The guitar is a unique instrument, and there is simply nothing like it in the musical world. There is no instrument more versatile or capable than the guitar. However, this has not prevented the development of several guitar gadgets that make using a guitar better, easier, or more interesting. There are also gadgets that increase the versatility of the instrument and peripheral gadgets that make the guitar more useful, but which are the gadgets that every guitarist should use?
Must-have guitar gadgets include a chromatic clip-on digital guitar tuner, a guitar string winder, a guitar toolkit, strap locks, a guitar slide, a capo, a loop pedal, a micro guitar amplifier, a wireless input system, and a good audio interface for practicing, recording, and for guitar effects.
There are so many different gadgets designed for the guitar, and most of them are nothing more than gimmicks. There are very few useful guitar gadgets, but there are few, and every guitar player should be using them. Some are obvious, and others are less common, but let’s identify the ten must-have gadgets that every guitar player should be using.
1. Chromatic Clip-On Digital Guitar Tuner
The first item on the list of must-have guitar gadgets for every guitar player is a clip-on guitar tuner. These tuners are designed to be as user-friendly as possible and are ideal for every type of guitar and every type of guitar player.
A clip-on tuner is superior to other types of tuners as it does not need to be plugged into a guitar, and it does not require clear sound from the instrument to function well.
Most other guitar tuners require the instrument to be plugged into it, which is not useful for guitars without a pickup of some kind, or they work with a microphone to pick up sound from the guitar and display the pitch of the note played. This system is good in quiet environments, but it does not function when the room is noisy.
This is where clip-on tuners come in. These clever devices simply clip onto the headstock of any guitar, and they sense the pitch of the note played through sensitive vibration sensors built into the tuner. This means that these tuners do not require sound from the guitar to help you tune it, but they only need to be touching the guitar.
These tuners are inexpensive, easily available, and highly functional. The only variable to look out for here is that you purchase a chromatic tuner, or using the device may be somewhat challenging.
2. Guitar String Winder
A guitar string winder is something that every guitar player should own and a tool that every guitarist should know how to use well.
A string winder is a simple device that makes restring a guitar far easier, less time-consuming, and far less labor-intensive. A string winder is a simple handle and bearing that fits over the tuning peg of any guitar. Turning the handle produces far more rotations of the peg in much less time and with far less effort than turning the peg by hand.
This is particularly useful when restringing a guitar, as it saves significant time and effort. Restringing a guitar is part of playing the instrument, and every guitar player should know how to do it, but it can be frustrating and it can feel like a chore at times. Using a string winder is a simple way to make the process far less of a chore than otherwise.
These devices are very easily available and very inexpensive to buy. There are different types of string winders on the market, and there are versions made for different size tuning pegs, so be sure to find one that fits your guitar well.
3. Guitar Toolkit
A very important yet very underrated guitar gadget that every guitar player should have and use regularly is a guitar toolkit. Having a good toolkit designed specifically for guitar maintenance and repairs is invaluable for every guitar player, but especially for those who play electric guitars.
There are several types of guitar toolkits on the market. Some are made by reputable guitar manufacturers, and others are made by guitar players who recognize a need for such a kit.
These toolkits are small and filled with the perfect tools for maintaining a guitar and its hardware. Allen wrenches of the correct sizes, drivers with various bits, files, measuring tools, leveling tools, spanners, wrenches, action gauge tools, and several other components and tools that are designed for guitar maintenance.
These types of kits can be built from individual pieces, or they can be bought as a set. Either way, it is important for every guitar player to have some form of the guitar toolkit for making repairs, performing setups, and even for simple tasks such as changing strings.
There are several varieties of these tool kits available at different price points with various tools included in them, but some guitarists prefer to build their own kits, as not every tool in the pre-built variations is useful for every guitarist.
4. Guitar Strap Locks
Strap locks are not considered essential for every guitarist, but for those who play an expensive instrument or for those who frequently play their guitar while standing up, strap locks can be an essential piece of guitar hardware.
These simple gadgets replace standard guitar strap buttons and allow a guitar strap to be clocked onto the instrument. This ensures that the guitar will never come off the strap while standing up.
Using strap locks requires removing your guitar’s existing strap buttons and screwing in the strap lock buttons, as well as attaching the corresponding component to the strap itself. This process can be challenging, but once strap locks are installed, they never need to be removed.
Strap locks ensure the safety of your instrument while playing standing up, which can be very important and help to prevent an expensive guitar from crashing to the ground and causing severe harm.
There are different brands of strap locks available right now, but it is worth the money to buy the best quality version that you can find.
5. Guitar Slide
The fifth slot on this list of must-have gadgets is a guitar slide, and this gadget finds its way onto this list for several reasons.
The humble guitar slide is nothing more than a small tube of ceramic, glass, brass, or steel that a guitar player can wear on their finger and slide over the strings of the instrument while playing.
Using a slide creates an effect that no other technique or playing method can achieve and is especially useful for those who enjoy playing blues, bluegrass, or even forms of electric blues.
Slides are a must-have for guitar players because they can be used on any type of guitar, and they encourage guitar players to experiment with new techniques, playing styles, musical genres, and even different alternate guitar tunings.
Using alternate tunings with a guitar slide, such as open tunings, opens a world of guitar-playing possibilities that would remain otherwise unexplored. Learning to use alternate tunings creates a more well-rounded and imaginative guitar player overall, which is why guitar slides are not only a must-have gadget but are an essential aspect of the guitar-playing journey.
6. Guitar Capo
Another important but very simple guitar gadget is the capo. There is a capo for every type of guitar, and they can be exceedingly useful tools for most guitar players.
The capo is a simple device that clamps over the strings of the guitar to change the overall pitch and key of the instrument. By using a capo, chords that would be otherwise impossible to play or very challenging to use well become very simple to execute and use in a musical context.
Many guitars play use capos when writing and performing their songs, which means that every guitar player needs to own a capo if they enjoy playing covers of their favorite musician’s songs. Without using a capo, it is simply impossible to play certain songs on the guitar.
Using a capo provides a quick and simple way to explore new realms of guitar playing and provides an interesting platform for guitar players to learn new skills and playing techniques; using a capo can also produce brand new guitar tones and musical tools that guitar players can explore easily.
7. Loop Pedal
Most guitarists are familiar with guitar pedals. Guitar pedals are used to effect and change the tone of a guitar in order to bring the instrument into different sonic spaces for different musical genres.
There are many guitar pedals out there, but every guitar player should experiment with using a loop pedal. These pedals are useful for every guitar player, regardless of their musical preferences and the instrument that they use.
Loop pedals are a great way to learn to play solos by looping your own chord progressions to play over. They are a fantastic way to build songs and construct soundscapes; they can be sued to make backing tracks, they can be used as a phenomenal practice tool, and they can be used to perform solo by creating layers of sounds and notes to build into a song for a live performance.
A loop pedal only seems redundant until you use one. Every guitar player should experiment with using a pedal like this, and every guitar player can benefit from using a pedal like this.
There is a wide variety of loop pedals on the market, so choose one that best suits your budget, and you will quickly discover their true value and utility for yourself.
8. Micro Guitar Amplifier
Not all guitar players are aware of micro guitar amps and how useful they can be. A micro guitar amplifier that can be powered by a pedal power supply or by batteries. These amps have a tiny form factor and tiny output, but they are incredibly useful, and they can be great fun when used in the right context.
Micro amps are very small guitar amplifiers that can be used as headphone amps, practice amps that will never disturb your neighbors or those living with you, or they can be used as a fun little amplifier to bring out at a party to demonstrate your skills.
These amps can be used as portable speakers, and many of them are equipped with Bluetooth for this purpose. Micro amps are fun and useable, and they are a great talking piece as well. These amps are interesting and highly portable as well, which only adds to their functionality.
Micro amps do not sound amazing, but they will do the job, and they are only getting better and better while costing less as they are developed by more manufacturers.
9. Wireless Input System
This guitar gadget may not seem applicable to all guitar players, but every guitarist who uses a guitar with a pickup should experiment with using this type of input system.
Wireless guitar input systems allow your guitar to connect to your amplifier, recording interface, speaker, or any other form of output system without having to use a cable to connect them.
These systems use two simple wireless receivers, one that is plugged into a guitar’s input jack and the onto into the audio system. These receivers connect to each other wirelessly and transmit the audio signal from the guitar between them.
This is helpful because cables have limited length and can get in the way easily, especially while performing live. Using a wireless system removes these limitations and gives guitar players a new level of freedom when playing or performing.
10. Audio Interface
Using an audio interface allows a guitar to be connected to a computer. That is the simple purpose of this device, and every guitarist can benefit from using one.
Sing an interface allows a guitarist to record themselves playing very easily and even allows guitar players to use digital amplifiers and guitar effects through their computer.
This can be useful and very practical for those who want to use a wide variety of sounds and tones but do not have the budget or the space for a large amount of guitar gear. Buying a simple interface allows guitarists to use the tremendous tool that is their computer to their musical advantage.
There are several models available, but it is a good idea to buy something that is of good quality rather than the least expensive interface you can find. This will provide a better user experience and better sound quality from the device.
There are several guitar gadgets but there that are very useful and many more that are completely useless. The gadgets on this list are among those that every guitar player should use or at least experiment with to get the most out of their instruments.
Exploring the world of guitar gadgets, gear, and accessories is a challenge, but the items on this list are wonderfully useful and practical for every guitarist. These gadgets will improve your guitar playing experience overall and help to remove some of the frustrations associated with some elements of guitar playing along the way.