Getting into something new can be very exciting, but if you need to purchase a few things, you've got a problem.
How are you going to make an informed purchase when you don't really know what you are getting into?
Starting to play guitar is no exception. There are so many expensive guitars, amps, accessories, etc.. It's almost impossible to know what you really need to buy without wasting your money.
Take a look at my "maximum bang for the buck" gear list that I share will all of my beginner students below.
(With no extra cost to you, I make a small commission for purchases made through the following Amazon Affiliate links).
Hands down the most popular tuner I've seen with my students. It's small, light, easy to use, and very affordible. Clip on tuners allow you to tune up without worrying about external noise giving an inaccurate result. I have several of these and use them a lot (even though i have other more expensive tuners). This tuner also contains a metronome but is very difficult to use. I use it only for its tuning functions.
The Korg TM60 is a super reliable and very easy to use. This unit let you use the metronome and the tuner function at the same time. I like metronomes that let you pinpoint the exact BPM you want. Not all of them do! This way you can bump up the BPM in very small increments to advance your playing. You can also plug your electric guitar straight in without needing to use the on board microphone in loud situations. I also really like the metronome's pendulum display and tap tempo.
FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR.....I've been using Dunlop picks for my entire career as a guitarist. They have so many different types and thicknesses of picks that you will definitely find the right one for you. This variety pack will let you try out their different styles and gauges so you can start to find the right pick for YOUR OWN style of playing.
FOR ACOUSTIC GUITAR.....I've been using Dunlop picks for my entire career as a guitarist. They have so many different types and thicknesses of picks that you will definitely find the right one for you. This variety pack will let you try out their different styles and gauges so you can start to find the right pick for YOUR OWN style of playing.
This is the exact pack of strings that I'm currently using on most of my electric guitars. They are light enough for easy playing but have enough thickness to them to still have a nice solid tone. Highly recommended!
I love when a new acoustic guitarist tries out lighter strings for the first time. Acoustic strings can be really hard to press down, especially if your guitar is set up improperly. This set of strings is super light and can make a difficult guitar easy to play and still sound good. There's plenty of time down the road to try heavier strings. You just need to work up to them.
This is an essential multi-tool for keeping your guitar in playing shape. String cutter, bridge pin puller, and string winder. It's big enough that it doesn't get lost and small enough to put in your gig bag. Great product!
This is your basic guitar strap that works just fine. It has some great accessories that you might like. I especially like the strap button head stock adapter! Much better idea than the shoe lace ties for acoustic guitar. Picks, pick holder right in the strap, and strap-locks are a big bonus.
If you've ever stood up to play a very heavy guitar, you know how painful a regular nylon strap can be to your shoulder and back. Having a leather, padded, and wide strap makes playing those heavy guitars so much more comfortable. This is a great deal and looks really good too.
Sometimes you just want an inexpensive capo that does the job. That's what this is. It's not the best but does a good job considering the price.
This is my capo of choice. Why? Because it's built very well, small, and most importantly has a tension adjustment screw. Being able to adjust the tension of your capo is very important, especially if you change positions a lot. To keep your strings in tune, the capo has to be at just the right tension. Standard capos will usually only have one tension. Being able to adjust on the fly means that you can sound in tune no matter which fret you are playing at.
This is the acoustic version of the Shubb capo. The big difference is that it is longer. Acoustic guitar necks tend to be much wider than electric guitar necks. The added length of the capo is just right for all of my acoustic guitars.
I love this tiny guitar stand. I've been using them for as long as I can remember them being available. Check out my YouTube video to see them in action. The fit in the big pocket of a standard gig bag, so you can bring them with you where ever you go.
Not an essential recommendation at all but I thought it looked so cool. If you are going to leave your instrument out and want it to look as artistic as possible, try this stand out. It looks like it doesn't take up much space and I like the way the guitar hangs straight down.
This is a classic hard rock/metal guitar that keeps getting better with age. Since this guitar was released in 1987, I've seen a lot and played several of them. The pickups are good and the whammy bar stays perfectly in tune, no matter how hard you use it. A bit pricier than the other here, but if this is your style of music, this is a great starter guitar.
Great little practice amp that sound good quiet and cranked. Fender really got the "fender models" great and the harder rock amp sounds are pretty good as well. Some nice FX and aux and phone plugs too. Very nice sound for an 8 inch speaker.
This portable amp that can be run on batteries packs a ton of great sounds that you can take on the go. Great clean and dirty tones, OK fx, and a built in tuner. Very similar to my old Vox DA5 that I have taught with for many years. Highly recommended!
I've been using Hosa guitar cable for the past five years and never had one problem with them. They aren't fancy, they just work. And that's really all you want for a guitar cable. This one is the plain black cable. I've used their tweed ones and really like them too!
I've always been impressed with the value that Yamaha delivers with their starter guitars. Lots of my students have started their guitar journey with Yamaha. The strings are always pretty close to the fretboard, which makes the guitar easy to play. and they sound nice. This one comes with an Englemann spruce top, rosewood fretboard and bridge and nato sides and back.
I cant tell you how many times I wished I had a solid music stand that had page holders. Even if you just use a tablet for your notes and music, a good music stand is super important to the new guitarist. What's good about this one is that the tripod type legs are collapsible, so you can easily take it with you.
Sometimes you just can't carry a large music stand with you. A frame type collapsible stand with a carrying case is always a great alternative. This one comes with page holders, an LED light, a clip holder and a carrying bag. Bonus!
Being able to listen back to your practice sessions is so important to your early guitar progress. Of course your cell phone can do the trick, but I've found that my phone is never close when I like to practice. I like to keep a dedicated recorder in my practice space. I've used the first version of the H1 for years and Its great on batteries and so easy to transfer audio files to the computer.
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