25 Essential Guitar Accessories That Elevate Your Playing

Essential Guitar Accessories
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For guitarists, certain accessories can make a world of difference in sound, playability, and overall experience. While some allow basic playing, others protect gear or help guitarists play better.

The basics like picks, strings, and cables allow you to simply play in the first place. Cases and stands keep your guitar protected and accessible. Other fundamental guitar gear like guitar tuners, metronomes, and capos will enable you to play better.

In this article, we’ll go over the accessories that no guitarist should be without, as well as additional gadgets and gizmos that are handy to have on hand. No matter what your style of music is or what genre you’re into, having the right accessories is key to getting the most out of your instrument.

Let’s dive in and look at the critical accessories every guitarist needs.

Must Have Guitar Accessories

In this section, we’ll cover the fundamental guitar accessories that every player needs to have in their arsenal. These tools allow you to play and care for your instrument whether practicing at home or performing on stage.

1. Additional Guitar Picks

Fender Premium Picks Sampler - 24 Pack Includes Thin, Medium & Heavy Gauges
  • Made from celluloid, the premier pick material
  • Offers a warm, round music tone
  • The "go to" pick for many professional artists
  • Comes with Thin, Medium, and Heavy Gauges

All guitarists know the pain and suffering that they have to go through to find their lost guitar picks after they’ve been sucked into an infinity vortex that looks like Mick Jagger’s mouth. To avoid such a hassle, you should always have plenty of picks handy at all times.

Guitar picks come in a vast range of thicknesses, shapes, sizes and materials to produce different tones and feel. As a beginner, it’s smart to grab a variety pack so you can test out different styles until you find a pick that feels comfortable. 

Heavier picks are great for aggressive lead-playing and shred solos. Lighter picks allow for smoother, more delicate strumming.

2. Additional Guitar Strings

Martin SP 7100 Phosphor Bronze Lifespan Coated Acoustic Strings Light
  • Designed to repel the oils and dirt that can deaden strings
  • Bright, but slightly warmer sound than 80/20 bronze when first put on the guitar
  • Recommended for lead rock, blues, and folk styles
  • Gauge (light): 12-16-25-32-42-54

Experiencing a broken guitar string in mid-performance is incredibly frustrating. Avoid this inconvenience by keeping a spare set of strings at hand. Also, regularly changing your guitar strings is essential for maintaining a sharp, in-tune sound.

For acoustic guitars, I recommend opting for phosphor bronze strings like Martin Lifespan SP. These strings enhance the warmth and brightness of your acoustic tone, ensuring a longer lifespan and a clean, crisp sound.

When it comes to electric guitars, it’s crucial to choose strings that can endure the high tension and intense picking demands. Look for electric sets with reinforced nickel-plated steel wrappings around the core wire for longevity and magnetic responsiveness.

Personally, I’m a fan of nickel-plated steel strings, such as D’Addario XL Regular Light, with a gauge of 10-46. These strings strike a balance between great grip, full low-end, and finger-friendliness.

It’s important to select the right string gauge based on your guitar and playing style, and buying strings in bulk packs can provide cost savings.

3. Guitar Strap

Ernie Ball Neoprene Polylock Comfort Guitar Strap, Black, Wide (P04146)
  • 3” wide strap
  • Soft neoprene material
  • No need for instrument modification
  • Adjustable length 46" to 52" Long

For standing guitarists, a quality strap is mandatory. The right strap distributes your instrument’s weight comfortably while allowing stable positioning. Thin basic straps can dig painfully into your shoulders when holding heavy guitars or basses. That can hinder your performance.

Look for 2-3 inches-wide padded straps for the best comfort and support. The extra surface area helps disperse pressure points. Dual foam layers provide ergonomic resilience. Choose a strap style and width that fits your guitar style and body frame.

Consider the Ernie Ball Neoprene Polylock Guitar Strap, featuring thick padding and a grippy rubber bottom, ensuring your guitar remains securely in place.

I highly recommend it, as it provides incredible comfort, seemingly making your guitar’s weight disappear. Your shoulders and back will thank you, and it’s a lifesaver for keeping those guitar-related aches at bay.

Check out the article covering the process of putting a strap on your acoustic guitar.

4. Strap Locks

Schaller S Locks Guitar Strap Locks and Buttons

  • Solid, 1-piece, hardened-steel strap buttons
  • Self-tapping wood threads ensure easy installation
  • 5/32” screws are a direct replacement for most strap buttons

If you aim to showcase showmanship with guitar spins and flips, strap locks are a must. They prevent the dreaded scenario of your strap unexpectedly coming undone, potentially sending your guitar into the audience.

With strap locks, you can perform confidently, knowing that your guitar will stay securely attached, ensuring the safety of everyone around you.

Brands like Schaller and D’Addario make reliable locking strap buttons that replace your standard guitar strap buttons securely. They’re easy to install – just screw them on.

You can also get strap locks that attach to your existing strap pins for quicker installation. A small investment that gives big peace of mind.

5. Guitar Cases (Gig bag/Hard Case)

Gator Transit Series Electric Guitar Gig Bag

  • Weather Resistant Blended Fabric Exterior
  • 20mm Thick Internal Foam Padding
  • Large Front Zippered Pocket with Flap
  • Padded Comfort Grip Carry Handle

Gig bags provide lightweight, affordable transportation that’s easy to carry on your back. The padded exterior and interior provide sufficient protection from dings and dust. Most gig bags have outer storage pockets too.

For air travel or maximum security, hard shell guitar cases are the way to go. Sturdy exterior walls lined with plush padding cocoon the guitar safely for transit. Latches, handles and wheels ensure total stability in motion.

Brands like Gator, Mono, and Fender offer durable gig bags and hard cases suited for various needs. Regardless of your choice, it’s essential to measure your guitar before buying to ensure a perfect fit. A quality case is a valuable investment for any guitarist.

6. Guitar Tech/Tool Kit

Ernie Ball Musician's Tool Kit (P04114)
  • All-in-one instrument care system
  • Includes everything for string changes and set-ups
  • Handy carrying case

A well-stocked tool kit can save every guitarist time, money and frustration. Assembling must-have tools in one place prepares you to handle minor guitar care and adjustments yourself.

Here are some essential tools to include:

  • String cutter – cleanly remove string ends after restringing
  • String winder – quickly tune and wind new strings onto posts
  • Polishing cloth – keep guitars shining like new
  • Hex wrenches – tighten bridges, truss rods and other parts
  • Screwdrivers – tighten pickups, pots, jacks, tuners, etc.

Now, here’s the deal: you can hunt these tools down individually, but I’ve got a game-changer for you. The Ernie Ball Musicians Tool Kit. It’s like a treasure chest for guitar players, with all the essentials neatly packed in one place. 

7. Bridge Pin Puller

MusicNomad GRIP Puller - Premium Acoustic Guitar Bridge Pin Puller (MN219)
  • Premium, innovative Bridge pin puller for acoustic guitars
  • GRIP 'N pull or GRIP 'N roll to easily lift pin
  • Ergonomic, comfort design for a one-handed operation
  • Metal free construction with rubber exterior makes it safe on your wood and Bridge pins

If you play an acoustic guitar, a bridge pin puller is a must-have for changing strings and bridge work. This handy tool grips and removes the pins that anchor the strings in acoustics easily and safely, without damaging the bridge. 

Simply twist the notch under each pin and lift it straight up. The Music Nomad Grip Puller Really works well when others fail on badly stuck pins. Don’t risk messing up the bridge trying to get pins out with pliers. A quality puller will more than pay for itself over time.

8. Electric Guitar Cables

Mogami Gold Instrument 10R Guitar Cable

  • Provide crystal-clear tone and a drop-dead silent background
  • Engineered for the highest level of transparency
  • Feature high definition sound
  • 10 foot length

Quality cables are crucial for passing your guitar signal cleanly to the amp whether at home, studio or live. Low-quality cables can negatively affect tone and nuance due to poor conductivity.

Cables also get a lot of wear and tear and may need regular replacement. Having spares on hand is key to avoiding cutting a session short with a faulty cable.

Consider experimenting with both straight and coiled cables, available in various lengths such as 6, 10, and 20 feet. Ensure that your guitar cable is long enough for the rehearsal room or the stage you’re performing on.

Seek out high-conductivity copper cores rather than generic speaker wire. Look for genuine instrument cables from brands like Mogami and Ernie Ball. The twisted core design dramatically reduces interference for clean audio transmission.

9. Guitar Amps

Boss Katana-50 MkII 1 x 12-inch 50-watt Combo Amp
  • 50/25/0.5W 1x12" Guitar Combo Amplifier with 5 Amp Voicings
  • Cab-emulated Headphone/Recd Output
  • 4 Tone Slots
  • 60 Effects

An amplifier is an essential partner for electric guitars. Amp choices directly impact the core of your tones. Small practice combos have different capabilities compared to high-powered stage stacks.

Consider the amp technology first. All-tube amps provide the richest vintage character, with each tube adding its own coloration. Transistor-driven solid-state amps boast reliability and affordability. Many amp builders now offer hybrid designs, blending tube preamp warmth with solid-state power sections.

Next, think about power output. Bedroom practice requires only 10-30 watts, while loud band rehearsals and gigs demand 40w at minimum. High-gain metal needs 100w+ to output sufficient volume.

Finding the right amp requires trying out different sizes and technology to match your guitar and music genre. Visit music stores and test various amps with your guitar to determine what sounds best to your ears. 

My personal fave practice amp? The Boss Katana 50MKII – offers exceptional versatility and tone. But hey, while amps require a bigger investment, they are absolutely worth it for achieving the best tones.

10. Metronome

Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome

  • Simultaneously use tuner and metronome
  • Supports a broad range of instruments
  • Convenient & easy to read with a large LCD display
  • TM60 offers 3 input types

Mastering rhythm and timing is one of the keys to becoming a great guitarist. Among all the essential guitar accessories, the metronome is one of the most underrated yet crucial tools. No guitar practice session is complete without working with a metronome to develop solid rhythm skills and tight playing for jamming with others.

Begin slowly at a comfortably attainable BPM. Gradually increase speed as your accuracy improves. Tap your foot and feel the pulse. Develop your rhythmic vocabulary across shifting divisions: whole notes, half notes, triplets, etc. Metronome skills transfer directly to live playing.

Simple digital metronomes like the Korg TM-60 provide clear click tracks to play along with. The TM-60 also conveniently combines a tuner and metronome in one compact tool.

Also explore metronome apps, pedals and wearable devices. There are tons of easy options for keeping time – no more excuses to avoid it!

11. Guitar Tuner

Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal with Bypass
  • Guitar Bass Tuner Pedal with High-Brightness Mode f Outdo Visibility
  • 21-segment LED Meter
  • Drop Tuning Suppt
  • Guitar/Bass Mode

Whether you’re an advanced or a beginner guitarist, you should always have a tuner handy at all times. A clip-on guitar tuner is a very affordable and accurate option that you can use. Just clip the tuner onto the guitar’s headstock and observe the note displayed on its screen when you strum a string.

For starting out, I highly recommend a simple clip-on tuner like the affordable Snark SN5X Tuner. Just clip it onto your guitar headstock and tune all strings to perfect accuracy. The bright display is easy to read on stage.

Guitarists playing live or recording should invest in a pedal tuner. Just step on the pedal to mute the signal to the amp or mixer for silent tuning on stage or in the studio. The industry standard BOSS TU-3 provides state-of-the-art accuracy with +/- 1 cent precision.

Make tuning the first step of daily practice. Staying perfectly in tune is essential for sounding your best and developing solid listening skills.

12. Guitar Capo

Shubb Guitar Capo (S1)

  • Distinctive capo design
  • Unique among adjustable capos
  • Simple locking and removing
  • Custom-made rubber works just like a fingertip

A capo is a simple, yet highly effective tool that belongs in every guitarist’s bag of tricks. Capos clamp onto the guitar neck, essentially shortening string length. This allows playing in different keys using familiar chord shapes.

For performers stuck playing with a vocalist of limited range, capos adapt the guitar part to match the singer’s preferred key. No more transposing chord voicings manually!

Capos also let guitarists quickly change key to add tonal variety, without needing to learn new scales and chords for each desired key. Experiment with various fret placements.

13. Guitar Stand

Hercules GS432BPLUS Auto Grip Triple Guitar Stand

  • Easily holds three instruments at once
  • Instant Height Adjustment Clutch
  • Specially formulated foam fully protects the instrument
  • Upgraded Universal Auto Grip System

The mere task of finding a place for your guitar can be quite difficult to accomplish. However, you can make it simple enough just by getting a guitar stand instead of leaning guitars against walls. They not only help you save a lot of space but also set down your guitar like it’s in an exhibition.

For home use, sturdy folding stands provide convenient storage between practice sessions. For studios and stage, go for metal stands with protective rubber yokes to securely hold different guitar types.

Wide-base stands strongly support acoustic and electric guitars. Multi-guitar stands accommodate several instruments.

For a single guitar, I use the Amazon Basics A-Frame Stand. For multiple guitars, consider quality stands like the Hercules Auto Grip (GS432BPLUS), which features protective yokes and padding to securely hold various guitar types and prevent finish damage.

Nice-to-Have Guitar Accessories

While the accessories above are fundamental gear every guitarist should own, let’s look at some “nice-to-have” items that can enrich your playing experience.

14. Guitar Slide

JIM DUNLOP 210 Tempered Glass Slide, Medium Wall Thickness, Medium
  • Accentuates the middle harmonics of your sound
  • Processed from high-quality boron silicate
  • Heat treated and annealed
  • Medium, fits ring size 11

If you love creating perfect, soothing blues music, then you must immediately get yourself some guitar slides. They’ll help you in creating an almost unlimited number of notes. With them, you won’t ever be restricted by the number of frets anymore.

However, guitar slides are of different sizes and shapes, alongside materials. So, choosing them in accordance with your own requirements is very much a tough job.

Try Dunlop glass slides for fuller tone or steel offerings like Rock Slide’s stainless steel slides for crispness. Experiment with different slide materials on your picking hand for adding color.

15. Guitar Pedals

TC Electronic POLYTUNE 3 MINI Tiny Polyphonic Tuner

  • Polyphonic Tuner gives you fast, accurate tuning
  • Tune up with polyphonic, chromatic and strobe tuning modes
  • Built-in Bonafide buffer keeps tone crisp
  • Polyphonic Mode tunes all your strings at once

Want to take your guitar playing to the next level? Pedals are a great way to add tonal variety and effects to your setup. Every guitarist needs a tuner pedal for quiet, convenient tuning on stage. While there are countless options out there, I’ve found a few pedals that have made a real difference in my playing.

First off, a pedal tuner is a must-have for tuning on stage discreetly. I’ve had a great experience with the TC PolyTune 3 mini pedal tuner.

If you’re aiming for some extra grit and sustain to spice up your solos, an overdrive or distortion pedal is the way to go. The Boss Super Overdrive Guitar Pedal has been a reliable companion in this department.

For those who want to create lush soundscapes, a delay pedal is essential. The MXR Carbon Copy Delay Pedal has been my go-to choice, producing ambient echoes that make riffs sound enormous.

And, if you love to experiment and layer multiple guitar parts live, a looper pedal is a game-changer. The Boss RC-1 Loop Station has been my trusted sidekick, allowing me to be my own backing band.

Effects like chorus, reverb and more open up creative options. Pedals make practice more fun and performing more versatile. Power up your pedalboard and get ready to discover new sounds and possibilities.

16. Pedal Board

Donner Guitar Effects Pedal Board (DB-S300)

  • High-strength aluminum alloy
  • Chunky backpack securely transports your pedals
  • 60’’professional grade adhesive backed hook
  • The padal board suits any volume of power supply

Once you grab a few pedals, a dedicated pedalboard keeps them organized yet portable. Mounting pedals on a board with built-in power supply like Donner DB-S300 streamlines set up for practices and gigs. 

I’d suggest placing pedals in order of your signal chain for easy activation: tuner first, then drives/fuzz, followed by time-based effects like delay and reverb. Keep a few extra power cables and patch cables on hand for quick pedal re-routing. Take time to deliberately craft your pedal signal path for the best tones.

Check the guide that I wrote about the Pedal Board Setup.

17. Headphone Amp

VOX AP2AC amPlug 2 AC30 Guitar/Bass Headphone Amplifier
  • Power supply: AAA batteries x 2 (Best with Polaroid AAA batteries)
  • Connections: headphone out, aux in
  • Dimensions: W x D x H) 3.39 x 3.15 x 1.22" 86 x 80 x 31mm)

Headphone amps are needed the most, especially if you’re residing in an apartment with either your friends or family. It’s really difficult to play the electric guitar at full volume if you’re in that type of living situation.

With the help of headphone amps, you’ll be able to play the guitar as much as you want without disturbing your neighbors or family, no matter how high the volume level is.

Headphone amps are quite easy to use, as they’re small in terms of size. All you have to do is connect it to your guitar and plug in your headphones.

I’ve been a long-time user of the Vox AP2AC amPlug without encountering any major issues. It’s incredibly convenient for sampling guitars and even when you’re testing electric guitars before making a purchase. 

18. Acoustic Guitar Humidifier

D'Addario Accessories Guitar Humidifier System

  • Maintenance-free humidity control system
  • First two-way humidifier that maintains a constant 45%-50%
  • Automatically maintains the optimal relative humidity level

For acoustic players, maintaining the right humidity is crucial to prevent guitar damage from cracking or warping due to wood’s sensitivity to humidity fluctuations. To safeguard your instrument, especially if you plan to store it or travel, consider using a humidifier.

I personally rely on the D’Addario Humidipack for daily maintenance; just place a couple of these in your case and soundhole to maintain an ideal humidity level of 45-55%. For precise monitoring, pair the humidifier with a hygrometer.

If you’re a collector with multiple wooden instruments, think about investing in a room humidifier to create an optimal environment for your gear. Whether you own one acoustic or a handful collection, a humidifier serves as insurance for preserving your instrument’s sound and structural integrity.

19. Fret Wraps

Ernie Ball Fretwrap by Gruv Gear (P09612)

  • Cuts overtones, open string vibrations, and noise
  • For live performance and studio recording
  • Fits 4-string basses, 6-string electric and acoustic guitars, and ukuleles

Fret wraps are handy little silencers that clean up muddy tones and overtones. The soft wraps loop around the neck right behind the nut. Fret wraps gently dampen strings behind the wrapped section while allowing open notes to ring out.

On overdriven electrics, wraps tame some noise and string vibrations for chords and single-note runs. Both lead and rhythm playing benefit from less chaotic overtones.

Fret wraps also keep harmonic overtones at bay when changing tuning mid-song. Grab a few in different colors to coordinate with your performance outfit!

20. Pick Holder

Jin Dunlop Series 5005 Pickholder

  • Convenient of replacing picks on stage
  • Durable pick holder

Keeping your picks organized can save you from constantly buying new ones, which can add up over time. Instead of continuously investing in an endless supply of picks, consider purchasing a pick holder, which will eventually pay for itself.

Pick holders are cost-effective, and their capacity depends on the thickness of your picks. A budget-friendly option is the Dunlop Series 5005 Pick Holder, capable of storing 5 to 10 picks that might otherwise mysteriously disappear into the void.

It’s a small investment that brings convenience and helps you make the most of your guitar picks.

21. Foot Stool or Foot Rest

Tetra-Teknica Essentials Series GFR-01 6-Position Height Adjustable Guitar Foot Rest, Color Black
  • Non-slip rubber surface & metal frame make it sturdy and durable
  • Foot rest size: width 4"; length 10"
  • 6 position height adjustable from 4.5" to 9.5"
  • Protective, non-slip rubber end caps prevents slipping and protects floors

Footstools or footrests are essential guitar player accessories mostly ideal for classical and studio electric players. Playing guitar while sitting is pretty much hard to do so, especially if you’re playing for a long session.

Footrests will keep your posture balanced while you’re playing guitar for long sessions sitting. They’ll offer you different height settings. Besides, they’re foldable, so carrying them from place to place is trouble-free.

22. Guitar Cleaning Kit

Jim Dunlop System 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit
  • Everything you need to keep your guitar maintained
  • Contains five cleaners for your guitar's body, neck and strings
  • Also includes a Micro Fine Fret Polishing Cloth, two 100% cotton cloths, and care instructions
  • Great care products

From beginner to pro, every guitarist has to take care of their instruments. The only way they can maintain their perfect condition is by using a guitar polish and cleaner.

The market is full of incredible guitar cleaning kits that will assist you in cleaning and protecting the guitar and its accessories.

I personally use Jim Dunlop System 65 which comes with everything I need in order to keep my guitar in the perfect shape. It contains five cleaners for the guitar’s body, neck, and strings.

23. Music Stand

ChromaCast Pro Series Folding Music Stand

  • Professional collapsible music stand
  • Metal spring arm extensions hold music sheets
  • Fully adjustable Bookplate tilts
  • Vertical shaft is perfect for sitting or standing

A sturdy music stand keeps your sheet music organized and readable while playing. Look for stands around 48-66 inches tall for a good height relative to your seated position. Invest in a music stand with a wide, solid base to prevent tipping accidents. Also, check if music stands can collapse down neatly for portability.

 Use music stands during practice sessions to build sight reading skills too. Following written music and chord charts boosts proficiency across styles. Models like the ChromaCast CC-MSTAND have 3-tier height adjustments and extendable arms for positioning.

24. Guitar Patch Cables

Ernie Ball Patch Cable 3-Pack (P06059)

  • 99.99% oxygen-free copper to resist corrosion
  • Dual shielding and dual conductors provide durability
  • Flexible, tangle resistant construction
  • Roadworthy construction

Patch cables create flexible pedalboard routing compared to soldering or using daisy chains. Flat pancake style cables provide ultra-low clearance between crowded pedals. So, take time to rewire your board with patches to craft the perfect effects sequence.

Patch cables offer convenience for perfecting pedal order. Cables like the Ernie Ball P06059 patch cables connect pedals to each other on a board.

The compact size allows reordering effects loop without a tangled mess. Stock up on 6-inch, 12-inch and 18-inch patch cables for versatile signal paths. 

25. Wireless Guitar Transmitter

LEKATO 5.8 Wireless Guitar Transmitter Receiver

  • 5.8 Ghz high-grade wireless system
  • 24-bit 48KHz high quality audio broadcasting
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium battery
  • Plug and play option

So, what’s the deal with these transmitters? Well, they let you go cable-free, meaning you can move around on stage or in your practice space without tripping over those annoying cables. It’s like your guitar is suddenly free to roam and you with it!

Now, when it comes to choosing the right one, it’s important to pick a reliable brand. My recommendation? The LEKATO 5.8 Wireless Guitar Transmitter. I’ve been using it, and it’s been super dependable. No dropouts or interference, just pure sound quality.

Final Thoughts

When building your collection of guitar accessories, it’s crucial not to overindulge. While essentials like strings and capos are a given, the choice of additional accessories should cater to your specific playing requirements. Begin with the basics that enhance your performance and sound.

Gradually introduce accessories that address specific needs, avoiding frivolous additions. For example, consider a looper pedal if you aim to layer riffs for creative purposes, not just for the sake of novelty.

Prioritize quality over quantity when assembling your guitar toolkit. Focus on mastering core gear, and expand selectively to suit your evolving style and goals. Remember, your music comes first, not the accessories.

About the Author

Founder & Editor | + posts

Thomas M., the founder of Guitar Top Review, boasts 15+ years of guitar experience and was a church band member in L.A. Transitioning from piano to acoustic guitar, his first love remains his Taylor GS Mini. Alongside like-minded hobbyist friends, he launched the site, driven by a deep love for music that transcends professional boundaries.

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