Best Beginner Guitar Gear Recommendations 2021

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).


Guitar Tuners and Metronomes

Snark SN5X


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. 

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Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome

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. 

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Guitar Picks

Dunlop Electric Variety Pack

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.

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Dunlop Acoustic Variety Pack

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.

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Light Guitar Strings

D'Addario EXL110 Regular Light Electric Guitar Strings

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!

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D'Addario EJ26 Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

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. 

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D’Addario Accessories Pro-Winder Guitar String Winder and Cutter

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!

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Guitar Straps

Tifanso Guitar Strap, Soft Cotton Guitar Straps With 3 Pick Holders, Strap Button Headstock Adaptor, 1 Pair Strap Locks and 3 Guitar Picks Set For electric/Acoustic Guitar

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.

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Legato Guitar Strap 3 Inches Wide Double Padded Soft Leather

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.

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WINGO Guitar Capo for Acoustic and Electric Guitars

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. 

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Shubb S1 Guitar Capo for Steel String (Electric) Guitars

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.

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Shubb Deluxe Series GC-30 (S1) Acoustic Guitar Capo

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.

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Guitar Stands

Fender Mini Electric Guitar Stand

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.

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Fender Mini Acoustic Guitar Stand

All of the things I said about the electric stand are true about this one as well. What's the difference? The base arms are bigger to fit an acoustic. It is still small enough to fit in a gig bag. Awesome!

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String Swing CC01K-C Guitar Hanger

The best place to store a guitar is in plain sight. This is the exact hanger I use in my studio and other rooms of my home. It's small, easy to use, easy to install, and looks great. Check it out in my videos. Awesome!

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Ruach Original Wooden Galanta Acoustic Electric Guitar Stand – Handmade from Mahogany

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. 

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Electric Guitars

Squier Affinity Stratocaster

For the money, this is my favorite starter guitar. I've taught so many students who have played this and the version with the bridge humbucker. It's a light weight clear sounding Stratocaster that can be adjusted to play great. 

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Epiphone Les Paul Special II

Thinner and lighter than a Gibson Les Paul, this bolt on neck special is another of the most popular guitars my students have used over the years. The pickups are actually very nice and the neck is fairly fast. A good all around starter guitar.

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Ibanez RG Series RG450DXB

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.

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Practice Amplifiers

Fender Champion 20 - 20-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier

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. 

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Roland Micro Cube Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier | M-CUBE-GX

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!

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Hosa GTR-210 Straight to Straight Guitar Cable, 10 Feet

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!

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Acoustic Guitars

Yamaha Fd01S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

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.

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Yamaha FG820 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Natural

The Yamaha FG820 is a step up from the FD01s. It has a Sitka spruce top, rosewood fretboard, and laminate mahogany back and sides. It also looks a little fancier with the binding. Same quality and just as recommended as the FD01s.

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Music Stands

GLEAM Sheet Music Stand Metal with Carrying Bag

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.

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Kasonic Professional Collapsible Orchestra Portable and Lightweight with LED light, Music Sheet Clip Holder and Carrying Bag

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!

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Practice Recorder

Zoom H1n Handy Recorder (2018 Model)

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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