Beginners Guide to Guitar Accessories
Published on 02 December 2019
So, let's talk guitar accessories!
Once you start on your guitar journey, you'll soon realise that your new axe requires some extras. From tuners to plectrums, we've got all the information you need to get going.
A guitar and a tuner literally go hand in hand. You really cannot play the guitar without having a tuner. Here at guitarguitar, a tuned guitar is a happy guitar. It’s an essential accessory and no guitarist should be without one. Tuners come in all shapes and sizes. Some small and compact, and can fit onto your headstock. Others are stompboxes and can be placed onto a pedalboard. All tuners these days have a digital screen, which makes it super easy to tune.
Plectrums. Plecs. Picks. Whatever you want to call it… that thing that you keep dropping inside of the soundhole of your acoustic guitar… nightmare!
Plectrums are a very important accessory to the guitar playing experience. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours, so it’s worth trying a few out to find a style that you like. They are usually made of plastic and come in a variety of gauges (gauge = thickness!). Some are super thin which are perfect for light acoustic playing, others are uber thick which are mainly used by Jazz and shred players. But at the end of the day, it’s all really about personal preference. (Over time, picks will eventually wear out so make sure you keep plenty handy!)
Every beginner guitarist has been bewildered by the mysterious capo and thought what’s this capo business all about? So don't worry. Well, let us tell you, a capo will be your new best friend. They are simple, yet very effective little things. In short, capos can be used for changing the key for a song without the bother of re-learning chord shapes. They clamp around any fret of your guitar and raises the instrument’s pitch accordingly. Simple, right?
Capos are usually a one fit all type of deal, however, if you’re playing a classical guitar, then you may need a different one, as these types of guitars generally have wider, thicker necks.
Right. Let’s talk about gig bags and hard cases. They are a sensible solution for transporting your beloved instrument from home to rehearsal or venue.
Gig bags (or ‘soft cases’) are essentially like big guitar-shaped backpacks. They are padded (to different levels of thickness depending on the price) and usually have handy exterior pockets and zipped sections to carry extra pieces of equipment with you. They will also usually have backstraps, so you can easily pop it on your back and go!
Hard cases are a lot more sturdy and protective of your instrument and is your guitar’s first defence against accidental damage. They are made in a variety of different shapes and sizes so your guitar can fit snugly inside.
Which one to choose? Well, that’s up to you and depending on what you’re up to! Gig backs are great for jumping on and off transport, carrying your guitar to the rehearsal room and so on. Hard cases are ideal when you want a bit more peace of mind, or if you’re loading your guitar into a vehicle along with other instruments or equipment.
Strings, strings, strings! Whether you’re an electric, acoustic or bass player, every guitarist has their own preference when it comes to guitar strings. There are so many different brands and gauges that it can sometimes get a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing new strings.
When it comes to acoustic guitars, the string selection becomes a little more important, as the material using making acoustic strings (bronze or phosphor bronze, usually) can affect the resulting tone.
If it’s your first time picking out new strings for your guitar, our staff are always on hand online and instore to help!
Guitar straps are not only practical, but they are where players can really express their personality. They come in all designs and colours, so you’ll be able to find one that suits you. The length of most can be easily adjusted depending on your height or if you’re wanting to achieve that real punk rock low guitar look. A standard strap will usually (99.9999% of the time) fit all guitars, whether it’s an acoustic, electric or bass.
Number one rule when buying a guitar cable... the more dollar you spend, the better quality and lastability you'll get! Cheap cables may give you buzzing and make your tonality sound... well, not great. A high-quality guitar cable will preserve your tone, whereas cheaper cables will rob you of signal strength and certain frequencies.
If you have any burning questions about guitar accessories, let us know in the comments below! We'd be happy to help.