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Acoustic Guitar Accessories: What You Need

So you bought an acoustic guitar! Maybe you are planning to buy one. Either way, what else do you need? There are a few essential accessories that every acoustic guitarist should own.

Acoustic Guitar Cases

The first (and most important) thing you need is a case to protect your guitar, whether is it staying in one place or travelling with you. The two main types are a soft case (or gig bag) or a hard-shell case.

Soft Case or Gig Bag
Usually made of nylon or polyester, gig bags are lightweight, soft, and flexible. If carrying something heavy around is a problem, a gig bag is definitely the case for you! While they are not as secure as a hard-shell case, the durability of the material combined with padding can provide a substantial amount of protection for your instrument.

Most gig bags include a handle and an over-the-shoulder carrying strap as well as a pocket or two on the outside to store additional items such as tuners, straps, and sheet music. A gig bag can be an excellent option for many players, and the reasonable price tag (as low as $50) makes it an attractive option.

Hard-Shell Case
A hard-shell case is recommended for additional protection. The outside, or “shell,” can be a combination of wood, vinyl, and other durable coverings with metal fastenings. Because of the rigidity of these cases, they prevent damage from impact like knocks, bumps, and even being dropped. The acoustic guitar fits snugly into the case which is generally lined with a thickly-padded, soft, and plush interior.

Although hard cases tend to be more expensive than their softer counterparts, it is still possible to purchase a quality case for between $50 and $150. Built-in humidifiers are one of several special features you might find in more expensive cases, though reasonably priced humidifier kits are available to be purchased separately.

Straps and Picks

If you plan to play your guitar standing up, then a strap is necessary. Straps are usually made of canvas or leather. The ends of the strap vary; they can be leather tabs with a slit for the peg ends on the guitar, or a string to tie around the neck. Look for a strap that will hold your guitar securely and comfortably as you may have to wear the guitar for an extended period of time.

Every player will need picks, with the exception of classical guitarists. These come in a variety of shapes and materials. The most important factor is the thickness (or stiffness) of the pick.

Softer, more pliable picks are suited to strumming and more gentle playing. For melody runs and lead playing, heavier picks are called for. The heavier the pick, the faster the attack.

Guitar Packages

While these items can be purchased separately, beginning players would be well advised to look at guitar packages which come with all the elements bundled separately. Purchasing a guitar within a package can provide substantial savings and convenience.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

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Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

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