Guitars are one of the most personal and addictive musical instruments. Naturally, everyone has got a zeal for it. Guitars are so much versatile and easy to pick up as well.
Now, if u intend to start playing electric guitar, you may wonder “What Equipment Do I Need to Play Electric Guitar?” Being a guitarist myself, having over 10 years of professional experience, we believe we can help you solve all the questions and guide you to the fullest.
To put it in layman’s terms, the must-needed equipment to play the electric guitar are an amplifier, an audio cable that will connect your guitar, an amplifier, and maybe a guitar pick. However, there are other useful equipment that could enhance both playability and your guitar playing skills.
Getting the right kind of equipment for electric guitars can be a bit confusing. Especially if you’re fairly new, you might end up buying things you don’t really need. We’ve elaborated on most of the matters related to this topic to avoid making a wrong decision. Let’s dive into the realm of electric guitar, shall we?
The Essential Accessories for Electric Guitar
Unlike the acoustic guitar, the electric guitar needs some extra equipment before you can start playing. So here you go:
A Decent Electric Guitar
Let’s begin with the most obvious one – the electric guitar. You can’t play electric guitar unless you have one! And there’s a very good reason behind us talking about the obvious!
You see, choosing a guitar is probably the piece of equipment on which people face the most difficulty while deciding. DON’T simply walk into a guitar store and pick one that looks great or sounds good to you right now. You won’t know what you’re listening for if you’re a complete beginner, and you won’t be able to make the guitar sound the way you want it to anyways.
Do some basic research on electric guitars. Do some research on the brands you like and see what they’re all about in terms of the style you want to play. The main things that you have to consider are- sound, feel, and looks.
A beginner guitar for around $350 is your best bet if you’re just getting started. It will provide you with a nice combination of value for the price.
If you want to hear your electric guitar properly, you’ll definitely need an amplifier. They are usually connected to your electric guitar via a cable and allow you to adjust the volume and tone of the instrument. However, some amplifiers come with wireless receivers as well.
The hollow core of the instrument body amplifies sound in an acoustic guitar. But as an electric or a bass guitar has a solid body, amplification must be provided by an external source.
The guitar amplifier is yet another important piece of gear for electric guitar players. You can start with a tiny, sub-15-watt amp and work your way up as your skills improve.
Getting a guitar amp with a built-in headphones socket will allow you to practice without disturbing your neighbors!
Transistors are used in most starter amplifiers since they are less expensive than vacuum-tube-based ones.
There are two channels in a standard guitar amp: clean and distorted. The former is only for amplification, whilst the latter distorts the signal and prepares it for usage with various effects pedals.
You’ll need a cable to connect your amp and guitar once you’ve got them both. A guitar cable will come in handy in this situation. An audio cable, made of robust copper wire and protected with a protective coating, is a must-have in every guitarist’s toolkit.
There isn’t much to this category because guitar wires can be found almost anywhere. One thing I would recommend is not skimping on the cable. You don’t want to buy anything that’s extremely cheap and unpleasant just because it’s a cable. If you buy a low-quality cable, it will deteriorate fast and cause sound problems.
They can be practically whatever length you choose, but 8-10 meters is usually a good starting point.
You won’t be able to connect your guitar to the amplifier without an instrument cable, so it goes without saying that it’s essential.
A guitar pick is a thin triangular chip that is used to pluck the strings of a guitar. While you can play an acoustic guitar with your fingers, an electric guitar requires the use of a pick, especially if you’re a novice.
There are so many different options out there so it is quite difficult to choose which one to try first. In general, my personal preference will be purchasing a variety of picks and trying them all out to discover which one works best for you. Different choices feel best for different contexts and songs at times.
They’re available in a wide range of thicknesses to suit any playing style. When learning basic chords and strumming patterns, you should choose a plectrum that is on the thinner side. As your confidence grows and you begin to select individual strings, it’ll be time to upgrade to thicker plectrums.
Thicker, stiffer picks, in my perspective, offer more control, whilst thinner picks are better for strumming. You can play around with different gauges to see which one you prefer. The pick’s hardness is also significant. You can buy thin picks made of hard material that sound and play similar to thicker picks.
While a lot of people may argue about the necessity of a pick, it’s absolutely crucial to use a pick to produce sharper and precise notes.
More Useful Electric Guitar Accessories
Apart from the above-mentioned essential pieces, some useful accessories can heavily increase your comfort as well as playability. While they’re not compulsory, having them will certainly make your life a bit easier.
An effects pedal is an acoustic device that receives and changes the signal from a guitar before sending it to the amplifier. Depending on the pedal, the guitar signal may distort, fuzz, echo, flange, or may cause other effects.
Effects pedals are necessary for several genres (most notably rock, metal, and pop) and may add a lot of punch and pop to your practice sessions.
Pedals, on the other hand, can be costly and necessitate a great deal of knowledge about the effects they generate. Professional musicians may chain together multiple pedals to create a variety of sounds, but beginners will likely find this daunting.
When you’re first starting, you might omit the pedals entirely for the sake of simplicity. You can, however, get a novice multi-effect pedal if you want to try. It will come with several built-in settings for playing various sounds and will provide you with hours of entertainment.
A lot of you already know that the electric guitar body is quite heavy. While you can play the guitar seated without much difficulty, it’s literally impossible to play a strapless electric guitar when you’re standing. A guitar strap will allow you to play the guitar standing up, which is essential if you ever want to perform in front of an audience or with a band.
There are a variety of styles available, each with its own innovative design, so you’ll have no trouble selecting one that matches you and your instrument. There are also a variety of materials to choose from; for example, most low-cost straps are made of nylon, whilst high-end straps are frequently made of leather.
You don’t need to go overboard when it comes to choosing a guitar strap. A simple yet sturdy strap would suffice.
As a newcomer, one of the most significant investments you can make is in a good tuner. Even while it may not seem important when you’re playing your first clumsy notes, it’s a good idea to double-check that the instrument is in tune every time you pick it up.
It’s pointless to practice and play on a guitar that’s out of tune! Even the act of tuning your guitar can help you train and develop your musical ear and enhance your playing.
A guitar can be tuned in a variety of ways. A pitch pipe, a tuning fork, a piano, or any other dependable instrument can be used. A digital tuner is by far the easiest and most effective method.
Make sure you get a good tuner, but you don’t have to spend a ton of money. A good digital tuner will set you back around ten bucks, although some will set you back a little more.
Guitar Case or Gig Bag
If you’ve just spent your hard-earned money on a new guitar, you’ll want to protect it with a case. It will not only protect your instrument from dust, grime, and damage but will also make it easier to carry and travel.
Many electric guitars come with gig bags or cases, but some don’t, particularly if you’re buying a used one. In most cases, a gig bag will suffice. Look for one that has some cushioning. Gig bags are usually less expensive than cases.
You don’t have to get the one using lots of money that will give you top-notch protection. The one that can ensure you give enough protection will do fine.
If you want to show your guitar off and don’t wanna keep it in the gig bag, you have to get a guitar stand. It’s never a good idea to lean a guitar against a wall; the chances of it slipping and falling are far too high.
There are many affordable guitars stands on the market, so there’s no excuse to go without this piece of equipment. A guitar stand is inexpensive and can keep your guitar safe from crashing to the ground.
Guitar strings are thin, and while they are relatively strong, they are prone to breaking. Even if you don’t break a string, it’s still a smart idea to replace them out on a regular basis. This aids in the preservation of your guitar’s condition as well as the improvement of its sound. A true guitarist will always have a set of extra strings on hand, ready to replace whenever it is necessary.
Different gauges or thicknesses of guitar strings are available. To determine what gauge to use to replace your strings, contact the company of your guitar. The majority of electric guitars have light (10-46) or extra-light pickups (9-42).
Can an Electric Guitar Work Without Amp?
Well, yes. Electric guitars can be played without using any amplification device. If they aren’t plugged in, though, they won’t project as much sound. Any electric guitarist will tell you that an amplifier is an essential component of any electric guitar setup.
Electric and bass guitars were manufactured in such a way that they work better with amps. It can assist to amplify the sound and give it a little more punch or distortion. And if you’re playing a crazy solo and your audience barely gets to hear you, what’s the point?
The Strings You Need for Your Electric Guitar
It’s crucial to select the proper strings for your guitar and musical style to obtain exceptional, warmer tone and playability. The first key point to figure out is what string gauge you want. A guitar string’s gauge refers to its physical size (in inches).
Lighter gauges (.010 -.046) are preferred by the great majority of electric guitar players. This improves playability and facilitates fretting and bending. When the thickness of your strings is increased, it becomes slightly more difficult to play since more pressure is required to sound each note.
Heavier gauges, on the other hand, provide higher volume and sustain, which makes them suitable for heavier music genres like metal and heavy rock.
Electric guitar strings are made of a variety of metal alloys, each of which produces distinct tones and sounds. Steel and nickel are the most common metals that are utilized, although you can also find strings made of chrome, cobalt, and even titanium.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Learn on an Electric Guitar or an Acoustic one?
It all relies on your particular tastes and the music you intend to play. Both electric and acoustic guitars have their own set of perks.
Electric guitars have thinner strings and hence require less hand strength, making them a feasible choice for a beginner guitarist. Electric guitars have a narrower neck, which allows for a better grip and a shorter reach for players with small hands.
On the other hand, learning to play the acoustic guitar might be a more affordable option as it does not require any additional equipment. It can also make the transfer to electric guitar easier in the future because the player’s hands are already used to hefty acoustic strings.
Does Finger Hurt When Playing Electric Guitar?
In the early stages of studying guitar, many new guitarists have sore and aching fingertips. This pain is caused by repeatedly indenting your skin with strong guitar strings.
Electric guitar strings are thinner than acoustic steel-string guitar strings, making fretting notes on an electric guitar a little simpler.
Remember that once you’ve developed calluses, the pain will go away.
Can You Play Electric Guitar Without a Pick?
I would strongly advise a total beginner guitarist to learn to play electric guitar with a pick. This allows you to strum without having your fingers stuck on the strings. Although you can (and many musicians do) play the guitar without a pick, there are no regulations.
Do Electric Guitars Need Batteries?
In a nutshell, the answer is yes and no as well. A guitar with passive pickups and no other electronics and circuits will never require batteries. However, if you use a different type of pre-amp, such as a mid-boost or active pickups, your instrument will need a voltage source, that can be a 9V battery.
Can I Plug Headphones Directly into my Electric Guitar?
Headphones cannot be connected to an electric guitar directly. It won’t work even if you buy an adaptor to plug your headphones into the guitar’s jack. You won’t hear anything if you plug your headphone jack into your electric guitar. Before the signal reaches your headphones, the guitar needs to be amplified.
While certain pieces of equipment are a must (guitar, amps, and lead), the additional guitar accessories will boost your performance and allow you to create unique tunes that you envision.
So, if you’re thinking about starting your musical journey with an electric guitar, cross the fundamentals off your checklist first. And the first one of that is selecting the best electric guitar for beginners.
When you’re done with that, you can slowly add other equipment to increase your playability. You’ll discover what equipment is best for you as you progress as a guitarist, based on your personal style and genre.
If you have any more inquiries based on this topic, you can ask us in the comment section below! Cheers!