TunersA good quality tuner is absolutely essential to learning to play guitar. If you’re not a musician, you may struggle to tune your guitar properly. If this is the case, you’ll sound awful no matter how well you play. There are many different types of tuners available. Some pick up sound through a microphone, others clip onto the headstock of the guitar, and a few can also pick up a signal by being plugged directly in to an electric guitar. Headstock tuners area the most convenient, especially for a beginner. They work great in loud environments and don’t require a cable to be plugged in, so they can be used with both electric and acoustic guitars. They’re also clearly visible when you’re looking at the headstock to tune and inexpensive compared to some of the professional style tuners. A good choice for a beginner would be the Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner.
CaposAs you look through some of the music for songs you’re trying to learn, you may notice they need a capo. This tends to be more common on acoustic guitar songs, and it allows you to play in a different key while still playing the same open chord shapes. Without a capo, playing some songs would not be possible, or it would be difficult since it would require bar chords. The capo clamps your strings across a fret you set it at, and basically becomes like the nut at a higher position on the fretboard. A good choice is the Kyser KG6B 6 String Capo. This capo clamps solidly to the fretboard so there’s no buzz when using it, and it releases easily so it can change frets quickly. It also features rubber padding to prevent it from damaging the finish on the guitar neck.
String WindersA string winder is really helpful, though not completely necessary, when changing strings. Many guitar tuners have a high gear ratio, so it takes many turns to get the string to wrap once around the post. String winders allow you to quickly wind the string on the post, and it will save a lot of time if you change your strings often. Some string winders, such as the Planet Waves Pro Winder also feature a cutter so you can trim the excess string when you’re finished.
Strap and Strap LocksIf you’re planning on playing with a band or doing any sort of performance, you’re going to need a solid guitar strap and a set of strap locks. The strap locks are used to prevent the strap from slipping off the guitar while you’re playing. Though this may seem unlikely, it’s actually quite common, and the guitar can be damaged when the headstock hits the ground. For this reason, we also recommend a good quality strap that isn’t going to stretch too much as it’s used. Levy's Leather Straps tend to be reinforced and don’t stretch, especially when used with strap locks. We’ve covered a few of the different strap lock systems here and would recommend the Dunlop Straplok® Dual Design Strap Retainer System, since it features strap buttons that can easily be used with different straps.
PolishIf you’re playing a guitar with a very shiny finish, you’ll definitely find that it gets covered in finger prints very quickly. To keep your guitar looking it’s best, you should use a proper guitar polish that won’t damage your finish or cause it to deteriorate over time. A good option is the Ernie Ball Guitar Polish, which also includes a cloth that won’t scratch your guitar.
For those with rosewood fretboards, applying lemon oil to the fretboard will keep it from drying out a provides a nice appearance. We recommend this for use each time you change your strings, but keep it mind it can’t be used on maple fretboards. We recommend the Dunlop Ultimate Lemon Oil for use on your guitars.