Here are a few that I use that make life with my ax easier and more productive .
- Electric Tuner – It is ideal knowing how to tune your guitar by ear but if your pitch is a little off, your guitar – and therefore your songs – may sound a little off. Tuners are very inexpensive (as low as $10-$15) and they will ensure that your instrument and your songs are sounding their best. (psst..here’s how you can get one free).
- Metronome – If you ever want to play in a band or are looking to record anything, it is a good idea to practice with a metronome. These handy little devices will help you stay in time. Again, these are a pretty inexpensive devise to have around ($10-$15). Also, there are some great beat generators that are free to download too. The cool thing about them is that they sound a little more like a drum beat. HammerHead Rhythm Station is one I can think of off the top of my head and you can usual set something up in a DAW’s .
- Digital Recorder – This little device can really help you improve by keeping you honest. You may think you are sounding good but when you listen to a recording of yourself, you might find out otherwise. Digital recorders always tell the truth and will help you hone your skills. Also, if you are thinking about doing some songwriting, this thing will become your closest friend. You always want to record your ideas because they can escape your mind almost as fast as they came in to it.
- Small Tool Kit – Get yourself a small tool box or small plastic container and fill it with the following items: string winder, wire cutter, peg puller, cotton cloth, extra picks, extra strings, toothbrush and toothbrush.
- Notebook – It is a good idea to keep one of these around. You can jot down a few notes after each practice session to keep tabs on your progress. And, like the digital recorder, if you plan on doing any songwriting, you will need one to keep track of all those timeless nuggets flowing from your inner genius.
- Music Stand – To keep your music organized and positioned right where you can see it.
- Capo – A capo isn’t absolutely necessary but you will come across tunes that require one.
- Guitar Lessons DVD’s/Books/Online – If you want to make progress and get better, you are going to need some help. Since personal instruction can be very spendy ($20 an hour and up) and results can vary greatly depending on your instructor, having a reliable set of lessons can be invaluable. The most thorough course, in my opinion, would be Learn and Master Guitar (affiliate link). It is a home study course so you’d have all the material in front of you but there are some great online resources like Jamorama (affiliate link) and GuitarTricks (affiliate link).
There ya go. Once you cross everything off this list, you’ll have everything you need to be the best guitarist you can be.
Hey veterans, what do you think? Did I miss any? Let us know in the comments below.
Psst, to learn more about guitar tools and how to use them to set-up your guitar like a pro, check out the Learn and Master Spotlight Series: Guitar Set-U (affiliate link). And for more guitar what not, check out our new guitar playing tips page.