When buying your first guitar, the question often arises as to which additional equipment represents a sensible investment right from the start. Of course, this question also depends on the chosen guitar type. Nevertheless, some accessories are equally recommended for the classical guitar as well as for the acoustic guitar or electric guitar.
A very important investment for all guitar types is the tuner. If the guitar is not tuned properly, it is guaranteed to dampen the joy of playing and is also not conducive to the development of hearing. Therefore, you should tune your instrument regularly from the beginning.
Electronic tuners, also called tuners, are available in different sizes, designs and of course price ranges. Very compact and practical are the so-called clip tuners, which are simply attached to the headstock.
Typical standard tuners are slightly larger, but also offer a jack connection for electrically amplified guitars and have a clearer display. It is also recommended to purchase a tuner right away that has both a simple numbered display for standard tuning of the six strings, as well as a chromatic tuner function that can recognize and display all notes of the tonal system. The numbered display provides a better overview for beginners who are not yet so familiar with the tone names.
However, if you want to try out alternative tunings later on, or if you want to bring a badly out-of-tune guitar into tune for the first time, the chromatic tuner can help.
Some tuners also have a practical metronome function on board. The pitch of the concert pitch can also often be calibrated. This should normally be set to 440 Hz.
Timing is an elementary and very crucial part of making music. The accuracy of your own timing can be trained from the beginning with a so-called metronome.
An electric metronome with various functions is recommended. Classic wind-up metronomes, on the other hand, look nice in the furniture of a music room, but do not work as precisely and comprehensively as their modern electric relatives.
For those who want to know exactly from the start, a metronome with typical additional functions such as the reproduction of different time signatures and note values is recommended. As already mentioned, however, a simple metronome function is also already integrated in some tuners.
The guitar stand
To ensure that the instrument does not come to harm and has a place where it can be safely placed, a stable and safe guitar stand is a very worthwhile investment! Guitar stands are available in different designs for various types of guitars. If you want to save space, you are of course also well advised with a wall holder.
The guitar bag
A good guitar bag also ensures that the guitar remains intact when on the road. So it makes no sense to save money here. Nevertheless, a simple bag is often already part of beginner guitar sets.
Otherwise, depending on the model type, it is recommended to choose a bag that has a certain amount of padding, can be carried comfortably, offers spaces for stowing sheet music and other small accessories, and at best is also water-repellent. Of course, with a more expensive guitar, it also makes sense to think about a case right away.
The music stand
Even though reading music may not be one of the most popular exercises for beginner guitarists, a music stand is generally very useful when practicing.
This is because, depending on the sitting or standing position, all documents, from song lyrics to tabs and sheet music, can be positioned at eye level, allowing for comfortable reading.
Music stands are also available in various designs. If you want to use the music stand on the go, the simple folding version is recommended.
Especially among players of the acoustic guitar, the capo is a popular tool to be able to play with open strings in other keys. Initially, however, the capo can also be used to get around chords that are difficult to finger. Kapos are available in different sizes and designs for all guitar types.
Playing with a plectrum is especially common among owners of electric and acoustic guitars, while it tends not to be used on classical guitars, at least in classical playing styles. Medium and heavy gauge picks are recommended for electric and acoustic guitar. Soft “thin” picks, on the other hand, are worth trying out on the classical guitar.
Playing aids for classical guitar
Classical guitarists are usually advised to use a footrest in lessons in order to bring the instrument into a better playing position. Alternatively, however, guitar supports that are attached to the lower frame or the so-called Dynarette cushion have become established. These two alternatives ensure an ergonomic sitting posture.
The Guitar Strap (Acoustic Guitar & Electric Guitar)
Practicing while standing is a welcome change for the posture. However, at the latest when the first band is formed, the guitar must be strapped to the strap. If your first instrument doesn’t come with a strap, it’s a good idea to buy one right away.
The guitar cable (electric guitar)
Without an additional cable, even the most beautiful amplifier is useless for your electric guitar. So, do not forget the cable!
The practice amp (electric guitar)
The music market now offers a lot of good solutions on the subject of practice amps. A so-called modeling amp, which provides simulations of the most popular amplifier types and often also a selection of typical guitar effects, provides variety without question. This gives the budding electric guitarist a first impression of the possible sound variations of his instrument without having to invest in additional equipment.
Guitar strings should be changed regularly, especially since they can break more often in the beginning, especially on the electric guitar. Depending on the style of music and playing style, different string gauges are recommended. Therefore, it is not unusual to change the string gauge again and again over time.
For classical guitars, however, a “medium tension” set is a good choice at the beginning. Western guitars, on the other hand, are usually shipped from the factory with a “Light” string gauge, which usually ranges from .012 – .053. In order not to make stringing unnecessarily difficult, a string gauge of .009 – .042 is recommended for electric guitars at the beginning. If you don’t want to keep changing, you should also try coated strings.
A string crank for the tuning pegs makes changing strings much more convenient. Once the guitar has been restringed, the protruding string ends must be shortened. An additional string cutter is recommended here.