So, you’re learning electric guitar – great choice and well done! What’s next once you’ve decided on the best electric for you? Well, you’re going to need some beginner electric guitar accessories to make sure you get off to a flying (V) start.
In this blog post, we break down which beginner guitar gear you need to learn electric guitar including tuners, straps, picks, and loads more.
Before you become a legendary guitar player, you need to tune your guitar.
For beginners, the best way to do this is with a tuner.
There are various options available, including clip-on, foot pedal, and handheld. By far the easiest tuner to use is a clip-on, which does exactly what it says on the tin and simply clips onto the headstock of your guitar.
However, you should explore the full range of tuners to decide which one is right for you.
Here are some of our best sellers:
You can never have too many, trust me. Picks (also known as plectrums) are an extension to your hand and you should always have one, and a spare, in reach.
They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so choosing which ones are right for you can be overwhelming at first.
As a general rule, guitarists learning to play should consider a thickness of 0.6mm or less for strumming techniques and 0.6mm – 0.75mm for individual picking. The most common shape is a standard 351.
However, these are simply guidelines, the thickness of picks ranges from extra thin (40mm) to extra heavy (1.5mm+) and shapes vary from sharp, pointed tips to shark fin. So, the only real way to find out which picks work best for your playing style is to keep trying different ones.
Bag or case
You’re going to be travelling a lot with your guitar. Whether you’re heading to practice or your first live gig, it’s important that you can carry your guitar easily and safely. This means purchasing a bag or case if your guitar either didn’t come with one or had an inadequate one when you bought it.
So, what should you look for? You’ll find that the best guitar cases and gig bags offer padding to keep your instrument securely in place and have a tough exterior to withstand knocks, scrapes, and the weather. Pockets and holders for all your accessories are great too.
You should also make sure that your chosen bag or case has the handle or straps that you prefer. Some gig bags come with backpack straps and almost all bags or cases have a side handle.
Below are some of our best sellers to help get you started.
This one might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget they need a strap.
You can’t really go wrong choosing a strap, but some things you could consider are comfort and durability.
Electric guitars can be heavy, so a strap made from strong material will stop any potential ripping that would cause your guitar to fall and damage.
As for comfort, just like the picks, the best thing you can do is try out several options. Some materials on offer are cotton, leather, polyester, and more. You’re sure to find one that works for you.
However, the best thing about choosing a strap is having fun with it.
There are endless designs out there from bold statement patterns to simple colours, so browse our full range of straps and show off your personality.
When you first look at buying a guitar cable, you might be overwhelmed by the price of some. But, don’t worry, as a beginner you definitely don’t need to spend a lot.
At this point, the main features for you to think about are the length and the connector type.
Your electric guitar may have come with an instrument cable, but these can often be quite short and flimsy. To get the most out of your practice sessions, I’d recommend a 5m or more cable, depending on how much moving around you plan on doing.
For the connector type, straight jacks are designed for guitars that have an input angled on the front of their body – like a typical Fender Stratocaster. Angled connectors, on the other hand, work best for front or side-mounted inputs, preventing any damage occurring to the cable during playing.
You can also get cables that are straight/angled which just means one end has a straight jack while the other end is angled.
Having a capo makes learning your favourite songs a lot easier as a beginner.
This handy device is an essential piece of gear that raises the pitch of your guitar by shortening the length of your strings.
To use it you simply clamp it down on different frets – the higher the fret, the higher your pitch. Most online guitar tabs and chord sheets will tell you exactly which fret you need to put your capo on.
Similar to other accessories on this list, there are a few different types and the best one for you is down to preference. Most guitarists use trigger capos because they’re the easiest to place and remove while playing.
Check out some of our best-selling capos below.
When you start learning guitar, you’re bound to snap some strings. This can easily be done when tuning or if you get a little too passionate while performing. So, having a spare set is always a good idea and means you don’t have to stop playing when you’re in the zone.
But which ones should you get? You’ll notice that there are loads of gauges to choose from but I’d recommend sticking to the thinner ones. Gauges of 9-42 or 9-46 are great for beginners as they offer enough beef to keep you sounding strong whilst still feeling easy on your fingers.
Thinner strings also help you to perfect your techniques early on. You’ll be able to clearly hear any mistakes you make, so you know what you need to work on.
When it comes to choosing a brand for your guitar strings, the names you’ve heard of are famous for a reason. They’re good. I’m talking D’Addario, Elixr, and perhaps the most popular, Ernie Ball – to name a few. Our full range of strings includes all these brands and loads more.
Find out more about why Ernie Ball strings are renowned – Singing Strings: The Weird and Wonderful History of Ernie Ball’s Slinkys.
And our top tip for when you replace your strings… consider a string winder!
Finally, you need a safe place to keep your guitar when you’re not playing.
You might also come across racks while you’re shopping around, these are great for people with a few guitars and little space – something to consider when you’re growing your guitar collection.
Don’t worry too much about making sure the stand you choose is for the right model. Most stands and wall hangers will accommodate both electric and acoustic guitars.
Our most popular stands and wall hangers are below.
Hopefully, you now have all the information you need to choose your very first electric guitar accessories.
It’s worth mentioning that a guitar amp is also important when learning electric guitar. Check out our guitar amp guide for a more in-depth understanding.
The following accessories are also great but perhaps aren’t as essential as the ones included in the full list.
Find out more
Of course, there are loads of other beginner electric guitar accessories for you to discover. So why not check out our full range?