This is a question that most guitar player ask (or should ask) to their teacher: “What equipment do I need to buy in order to play guitar?” I do encourage you to ask this question to your teacher, and here I list what I think it’s the absolutely essential list of things you need to play:
- Well, obviously! 🙂
- Guitar Case. One of the most underestimated piece of gear. Do not, under any circumstance, take your guitar around without the protection of a case. Differences in temperatures can be deadly to your instrument if you live in colder climates, and bumping the guitar around is always bad. Get a good rigid case for your guitar.
- 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 to get a larger one
- 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!
- Playing with your guitar in tune is like taking a shower every day: it’s basic courtesy for the people in the same room with you. I have seen musicians getting kicked out of important auditions (even if they were awesome) because their guitar was out of tune, so make sure you use that tuner!
- Just like tuning is basic courtesy, playing in time is also part of being “polite” to your audience. Spending some quality time with the metronome is the only way to learn it. Ask your teacher how to use it for maximum effectiveness!
- 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.
- Notepad and Pen. One of the most underrated piece of gear, pen and paper are the best thing you can have with you whether you are at a guitar lesson or jamming with friends (so you can jot down these sweet musical ideas). And here also comes one of the most important pieces of advice: WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING. It’s incredible how fast we forget things, so make sure to have a written record for everything you want to remember. “Future you” will thank you for that.
Again, do not just read this list, but also ask your teacher if there is anything else that applies specifically to you or your lessons that you need to have.
And remember: have fun playing guitar!
About The Author
Tommaso Zillio is a professional rock and metal guitar player with the passion for music theory that teaches electric guitar lessons in Edmonton.