Best Guitar Accessories for Beginners

If you’ve read my article on the different types of guitar accessories and are getting ready to make a purchase or two, then this buying guide is made for you.  I’ve reflected on the hundreds of hours I’ve spent researching and playing different types of guitar accessories and have broken down my top favorites in each of 5 different categories.  This article focuses on my top recommended best guitar accessories for beginner and intermediate players alike.

For some of these products, I’m not bothering to rank or rate them.  Not because I’m too lazy, but really because most of these products are not able to be objectively measured.  It’s more of a subjective thing, based on comfort, playing style, and even just plain looks.  Just know that you really can’t go wrong with any of the products listed on this page.  And the good news is that because most of them are quite cheap, you can have some fun with experimentation to develop your own favorites.


Best Guitar Picks

fender 351 pickDunlop Tortex Guitar PickDava Grip Tip Guitar Pick
BrandFenderDunlopDava
Model351TortexGrip Tip
Product LinkProduct LinkProduct LinkProduct Link

Fender 351 – This versatile pick can be used to play any type of guitar, acoustic or electric.  Its traditional shape and celluloid material is very comfortable in your hand and gives a nice warm tone.  If you are brand new to playing guitar, you simply can’t go wrong with a classic Fender 351.  And don’t get me wrong, this is not a pick only for beginners, I just find that it’s a great place to start.

Dunlop Tortex – This iconic made-in-the-USA pick is played by countless guitarists in touring bands all around the world.  Dunlop’s unique Tortex material, which is designed to simulate the vintage feel and tone of genuine tortoise shell, has a nice bright tone and wears exceptionally well.  As an FYI, using real tortoise shell for picks has been banned since the 1970’s and Dunlop has been making Tortex picks since 1981.

Dava Grip Tip – Possibly the most highly engineered guitar pick on the market, these little wonders have an amazing ability to not fall from your fingers, especially when picking very fast.  Plus, the pick behaves differently depending on how you hold it.  If you grip the tip more firmly, the pick stiffens up for more precise lead playing, and if you loosen up on the flexible center of the pick, it softens for a smoother feel for rhythm playing.


Best Strings for Acoustic Guitars

D'Addario EJ16 Acoustic Guitar StringsMartin M140 Acoustic Guitar StringsErnie Ball 2003 Acoustic Guitar Strings
BrandD'AddarioMartinErnie Ball
ModelEJ16M1402003
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D’Addario EJ16 – These popular strings produce a warm, bright and balanced tone for acoustic guitars.  The phosphor bronze wire is wrapped around a plain-steel hex core and this design results in a long-lasting and comfortable feel.

Martin M140 – Known for making some of the finest acoustic guitars in the world, Martin also makes some really great strings.  These flagship acoustic guitar strings from Martin are made with tin-plated steel core wire and an 80/20 bronze wrap wire for nice balance tone that rings both strong bass tones and bright treble tones.

Ernie Ball 2003 – These made-in-the-USA strings feature 80/20 bronze wire wrapped over tin-plated hex-shaped steel core wire.  The resulting tone is very balanced with beautiful crisp treble sounds.  I really like the way that Ernie Ball individually packages their strings to keep them protected from the elements and fresh until the day you’re ready to use them.


Best Strings for Electric Guitars

Ernie Ball 2253 Electric Guitar StringsD'Addario EXL120 Electric Guitar StringsDR Strings DBG-9/50 Heavy Metal Electric Guitar Strings
BrandErnie BallD'AddarioDR Strings
Model2253EXL120DBG-9/50
Product LinkProduct LinkProduct LinkProduct Link

Ernie Ball 2253 – Some of my personal favorites, these strings are made with a pure-nickel wire wrapped around tin-plated, hex-shaped steel wire producing incredibly warm and rich tones.  Each set is made-in-the-USA and packaged in a low-humidity environment to ensure freshness until the day you open them to put onto your guitar.

D’Addario EXL120 – D’Addario is the world’s biggest manufacturer of guitar strings, and these are among their most popular for electric guitar.  These musically versatile strings feature nickel-plated steel wound around a hex-shaped, high-carbon steel core.  These made-in-the-USA strings produce a bright tone that has good longevity and intonation.

DR Strings DBG-9/50 – I had to include these Dimebag Darrell signature strings for all the metal-heads out there.  While the first three strings are “normal” diameters for a set of 9’s, the last three are oversized as though they were from a set of 11’s.  This hybrid string sizing isn’t that unusual, but it’s really useful for heavy-metal players who want really strong lower strings when you’re digging in hard on power chords, but still playable on the upper strings when you’re soloing.  These strings feature nickel-plated steel wrapped over a hexagonal shaped core wire.


Best Instrument Cables

Planet Waves Gold Guitar CableMonster Rock Guitar CableMogami Gold Series Guitar Cable
BrandPlanet WavesMonsterMogami
ModelGoldRockGold
RatingGoodBetterBest
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Planet Waves Gold – Planet Waves makes tons of guitar accessories that are of sufficiently good quality for really affordable prices and this cable is no exception.  The build quality includes corrosion-resistant 24k gold-plated plugs, double-insulated and double-shielded coverage to keep any noise away from your sound and it includes a lifetime warranty.

Monster Rock – I love the look and feel of these rugged cables.  They are well-shielded to minimize any unwanted noise or hiss and their 24k gold contacts prevent corrosion.  They also include a heavy protective jacket to prevent any kinks or damage from any incidental contact.

Mogami Gold Series – All Mogami does is cables, and they do them very well.  Known for their incredible clarity and low-noise, these high-quality cables are popular among audio engineers and recording studios, plus regular guitarists all over the world.  Mogami does make even more high-end cables than these, but I think the law of diminishing returns starts to kick-in for everyone except true audiophiles or professional recording musicians.


Best Patch Cables

Planet Waves PW-CGTP-305 Electric Guitar Patch CableHosa IRG-100.5 Electric Guitar Patch CableMogami Gold Series Electric Guitar Patch Cable
BrandPlanet WavesHosaMogami
ModelPW-CGTP-305IRG-100.5Gold
RatingGoodBetterBest
Product LinkProduct LinkProduct LinkProduct Link

Planet Waves PW-CGTP-305 – You just can’t beat the value offered from Planet Waves for guitar patch cables.  They bundle three cables together for a great price, and their quality is still good enough to make it on my list.  If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider these patch cables for your pedals.

Hosa IRG-100.5 – Loved by amateur and professional guitarists alike, these affordable patch cables offer the lowest profile right-angle connectors to allow your pedals from not wasting any space on your pedalboard.

Mogami Gold Series – As you might have figured out by now, I think that Mogami cables are the top on the market, and if you only want the best cables for your guitar rig, then you won’t be disappointed.


Best Clip-On Tuners

Fishman FT-2 Clip On Guitar TunerSnark Super Snark 2 Clip On Guitar TunerTC Electronic Polytune Clip On Guitar Tuner
BrandFishmanSnarkTC Electronic
ModelFT-2Super Snark 2Polytune
RatingGoodBetterBest
Product LinkProduct LinkProduct LinkProduct Link

I’m going to focus on clip-on tuners here because I’ve already highlighted my recommended pedal tuners on the gear page for effects pedals.

Fishman FT-2 – This basic tuner gets the job done with quick and accurate tuning for your guitar.  It lights up green when you’re in tune, red when the string is playing sharp and amber for flat notes.

Snark Super Snark 2 – This high-performance tuner is faster and more accurate than earlier versions of clip-on tuners from Snark.  Also, its updated screen is a bit crisper for easier viewing.

TC Electronic Polytune – This well-designed and well-built engineering wonder allows a guitar player to tune all six strings simultaneously (polyphonic) with incredibly accurate tunings.  It can also be used in normal chromatic tuning mode for one string at a time tuning plus an ultra-precise strobe tuner mode for those who are real sticklers for perfectly tuned guitars.  It also offers a super-bright and easy-to-read display.


Best Guitar Capos

Kyser Quick-Change Acoustic Guitar CapoDunlop 87B Electric Guitar Capo
BrandKyserDunlop
ModelQuick-Change87B
Guitar TypeAcousticElectric
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Kyser Quick-Change – Easy to use, made-in-the-USA and guaranteed for life, Kyser capos have been very popular with acoustic guitarists for a very long time.  They simply get the job done.

Dunlop 87B – Jim Dunlop made his first capo in 1965 and the trigger capo design was introduced in 1995 which allowed for easy one-hand operation.  Aircraft-grade aluminum and neoprene pads make these made-in-the-USA capos a solid choice for any electric guitarist.