Must-Have Guitar Tools
This is my list of the absolute necessities that every guitarist should have in order to make the most out of playing the guitar.
You don’t have to have the tools I list here, but they will definitely make your guitar playing life a whole lot easier, happier and more productive.
The secret weapon in your guitar toolkit is your metronome. And while you have a myriad of choices these days in every imaginable form from web metronomes to iphone apps, combo tuner/metronomes and dedicated metronomes in every conceivable price range from cheaper than cheap to second-mortgage necessitating, I recommend a simple, straightforward and easy-to-use metronome from the Seiko Corporation:
Given the innate resistance most guitarists seem to have toward the metronome, you want to choose the simplest possible option to insure your actual usage of the metronome in your practice. This is the one that will help you go the guitar distance.
When it comes to a simple but effective tuner, I recommend the Snark SN-1 Tuner. This tuner is affordable, portable, durable and tunes extremely accurately. Clip it onto the head of your guitar, turn it on and tune away. You can tune using this bad boy in any environment.
Since I prefer to tune by ear, this tuner is really all I need.
It clips on to the head of your guitar and tunes vibrationally, so you can use it when you’re in loud environments.
Let’s say you’re looking for that special gift for the discerning obsessive guitar accessory collector on your list.
Consider this work of art/technological monstrosity.
I had the very good fortune to take some lessons with Muriel Anderson when I first moved back to Nashville a few years ago, and she used one of these. It worked like a charm, and I was impressed.
This thing tunes via a very precise visual display, produces all manner of metronomic beat combinations and looks cool to boot.
The Gitano attaches to your guitar by the use of two suction cups. It allows you to keep both feet flat on the floor while you angle your guitar on either leg to reproduce the classic classical guitar position.
Say goodbye to back pain, and say hello to fantastic form, relaxed posture and easy access to the strings and the fretboard for both of your hands. I love the Gitano, and I have Richard Todd to thank for introducing me to it. An absolutely indispensable accessory if you’re spending any time at all in the classical guitar holding position.
Believe it or not, a guitar stand definitely helps your playing. By having the guitar accessible at all times, you encounter no extra resistance to getting the guitar out and getting in some quick practice time.
This assumes, of course, that you have a safe, out of the way place for your guitar. It also assumes that your guitar stand area is climate-controlled. If you happen to have the right place where your guitar can rest in this stand, then I definitely recommend you pick one of these up.
If making art is a war against Resistance, then the guitar stand makes it that much easier to win the war.
Simple. Collapsible. Portable. Effective.
If you’re just getting started, few of these accessories are absolutely indispensable. This music stand certainly isn’t.
Instead, this stand is the thing you will want to get once you’re sure the guitar is something you want in your life for years to come.
There are many expensive and more hefty-duty music stands on the market, but I’ve had this stand for nigh on four years now, and while it clearly bears scars from four years of consistent use, all its moving parts still function, and it still holds up my music without complaint.
Before I found the Gitano, this is what I used when I played in full classical guitar position.
If you’ve never played with the assistance of a footstool, you’ll be surprised how much more comfortable you’ll feel while using it.
There’s a reason classical players the world over have opted to elevate their legs footstool-style for the past couple hundred years.
If for whatever reason you’re against the Gitano (like, perhaps, you don’t want to apply suction cups to your guitar’s flawless French polish), then this footstool has your name written all over it.