Over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of different guitar related products and accessories. A few of these have stood the test of time. I’ve included some of the better ones below including tuners, slides and cables.
It’s hard to go past Elixir coated strings. They cost a little more than your normal acoustic guitar strings, but are great value as they hold their tone longer.
Being resistant to oil from the skin they don’t get that grimy look to them and just make my guitars sound noticeably better.
I used to less fussy about strings and didn’t stick to any particular brand but always use Elixir on my steel string guitars nowadays and don’t see this changing any time.
Since publishing this page I have switched to cleartone strings, particularly the EQ range, and highly recommend them.
Slide conversion/extension nut
A friend working in a music shop put me on to these many years ago and they are very handy, especially if you don’t own a dedicated slide guitar.
For those unaware, you will generally want a higher action when playing slide and an extension nut will raise your action from the nut making the slide easier to play.
I don’t even know the brand I own but any will do the job in my opinion.
I play seated a lot of the time when playing acoustically so rarely use a strap but when I do I like Fender guitar straps. I’ve had a couple of them for years now without incident. They also make a good gift if you are stuck on what to buy a friend or family member that plays guitar.
I use clip-on tuners, with a chromatic setting as I love playing around in alternate tunings. For those unaware chromatic tuners show the pitch of your guitar string relative to the nearest semi-tone, meaning you can experiment with non-standard tunings.
A clip-on tuner is essential in my opinion. Mic-based tuners are annoying. If you have to ask everyone to keep it down while you are tuning you are going to tick off a few people. Clip-on tuners work much the same way as to contact pickups and don’t use a standard microphone, instead of detecting pitch from the vibrations of the guitar.
I go through phases of playing slide and use both a brass and glass slide depending on my mood.
I like the Dunlop blues bottle glass slide as it feels comfortable and the Dunlop 222 brass slide.
Slides, like picks, are much of a muchness for the most part so I wouldn’t necessarily go to a lot of trouble tracking down a particular brand of slide. Just pick one that feels comfortable and providing you don’t lose it, should last you for many years.
Being primarily a songwriter it’s strange looking back that I never used a capo until the last couple of years. I’m not entirely sure why but suspect I felt they were for people that only knew open chords.
It was when I started learning Ed Sheeran’s ‘I see fire’ that I purchased my first capo and now find them a good way to break out of a songwriting rut.
There are plenty of far more expensive options out there but I use a ‘Shubb’ deluxe capo and it works great.
Guitar String Lubricant
I don’t remember when I started using a guitar string lubricant but it was quite some time ago.
Some people swear by string lubricants, and some don’t use them at all. In my opinion, they are handy if your hands sweat a lot when playing. The oil contained within the lubricant repels water keeping your strings lasting longer.
Of course, this is less of a problem if you use a coated string but I find the guitar is easier to play when I use this product, especially chord transitions.
I used to go through cables way too fast when I was younger. It was when I learned how to repair them that I stopped yanking them directly out of my amps input jack without holding them by the ends.
These days I own a couple of ‘Leem’ cables and have had them for almost ten years and still going strong. There are more expensive options available that probably are even more reliable but I’d recommend ‘Leem’ for pure value for money.