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What gear do you need for guitar lessons?

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

This guide is to help my new students get ready for lessons so that there is no confusion or time wasted!

Websites to order online:

Stores for in person shopping (recommended for getting guitars)

  • A local guitar store. Call in advance and see if they have what you are looking for.

  • Guitar Center or Sam Ash as a last resort


A beginner guitar should cost between $100 and $600. If you are on a budget, the used market is the best. Popular brands are Fender, Taylor, Martin, Ibanez, Epiphone, Breedlove, Yamaha etc. I don’t recommend starting on an expensive instrument.

General Guitar Accessories:

You will need ALL of these. This is Amazon stuff.

  1. Guitar Strings

    1. You should research what your guitar came with from the factory or what it was set up with. I like Elixir Optiweb strings for electric because they last long. But other popular brands include D'Addario, Rotosound, DR, LaBella, and Ernie Ball. I would recommend 9 or 10 gauge strings on electric for standard tuning.

    2. On acoustic, try Elixir or D'Addario. I use 12 gauge, but 11s would be ideal and it just depends on what your guitar is set up for.

  2. Guitar Tuner/Metronome - please be tuned up before your lesson to save time! Here's one that is both in one by Korg.

  3. String Winder/Cutter - you need one of these to change strings.

  4. Manuscript Paper - you need this to write down fingerings. Guitar Tab AND Music Paper

  5. Guitar Picks - personal preference here are some to start with: Dunlop Variety Pack

Changing strings can be tricky your first time. Check out some YouTube videos. If you don’t feel comfortable changing strings, you can bring it to a local guitar tech or guitar store and have someone do it for you. I recommend learning how to do it yourself. You will know when to change strings when they feel crusty and you’re out of tune.

Guitar techs offer a service called a set up where they change your strings and make adjustments to the guitar to improve performance. This costs around $70. I don’t think it’s necessary unless there is a noticeable problem such as high action, buzzing, or tuning issues. If you purchased a guitar new, it should come set up from the factory, and stores often offer a free set up or inspection.

Guitar Amps & Electric Guitar Accessories

I have a much more detailed guide on this topic, but for someone starting guitar lessons, a solid state amp should run you about $100 - $500. You want a 1x12 combo. You also need a guitar cable. I would not recommend spending a lot of money on your first amp. I would not recommend getting anything too loud, unless you have space to make a lot of noise, or you play with a band.

You can get great deals used online on reverb or locally. You can also go into a store and try out a few and see what you like. Tube amps are great, but I don't recommend them for beginners because they may require some maintenance.Reverb, Sweetwater, and YouTube have amazing resources and demos to figure out what to buy. I can also make specific recommendations. But beginner gear is not worth splitting hairs over, just get something that's a known popular and functional product and roll with it.

Zoom Accessories

Optional but help with zoom calls

  1. Webcam

  2. Microphone

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