How to play the guitar – ‘What Will I Need’ Part 2
When learning how to play the guitar, you’ll need some accessories, too…
So, you’ve decided to learn how to play the guitar, and you’ve bought yourself a guitar. Whilst this is clearly the most important bit of gear that you’re going to need, there is also a range of accessory items that you may need. Some of these are pretty much essential, others just incredibly useful. To decide which of these are going to be essential for you, here is a mini guide to the accessories you may need.
1. Guitar Tuner
Number one on the list is, perhaps, the most essential item. It is just about impossible to learn how to play the guitar when you don’t know whether the guitar is out of tune, or your playing is incorrect. Plus, spare a thought for those who will have to listen to your first musical steps- having the guitar in tune will make it easier for them, and make it all far more satisfying when you start to progress. 😉
There is an endless array of tuners available, but check out the Korg GA1 and CA1, the Boss TU-10 clip on tuner, or the Joyo Clip-on Tuner JMT03 for some great options.
2. Guitar Carry Case or Bag
This, again, is an essential. It will provide protection from any accidental knocks, whether you will be transporting it to lessons, friends’ houses or just storing it in your home. Those available can be loosely divided into hard-shell cases (made of solid, hard materials) and gig bags (those made of soft materials and fabric).
The safest solution is a hard case. This will protect against just about any knock or collision (within reason, and depending on the case). However, they do take up quite a bit of space.
A gig bag is the more common solution for the beginner, as they are lighter, can be folded, take up less space and are less expensive. Gig bags range from simple, unpadded carry cases, to heavily padded bags with a range of pockets. Click here for a full range of cases.
3. A Plectrum
In some playing styles they may not be essential, but for those who want to learn how to play guitar in many modern styles, a plectrum is a must-have item. For the uninitiated, the plectrum (or plec) is the little piece of plastic used to ‘pluck’ or strum the strings of a guitar. Available in a mind-blowing range of styles and sizes, it’s always having a stash of these, as they inevitably go missing…
Very Useful Accessories
1. Guitar Stand or Guitar Hanger
It is very useful to have somewhere to stand your guitar, so it can be picked up and played, without having to store it in a case. A guitar stand allows the guitar to be stored stood up, whilst a guitar hanger attaches to the wall, and allows your pride and joy to be hung, like the work of art it is.
2. String Winder
When learning how to play the guitar, you’ll have to change the strings at some point. A string winder is a handy little gadget that will make winding strings on and off the tuning peg a whole lot quicker.
This is often the first ‘non-essential’ accessory many guitarists will buy. In essence, a capo is a clip that attaches to a guitar neck, which will old down all of the strings at whichever fret you desire. This allows the guitar’s open strings to be effectively increased in pitch, according to where it is placed. Capos range in price in style, but a wide selection can be found here.
4. Tutor Books
Whilst the best way to learn how to play the guitar is with a good teacher, there are a wide range of excellent tutor books available, which can get you started or provide additional exercises and pieces to play.
Stay posted for more ‘How to Play Guitar’ articles soon…
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