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Guitar Accessories - What Acoustic and Classical Players Need

Even if you're the most gifted guitarist you know, you'll need more than just your instrument to keep that beautiful music flowing. These accessories, which you can buy at any music store or order online, are mostly convenience items. They'll make your life as a musician easier so that you can focus on playing.

  • An extra set of strings.
    If you don't have one unopened set ready to go, you'll inevitably break a string when you can't make a trip to the music store. If you have another set, you can either re-string everything or just replace the broken one and keep going.
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  • An electronic or digital tuner.
    You can find some models for twenty dollars or less. Don't bother if you're a musical wizard who tunes by ear. Without a source note (pitch pipe or tuning fork). If that's you, spend the money on a bodyguard, as your friends are probably jealous enough to hurt you.
  • A sturdy case or gig bag.
    If you travel with your instrument, you should invest the sixty or more dollars in a solid, plastic case. Many models even lock so that you can be sure the airline's baggage handlers won't accidentally dump your baby on the tarmac. And even if you don't travel, you should at least buy a guitar stand. If nothing else, this inexpensive item will keep the guitar in sight so that you'll be more likely to pick it up and practice instead of watching TV all evening.
  • A book or poster featuring the chords or scales that you're learning to play.
    The poster is a great idea for people who need a constant reminder to practice: simply put the poster on the wall above your TV set so that you see it every time you head for the couch.
  • Extra bridge pins, if your guitar requires them.
    They're only a few cents each, so keep a set in your guitar case. You never know when you'll accidentally yank one out in the middle of a string change and send the stupid thing flying into outer space.
  • A tool for removing bridge pins, if applicable.
    You can usually buy a string winder with a notch on one end for this job.
  • Tip: some guitarists don't recommend using the string winder when you change strings. This is because the tiny screws in your tuning pegs could come unscrewed - and you won't know that they're coming loose until they're already all over your floor.
  • Various picks.
    Try different thicknesses and shapes. You might discover that a thinner pick works better with your style. If nothing else, you'll have another backup in case you lose your favorite.
As you keep playing, you'll probably find other accessories that fit your style and needs. These will get you going, though, so that you can focus on what really matters: practicing.

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