Whether planning to become a popular musician, preferring to perform for small groups, or just practicing by yourself, playing guitar is one of the more respectable and rewarding passions for someone to pursue. While many people dream of rocking out on an electric guitar, virtually everyone starts out with acoustic. And unless you’re performing in front of a large audience, acoustic is the ideal choice.
With this in mind, we figured it’d be worth it to go over the essential accessories for acoustic guitars. These accessories not only help guitarists get the most out of their instruments but also protect and preserve them over time.
Here are six essential accessories for acoustic guitarists to include with the instrument itself:
A capo is a small device meant to shorten the length of the strings, effectively raising their pitch. Attached to the neck of the guitar, a capo helps guitarists play a song in varying keys without having to stop and re-tune. The specific alteration depends on which fret the capo is placed. Given the cost-effectiveness of a capo’s ability to provide a means to conveniently play multiple keys in a single session, acoustic guitarists are always encouraged to buy one.
Tuning is a time-consuming process, one that can easily take a guitarist out of the rhythm they’re in and force them to spend time getting back to the swing of things. Luckily, there’s a simple solution in the form of a clip-on tuner. Driven by electric power – usually thanks to batteries – a clip-on tuner provides a digital readout of sound, helping guitarists more easily calibrate their instrument for their next session. While not every clip-on tuner is created equal, relative novices can stick with cheaper models until they find themselves in a situation where precision is essential.
There are fingernails, there are guitar picks, and then there are guitar fingerpicks. We suggest the third option. For one thing, not everyone likes the idea of having long fingernails, even if it’s only a single finger. Secondly, traditional picks inhibit the natural ergonomics of the acoustic guitar. While everyone is different – and to each their own – the fingerpick seems like the ideal compromise. It’s essentially a ring welded to a small spade of metal meant to simulate a fingernail. Worn on the fingertip, it gives guitarists a way to generate a clean, crisp sound without sacrificing their wrists or compromising on their personal sense of style and hygiene.
When it comes to keeping your acoustic guitar protected, nothing’s as crucial as the hard case it’s in when not in use. There are many hard cases for your guitar to choose from, most of which will do an outstanding job at protecting your guitar from damage and deterioration. The important thing is to use it. Too many acoustic guitars get propped against a wall and left to collect dust and dry out. Don’t let that happen to your guitar. Buy a hardshell case and always store your guitar in it whenever you aren’t playing.
While keeping your acoustic guitar kept in a hard case is an essential first step, your instrument remains at risk of becoming dry and brittle or wet and moldy, drastically – and negatively – altering the way it sounds. The solution is to keep a humidifier in your case along with the guitar. Doing so ensures humidity within the case remains constant, keeping your guitar going strong for years with minimal maintenance required.
A humidifier is only as good as your ability to monitor conditions. In other words, you need a way to determine the humidity levels within a guitar case. Otherwise, efforts to humidify may actually harm the strings and wood. The solution is to use a hygrometer, which is a small device that monitors humidity levels. While they can be bought and used separately, it might be a good idea to purchase an all-in-one humidifier-hygrometer. They’re affordable, efficient, and reliable.
Is there any other instrument with as much range and potential as the guitar? If so, we haven’t heard it. Those who enjoy playing guitar not only pursue a marvelous passion, they continue the longstanding tradition of humans plucking strings to generate sound. However, it all comes down to the guitar. With this in mind, accessories meant to enhance and protect your acoustic guitar are essential for ensuring it keeps making beautiful music at your command.