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Beginner guitar gear essentials and accessories

Beginner guitar essentials
(Image credit: Getty/South Agency)

World Guitar Day 2019 is here! If today's celebration of all things guitar has inspired you to start learning the guitar, there are a few gear essentials and guitar accessories you should consider to help supercharge your guitar development and enjoyment of the instrument.

Of course, the first thing you'll need is a guitar. Choosing the right axe for your ability, playing style and budget can be difficult unless you know what you’re looking for. It’s also important to find guitar gear that feels comfortable to play and delivers a sound that keeps you excited to play.

To get you playing quicker, we’ve compiled a list of the best guitar gear for beginners, whether you’re in the market for a cheap acoustic guitar to get you started, or an accessible electric guitar.

With your guitar sorted, it's worth exploring a few essential accessories, too. This guide covers everything you'll need to keep your guitar in shape and sounding great, and nothing here will break the bank. 

Let's take a look...

Acoustic guitar

Many beginner guitarists opt to start with an acoustic guitar, and it’s definitely a cheap way to get into playing - you don't need a separate amp, and you can start playing straight away. When choosing your first acoustic guitar it’s worth asking yourself three questions: how does it sound, how does it look and how much does it cost?

Both Yamaha's FG800 and Fender CD-60S All-Mahogany are ideal beginner acoustic guitars - they look the business, sound ace and won't cost very much.

Electric guitar

Electric guitars are great for beginner guitarists as they tend to have smaller necks than acoustic guitars. This makes them ideal for kids and players with small hands, too. They’re also more versatile instruments, particularly if you want to play metal or rock music.

There are a number of factors to consider when buying a beginner electric guitar: mostly it’s about finding the best guitar for the money you've budgeted, and choosing one that’s easy to play and progress on. These days, even at the budget end of the scale, the quality of electric guitars is fantastic. We can certainly vouch for  Squier's Affinity Stratocaster or Epiphone's Slash-approved 'AFD' Les Pail Special-II.

Amps

There has never been more choice when it comes to great cheap guitar amps for beginner guitarists. Of course a low price is one thing, but it also needs to perform well, sound great and offer functionality and enough features that you can grow into as you progress.

If your playing will mostly be bedroom-based, the tiny Blackstar Fly 3 is a great starting point. If your sights are set on gigging, the Boss Katana-100 comes highly recommended and will perform from the bedroom to the stage.

Guitar cable

A great beginner electric guitar and amp is useless unless you have a quality cable connecting the two. Usually, a cheap guitar cable is a false economy, needing swift replacement or driving you mad with unwanted noise in your signal. Beginner guitarists should look for a blend of durability and performance from their cable. For us, that job is ably performed by the D’Addario Planet Waves American Stage Cable.

Guitar strings

A fresh set of guitar strings can transform a guitar. They're dirt cheap and easy to fit, too. To begin with you'll want a string set that sounds great and lasts a while, leaving you free to focus on learning the ropes. Ernie Ball’s popular Super Slinky strings are the perfect choice for electric players, while D'Addario's EJ16 Phosphor Bronzes are an ideal addition to your new acoustic guitar.

Guitar case/gig bag

If you want your new guitar to last, it's important to use adequate protection. To begin with there's no need to spend loads of cash on a plush hard case; all you need is a quality gig bag in which you can stash your guitar plus other essential accessories. When budget is tight, we're big fans of the Gator Economy Gigbag, which is available for both electric and acoustic guitar.

Guitar tuner

Not only does a guitar tuner help you tune your own instrument and keep it sounding great, it also helps you stay in tune with your jam buddies or the rest of your band. The minimalist Korg Pitchclip2 attaches to your guitar’s headstock and enables quick tuning thanks to a crisp LED display. If you're serious about the guitar, a tuner should be one of your first purchases.

Capo

The capo is a super affordable piece of gear that can dramatically change your guitar sound with huge potential for songwriters and guitarists who play covers. In use, capos act as a moveable nut that you can move up to any fret on the guitar, changing the guitar's pitch as it goes. At such low prices, they're well worth experimenting with.

Guitar strap

A quality guitar strap can mean the difference between your cherished guitar staying put and losing a chunk from the body after it hits the cold, hard floor. Your new guitar will be in safe hands with the Ernie Ball Polypro. It's available in a range of colors, and features a 2-inch wide Polypropylene webbing, stitched to black leather ends for extra support.

Guitar picks

Guitar picks (also known as plectrums) remain one of the most important but often-overlooked accessories in a guitarist’s arsenal, making a dramatic difference to your playing style and tone. When choosing picks, it's worth considering the pick shape, thickness and the material as all will have an impact on your playing comfort and tone. Dunlop has huge options within its Tortex range. We'd suggest starting there.

Lessons

All of this essential guitar gear is only one part of the puzzle. The next step is to start learning. Looking for lessons online is an obvious place to start, but it can be difficult to separate the good from bad. We like Fender Play because it’s a well structured, app/PC/Mac-based tool that arms guitarists with the most important techniques courtesy of step-by-step learning and progress tracking. It's loaded with great songs to learn, too.

Start your free Fender Play trial today
Fender Play is an affordable and easy way to learn the guitar. Once your free trial is up, Fender Play costs just $9.99 per month.View Deal

With World Guitar Day 2019 upon us, perhaps you’ve been inspired to start learning the guitar, or return to the instrument after a long break? If so, there are a few guitar gear essentials to consider that will help make your playing journey an even more enjoyable experience.

Naturally the main piece of kit you'll need is a guitar. Choosing the right one for your playing style, ability and budget can be a headache unless you know what you’re looking for. It’s also important to find gear that feels comfortable to play and delivers a sound that keeps you coming back for more.

Rather than waste valuable playing time trawling the web for the right gear, we’ve compiled a list of the best gear for new guitarists, whether you’re in the market for an acoustic guitar for beginners or an electric guitar and amp suitable for younger players.

You’ll need some accessories, too. And our list covers everything you'll need to protect your gear, keep it in tune and sounding great. The best news is that it won’t cost much to kickstart you guitar playing. Your guitar playing adventures start here...

Acoustic Guitar

Many beginner guitarists opt to start with an acoustic guitar, and it’s certainly the cheapest option - there’s no need to buy a separate guitar amp, and you can get started right away. When choosing your first acoustic guitar it’s worth asking yourself three questions: how does it sound, how does it look and how much does it cost? 

The Yamaha FG800 and Fender CD-60S All-Mahogany look great, sound fantastic and won’t break the bank, making for worthy first guitars.

Electric guitar

Electric guitars tend to have smaller necks than acoustic guitars, which is good for beginners, and they make the best guitars for kids and small hands, too - particularly ‘short-scale’ models, where the frets are closer together, making it easier to play chords. They’re also more versatile, particularly if you want to play rock or metal music

If you’ve decided to go down the beginner electric guitar route, there are a number of factors to consider: mostly it’s about finding the best guitar for your budget, and tracking one down that’s easy to play and progress on. The quality of instruments, even at the real budget end, has never been better. For the money, you can’t go far wrong with the Squier Affinity Stratocaster or Epiphone Slash ‘AFD’ Les Paul Special-II, both offer classic shapes and decent enough tones to get you rocking.

Amps

From tiny desktop amps to do-it-all modelling machines and tasteful vintage-aping tube combos, there has never been a better choice of cheap guitar amps available. A low price point is nothing without a strong tonal performance, but there are some great options for beginner guitarists in terms of sound, features and overall functionality. 

If your playing will mostly be taking place in your bedroom to begin with, the micro Blackstar Fly 3 is a great little amp. It even features a built-in delay effect! If you have your sights set on gigging, the Boss Katana-100 is a top choice that will take you from the bedroom to the stage no problem.

Guitar strings

Nothing sounds better and is more energising than a fresh set of guitar strings. What’s more, as components go, guitar strings are dirt cheap and can be fitted by any guitarist in minutes. At the very start of your playing journey you’ll want strings that sound great and will last a while before they need changing. For that, we’d recommend Ernie Ball’s venerable Super Slinky for electric guitarists, or the D'Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze for acoustic players.

Guitar cable

There’s no point having a great beginner electric guitar and amp if you don’t have a cable to connect the two, let alone a poor quality cable that will last all of five minutes. More often than not, a cheap guitar cable is a false economy. Within no time you’ll be looking to replace it, or driven to distraction by unwanted noise. As a beginner guitarist, if you want durability and performance from a reliable brand at a reasonable price, the D’Addario Planet Waves American Stage Cable is a favourite of beginner and developing guitarists alike.

Capo

Capos act as a moveable nut that you can move up to any fret on the guitar – the higher you go on the guitar neck, the higher the pitch. The capo is one of the most affordable pieces of gear you can buy to dramatically change your guitar sound and they have huge potential for songwriters and guitarists who play covers. They cost peanuts, too. Give this one a whirl...

Guitar case/gig bag

It goes without saying (but we’re going to say it anyway) that once you’ve invested in a new guitar you’re going to want to protect your pride and joy. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on a plush new gig bag or premium fur-lined hard case, but to begin with, all you need is a budget gig bag with a pocket for your cable, spare strings and picks, plus sturdy handles to carry it around. For that purpose, we like the Gator Economy Gigbag, which is available for both electric and acoustic guitar.

Guitar tuner

The humble guitar tuner remains one of the most essential tools for electric, acoustic and bass players - not only does it help you tune up your own instrument, it ensures you're in tune with the rest of the band, too. The tiny Korg Pitchclip2 clips onto your guitar’s headstock and enables you to tune up quickly and easily via the clear LED display. If you want to be taken seriously as a guitarist, don’t leave home without your tuner.

Guitar picks

Guitar picks (or plectrums) remain one of the most important but often-overlooked accessories in a guitarist’s arsenal. They can make a surprising difference to your playing style and the tone you produce. When choosing picks, consider the pick shape, thickness and the material. All will have an impact on playing comfort and tone; for example, larger, thicker picks are better suited to rhythm players, while nylon and celluloid picks produce a warmer tone. For sheer range, Dunlop’s Tortex picks are a great place to start.

Guitar strap

Whether you play stood up or sat down, a good quality guitar strap is the difference between your prize axe staying snugly in place or hitting the deck. It’s definitely an essential bit of kit. Your guitar will be in safe hands with the Ernie Ball Polypro. It comes in a range of colours, and features a 2-inch wide Polypropylene webbing, which is machine stitched to black leather ends for extra support of your treasured axe.

Lessons

Of course, buying all this guitar gear is pointless unless you’re prepared to put in the time to practice and improve. There’s a lot of guitar tuition available online, however not all is created equal. We like Fender Play because it’s a well structured, app/PC/Mac-based tool aimed at guiding guitarists through the most important techniques with step-by-step learning and progress tracking, plus a raft of popular guitar songs to learn.

Start your free Fender Play trial today
Fender Play is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to learn to play guitar. After your free trial, it costs just £9.99/$9.99 per month.View Deal

With World Guitar Day 2019 upon us, perhaps you’ve been inspired to start learning the guitar, or return to the instrument after a long break? If so, there are a few guitar gear essentials to consider that will help make your playing journey an even more enjoyable experience.

Naturally the main piece of kit you'll need is a guitar. Choosing the right one for your playing style, ability and budget can be a headache unless you know what you’re looking for. It’s also important to find gear that feels comfortable to play and delivers a sound that keeps you coming back for more.

Rather than waste valuable playing time trawling the web for the right gear, we’ve compiled a list of the best gear for new guitarists, whether you’re in the market for an acoustic guitar for beginners or an electric guitar and amp suitable for younger players.

You’ll need some accessories, too. And our list covers everything you'll need to protect your gear, keep it in tune and sounding great. The best news is that it won’t cost much to kickstart you guitar playing. Your guitar playing adventures start here...

Acoustic Guitar

Many beginner guitarists opt to start with an acoustic guitar, and it’s certainly the cheapest option - there’s no need to buy a separate guitar amp, and you can get started right away. When choosing your first acoustic guitar it’s worth asking yourself three questions: how does it sound, how does it look and how much does it cost? 

The Yamaha FG800 and Fender CD-60S All-Mahogany look great, sound fantastic and won’t break the bank, making for worthy first guitars.

Electric guitar

Electric guitars tend to have smaller necks than acoustic guitars, which is good for beginners, and they make the best guitars for kids and small hands, too - particularly ‘short-scale’ models, where the frets are closer together, making it easier to play chords. They’re also more versatile, particularly if you want to play rock or metal music

If you’ve decided to go down the beginner electric guitar route, there are a number of factors to consider: mostly it’s about finding the best guitar for your budget, and tracking one down that’s easy to play and progress on. The quality of instruments, even at the real budget end, has never been better. For the money, you can’t go far wrong with the Squier Affinity Stratocaster or Epiphone Slash ‘AFD’ Les Paul Special-II, both offer classic shapes and decent enough tones to get you rocking.

Amps

From tiny desktop amps to do-it-all modelling machines and tasteful vintage-aping tube combos, there has never been a better choice of cheap guitar amps available. A low price point is nothing without a strong tonal performance, but there are some great options for beginner guitarists in terms of sound, features and overall functionality. 

If your playing will mostly be taking place in your bedroom to begin with, the micro Blackstar Fly 3 is a great little amp. It even features a built-in delay effect! If you have your sights set on gigging, the Boss Katana-100 is a top choice that will take you from the bedroom to the stage no problem.

Guitar strings

Nothing sounds better and is more energising than a fresh set of guitar strings. What’s more, as components go, guitar strings are dirt cheap and can be fitted by any guitarist in minutes. At the very start of your playing journey you’ll want strings that sound great and will last a while before they need changing. For that, we’d recommend Ernie Ball’s venerable Super Slinky for electric guitarists, or the D'Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze for acoustic players.

Guitar cable

There’s no point having a great beginner electric guitar and amp if you don’t have a cable to connect the two, let alone a poor quality cable that will last all of five minutes. More often than not, a cheap guitar cable is a false economy. Within no time you’ll be looking to replace it, or driven to distraction by unwanted noise. As a beginner guitarist, if you want durability and performance from a reliable brand at a reasonable price, the D’Addario Planet Waves American Stage Cable is a favourite of beginner and developing guitarists alike.

Capo

Capos act as a moveable nut that you can move up to any fret on the guitar – the higher you go on the guitar neck, the higher the pitch. The capo is one of the most affordable pieces of gear you can buy to dramatically change your guitar sound and they have huge potential for songwriters and guitarists who play covers. They cost peanuts, too. Give this one a whirl...

Guitar case/gig bag

It goes without saying (but we’re going to say it anyway) that once you’ve invested in a new guitar you’re going to want to protect your pride and joy. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on a plush new gig bag or premium fur-lined hard case, but to begin with, all you need is a budget gig bag with a pocket for your cable, spare strings and picks, plus sturdy handles to carry it around. For that purpose, we like the Gator Economy Gigbag, which is available for both electric and acoustic guitar.

Guitar tuner

The humble guitar tuner remains one of the most essential tools for electric, acoustic and bass players - not only does it help you tune up your own instrument, it ensures you're in tune with the rest of the band, too. The tiny Korg Pitchclip2 clips onto your guitar’s headstock and enables you to tune up quickly and easily via the clear LED display. If you want to be taken seriously as a guitarist, don’t leave home without your tuner.

Guitar picks

Guitar picks (or plectrums) remain one of the most important but often-overlooked accessories in a guitarist’s arsenal. They can make a surprising difference to your playing style and the tone you produce. When choosing picks, consider the pick shape, thickness and the material. All will have an impact on playing comfort and tone; for example, larger, thicker picks are better suited to rhythm players, while nylon and celluloid picks produce a warmer tone. For sheer range, Dunlop’s Tortex picks are a great place to start.

Guitar strap

Whether you play stood up or sat down, a good quality guitar strap is the difference between your prize axe staying snugly in place or hitting the deck. It’s definitely an essential bit of kit. Your guitar will be in safe hands with the Ernie Ball Polypro. It comes in a range of colours, and features a 2-inch wide Polypropylene webbing, which is machine stitched to black leather ends for extra support of your treasured axe.

Lessons

Of course, buying all this guitar gear is pointless unless you’re prepared to put in the time to practice and improve. There’s a lot of guitar tuition available online, however not all is created equal. We like Fender Play because it’s a well structured, app/PC/Mac-based tool aimed at guiding guitarists through the most important techniques with step-by-step learning and progress tracking, plus a raft of popular guitar songs to learn.

Start your free Fender Play trial today
Fender Play is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to learn to play guitar. After your free trial, it costs just £9.99/$9.99 per month.View Deal

With World Guitar Day 2019 upon us, perhaps you’ve been inspired to start learning the guitar, or return to the instrument after a long break? If so, there are a few guitar gear essentials to consider that will help make your playing journey an even more enjoyable experience.

Naturally the main piece of kit you'll need is a guitar. Choosing the right one for your playing style, ability and budget can be a headache unless you know what you’re looking for. It’s also important to find gear that feels comfortable to play and delivers a sound that keeps you coming back for more.

Rather than waste valuable playing time trawling the web for the right gear, we’ve compiled a list of the best gear for new guitarists, whether you’re in the market for an acoustic guitar for beginners or an electric guitar and amp suitable for younger players.

You’ll need some accessories, too. And our list covers everything you'll need to protect your gear, keep it in tune and sounding great. The best news is that it won’t cost much to kickstart you guitar playing. Your guitar playing adventures start here...

Acoustic Guitar

Many beginner guitarists opt to start with an acoustic guitar, and it’s certainly the cheapest option - there’s no need to buy a separate guitar amp, and you can get started right away. When choosing your first acoustic guitar it’s worth asking yourself three questions: how does it sound, how does it look and how much does it cost? 

The Yamaha FG800 and Fender CD-60S All-Mahogany look great, sound fantastic and won’t break the bank, making for worthy first guitars.

Electric guitar

Electric guitars tend to have smaller necks than acoustic guitars, which is good for beginners, and they make the best guitars for kids and small hands, too - particularly ‘short-scale’ models, where the frets are closer together, making it easier to play chords. They’re also more versatile, particularly if you want to play rock or metal music

If you’ve decided to go down the beginner electric guitar route, there are a number of factors to consider: mostly it’s about finding the best guitar for your budget, and tracking one down that’s easy to play and progress on. The quality of instruments, even at the real budget end, has never been better. For the money, you can’t go far wrong with the Squier Affinity Stratocaster or Epiphone Slash ‘AFD’ Les Paul Special-II, both offer classic shapes and decent enough tones to get you rocking.

Amps

From tiny desktop amps to do-it-all modelling machines and tasteful vintage-aping tube combos, there has never been a better choice of cheap guitar amps available. A low price point is nothing without a strong tonal performance, but there are some great options for beginner guitarists in terms of sound, features and overall functionality. 

If your playing will mostly be taking place in your bedroom to begin with, the micro Blackstar Fly 3 is a great little amp. It even features a built-in delay effect! If you have your sights set on gigging, the Boss Katana-100 is a top choice that will take you from the bedroom to the stage no problem.

Guitar strings

Nothing sounds better and is more energising than a fresh set of guitar strings. What’s more, as components go, guitar strings are dirt cheap and can be fitted by any guitarist in minutes. At the very start of your playing journey you’ll want strings that sound great and will last a while before they need changing. For that, we’d recommend Ernie Ball’s venerable Super Slinky for electric guitarists, or the D'Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze for acoustic players.

Guitar cable

There’s no point having a great beginner electric guitar and amp if you don’t have a cable to connect the two, let alone a poor quality cable that will last all of five minutes. More often than not, a cheap guitar cable is a false economy. Within no time you’ll be looking to replace it, or driven to distraction by unwanted noise. As a beginner guitarist, if you want durability and performance from a reliable brand at a reasonable price, the D’Addario Planet Waves American Stage Cable is a favourite of beginner and developing guitarists alike.

Capo

Capos act as a moveable nut that you can move up to any fret on the guitar – the higher you go on the guitar neck, the higher the pitch. The capo is one of the most affordable pieces of gear you can buy to dramatically change your guitar sound and they have huge potential for songwriters and guitarists who play covers. They cost peanuts, too. Give this one a whirl...

Guitar case/gig bag

It goes without saying (but we’re going to say it anyway) that once you’ve invested in a new guitar you’re going to want to protect your pride and joy. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on a plush new gig bag or premium fur-lined hard case, but to begin with, all you need is a budget gig bag with a pocket for your cable, spare strings and picks, plus sturdy handles to carry it around. For that purpose, we like the Gator Economy Gigbag, which is available for both electric and acoustic guitar.

Guitar tuner

The humble guitar tuner remains one of the most essential tools for electric, acoustic and bass players - not only does it help you tune up your own instrument, it ensures you're in tune with the rest of the band, too. The tiny Korg Pitchclip2 clips onto your guitar’s headstock and enables you to tune up quickly and easily via the clear LED display. If you want to be taken seriously as a guitarist, don’t leave home without your tuner.

Guitar picks

Guitar picks (or plectrums) remain one of the most important but often-overlooked accessories in a guitarist’s arsenal. They can make a surprising difference to your playing style and the tone you produce. When choosing picks, consider the pick shape, thickness and the material. All will have an impact on playing comfort and tone; for example, larger, thicker picks are better suited to rhythm players, while nylon and celluloid picks produce a warmer tone. For sheer range, Dunlop’s Tortex picks are a great place to start.

Guitar strap

Whether you play stood up or sat down, a good quality guitar strap is the difference between your prize axe staying snugly in place or hitting the deck. It’s definitely an essential bit of kit. Your guitar will be in safe hands with the Ernie Ball Polypro. It comes in a range of colours, and features a 2-inch wide Polypropylene webbing, which is machine stitched to black leather ends for extra support of your treasured axe.

Lessons

Of course, buying all this guitar gear is pointless unless you’re prepared to put in the time to practice and improve. There’s a lot of guitar tuition available online, however not all is created equal. We like Fender Play because it’s a well structured, app/PC/Mac-based tool aimed at guiding guitarists through the most important techniques with step-by-step learning and progress tracking, plus a raft of popular guitar songs to learn.

Start your free Fender Play trial today
Fender Play is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to learn to play guitar. After your free trial, it costs just £9.99/$9.99 per month.View Deal

With World Guitar Day 2019 upon us, perhaps you’ve been inspired to start learning the guitar, or return to the instrument after a long break? If so, there are a few guitar gear essentials to consider that will help make your playing journey an even more enjoyable experience.

Naturally the main piece of kit you'll need is a guitar. Choosing the right one for your playing style, ability and budget can be a headache unless you know what you’re looking for. It’s also important to find gear that feels comfortable to play and delivers a sound that keeps you coming back for more.

Rather than waste valuable playing time trawling the web for the right gear, we’ve compiled a list of the best gear for new guitarists, whether you’re in the market for an acoustic guitar for beginners or an electric guitar and amp suitable for younger players.

You’ll need some accessories, too. And our list covers everything you'll need to protect your gear, keep it in tune and sounding great. The best news is that it won’t cost much to kickstart you guitar playing. Your guitar playing adventures start here...

Acoustic Guitar

Many beginner guitarists opt to start with an acoustic guitar, and it’s certainly the cheapest option - there’s no need to buy a separate guitar amp, and you can get started right away. When choosing your first acoustic guitar it’s worth asking yourself three questions: how does it sound, how does it look and how much does it cost? 

The Yamaha FG800 and Fender CD-60S All-Mahogany look great, sound fantastic and won’t break the bank, making for worthy first guitars.

Electric guitar

Electric guitars tend to have smaller necks than acoustic guitars, which is good for beginners, and they make the best guitars for kids and small hands, too - particularly ‘short-scale’ models, where the frets are closer together, making it easier to play chords. They’re also more versatile, particularly if you want to play rock or metal music

If you’ve decided to go down the beginner electric guitar route, there are a number of factors to consider: mostly it’s about finding the best guitar for your budget, and tracking one down that’s easy to play and progress on. The quality of instruments, even at the real budget end, has never been better. For the money, you can’t go far wrong with the Squier Affinity Stratocaster or Epiphone Slash ‘AFD’ Les Paul Special-II, both offer classic shapes and decent enough tones to get you rocking.

Amps

From tiny desktop amps to do-it-all modelling machines and tasteful vintage-aping tube combos, there has never been a better choice of cheap guitar amps available. A low price point is nothing without a strong tonal performance, but there are some great options for beginner guitarists in terms of sound, features and overall functionality. 

If your playing will mostly be taking place in your bedroom to begin with, the micro Blackstar Fly 3 is a great little amp. It even features a built-in delay effect! If you have your sights set on gigging, the Boss Katana-100 is a top choice that will take you from the bedroom to the stage no problem.

Guitar strings

Nothing sounds better and is more energising than a fresh set of guitar strings. What’s more, as components go, guitar strings are dirt cheap and can be fitted by any guitarist in minutes. At the very start of your playing journey you’ll want strings that sound great and will last a while before they need changing. For that, we’d recommend Ernie Ball’s venerable Super Slinky for electric guitarists, or the D'Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze for acoustic players.

Guitar cable

There’s no point having a great beginner electric guitar and amp if you don’t have a cable to connect the two, let alone a poor quality cable that will last all of five minutes. More often than not, a cheap guitar cable is a false economy. Within no time you’ll be looking to replace it, or driven to distraction by unwanted noise. As a beginner guitarist, if you want durability and performance from a reliable brand at a reasonable price, the D’Addario Planet Waves American Stage Cable is a favourite of beginner and developing guitarists alike.

Capo

Capos act as a moveable nut that you can move up to any fret on the guitar – the higher you go on the guitar neck, the higher the pitch. The capo is one of the most affordable pieces of gear you can buy to dramatically change your guitar sound and they have huge potential for songwriters and guitarists who play covers. They cost peanuts, too. Give this one a whirl...

Guitar case/gig bag

It goes without saying (but we’re going to say it anyway) that once you’ve invested in a new guitar you’re going to want to protect your pride and joy. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on a plush new gig bag or premium fur-lined hard case, but to begin with, all you need is a budget gig bag with a pocket for your cable, spare strings and picks, plus sturdy handles to carry it around. For that purpose, we like the Gator Economy Gigbag, which is available for both electric and acoustic guitar.

Guitar tuner

The humble guitar tuner remains one of the most essential tools for electric, acoustic and bass players - not only does it help you tune up your own instrument, it ensures you're in tune with the rest of the band, too. The tiny Korg Pitchclip2 clips onto your guitar’s headstock and enables you to tune up quickly and easily via the clear LED display. If you want to be taken seriously as a guitarist, don’t leave home without your tuner.

Guitar picks

Guitar picks (or plectrums) remain one of the most important but often-overlooked accessories in a guitarist’s arsenal. They can make a surprising difference to your playing style and the tone you produce. When choosing picks, consider the pick shape, thickness and the material. All will have an impact on playing comfort and tone; for example, larger, thicker picks are better suited to rhythm players, while nylon and celluloid picks produce a warmer tone. For sheer range, Dunlop’s Tortex picks are a great place to start.

Guitar strap

Whether you play stood up or sat down, a good quality guitar strap is the difference between your prize axe staying snugly in place or hitting the deck. It’s definitely an essential bit of kit. Your guitar will be in safe hands with the Ernie Ball Polypro. It comes in a range of colours, and features a 2-inch wide Polypropylene webbing, which is machine stitched to black leather ends for extra support of your treasured axe.

Lessons

Of course, buying all this guitar gear is pointless unless you’re prepared to put in the time to practice and improve. There’s a lot of guitar tuition available online, however not all is created equal. We like Fender Play because it’s a well structured, app/PC/Mac-based tool aimed at guiding guitarists through the most important techniques with step-by-step learning and progress tracking, plus a raft of popular guitar songs to learn.

Start your free Fender Play trial today
Fender Play is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to learn to play guitar. After your free trial, it costs just £9.99/$9.99 per month.View Deal