So, you just got yourself a brand new axe and can’t wait to take it home for its first run? Or maybe you just bought one for a special someone in your life? Before you go and crank that sucker up to eleven, If you want to get the most out of your six-string, there are a few things that every guitarist should never be without. Read through our quick guide and find out how to give yourself the best possible setup to get you ready to rock the right way.
The Obvious Necessity of the Capo
A Standard Capo
Regardless of the type of guitar you have decided to unleash on your friends and family (be it acoustic, electric, or even acoustic-electric), one thing is universal - you have to get yourself a capo. This little piece of equipment pretty much clamps on to the neck of a stringed instrument along any part of the fret board you desire, thereby raising its pitch. The main benefit in using a capo is the ability to play any key using fingering shapes different than you would use if played “open,” meaning no capo. While this might not sound so crucial at first, the sheer amount of songs that absolutely require a capo makes it an absolute necessity for anyone planning on learning their favorite tunes… unless your hands happen to have a few extra fingers and have a knack for remembering obscure chord shapes.
The Crucial Benefits of an Electric Tuner
Even though tuning by ear isn’t necessarily a rare skill, an electric tuner is never a bad idea to have around. Not only are they much more precise than most human ears, they have become a staple of the modern rock band’s repertoire. They are much quicker and require less thought than manual tuning. The guitarist is able to quietly and accurately tweak the pitch of the strings without having to waste too much of the audience’s time (and patience). Although not as big of a sin as stopping in the middle of a song during a live performance, the last thing the crowd wants to do is wait for the band to tune their gear, which is especially difficult if you’re in a pretty loud venue. Bottom line, having an electric tuner on you is just too convenient not to own.
Always Important to Have Extra Strings
Although this might seem like a no brainer, it is all too common for the average guitarist to break a string in the middle of a set, and sadly, have no replacement. Most (if not all) music shops carry strings in their traditional six pack, but some will sell individual strings as well. You will be smart to stock up on a few extra high E strings, as they are notorious for being the first to give. Trust me, sooner or later, you WILL be buying extra strings.
Capo, Tuner and Strings, So What?
So there you have it, nothing too outrageous right? Although these three little items might seem like obvious suggestions, I’m sure plenty of us have bumped into fellow musicians lacking at least one. Do yourself a favor and make it easier on yourself, if you don’t already have all three, sooner or later, you’ll wish you did!