Congratulations! You now have your brand spanking new guitar, now what? Load up, that’s what!
The guitar itself is the initial investment into your new hobby or rockstar aspirations, but there’s plenty more to come if you want to sound any good.
So don’t compromise and don’t be too cheap. If you can’t help it, please keep your strummin’ to yourself! These must have accessories are your foot in the door to stardom!
Since great achievements require great tools, we’ve covered a comprehensive guitar accessories list that caters to all types of acoustic, electric, classical, and bass guitars.
We’ve also covered some cool guitar accessories that you might want to expect for a birthday gift. With this list, you’ll be prepared for any snag that might ruin your rhythm!
Top 8 Must-Have Guitar Accessories
Don’t think you can compromise on a must have accessory! The crowd will be unnerved by your panic attack when you’re left on stage unprepared without your spare set of strings or your misplaced tuner. Get the point?
If you don’t have the master skill of tuning by ear, then you’d be lost without a tuner. Most guitar tuners can dial you in for perfect pitch accuracy whether you have an acoustic, electric, bass, or classical guitar – they’re just naturally non-discriminating.
Some tuners have a built-in mic to acoustically pick up pitch and others have sensors to pick up vibrations.
You could also plug in directly to some tuners that eliminate the fuss and chaos of a noisy background from interfering with tuning in. Opt for a clip-on, pedal tuner for electrics, or even a fancy virtual one!
For a beginner, you could get away with spending as little as $10-$20 on a decent tuner. But, for serious players that want fanatical pitch-perfect precision, you’d want to spend around $80-$110.
Gig Bags and Cases
How do you tow, stow, and protect your git? Do you buckle it in the back seat of your car? Is it sitting out exposed to the night air and ash from the bonfire? Tsk tsk!
A bag and case is more than just a rad “sweater”, it’s your giant purse for storing your accessories, and it’s your guitar’s ultimate protection from bangs, bumps, and thumps! While a soft carry bag is better than no bag at all, a hard shell case is definitely the better way to go if you can manage the cost.
Of course, you’ll want to take into consideration the type of guitar you have to pick the appropriate shape and size of the bag. For example, a classical guitar case is going to be slightly smaller than a dreadnought acoustic guitar case. Soft gig bags might only cost around $20 and quality hardshell cases can run you up $150!
You might also want to get brand specific when it comes to quality guitar cases.
Spare String Set
To avoid an on-stage meltdown when one of those strings go rouge, make sure you have a spare set with you. We don’t recommend carrying your spare set in your gig bag all the time since they’re prone to environmental damage, but if you know you’re out for a gig, take it with you.
Don’t get cheap when it comes to spares either. For the moments you’ll need them most, you want something that is just as good as what you have on.
Classical guitar accessories will always include nylon strings or whatever fiber type string set you need for your git. However, most of you electric, acoustic, and bass guitar players will most likely stick with some type of steel string set.
Just try standing and playing your guitar at the same time. Not an easy feat and definitely an uncomfortable one at that!
To avoid an arm pit cramp, add a guitar shoulder strap to your must have list. Typically, they’re adjustable so you can string ’em up tight to you or hang ’em down loose.
You can go cheap and spend less than ten bucks or you can splurge a little and spend anywhere between $20-$40 if you want to feel the goodness of leather!
While most beginners haven’t gone anywhere near barre chords yet, most intermediate players will start dabbling with one. With a capo, you can place it on any fret for an immediate pitch change, higher timbre shift, or for full, swampy, and “doubled” sounds.
Don’t let purists say that using a capo is like using a cheat sheet! The Beatles used it in “Here Comes the Sun“, Keith Urban in “Raining on Sunday“, and even James Taylor and Phil Keaggy don’t shy away from the capo stigma either!
While capos can be cheap, maybe five bucks, you could be a high-roller for once and dish out $10-$15 for one that could last you years!
This one really is a no brainer. If any guitarist plans on picking or strumming, you’ll most likely need a pick.
But, choosing a pick for your guitar can be as daunting and exciting as only choosing a few candies from a crazy candy emporium! You want them all but they’re all so unique and particular!
Since they can range in materials, sizes, thicknesses, and even shapes, where would you begin?
First, they’re cheap. You can spend anywhere between a buck for a set of 20 picks to $15 for 100 pieces! For a strummer, you’d want to go with a thin and flexible density. For pickers, you’d want something a littler more sturdy and firm for your solo debuts.
If you’re a beginner player, then most likely your beginner guitar already has a set of locking tuners. But, if you’re restringing your guitar yourself, a string winder is going to be a nifty gadget you can’t go without!
A string winder or peg winder wraps the strings around the post much faster and smoother than what you could get done with your own hands.
Bass players have no need to feel so neglected since bass guitar accessories include a bass guitar sized peg winder to help you get the job done. Many have built-in cutters to snip off the excess.
Don’t roll your eyes at this one, it’s a must have practice aid, especially if you’re just starting out.
Technology has come a long way from the tick-tock style metronomes. In fact, you can even download a metronome app on your smartphone!
Quality metronomes are going to cost you into the $20-$30 price range, but if you need some help with rhythm, you can’t go without a metromone!
Top 4 Must-Have Electric Guitar Accessories
Disclaimer: This section isn’t just for electric guitars, but for all electric stringed instruments, even acoustic guitars! If your acoustic has pickups in it, then go ahead and plug in!
If you play the electric, acoustic-electric, or an electric bass, you’ll want to make sure you get these must-haves on your list today!
It doesn’t matter if you’re plugging in an electric, acoustic-electric, or electric bass guitar, you need the right cables to get the job done! For newbies, the cable connects from your guitar to the amp for amplified sound.
The idea is pretty simple. But, it gets a little tricky when you consider configuration and cable length. When it comes to configuration, we’re talking about the end pieces. You can go with straight end pieces, one straight and a 90 degree angle, or both ends with 90 degree angles.
The configuration is purely personal preference.
The cable length should be long enough to give you comfortable length and walking space from the sound system. This could be as short as 6 feet long while a 10 foot cable is ideal. You could even be on the extreme end and go with a 20 foot cable! Hell, why not?
If you plan on being heard, an amp is the best way to go.
Besides, many amps allow for headphones to be used if you want to let your neighbors sleep when you plug in your electric guitar or bass.
There’s a lot of consider when it comes to amps such as type, power, speaker size, volume, and features. So, we did the leg work for you so you can suss out which amp works best for you in our Top 5 Guitar Amps of 2017 Review.
From small and big to cheap and pricey, there’s an amp waiting to amplify your tunes and your skills!
Pedals and Pedal Board
If you’re a serious electric guitar player, then pedals will be a must-have to your collection. To keep things neat and organized, a pedal board won’t be far down on that list either!
From tuner pedals, effects, volume, overdrive, and distortion, there’s a pedal that’s waiting to be stomped on!
Give some oomph, rah, wah, and twang to your jig with a sexy stompbox that’s a must have for any radical player!
For more detailed info on pedals, make sure to stomp on by and check out our Top 5 Guitar Pedals of 2017! You’ll get more toe thumping action than you can hope for!
Power and Batteries
More accessories for your accessories! You won’t be able to plug in if you don’t have the power source!
Is it AA batteries you need, a 9v battery, or an AC adapter that gets the job done?
While batteries are super cheap, if you have the best guitar accessories that don’t eat them up like candy, you can always invest in a power source. Cater to your complex pedal train, your electronic tuner, or your looper to keep your skills on the rise!
Top 5 “I Want” Accessories
While these can be considered must haves by many git players, they’re also super cool guitar accessories that would be extremely useful but not mandatory. But, they’d be super nice to be given as a gift, hint hint!
This isn’t a mandatory accessory since it does depend on where you live. If you have an electric guitar and you’re in dryer climates, you don’t need one. But, the opposite is true for acoustic guitars! Either way, it’s definitely a good idea to get a mini humidifier to protect your git.
Why? Guitars are made of wood – enough said? Probably not. Acoustic guitar wood is prone to cracking, warping, and it can even shrink the frets beyond the rim of the fingerboard!
Guitar humidifiers are simple to use. Add water and store in your gig bag. Some might require you to place right underneath the strings or in the soundhole. With those kinds, be sure not to overdo on the water. In high-humidity conditions you could actually cause the wood to absorb the water and warp and ruin your guitar.
It should only cost you between $5-$20 for a decent humifidier.
Stands and Racks
Not considered a must have since a gig bag and hardshell case works just fine. But, if you’re playing daily, hauling out your git from the case all the time can be tedious and inconvenient.
Enter here, a guitar stand or rack!
Don’t let your guitar take a tumble by leaning it against the wall, or if you have a collection, a rack can hold up to five or even seven guitars!
For a cheaper option, you could always check out guitar wall hangers.
Do you want the ability to hear yourself played back to you? How about recording a rhythm track to play along with and have a buddy jam it with you?
Well, a loop is a recorded phrase of about 30 seconds that you can play to or edit for seamless replay.
It’s a pedal for electric guitars that works well with your effects pedals to experiment with and modify.
Instead of creating individual parts for an entire song, you can layer loops for chorus and refrains to create a repetitive riff, melody, or drum pattern!
But, if you’re a beginner, you should opt for a simple recorder since loopers can get pricey!
Woowee, slides! These come in such a variety of styles, colors, and materials! It’s like trying to compare the many flavors and sizes of jelly beans!
There’s the medicine-type bottle slide, brass pipe, wine bottle neck, lap steel, glass-blown, and a pedal nickel-chrome machined slide!
Each type of slide is suited for personal taste and comfort preferences, but, all slides are used to literally slide up and down the fretboard!
You know how your guitar might come with some dinky little hooks or poorly glued-in snaps?
Yeah, those hooks and snaps are going to fail at some point which means your guitar is going to take an inevitable fall! Maybe one that will ruin your cherished prize beyond repair!
A strap lock is going to provide ultimate support and insurance against damage to your guitar.
They’re cheap, they avoid accidental detachments, and they provide you peace of mind.
Put Your Name on It!
The best acoustic guitar accessories, as well as for electric, are the ones that you can find your groove with. There’s no use trying to emulate the most revered musicians if it doesn’t work for you.
What do you do then? Set your own style signature! With the right accessories, some talent, and a lot of practice, you can put your name on it and set yourself apart from the amateur crowd!