Essential gear for beginning guitarists
It is possible to start learning guitar with any guitar that you may already have lying around. Unfortunately many guitars are difficult to play and lead to a discouraged student. I recommend that all of my beginning students learn on an electric or classical guitar. These types of guitars are much easier to play than acoustics.
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Beginner Guitar Recommendations
Yamaha Classical Guitar
This is an excellent choice for a beginner with an affordable price tag. The nylon strings of a classical guitar are easier to press on than the steel strings of an acoustic guitar.
A great electric guitar choice for the young beginner. These guitars are very affordable and make an excellent first electric guitar.
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster
This is one of Squier’s best takes on the iconic Fender Stratocaster. Slightly more expensive than some of Squier’s other offerings these are well worth the price. Strats are great for rock, funk, blues, and more. These are incredible guitars and I know many professional guitarists that play Classic Vibes.
Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster
Like the classic vibe stratocaster this guitar is well worth the price. Teles are great for country, jazz, blues, and more. These are incredible guitars and I know many professional guitarists that play Classic Vibes.
Note: If you are interested in spending a bit more money I would suggest checking the used market. Reverb.com and eBay are always full of great deals. For electric guitars look for Fender American Standard series guitars, Epiphone/Gibson guitars, G&L, Music Man, and more. You would be surprised the amount of guitar you can get for around $700.
Beginner Guitar Accessory Recommendations
A players pick is a very personal choice. Thicker picks are great for playing single lines while thin picks sound best for acoustic strumming or funky electric strumming. I recommend that beginners get a set of assorted picks to try out different thicknesses. These Fender picks are top quality picks and you will have enough picks to not worry too much about losing your only pick!
Capos help you play easy chords in any key. The Shubb is a professional capo that will not break like many cheaper options. It also features adjustable tension so it can be used with any guitar without buzzing or going out of tune.
A must have for an electric guitar to plug into an amplifier and/or pedals. Planet waves makes decent cables and offers a lifetime warranty. Click here to read their warranty information.
These shorter cables are used to plug in between effects pedals.
A slide is a fun tool to play with and useful for blues playing. There are two main types of slides: glass and metal. Metal slides are commonly made of brass or steel. I recommend starting with a glass slide as they are more traditional. If you are prone to dropping things you might try a metal slide though as they are more break-proof.
Beginner Guitar Amp Recommendations
Fender Blues Junior
A nice sounding small tube amp by Fender.
Peavy Classic 30
A nice sounding small tube amp by Peavy.
Beginner Guitar Pedal Recommendations
Electro-Harmonix Soul Food
One of the best and most affordable overdrive pedals on the market. This is Electro Harmonix’s take on the classic Klon pedal. If you only have one overdrive pedal this is a great choice and can go from transparent clean boost to heavily driven signal.
TC Electronic Flashback Delay and Looper
A versatile stereo delay pedal that should fill most of your delay desires. This also features TC’s “tone print” technology that uses your cellphone to send presets to pedal.
TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb
A versatile stereo reverb pedal that should fill most of your reverb desires. This also features TC’s “tone print” technology that uses your cellphone to send presets to pedal.
Cry Baby Wah
The classic wah pedal to take you from Hendrix to 70s funk.
Cry Baby Mini
This is a pedalboard mini version of the classic Cry Baby Wah Wah.
This is a superb multi effects unit. Great for a beginner to play with different effects sound or as a utility pedal along with some dedicated effects.
The M5 has the same effects as the M9 but only allows you to use one effect at a time.
Xotic SP Compressor
A great compressor with a blend knob for sustained sounds, country sounds, funky sounds and more. Not a bad price either!
Xotic EP Booster
Another incredible tone booster. This pedal is often used as an always on first pedal in the chain to enhance the sound. It is also pretty affordable!
Pedaltrain Pedal Board
A pedalboard is a convenient way to organize your pedals for quick setup time. Pedaltrain offers pedalboards of all sizes made out of light weight aluminum.
This is a great alternative to a dedicated power supply which you may want to upgrade to as you get more pedals. This pack contains a power supply and daisy chain to power multiple pedals. You can also add another daisy chain later to power even more pedals.