Buying a guitar is just the beginning!
There are guitar accessories that you may need to go with that new purchase:
Your guitar may have a built in tuner. If not a good tuner is one of the most important things you can invest in. Even though it might not seem like it matters much when you are playing your first notes, it is very smart to ensure your guitar is in tune every time you play.
There are many ways to tune your guitar; a pitch pipe, a tuning fork, a piano or any other reliable instrument. However by far the simplest and most effective way is a digital tuner, they come in all shapes and sizes. Make sure you choose a good quality tuner but you need not spend a lot.
When initially learning it is best to practice while sitting down. This allows you to practice perfect form and technique; therefore initially you may not need a strap. However sooner or later you will need a strap especially when moving around or standing up, While they all do the same job, not all straps are created equal! You can spend a lot on a very good quality all leather strap, or very little on a fabric strap. One most important thing is to purchase one you really like. Be careful of those straps that may cause damage to your guitar, especially with buckles or other metal parts. Always check the areas where the strap is connected to your guitar (strap buttons), in these areas rubbing or damage can occur to you guitar using a cheap strap.
My advice is to purchase a good quality leather strap, it will last for years.
Yes, you guitar will come with strings, but how long do you expect to play without breaking one? Even if you don’t break a string, it is still very good to change all the strings periodically, depending on how often you play. This will help keep your guitar in good condition and even helps your sound. It is always a good idea to keep a full extra set in your guitar case.
Guitar strings come in different gauges or thicknesses. You can always check with the specification of your guitar regarding what strings are recommended, however you may have you own preference based on whether you like a light, extra light or thicker/heavier string.
You will eventually come to like particular brands more than others; initially always try different ones until you find the one you love. As you progress you will gravitate to the one or another that is best for you. Always best to purchase a good quality brand and remember that acoustic guitars will require acoustic strings and an electric guitar, strings specifically made for electric. Quite easy to restring a guitar using the wrong strings!
Case / Bag
It is so important to invest in a good quality case. As with buying a guitar, purchase the best you can afford. I know many people who have spent more on the case than their guitar! I would always choose a hard case, such as the Hiscock range. A very good case will last a lifetime, if you treat it as you would your guitar. Purchase one that is the correct size and shape for your particular guitar, so that the guitar does not move around within the case during transportation. If you care going to travel on a plane, then a hard case is essential. Many players have two, a soft bag can be good for going to your guitar lessons and the hard case for general safe storage etc. Always keep your guitar in the case; it will help maintain the same temperature in your house. Keep it in a room that maintains a fairly even temperature and away from direct sunlight as this will cause the guitar to get hot one minute and cold the next.
One smart thing to do as a new guitarist, whether you decide to take lessons or not, is to invest in a few instruction books, DVD or a tutorial program. You should eventually build up a reference library of sorts, packed with all kinds of materials.
Even if you don’t think you will use a pick, it is still a good idea to have some around for both acoustic and electric guitars. Picks come in different shapes and sizes; generally thicker and stiffer picks offer more control and thinner picks are better for general strumming. Always best to initially experiment with different gauges and sizes, you will soon discover which one you prefer. As normal go for good brands (Fender, Gibson, Dunlop etc.) as very cheap picks will give you poor results and could cause damage to your strings.
I could find a guitar in anyone’s house in different places; in your hands, in its case or bag, on a stand, on the sofa, or even leaning up against an amplifier. There are lots of good quality affordable guitar stands on the market. A good stand is ideal for securing your guitar safely while you are taking a break from playing, answering the door or telephone. Many serious players will always place the guitar back in its case rather than use the stand for a long period of time – this is very good. Again use the stand out of hot sunlight.
Other items you may require include guitar cleaners and polishes, amplifier and special effect cables, guitar tools such as string winders and wire cutters for strings etc. etc. Again always purchase good quality and well-known brands especially when using cleaners and polishes. I have seen guitar tops ruined by lesser known branded cleaners and polishes. Just like waxing your car, never overdo it!