Guitar Accessories – What Equipment Do You Need?

While the guitar, amps, and effects are the principle components for most guitarists, there are all kinds of guitar accessories out there that are usually quite inexpensive and can all manner of variety to playing.  Guitar cables, while relatively unglamorous can be quite an important investment, including the smaller guitar pedal cables.

A guitar capo can allow key shifts for more open string oriented songs that are not otherwise realistically possible.  In addition a guitar slide is absolutely vital to anyone interested in playing slide guitar.

Guitar Cases and Gig Bags

Cases and gig bags are quite necessary to protect an instrument from damage during travel.  Most gig bags will protect it from scratches and the padded ones can stop some light damage, but won’t really be anymore effective against harder knocks than if the guitar was out in the open.  A good hard shell case can take a good knock without the slightest bit of damage.

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It is good practice to keep guitars not in use in one or the other, not only to prevent accidental damage, but also to keep dust and debris from settling on the guitar.  Flight cases are the best choice in terms of protection, especially, not surprisingly during transit on a flight.  However, the weight of these cases is a little impractical in many situations where a gig bag or standard hard shell case would be better.

Guitar Cables

One of the easiest guitar accessories for an electrical guitarist to take for granted as they learn to play guitar is the guitar cable connecting the guitar and the amp.  Cheaper cables tend to more easily damaged and can substantially degrade the signal from the guitar, especially in longer chains with pedals.

Using shorter guitar pedal cables between cables is also a good idea, not only economically and storage wise, but also because signal degradation is related to cable length, so having multiple longer cables can have a much bigger impact than several short ones.

Guitar Capos

A guitar capo can be useful for all manners of guitarists, even in slide guitar.  A capo fastens onto the neck of a guitar to effectively raise the pitch of the open strings by automatically fretting all the strings at a given fret.  Some songs are literally impossible to play in the correct key without one of these.  It can also make certain keys a little easier to play in because it changes what actual chords play for open chord progressions.

An E major key open chord progression can be played the same way with a capo on fret 6 to play in Bb major, a key that would normally be impossible to play in open position.  Guitarists with guitars with nitrocellulose finishes do need to make sure their capo is nitrocellulose safe.

Guitar Slides

A guitar slide can create a more vocal tone and effectively turns a guitar into a fretless style instrument in terms of playing style.  Blues guitar lessons in particular will introduce this style of playing, since it is quite common in that style.  Most slides are cylinders made of glass or metal that slides over a finger.  Which material is better is a matter of preference since both sound quite different from one another.

There are some other designs out there and some guitarists simply hold the slide rather than wear it on a finger.  The specialty ones might be of more interest for a guitarist with particular preferences, but most will be just fine with a standard slide design.

Guitar accessories, while not as prominent, can be quite important, if relatively small, investments.  Guitar cables and guitar pedal cables can ensure a good signal goes from the guitar to the amp.  Meanwhile, a guitar capo and guitar slide can open up whole new progressions and the slide guitar style through good usage.