Essential Items You Need When You Buy Your First Guitar

Essential Items You Need When You Buy Your First Guitar

When you purchase your first guitar, you should plan on buying a few other things too. These essential items make starting to play and care for your guitar much easier.

1. Pen and Paper

Pen and paper is a simple thing that is often overlooked. As you learn, you want to get in the habit of writing everything down. You will learn much faster if you write out chords and scales yourself instead of just printing diagrams you found online or constantly looking at books. 

Notebooks are also a great place to keep a list of what you would like to learn to play or any musical ideas you have. Keeping a practice journal will also help you see all your progress.

2. Picks

You can never have too many picks. Losing and misplacing picks happens to everyone who plays the guitar. Beginners should try picks with different thicknesses. Most beginners like the feel of medium picks. Many guitar players like thicker picks once they have some experience playing. It is OK to try picks made from different materials and different sizes. Finding a pick you like using usually takes some time and comes down to personal preference.

3. Tuner

You will want to tune your guitar every time you play it. An out-of-tune guitar sounds awful and is no fun to play. There are many different tuners, but all you need to get started is a cheap clip-on tuner like a Snark.

4. Extra Strings

Strings will break. It is not a big deal, but you want to be prepared and have extra strings handy. Even if you are lucky and don’t break any strings, you will want to get in the habit of changing your strings every three or four months. A fresh set of guitar strings will make your guitar sound fantastic.

5. Metronome

Learning how to play in time is essential. The sooner you learn how to use a metronome, the better you will sound. A trained teacher will be able to help you learn how to use your metronome properly.

6. Case

You want to have a safe place to store your guitar. A hardshell case is the safest way to transport and store your guitar. A case allows you to control the environment for your guitar, protecting it from drastic temperature changes, humidity, and dust. You can keep your guitar on a stand or wall hanger, but make sure it is not stored in direct sunlight or by a heat source.

7. Cleaning Cloth

You can buy a cleaning cloth or use a soft material like a t-shirt. Wiping down your guitar after using it will help it look better and make your strings last longer.

8. Amp (optional)

As a beginner, all you will need is a small practice amp. You want to be polite and play at a reasonable volume initially. Many of the sounds that a beginner guitarist makes are not pleasant, but that is just part of the process. Playing through an amp will help you learn how to mute unwanted noises and control what sounds come out of your guitar. You can always buy a bigger amp once you are ready to start playing in a band or doing solo performances.

 About the author: Brian Fish is a professional guitarist living in Northeast Ohio and is an expert guitar instructor at  Guitar Lessons Geauga.