What are some essential tools every musician should have?

  1. An Electronic Tuner- Use it before you start your practicing, every time you practice.
  2. A Music Stand- Having a music stand keeps your body in the right position for practicing.
  3. A Guitar Strap- If your guitar/bass is a solid body, you’ll want to have a strap on at ALL TIMES!!! This keeps the guitar in the correct playing position. Adjust the strap so when you sit AND stand the guitar is at the exact same height. Even a drop in the strap by an inch can cause our fingers to not perform at the level we practiced at.
  4. Clean Strings- Make sure the strings you are playing on sound “alive” and not “dead.” There are varying degrees of string wear, so a lot of this is player preference. The main thing to make sure of is that your strings do not have lots of grime on them. If they start to turn black and feel crusty, it is probably time for a new set. The more crusty a string is, the less in tune it will play.
  5. Make Sure Your Guitar Is Strung Properly- This is one of the most important things you can do to stay in tune. If your guitar is not strung properly, it will not stay in tune. I recommend locking tuners for any guitar(Sperzel and Schaller make excellent ones), but if you do not want to modify your guitar, make sure to follow the procedure outlined later in the book.
  6. A Metronome- Probably the most dreaded device in the guitarist’s toolbox, this time keeper can be the tool that takes your playing to the next level. Turn it on EVERY practice session.
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