What Gear Do You Need To Play Guitar?

One of the most frequently asked question by all guitar players who start the instruments (or are getting serious about the instrument) is "what do I need to buy?" Here is a list of a few essential that will serve you well in your guitar-learning journey:

  1. A guitar. Goes without saying! :-)

  2. Amplifier. Only if you are an electric guitar player. Unless you know precisely what you want (and it may take some experience to know) I suggest you buy a SMALL amp so that you can practice at a reasonable volume. Later, if you need to play in a band, you can consider to get a larger one

  3. Guitar Case. One of the most underestimated piece of gear. Do not, under any circumstance, take your guitar around without the protection of a case. Differences in temperatures can be deadly to your instrument if you live in colder climates, and bumping the guitar around is always bad. Get a good rigid case for your guitar.

  4. Unless you are a fingerstyle guitar player, you will need some picks. Stash away a few more than you think you need: picks are very easily lost.

  5. A tuner. You MUST tune your guitar every time you play it - otherwise you will never sound good. tuning your guitar it's easier than you think (with a tuner) and your teachers will show you how

  6. A Metronome. It will become your best friend, and your guitar teacher will show you how to use it. I know the clicking may be unnerving - but it really DOES make the difference in your playing.

  7. Extra strings. The strings on your guitar can break any time. Don't worry, it's normal! Have with you (in your guitar case, point 2) an extra set of strings so that you will not be unprepared.

  8. Notepad and Pen. One of the most underrated piece of gear, pen and paper are the best thing you can have with you whether you are at a guitar lesson or jamming with friends (so you can jot down these sweet musical ideas). And here also comes one of the most important pieces of advice: WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING. It's incredible how fast we forget things, so make sure to have a written record for everything you want to remember. "Future you" will thank you for that.

And now that you have your grocery list, is time to do some shopping. But before you head out for the music store, ask your teacher if you need anything else: your teacher is the ultimate authority on what you need right now so keep him/her in the loop!

About the Author

Tommaso Zillio is a professional teacher and guitar player, and he's a respected writer of guitar columns. In his music schools he gives acoustic guitar lessons in Edmonton to many local up and coming guitar players.