Whether you’re a hobby guitarist or a gigging musician, The number one rule is to always be prepared.
Nothing has ever been truer for musicians than Murphy’s Law and every time you leave open the opportunity for something to go wrong for you, it will.
Over the years I’ve learned that having an inventory of essential guitar-playing accessories in your guitar case or special gig box will save your hide when things go wrong.
There are a lot of items that are handy to have but here are my top 5 essential accessories that all guitar players must have.
After the well being of your hands, your hearing is the next most precious thing that you need to look after.
You need to take care of your ears and wear earplugs whenever you’re in a loud environment.
Tinnitus (that ringing in your ears you get after a concert) is a very real threat to the health of career musicians and can become permanent after too many repeated exposures to ear piercing volumes.
While quite expensive, I highly recommend all musicians get a pair of moulded earplugs.
Having said this pair of $2 foam earplugs or even some cotton wool balls should always be stashed away in your case for general use.
Check out this article on the importance of hearing protection and looking after your ears.
Want to hear a funny story about my first international tour?
I cut my nails the morning of my flight from Australia to Tokyo and in the 2 days between arriving and the first show my nails magically grew to the point where they were digging into the fretboard.
I don’t know if it’s something in the food or the amount of radiation that gave me Godzilla-like nails but I was running around Tokyo an hour before we were due on stage looking for somewhere to buy nail clippers.
Hardly the best way to get prepared to play in front of over 1000 people… Since that night I’ve always had my Tokyo nail clippers living in my guitar case to avoid the problem happening again in future.
Spare Guitar Picks
You’d be stunned by the amount of times I’ve been playing a gig and a guitarist from another band has come to me asking to borrow a guitar pick.
It’s always two minutes before they go on stage as well.
Buy your picks in bulk and put ten in every case that you own.
If you like to throw your pick into the audience at the end of the show, make sure you set a reminder to restock throughout the tour.
Spare Guitar Strings
The chance of you breaking a string increases exponentially when you haven’t got any spare guitar strings to put on.
If you change strings regularly then breaking a string shouldn’t be a problem for you but it does still happen.
Having a spare packet or two in your guitar case at all times is a great way to cover for emergency string breaks. Just like guitar picks I like to buy my strings in bulk and have a bunch of spares on standby.
Wireless Transmitters, Guitar Pedals & Active Pickups all use batteries.
Chances are if you’re running a big rig you’re going to run out of power to something during a show.
There’s been a few times where I’ve had to do a mad dash to the supermarket pre-show because the batteries in my wireless died during soundcheck.
Have a few spares in all the sizes that you use because you’re going to hit empty at some point.
No matter how prepared and organised you are, sooner or later something is going to go wrong.
It might be you, or it might be someone else in your band, but if you’re unprepared you will be caught out.
By having these 5 essential guitar accessories stocked in your guitar case you’ll be better prepared to deal with bad situations when they happen.
If you’ve found this article helpful check out the article I wrote on having a Gig Box that goes with you to all live shows you play.
About The Author - Expert Guitar Teacher Michael Gumley
Meet Michael Gumley, an accomplished guitarist, educator, and author who has been teaching guitar since 2008. With over a decade of experience in the music industry, Michael has established himself as a leading authority in guitar teaching.
Michael’s journey with the guitar began in 2005 when he first picked up the instrument. As he progressed, he developed a passion for teaching, which led him to start his own guitar teaching business.
He has taught over 1000 students and delivered more than 10,000 guitar lessons to students of all ages and skill levels.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary, which has given him a deep understanding of music theory and composition. He has also released 5 albums, toured nationally and internationally twice, and authored 12 books on guitar playing and teaching.
In addition to his successful career as a guitarist and author, Michael has also made a significant impact on the guitar teaching industry. He created the Guitar Ninjas Curriculum, which is currently used in 20 studios worldwide, and founded Melbourne Guitar Academy in 2015.
Michael Is The Guy Who Teaches Other Guitar Teachers
He is also the Head of Guitar at Topmusic, the world’s leading professional development and networking community for instrumental music teachers.
Michael’s passion for teaching guitar has led him to create the 6 Figure Guitar Teacher Program, a course that helps solo guitar teachers grow their studio to six-figure incomes.
With his extensive experience and expertise, Michael Gumley is an authority in guitar teaching. If you’re looking for a qualified and experienced guitar teacher or seeking to improve your guitar teaching skills, Michael is the perfect guide.
If you’re tired of the guitar being hard and want learning to be fun and easy, sign up for Essendon Guitar Lessons and experience guitar taught the right way!