likely you will pick it up and play it. That means more practice and playing as a habit; it also means not leaving it lying about when you know there's someone who might be careless with it. Don't just prop it up against a wall or a table.
A good stand is definitely worth considering if you want to get serious about playing and taking care of your guitar. Find a stand that works for your space and budget. A portable stand might not seem all that critical until you really think about it. You want to get better at playing, right? Part of that is keeping your instrument accessible and safe. Not to mention, if you go all in and get several custom guitars, you want your guests to see them. Why not show off something that cool?
An adjustable guitar strap makes standing while playing a breeze. You need one if you want to be moving around on stage or even in your home instead of seated while playing. Find one that is comfortable for you, fits comfortably around the back of your neck and body, and is easy to adjust. You don't want to have to take your attention away from playing in the middle of a gig because of an uncomfortable or wimpy guitar strap. Keep your eye out for sturdy ones made of leather, as fabric straps have a tendency to rub and wear down faster with use. Leather will last longer and will often feel more comfortable with age.
Again, the biggest consideration is a strap that fits well. It should allow you to move naturally without any friction points rubbing against your neck, shoulder, or back. You want an enjoyable performance, not a painful one, and if it's a long show, a faulty or uncomfortable strap can throw a wrench into the whole thing.
Metronome practice is essential for building a solid foundation in rhythm, timing, and musicality. It is especially useful to help beginners develop their sense of pitch and keep up with other musicians when playing live shows. The point of a metronome is to have a completely steady pulse to practise. When you see a guitarist who can play a fast solo, that's the result of practising with a metronome. You have to gradually build up speed while practising. It's not just theory, but muscle memory that also helps you get better.
Want to play a complex piece of music but not sure where to start? Use a metronome. Take whatever you want to learn and slow it down to where it feels either relatively easy to play or you can keep up. From there, with practice, you can gradually increase the speed it's meant to be playing at. Without a metronome, musicians might slow down in difficult spots without realising it. Practising slow and fast songs is necessary for building up your technique and a metronome can help.
Dirty guitar strings are gross; the more you play, the more sweat and dirt build up on your guitar. Check out fret cleaners long before this becomes a problem for you and you won't have to worry about it. There's a few kits that come with a fretboard cloth, scrubber, and more to keep it in good condition. You want to maintain your guitar's integrity and preserve its life as much as possible. That means avoiding keeping grime on it after practice and leaving it there too long. Dirty fretboards aren't fun, and they can damage your guitar. Fret cleaner is a must-add to your list of guitar accessories.
Take Care Of Your Guitar
Be serious about caring for your guitar and keep the basic supplies on hand you need to. Some items listed above (e.g., fret cleaner, guitar wax, guitar stands) might seem like you can pass on them at first, but you can't. Keep them on hand, so you have them.
It only takes one mistake to end up with a broken or ruined instrument you had no idea was susceptible to damage. So think carefully when considering all these guitar accessories for your new or used guitar, and ensure you care for it properly when it needs it.