There are a number of guitar accessories that you might want to buy for your guitar. Guitar accessories are relatively cheap and if you are buying a guitar, you might be able to pick up a good deal if you want to buy a number of accessories as well.
Here is a list of guitar accessories to consider (in order of the most popular):
- Guitar bag or case
- Guitar tuner/pitch pipe
- Guitar strings
- Effects pedals/Foot Switches
- Guitar stands
- Plectrums (also known as picks)
- Guitar Leads/Cables
- Guitar straps
- Guitar Capo
- Guitar Slide
- Cleaning and maintenance (polish, nut file set, wrench set, fret file set)
- Stringwinder (also known as a pegwinder)
- Straplok set
- Power adaptor for effects pedals
Guitar Bags and Cases
If you plan on gigging a lot or travelling on planes/trains etc. I recommend buying a guitar case, otherwise a padded gig bag will do just fine. The Kinsman guitar cases and guitar bags are a very good quality and are also one of the most popular. The Kinsman guitar bags come in three grades.
1) Standard - hardly any padding and one small pouch for music books and accessories
2) Deluxe - quite well padded, with two pouches
3) Premium - extremely well padded, with large and small pouches and a shoulder strap.
The Kinsman guitar cases are made for Stratocasters, Telecasters, Les Paul shape, electric, acoustic or bass guitars.
Guitar tuner/pitch pipe
There are hundreds of guitar tuners to choose from on the market. The best brands in order of popularity* are:
- Qwik Tune
The two guitar tuners that stand out from the rest are the Stagg Automatic Guitar/Bass Tuner and the Korg GA-30. These two guitar tuners are sold more than any other guitar tuner on the market.
It's always wise to have a spare set of guitar strings to hand. You never know when one will brake and leave you in a difficult situation.
You will need to buy steel strings for electric, bass or acoustic guitars and nylon strings for classical, Spanish or Flamenco guitars
Here is a list of the top brands of guitar strings, in order of popularity*:
- Ernie Ball
- Dan electro
- John Pearse
For some groovy sounds you will need to buy an effects pedal. The two most popular are the Jim Dunlop GCB-95 Original Cry Baby Wah Wah Effects Pedal and the Ibanez Tone-Lok Series SM7 Smash Box Effects Pedal.
Here is a list of the top brands in order of popularity*:
- Jim Dunlop
- Dan electro
Amplifiers are used with electric guitars, bass guitars and electro-acoustic guitars.
You will need to buy a lead to connect up to your guitar.
There are many types of guitar amplifiers ranging from the smallest which is normally 10 watts up to 500 watts! or more:
Practice amps (these are normally quite small)
Standard amps (used for playing in bands or gigging)
Bass amps (used only with bass guitars)
Keyboard amps (used with electronic keyboards and stage pianos)
Speakers and Monitors
Combo amps (also known as combination amplifiers)
Which brand of Amplifier do I choose?
There are a number of brands of guitar amplifiers, here is a list in order of the most popular*:
All guitar amplifiers sound different. Some (like Marshall and Line 6) are good for Rock and Roll, others have a softer and less bright sound like the popular Vox amps and Mesa Boogie.
For beginners, I would recommend either the Peavey Backstage or the BB10 blaster amp.
The Peavey Backstage is by far the most popular and best value for money beginner's guitar amp on the market.
Guitar stands or Guitar Hangers
There are lots of different types of guitar stands, it really depends on which stand is more suited to you.
There is the standard guitar stand, the universal guitar stand, the auto grab guitar stand, the double and triple guitar stand and the wall mounted guitar stand. The standard guitar stand is the most popular and comes in three different types: i) electric/bass, ii) classical and iii) universal.
The most popular* brands are:
Plectrums (also known as picks)
Plectrums are very cheap and can be bought individually, or in packs.
Most commonly you can buy plectrums on the web in packs of 6.
Guitar plectrums come in different gauges. Usually the thinner ones are
used with Classical, Spanish or Flamenco guitars, the medium gauges with Electric and Acoustic guitars and the thickest ones with Basses.
There are lots of brands of plectrums. The most popular* are:
- Jim Dunlop
Guitar Leads normally come in different lengths: The most common is the 15 feet/4.5 metre leads. This length is ample if you are playing in a band.
Popular* brands of guitar leads/cables are:
If you want to buy a gift for a guitarist, there is nothing better than a nice leather guitar strap.
Levys and Gibson are the most famous brands of guitar straps, Levys have the most comprehensive selection.
Other guitar straps to look out for are Dickies and Wrangler.
A capo is a clamp that you can use on different frets of the guitar to change the pitch of the open strings. Each fret on the guitar is a half step. If you place the capo on the 1st fret, all of the open strings will sound a semi-tone higher than normal, this makes changing the key of a song easy.
Dunlop and Shubb are the most popular* guitar capos.
The guitar slide is a tube of some hard material about one to two inches long. Commonly, it's made from glass and metals. Each type of guitar slide has distinct characteristics, tonality, and overall sound. The guitar slide is pressed lightly against the strings so as not to touch the strings of the fret, producing a sustained tone which can be varied in pitch by moving the slide across the neck. A quick side-to-side motion is often used in this way to generate vibrato.
The most popular brand to go for is Dunlop.
If you want to play at home but don't want to disturb your neighbours, then a good set of headphones is recommended.
Any headphones will do, so take your pick from any of the following leading brands:
- Acoustic Research
- Altec Lansing
- British Telecom
- Creative Labs
- Design Go
- Direct Sound
- Dolphin Music
- Etymotic Research
- Gemini Sound Products
- GN Netcom
- Griffin Technology
- Harman Kardon
- Hewlett Packard
- Kondor Limited
- Logic 3
- Ministry Of Sound
- MM Gear
- Nady Systems
- Nesa Vision
- Plane Quiet
- Power Acoustik
- Skull Candy
- Ultimate Ears
- Vic Firth
- XO Vision
- Zalman Tech
If you want to play your guitar in time then you are going to need to buy a metronome.
You can choose from modern electronic metronomes or traditional mechanical metronomes.
Traditional metronomes look very nice and are made from either plastic or wood, they are also known as pendulum metronomes because the ticking sound is produced by a small pendulum that swings back and forth, much like the old Grandfather clocks. The Traditional wooden or plastic metronomes tend to be a lot more expensive than the electronic metronomes.
The leading metronome brands in order of popularity* are:
Cleaning and maintenance (polish, nut file set, wrench set, fret file set)
To look after your guitar you will need to at least buy some guitar polish. Gibson produce a good guitar polish and also Doctor Ducks Axe Wax is very popular.
If you are serious about guitar playing then you might want to have a nut file, fret file or wrench set. You can keep your guitar in top playing condition.
The guitar footstool is used mainly by Classical, Spanish or Flamenco guitarists.
Their style of playing and the way they hold the guitar makes the use of a footstool quite important.
Stringwinder (also known as a pegwinder)
If you have lots of guitars, own a guitar shop, or tune guitars on a regular basis, the guitar stringwinder comes in handy as a real time saver. Instead of turning the guitar pegs by hand, you can use the stringwinder to speed up the process.
For replacing the bolt that holds on your guitar strap.
Power adaptor for effects pedals
If you use effects pedals then you will need a power adaptor to connect to the mains.
*Please note that the above article makes references to guitar accessories listed in popularity order.