You can start to learn to play your acoustic guitar without these accessories, but having additional accessories as below helps you play better and easier.
Here is the list of essential acoustic guitar accessories which were listed in descending order of must-have.
1. Acoustic guitar strings
The strings are an indispensable part of the guitar. As a beginner, you should choose the right strings gauge (string size) for practicing – why?
Because they hurt your fingertips less and let you perform easier on your guitar. I recommend the light gauge and medium gauge, they are the best choice for beginners as well as experienced players.
Additionally, the tone of strings depends on what kind of strings; the 80/20 Bronze has bright tone whereas the Phosphor Bronze has warm tone. You can see more about best acoustic guitar strings in the review here.
2. Guitar Tuner
Your acoustic guitar strings need to be tuned properly before playing. Good players do it easily by play-by-ear. But the beginners need a guitar tuner for the job to be well done.
Guitar tuners are inexpensive and very easy to find. You can use tuner app for smartphone or tuner online. It’s fine, however, having a physical guitar tuner will come in handy.
If you don’t know what metronome is, it’s a small stuff looks like a radio, but it is totally not a radio. It sounds tick tock tick tock… We use it to control our playing speed, i.e. strumming speed, playing notes and scale, rhythm, chord change, etc.
We can start by setting a slow speed, and then try to increase the speed time and time again.
Metronome is optional, yet very important, especially for beginners. I strongly suggest you get one because it’s very helpful in improving your speed and progression.
Note: You can use metronome app in smartphones instead of a physical metronome.
4. Guitar Capo
The other thing I want to talk here is the capo. It is a squeezer used to put on the guitar neck on any fret and changes the guitar tuning from the standard tuning to other tuning that you want.
For example, a song is originally played in the keys of A, but you can only play chords in the keys of G. No problem, just put capo on the 2nd fret of your guitar neck and play everything in the key of G (which you know well), then you will get the tuning as if you are playing in the key of A as the original song.
It is a kind of cheating and improvising which helps you play almost all of the songs in the world by just knowing a couple of basic chords in the keys of C and the keys of G. So it is worth spending, right?
5. Guitar Pick
For sure! In order to play guitar in the appropriate way since the very starting point, you need to have a pick.
You probably saw some great guitar player do not use pick. They use their fingers to play chords, notes and everything. You can also learn finger-style technique, but that will be later.
At you starting point, I suggest you get yourself a pick. There are a lot of picks you can choose. You can choose whatever thin pick, medium pick or thick pick.
Regardless of its brand, I suggest you choose the thin pick for your start because the thin pick is just easy for a beginner to play guitar.
Personally, I would like to recommend Dunlop Nylon Standard Picks, White .38mm. It’s the thinnest pick I have ever found online.
6. Guitar Case
The guitar case keeps your guitar safe on-the-go, preventing dust and protecting the guitar from other bad condition such as temperature, moisture.
There are two kinds of guitar cases:
- Hard guitar case: is expensive and a good choice for who want full protection of their acoustic guitar.
- Soft guitar case: is lightweight, inexpensive and easy to carry on-the-go.
7. Guitar Strap
If you sit down and play, you don’t need a strap. But if you stand, you do need one. You may also need strap lock to secure you strap to the guitar to make sure that you don’t drop your ‘expensive’ guitar to the ground and break its neck.
Strap lock costs you additional spending, but I really think it’s worth it. There are many kinds of strap and strap lock ranking from a cheap one to a very expensive one. Choose the one you’d like to spend.
8. Music stand and folder
If you don’t mind spending additional money, I would suggest you buy a reasonable price music stand and a folder to put on it. Why?
Because this simple music stand and folder can help you avoid back pain. When you follow a book while playing, put the book on the stand and adjust its height to comfort you. Do not try to bend down your neck to read the book or the folder elsewhere which can causes a lot of problems to your bone and your back.
You have to choose wisely between $10 music stand/folder and a thousand dollar back pain medical bill. I really don’t think you should buy a very nice and expensive music stand at this moment. I think it’s better to have just a cheap one (not more than $15) at home.
Those are acoustic guitar accessories must-have for you to consider before starting to learn on. I hope you find this post helpful. Enjoy your play.