By. Sebastian Gomez
There are THOUSANDS of guitar gadgets on the market.
Some are great and you’ll use them every day. Others are fairly useless and you’ll wish you’d saved for another guitar!So I compiled this list so my students (and all my readers) can easily find what they need.
These are all things I use daily as a teacher and gigging musician, so let’s see what they are.
1. Clip-On Tuner
This is a crucial item to have!
Many beginners lack the skills needed to tune by ear, and many that try quit frustrated and disappointed. So having a tuner like a Snark SN1 is a lifesaver for many beginners.
HOW TO USE: All you need to do is press the button on the face and pluck a string. Simple as that It also has a metronome function that comes in handy when on stage and need to keep adrenaline from influencing your playing speed, but this I only use to start songs.
Best for acoustic/electric guitar
Best for classical guitar
A Capo is an excellent tool, and almost a must have to play acoustic guitar. There are many options, but I’ve chosen these two because of their so easy to use. Capo’s can often be difficult to use and to attach due to the spring, but I’ve found with the D’Addairo the spring is easy to adjust, and the Dunlop doesn’t have a springs so easy fix!
Detailed and Precise Metronome
If you want to grow beyond the usual “bedroom” guitarist, you must master TIME ITSELF!
That’s honestly more epic than it sounds, but having a good sense of rhythm is invaluable in the gigging world. As guitarist, we usually get a bad rap for not being able to stay in time, but with a metronome, this is easily fixed.
HOW TO USE: The Seiko is simple, just turn the dial and the speed changes. Nothing fancy.
The Boss is more customization and also has a tuning funciton you can plug an electric guitar into. You can adjust the tempo, the meter, and even the note subdivissions to practice any rhythm that stands in your way.
4. Extra Strings
Strings WILL break. There’s nothing we can do about it. Entropy wins again…
For some (like myself) this is twice a year. For others, it could be once a week!
But I’ve found these DR Veritas strings (both for electric and acoustic) to be incredibly long lasting. They stay clean and sound warm and crisp the whole time I have them on my guitars.
Long Lasting Electric Guitar
Long Lasting Acoustic strings.
Easy to change Classical strings.
Classical strings are the toughest to change. But these Ball End Ernie Balls fix the biggest difficulty which is tying the string at the bridge.
There are better sounding classical strings, but for beginners this option trumps all others just for the fact that they are EASY to change. It’s just one less hurdle to jump over.
5. Peg Winder/String Cutter
This is the Swiss army knife of guitar accessories. It does it all and it does it well. For a beginner changing strings is a nerve wrecking task, but inevitable. So I always recommend this to my students, and they love using it. Saves them a lot of time and effort
The D’Addario model I specially like for the extra slot it has on the winder, allowing you to use it on bass guitar tuners, and wider tuners like found on archtop guitars.
6. Extra Picks
No matter how hard you grip… you will drop pics… and no matter how well you look… they won’t show up. So we’ll need extras.
Best for Soloing
7. Music Stand
Many music lessons today are done online and on a computer screen. So why would a guitarist need a music stand?
Well nothing quite beats having something physical in front of you to read from and to make notes on, and reading off a tabletop is just not the same. This suggestion to me is actually very important for one reason:
Developing good posture as a musician is PRICELESS, and will save you a lot of pain and trouble down the road.
There are many, MANY options for music stands, and I’ve had a NIGHTMARE sorting through the good ones. But I can tell you after many failed products that this Hercules stand is my favorite, and in my opinion,
THE BEST AND ONLY ONE YOU SHOULD BUY!!
And a bonus feature is you can store all the gadget you buy on the stand itself!
BONUS: Looper Pedal
I absolutely love loop pedals, and they are indispensable in my practice routine.
Whether I’m practicing solos, bass guitar parts, or even for composing, a loop pedal helps in all cases. I specially like the TC Electronics Ditto Loopers because of how simple they are. Just tap to record, and tap to stop. Easy!
Only reason this is a bonus is because not everyone will need one, or be able to use one. For starters, unless you have an electric component to your guitar, a loop pedal is useless. But if you have either an electric or acoustic-electric guitar, you’ll find hours of fun using a looper pedal.