We love writing about guitars, and that’s why we recently published an article on some of the best cheap acoustic guitars, so, for more info, check it out. This short guide will be focusing on the most important accessories that you need to have for your acoustic guitar, and we’ll provide you with some details about each of them.
Guitar picks and pick holders
Some players prefer using their bare hands to pick the strings, as they have more fun hitting each string with their nails. But that’s not for everybody and if you’re the kind of guitarist who likes to pick each string without your fingers getting sore, well, you’ll need a pick.
Picks are simple objects that should cost you very little. They aren’t too complicated, but you’ll just have to remember that there are different materials used for making the picks, and they also come in different degrees of thickness.
The type of material you choose depends on your style, but the thickness has an impact on how you’re going to play the instrument. If you’re going to strum the strings a lot you will need a thinner pick, as it needs to flex more to make your strumming easier. Furthermore, if you are strumming using a pick that’s too thick you risk breaking the strings. That’s what happens when people use coins or stuff like that inappropriately.
But if you’re going to do a lot of note picking for solo purposes, a thick pick is great. Such a pick is also good if you want to produce more volume without much effort, but be careful not to hit the strings too hard, or they might break. When choosing the picks make sure that they have a matte surface, as that makes them easier to hold, especially when your hand becomes sweaty from all that playing.
Experienced guitar players know that many of the picks they had have been lost, and that’s because they didn’t have a certain place to keep them. The pick holder comes to help guitarists in that regard. Depending on how thick your picks are, such a holder can keep between 5 and 10 picks safely together and that’s how you’ll be sure you won’t be losing them again.
Furthermore, some pick holders have a sticky surface on their backs, so you can stick them on your guitar or on something else, and you’ll be able to pull out picks as you need, whilst playing the instrument.
There probably isn’t a more appreciated device amongst beginners than the tuner. This small thing brings much-needed help to players when they start their careers. After you put on your new strings, or before you go out for a gig, the most important part is making sure your guitar is in tune. There are many types of tuners, each designed for a different type of player.
If you’re really going for the cheapest you can find, you might want to use a pitch pipe. That’s also great if you have a good musical ear. However, if that’s not the case, you should stick to something digitalized. But even in the digitalized world, you have so many choices. Firstly, you have the tuners that produce a sound and then require you to adjust the string to match that sound.
Then there are the tuners that work using a microphone and they need to be held close to the guitar to work. Fortunately, most of them can be attached to the guitar, and they pick up notes that way. Clip-on tuners, as their name suggests, are the type of tuners that can be stuck to your guitar’s headstock. These are the ones that you can find most often in music shops.
Clip-on tuners pick up the frequencies of the strings of your guitar with the help of the vibrations going through the guitar’s neck. That’s quite impressive, but what’s better is that this method of picking up the sound will eliminate the background noise. So if you’re in a lousy environment, let’s say while you’re performing and all of your bandmates are making a lot of noise, such a tuner will be great.
These tuners are also easy to read – they show you the note that your string is closest to and using a needle that swerves above or under that note, the tuners help you adjust the string accordingly. This method also allows you to tune your guitar in a different style, not only in the standard tuning pattern.
This is another small device that is especially helpful for beginners. If you have just started playing the guitar and you know a handful of chords, the capo will help you transpose those chords into different ones. The device is very useful for those that don’t know how to form barre chords yet, those that have difficulties with obtaining a good sound further up the neck, but it’s also good for those experienced players that are looking to experiment.
Some capos only allow you to “barre” all the chords, meaning that they act like they move the guitar’s nut upwards, shortening the instrument’s neck. That doesn’t allow for much creativity; however, the capo models that let you barre some strings while letting others open will help you achieve unique chords and sounds.
What’s important to look at when buying a capo is how able it is to apply constant and equal pressure on all the strings. A string that isn’t fully pressed will sound horrible. If you spend $10 or $15 on a capo you will be having it for years to come, so don’t go cheap on such a small device.
Accessories for strings
There are two main things that you can get to help you with your guitar’s strings. The first of them is a string cutter, a tool that is incredibly useful when you’re changing the strings. Those that have changed guitar strings know that they are longer than they should be, and that’s because they need to wrap many times around the tuning pegs.
Once you’re done winding the strings around the pegs, there is still some part that you won’t be needing, so you can use the cutter to get rid of the excess. You can find this accessory for around $10. But if you think you shouldn’t spend that money on something that you seldom use, we have a tip for you. A pair of pliers that comes with the special part that allows you to cut wires also works great for cutting the strings.
The second tool that you can use when changing the strings or when you need to make major tuning changes is the winder. Using this device you can have an easier time winding your strings, instead of doing the job by hand.
The string winder also allows you to get under the bridge of your acoustic guitar and pop out the bridge pins that hold the strings attached to the bridge area. This small accessory only costs around $2, so we’d advise you to get it, as it does a great job for its price.