Required / Rigorously Recommended Resources:
For Acoustic & Electric Guitar:
For Piano – The Vh1′s 100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll (EZ PIANO) is optional).
For Bass Guitar:
Optional: Bass Clef Flash Cards (these help reinforce reading recognition for the left hand for piano, too)
1) Snark SN-1 Guitar Tuner – tunes in a terrific way. Only possible downsides here are the strange battery and if you have a guitar that costs thousands of dollars you might not want to use it because it could cause a small scratch on the headstock or so (no biggie even for my beautiful Godin Fifth Avenue). Yes, this works for bass, too.
My favorite picks – Dunlop .88mm green ones. Great for lead or rhythm. Remember, the thicker the pick, the denser the sound will be, so you might want a floppy, thin pick for a thin sound. These picks are about middle of the road in thickness. Yes, these are good for bass, too.
Dunlop Ergo Pickholder – a light adhesive affixes the holder to the guitar and you store several picks (maybe 5?) so you will have them when you need them. Yes, this will work for bass, too.
The Paige 6 String Guitar Capo - ideal for folk and acoustic guitars. Caution: though this capo works with most guitars, it might not for some especially wide necks, as it hangs out down by the zero fret, then when you’re ready, you pull it up over the desired fret and screw it down easily. If this sounds too complicated, (it’s not), or you’re more comfortable with another one, you might try the Kyser or G7 Capo.
Kyser 6 String Capo (Black)
G7th Performance Capo
The Fender G-Dec 15 watt amp. Since it’s only 15 watts instead of 30, this is the ideal practice amp for ease of use and quality tone in my opinion. However, if you want a more advanced set-up to hook up a lot of effects pedals, etc., keep looking. This one has pre-sets and great jam tracks in different keys and in most any style (aside from Celtic – there’s not really a Celtic setting here, sadly)…for bass guitar you will need more wattage to get a good sound though due to the different character of bass vibrations.
Fender G-Dec 30 amp – this is basically the same as the 15, but with twice the wattage for those wall-rocking youths out there their parents will want to kill. If you want to not kill your kid, you might want to get him or her the 15 watt first.
Guitars I play
I love Godin Guitars. They also own Seagull guitars and Art & Luthiere guitars, I believe, and are based out of Canada. At the time of writing this, I own 2 Godin guitars and love them both. Check out the Godin Guitars Official Page for lots more impressive stuff including free videos.
Godin Fifth Avenue Archtop Acoustic Jazz Guitar with f-Holes (Cognac Burst)
Fender CD-60 Acoustic Guitar with Case, Sunburst – If you don’t want to drop the dough on the Godin, this is a bargain for a price. Also, it’s nice to have a guitar you don’t feel bad about playing in less than optimal conditions (the Godin is so nice you really would feel bad if it got messed up – but either way, take care of your guitars).
Kala Ukuleles – These get outstanding reviews on Amazon, have a killer price, and are pretty much ideal traveling instruments as they are lightweight and compact. The Baritone ukulele is my favorite here and is a steal of a deal at under $100 for a quality instrument. If you start out here, you can later graduate to guitar. If you start out on guitar, you can later regress to the simpler ukulele.
Guitarists can use the exact same chord shapes from the thinnest 4 strings of guitar on ukulele. Baritone ukulele tuning is exactly the same as the first four strings of guitar (D G B E), while soprano ukulele is exactly the same four notes as if you capoed the fifth fret (G C E A).
The Easy Songs for Ukulele book can be used for soprano or baritone ukulele, but it is tabbed out for soprano ukulele. However, you play it exactly the same way on baritone ukulele, it just sounds lower. This is a pretty good beginner’s book that includes tabs and chord charts for “Love Me Tender” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” among a few other classics.
Still don’t know what to get? Just get some gift cards then.
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