There are many accessories that all classical guitarists should have at their disposal! If you’re new to the classical guitar and you’re not sure exactly what you need to get started and play properly, this guide will show you the best accessories for classical guitar so you can take out all of the guesswork and focus on playing!
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A classical guitarist needs a footstool to support their leg and get them in a position that’s ideal for playing the instrument correctly. The footstool and classical guitar combo are almost like peanut butter and jelly – they’re an inseparable and iconic pair. Footstools designed specifically for classical guitar are pretty cheap, and you can learn more about their importance here if you’d like to understand their purpose more in-depth.
A comfy chair is important for any classical guitarist since you’ll be spending a lot of time sitting down in one. Along with your trusty footstool, a reliable chair will encourage good posture, which is crucial for reinforcing the correct technical habits on the guitar and for general ergonomics and safety. When you’re feeling good, you’ll also be able to practice for longer too. You can technically use any chair with back support that will allow you to keep one foot on the ground and the other on your footstool, but I wouldn’t cheap out on one of these!
A classical guitarist needs a tuner to keep their instrument in tune. There are many different types of tuners available, including electronic tuners and clip-on tuners. Of course, as you become more experienced, you can learn how to tune by ear, but having a guitar tuner is always convenient, not to mention it’s also perfectly accurate.
As you learn the classical guitar, chances are you’re going to run into pieces of music that are written with the use of a capo in mind. Capos are small devices that you place on your fretboard that essentially serve as a new nut and will shift the key of the song you’re in without having to change your chord fingerings and such. I’ve written about some of the different kinds of capos you can get; even the best ones are quite affordable!
A case is important for protecting your classical guitar at home and while you’re traveling. A hard case will offer the best protection, but a soft case can also work well. A classical guitarist needs some kind of guitar case to protect the instrument from damage, and using a humidifier that’s placed inside one can help prevent changes in the wood and keep your guitar healthy.
This is also useful for storing your classical guitar when you’re not playing it. It’s also helpful to have a stand when you are practicing, so you can have easy access to your guitar when you put it down. For example, if you take a break from practicing, it’s more convenient to have a guitar stand nearby than to put it in its case. It’s also safer than laying it down on your bed or couch!
This is a crucial tool for any musician, and it will be your best friend when you practice your guitar. As you work on technique and learn new pieces of music, you will use one of these devices to help you improve your rhythm and timing and get you up to tempo. A metronome provides a consistent tempo for you to play along with, and if you want to learn more about them and some of my recommendations, check on my guide on metronomes here.
Classical guitar strings don’t really have a reputation for snapping, and they do tend to last quite a while compared to ones you’d use on a steel-string acoustic, but it’s a good idea to have a pack of nylon strings ready for you when you feel you need to replace them. Changing classical guitar strings isn’t exactly intuitive for beginners, but you’ll need to learn how to at some point. Here’s a quick, clear, and concise video showing you exactly how to do it:
Twisting the tuning pegs on your guitar can be a bit tiresome and time-consuming, especially when removing old strings and putting on some new ones. Luckily, string winders are cheap and handy tools that can make your life easier during this process. Be sure to pick one up! You can often find them that have a clipper attached to them so you can trim the excess pieces of string after you’re done restringing and tuning your guitar.
If you want your classical guitar to keep looking as beautiful as it sounds, you’ll probably want to do some regular cleaning and maintenance on it, aside from occasionally changing your strings. Essentially, you’ll want something that contains guitar polish and fretboard oil to help clean your instrument. Do not use products around your home to clean your guitar – if you want additional advice on how to care for an acoustic guitar, I have also written a thorough guide on what you need and how to do it properly.
Of course, you’ll also want to have something that will hold your sheet music and books while you play your guitar! A music stand will keep your pages open and will keep the music in front of your eyes, which is important for practicing sight-reading. You don’t want the music to be off to the side or cause you to look downwards because it will physically affect your posture and how you play the guitar.
Lastly, one of the most unique aspects of classical guitar playing is the use of nails to help shape the tone. While I wouldn’t say that this is truly important for beginners, intermediate and advanced players will eventually want to consider how they maintain and shape their nails to produce the most pleasant sound out of their playing. A simple but reliable nail file and buffer should do the trick. Check out this video to see how classical guitarists file their nails:
These are just some of the classical guitar accessories that I think are essential for every classical guitarist. Of course, there may be a couple of things that will be more relevant sometime in the future, such as nail care, but the majority of this list covers the essentials that should give a beginner everything they can use right now and for years to come.
To summarize what you’ll need for the time being, as a classical guitarist, you’ll want to have a:
- Guitar Stand
- Pack of Strings
- String Winder
- Cleaning Kit For Guitars
- Music Stand
- Nail File
Throughout this article, on their headings, I’ve linked some stuff that I recommend for each kind of accessory. You can purchase the vast majority of these accessories for 20 dollars or less per item, which I think is a great value considering the amount of time you can get out of them.
Overall, while it can seem like a lot when you add them all up, remember that you’ll get a ton of mileage out of these accessories; some will even last forever, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth and significantly more enjoyment out of learning how to play the classical guitar.
If you’re a beginner, it also helps to have a classical guitar method book that can show you the ropes and help you start learning. Even if you have a guitar teacher, having a book or two will give you a lot of etudes and full pieces of music that are appropriate for your skill level. Your teacher can even work with you using these books as well! Here are some of the best classical guitar books that I recommend to new students of the instrument.