When it comes to learning guitar, there’s no such thing as a shortcut. To become proficient at your instrument you need to practice – but we know that’s easier said than done. At the beginning of your musical journey, the thought of sitting for hours running scales and chords is enough to put anyone off the instrument altogether.
Well, we’re here to tell you that practicing doesn’t need to be a chore. There are plenty of gadgets out there that will enhance your practice sessions and make your learning experience more enjoyable.
From innovative tuning tools to interactive learning aids, state-of-the-art amps and must-have accessories, we’ve curated this selection of beginner-friendly gadgets that are sure to transform your practice routine.
That said, it's not just pure beginners that will reap the benefits of these killer guitar gadgets. So, if you are an intermediate player looking to make some progress in your playing, then you'll want to read on, too.
Clip-on guitar tuner
In the beginning, it can be very difficult to tune your guitar by ear. Now, while you'll most definitely develop your ear over time, we highly recommend picking up a clip-on guitar tuner. These handy devices will allow you to tune your guitar in seconds giving you more time to focus on the fun part – playing the guitar!
Below you'll find three of our favorite tuners that cover various price points.
For us, the Polytune Clip delivers outstanding tuning performance, and with chromatic, strobe, and polyphonic modes, you'll find a setting that works for you.
This tuner is simple to use, accurate, and incredibly well-made; what more do you need?
This D'Addario tuner is lightweight and discrete, and the 360-degree swivel design means it's suitable for every style of guitar.
The bright LCD screen is easy to read, and better yet, there’s a visual metronome built in so you can work on your timing as well as your tuning.
The Snark ST-2 is an affordable tuner that is ideal for beginners and newbie guitarists. The bright and colorful screen is easy to read, and again, there's a tap-tempo metronome mode that will help you work on your timing.
This tuner is also available in a rainbow of colorways, so you'll be sure to find one that will suit your style.
What does a capo actually do? Well, very basically, a guitar capo is used to change the key of your instrument. So, if you were to place your capo on the second fret of your guitar and play a standard E major chord, you’ll now be playing an F# major instead – simple.
So, if you plan on learning songs in a myriad of different keys, a capo is a must-have accessory that every beginner guitarist should have in their gigbag or case.
Okay, the G7th Performance 3 ART isn't exactly the most affordable capo in the world, but it's one of our favorites. This clever capo features Adaptive Radius Technology, which means it stays accurate on every single style of guitar.
Well, when it comes to affordable capos that are built to last, you'll be hard-pressed to find another one as good as Dunlop’s Trigger Capo. This spring-loaded trigger capo is simple to use and very hard-wearing – I still have mine 20 years on!
Looking for a small, slimline capo? Well, you can't go wrong with the D'Addario Planet Waves NS. Unlike the other two capos we've selected, this option is designed to be screwed tight, meaning you can set the exact tension you require for your own guitar.
Having a fun and engaging amplifier that makes playing the guitar fun is a sure-fire way to improving your practice routine – and if they also help you keep the noise down, even better.
Below you'll find three of our top desktop amps that come loaded with inspiring effects and amp models. So plug in your guitar, pop on your headphones and get lost in the wonderful world of excellent guitar tone.
Coming loaded with a whopping 12 amp models that go from pristine Fender clean to face-melting heavy metal and a plethora of popular effects, the Fender Mustang Micro is the ultimate practice tool – it's no wonder it tops our list of the best headphone amps for guitar.
Vox’s amPlug was one of the first popular headphone amps for guitar – and they have recently launched a brand-new version. This mini device delivers the quintessential classic rock tone directly to your headphones and comes loaded with chorus, delay, and reverb, as well as rhythm patterns to practice along to.
Now, the Positive Grid Spark GO isn't strictly a headphone amp as it has its own speaker, but it does have the ability to plug headphones in, and when used with the Spark app, it transforms into one of the most inspiring desktop amps available.
Looking for something a little bigger and more featured-packed than a headphone amp? Well, below you'll find our pick of the best practice amps on the market right now. These amplifiers sound so good that they are guaranteed to inspire you.
With 100 watts of power and plenty of onboard effects, this is more than a bedroom practice amp. This amp has the ability to grow with you, and when you're ready, it will be more than happy to sit by your side on stage.
With its vast array of tones and intelligent features such as auto-chords and smart jam, the Positive Grid Spark 40 is one of the most powerful practice amps on the planet.
Boss is the world's most popular effects brand, and the Katana beautifully houses all their most well-known stompboxes in easy-to-use practice amps.
When you are first learning how to solo, it helps to have some context. That's where a looper pedal comes in. These humble stompboxes grant you the ability to loop chord progressions and riffs so you can practice soloing over the top, improving your timing, sense of harmony, and feel.
We absolutely love this simple, single-button looper from Boss. Coming loaded with plenty of internal memory, built-in rhythm, and a build quality that's second to none, this is easily one of the best looper pedals on the market right now.
For us, the TC Electronic Ditto+ offers outstanding value for money. Its most unique feature is the ability to stack a longer loop on top of repetitions of a shorter loop, which is a game changer if you want to use it for songwriting.
If you want to take your looping to a whole new level, the flagship Boss RC-500 is the pedal for you. Okay, this may be a little advanced for complete beginners, but we truly believe that once you get to grips with its functionality, you'll greatly improve your practice routine.
Online guitar lessons
So, if you really want to improve as a player, it pays to get some lessons. Now, we are aware that it's not always practical to go for one-to-one lessons with a guitar teacher, but that's where these online lessons come in.
There are many great online learning platforms available today, and each comes with its own approach and song library. Below are our three favorites.
Fender Play is one of our top picks for the best online guitar lessons thanks to its massive song library and easy-to-follow video lessons; better yet, you can bag 50% off an annual plan by using the code guitarworld50 at checkout.
Guitar Tricks has been running for over 25 years, so it's fair to say they know a thing or two about teaching guitar. With over 1,000 lessons and more than 900 song tutorials, Guitar Tricks has a wealth of guitar knowledge just waiting to be unlocked.
Guitar World readers can grab their first month for just $1.
With features such as slow-mo and section looping, TrueFire makes learning tricky passages a breeze, and with 50,000 tabs and lessons available, you'll never run out of things to learn.
Save 30% off an All-Access subscription and all courses with the exclusive code GWTF30.
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