Every beginner guitar player needs to have some essential gear that will help him/her in learning the instrument. Without that equipment, everything becomes more difficult if not impossible! So what exactly do you need to learn guitar? Here’s your checklist:
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 getting a larger one.
3. Picks. Only if you don’t play fingerstyle. Be sure to always have more picks than you think you need: they are very easy to lose!
4. 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 Guitar teacher will show you how.
5. A case for your guitar. It’s a good precaution to put your guitar in its case whenever you take it out of your house. Not only bumping the guitar around can damage it, but any difference in temperature or humidity may be harmful.
6. Metronome. Playing in time is part of being “polite” to your audience. Spending some quality time with the metronome is the only way to learn timing. Ask your teacher how to use it for maximum effectiveness!
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. Pen and Paper. Often overlooked by musicians, the combo pen+paper is one of the best friend of students of any instrument. By writing down exercises, musical ideas, songs, etc not only you will have a future reference for what you do and learn, but you will also learn it better.
And now that you have your checklist, it’s time to do some shopping. But before you head out for the music store, ask your guitar 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 progressive rock guitar player and a guitar educator. Together with his team of teachers he gives guitar lessons in Edmonton, AB to many local students. His guitar articles have been published worldwide by major guitar websites.