Guitar Buying Guide: 7 Accessories you Need

Updated: May 18, 2019

If you are a bright-eyed beginner or a seasoned rock star, these 7 items are must-haves. Just don't leave them at home, you will miss them in your hour of need!

1. The Guitar Pick

Imagine if you will: hours of hard practice later, and you are finally ready to debut your rockin' solo at a social event for your friends and family. Aunt Jill tells everyone to "shh' and you stand, proud and ready to play. You reach into your pocket to retrieve your guitar pick, and to your shock and horror, no picks are to be found. Fumbling with a sudden onset of nerves your fingers explore every inch of your pockets, desperately hoping for the feel of a teardrop-shaped piece of plastic. Alas, you are left with heart racing, your grand performance turned to dust.


Try different types of guitar picks. The softer or thinner the pick, the less control you will have over your playing. Most hard picks are about 1 millimeter thick. Experiment with different thicknesses of picks to find the one that feels best for you and that gives you the best sound.


Picks can be made of wood, different types of plastic, stone, shells and even metal. Brian May of Queen famously uses an English penny for a pick. Keep in mind, any pick that is not plastic can destroy your strings and guitar if used incorrectly.

2. The Cable (Electric Guitars and Acoustic-Electric Guitars)

If you don't have a cable, you might as well have left your guitar at home. How will your electric guitar be heard if you can't plug in? Always keep TWO cables in your guitar case (see #7).

3. The Capo

"Sing us a song! You know, that one that you can play perfectly on the guitar!"

Not all of us can hit the high notes of Gun N' Roses' Axl Rose, Maroon 5's Adam Levine or Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant. To help even the playing field, especially for beginners who don't know or can't yet play barre chords, there is the capo. By sliding the capo up and down the neck and placing it just behind the frets (see below) you can change the key of the song without learning new chords. For a custom tutorial on how to do this sign up for a 1 on 1 lesson with our best acoustic guitar coach:

or electric guitar coach:

4. Extra Strings

Maybe you are a bluesman, maybe a shredder, maybe you pick and strum like Eddie Vedder. However you play, most guitar players will eventually pop a string. Having an extra set handy (and knowing how to change strings on your guitar) means the music will never stop. Be sure to match the current gauge that is on your guitar to avoid the guitar's intonation and action being disturbed.

Pro tip: When changing strings, take one string off and immediately replace it. This will keep the tension on the guitar neck and body consistent and stop unwanted shifting in the guitar's set up from occurring.

5. String Winder

If you have ever tried to change strings without a string winder, your next move was most probably to buy a string winder.

This little device is a huge time saver and will save you from potential tendonitis.

A basic, black string winder

6. Tuning Device

At Best Music Coach we see the amazing results that our students get learning to tune by ear but even they need a reference pitch to get started. We have made this video specifically for those who wish to learn to tune their instrument without relying on apps and accessories.

If you prefer a physical tuning accessory, there are clip on tuners, pitchforks and pitch pipes that will all provide reference notes. To learn how to tune your guitar sign up for a 1 on 1 online lesson here:

Electric guitar lessons:

Acoustic guitar lessons:

7. Guitar Case

Keeping your guitar safe can cost anywhere from $20 for a case that protects against scratches to a $80-$120 price tag on a hard case. A soft case is light, easily portable and sometimes comes with backpack style straps. These are great for no-risk guitar transportation and storage. A hard case will better protect against bumps, falls, drops and travel. Explore your options and see what works best for your situation and your budget.

Sign up for 1 on 1 online guitar lessons:

Acoustic guitar lessons:

Electric guitar lessons:

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