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5 Things You Need In Your Guitar Case

The Top 5 Things You Should Always Keep In Your Guitar Case (Besides Strings and Picks)

By Jordan Friday, ArtistWorks Video Editor

Whether you’re a beginner, practicing in your bedroom, or a seasoned pro, you probably keep your guitar in it’s case when you aren’t playing it (and you should if you don’t already).


Within that case, there’s a little compartment that most people throw a few picks and some loose change into. But I have found that there are a few things that, while ordinary in nature, are invaluable for either an acoustic or electric guitarists to have in their guitar case or gig bag, and some of them might surprise you!

A spare strap

It sounds like a waste of space, but I swear, the amount of times I’ve heard the second guitarist say “Hey, do you have like, and extra strap I can borrow?” are too many to recount.

It doesn’t have to be something expensive, and in fact, you might want to go with something on the cheaper side to take up less space. I’d recommend Levy's M8POLY 2" Woven Poly Guitar Strap from Sweetwater. It’s inexpensive, compact, and has an acoustic guitar headstock string that makes it great for acoustic, electric, or even bass guitar in a pinch.

An Entire Package of # 2, pre-sharpened, pencils.

This one seems odd I know, but from scratching a few quick notes on the chart right before bar one of the set, to saving the day with a fake “pencil capo”, wooden pencils can have all kinds of inventive and show-saving uses. Why so many you ask? Because once again, people borrow them, and then usually lose them. It’s far better to have them and not need them then to have to start asking audience members for a writing implement.


To show what I mean, here is a video of the aforementioned “pencil capo”.


A Second Capo


Though a bit redundant, I myself have lost and then continued to lose capo after capo, until I realized I simply had to keep a spare.


In addition to your own added peace of mind, you can also bestow some to your fellow bandmates who may have forgotten theirs. Some other cool uses for a second capo are Partial Tunings, meaning the use of two capos at the same time (see the attached video). I recommend the Dunlop 83CB Trigger Acoustic Capo.


An Tuner with a Patch Cable


This one is one that our Production Manager, Marcus shared with me. Though we all usually have a tuner of some description either built into our acoustic or in on our pedal board, it doesn’t hurt to come prepared.


Being backstage before the gig, guitar in hand, one might one to make a few last minute adjustments. By having a small patch cable also with you in your case, you can easily tune using the quarter inch jack in the tuner instead of using the built-in mic, and you won’t have to take a cable from your onstage rig. Furthermore, you have a spare patch cable for your pedalboard (if you use one) if one of the ones already on your board goes out. Win win!


If you’re alright with clipping something to your headstock, you can use the Snark SN-1X Guitar and Bass Tuner with Metronome. It boasts a robust tuning algorithm, tap-tempo metronome, and flat tuning setting, and more!


If you want something more versatile, I recommend the Boss TU-30 Metronome & Tuner. It’s a little more expensive than some of the clip-on tuners, but it has a built-in metronome, can do drop tunings, has an input jack, reference pitches and more.


Tools, tools, tools.


All musicians will, sooner or later, have to work on their instruments. Whether it’s tightening an input jack, adjusting a truss rod, or changing acoustic guitar strings, any and all tools that you can fit are great additions to any gig bag. Phillips head screwdriver sets, needle nose pliers, and allen wrench (hex) keys are compact and versatile choices.

Now that you’re all packed and ready to go, get out there and be ready to be the most prepared person on the stage!

Looking for a great starting point for learning how to play guitar? Sign up for Beginner's Guide to Acoustic Guitar today!



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