Guides And Tutorials

Recommended Products for Guitarists

Written By :Andrew Siemon

Here’s a list of all the tools and gear I use. Over the years, I’ve experimented with some of the most common recommendations and I’ve found that not everything lives up to the hype.

In places where I’ve since found something better than what I used to recommend, I’ve made sure to include the upgraded suggestion. For instance, I would get the silver MXR 10-Band EQ over the original black one.


Contents - Sidebar TOC ->


Kyser Capo

The Kyser Capo (on Amazon) is a solid choice.

I’ve had this capo almost as long as I’ve played the guitar. A kid in music class gave it to me over 15 years ago. It turns out that Kyser is a trusted brand for capos. It’s quick to change, easy to use, and reliably keeps your guitar in tune.

Spider Capo

Spider Capo - How to Use A Spider Capo Featured IMage
The Spider Capo (on Amazon)

Perfect for creative tunings. The Spider Capo allows you to fret each string individually. It’s ideal for exploring new chords and sounds.

If you’re curious to see the potential of something like this, I would recommend checking out the artists Andy McKee and Antoine Dufour. They’re the ones that exposed me to the spider capo.


Microfibre Cloth

Microfibre Cleaning Cloth (on Amazon)

Just a standard microfibre cloth which is easy to get on Amazon. It keeps your guitar looking as good as new. This cloth is gentle on finishes, removing dust and fingerprints without scratching. I usually use the microfibre cloth after I’ve cleaned it first with a regular cloth.


Regular Cloth
Dishcloth (on Amazon)

A dishcloth that I also got on Amazon. I use this for when the guitar is super filthy.

Gibson Brand Guitar Cleaner

Gibson Guitar Polish (on Amazon)

A solid choice for maintaining your guitar’s appearance. It’s safe on all types of guitar finishes and leaves a brilliant shine. Most guitar polishes are going to be fine, but I know this one is good for a fact because I’ve used it for years.

Ernie Ball Microfibre Cloth

Ernie Ball Cloth
Ernie Ball Cleaning Cloth (on Amazon)

I bought this as part of a set a few years ago. It’s another excellent option for keeping your instrument clean. It’s highly absorbent and long-lasting. It’s also much thinner than your average multifibre cloth.


Hygrometer (on Amazon)

Essential for monitoring the humidity levels around your guitar. Protect your guitar from warping or cracking due to moisture changes.

I bought this as a secondary hygrometer for a humidifier. That way I can keep my guitars in tune as much as I can. I took a picture of the hygrometer when my humidifier was turned off, as you can probably tell. 18% humidity isn’t great haha.

Levoit Humidifier

Levoit Humidifer
Levoit Humidifier (on Amazon)

This was recommended to me by Rhett Shull and it was a great purchase. This will maintain the ideal humidity level in your studio. It’s a solid choice for the well-being of your acoustic instruments and a lot of your other electronics as well.

Fretboard Conditioner

Luthier’s Choice or Dunlop Fretboard Conditioner (on Amazon)

Fretboard conditioner is just a way to give the wood on your fretboard some love if you live in a cold and dry climate like I do. You don’t need to use this very often. Probably 2x a year, depending on where you live.


BULB Delrin 0.65mm – The Most Versatile

Bulb Delrin 0.65mm (on Amazon)

Probably one of the most versatile picks out there. If you’re into precision picking, these picks are for you. They offer a great grip and consistent tone. It’s great for alternate picking and strumming.

Dunlop Carbon Fiber Jazz III MAX-Grip – My Favourite

Jazz III MAX GRIP (on Amazon)

This is my favourite guitar pick and the one I use every single day. If I want to switch it up, I’ll use the Tortex Jazz III sometimes as well which has a bit more flex in it. For guitarists who demand precision and speed.

Dunlop Nylon .38mm

Dunlop Nylon .38mm (on Amazon)

Ideal for strummers or acoustic players. These light picks give a softer tone and a comfortable playing experience. Frankly, these are a bit too flimsy for me but beginners tend to like these.

Dunlop Tortex Jazz III

Dunlop Tortex Jazz III (on Amazon)

As I said earlier, this is a great pick if you find the carbon fibre ones to be too thick and hard to use. I switch between the Max Grip III and this one sometimes.

Known for their sharp tip and resilient material, these picks are a favourite among lead guitarists for their clear articulation.

Felt Pick

Felt Pick (on Amazon)

A must-try for ukulele players or a softer tone on acoustic guitars. They offer a unique, mellow sound. It works pretty well for ukulele players because if you try using a hard pick, it’ll sound too “plucky” for lack of a better word.”

Fender 351 Thin

Fender 351 Thin (on Amazon)

This was one of my favourites when I first started playing the guitar. They are classic picks that are great for beginners. Their flexibility makes for easy strumming.

Fender Heavy

Fender 351 Heavy (on Amazon)

For those who want more control and a thicker tone. These picks are durable and provide a solid grip.

Fender Medium Celluloid

Fender Medium (on Amazon)

A balanced choice, offering versatility for various playing styles. They’re known for their traditional feel and warm tone. They also look pretty cool.

Horn Guitar Picks

Horn Guitar Picks (on Amazon)

These are Unique picks purportedly made from horn material, offering a distinct feel and tone. Great for experimenting with different sounds.

These are great for playing jazz tunes from the likes of Joe Pass or Wes Montgomery. They also look cool.

Jazz III Variety Pack

Jazz III Variety Pack .jpg
Jazz III Variety Pack (on Amazon)

Can’t decide on a pick? This pack lets you try different Jazz III models to find your perfect match. This is actually how I discovered the MAX Grip III and the Tortex Pick I mentioned earlier.

Medium Nylon

1mm Nylon Pick (on Amazon)

These picks strike a balance between flexibility and control, suitable for a range of playing styles. They’re probably some of the most popular picks in existence.

Standard Jazz III

Jazz III (on Amazon)

A favourite among electric guitarists for their speed and precision. Their small size offers excellent control. These are what introduced me to the world of Jazz III.

Steel Pick

Titanium Picks (on StoneWorks) and Steel Picks (on Amazon)

For a brighter and more aggressive tone. These picks are durable and provide a unique sound – a very unique sound. Beware though because they’re not the easiest for a beginner to use.


Thumbpick (on Amazon)

Ideal for fingerstyle or banjo players. They offer added control and a consistent tone while fingerpicking. I first discovered these about ten years ago when I was watching Antoine Dufour’s “Spiritual Groove” YouTube video.

Ultex Jazz III

The Jazz Ultex (the one on the far left) I got from the Jazz III Variety Pack (on Amazon)

Combining durability and a sharp attack, these picks are great for fast-playing styles.

Headphones and Monitors

ATH-M50x Headphones

ATH-M50x (on Amazon)

Renowned and incredibly popular for their clarity and comfort. These studio headphones are perfect for mixing or just enjoying music.

I see people every day with these headphones. The Bluetooth options are cool too because they come with the ability to use either a wired connection or Bluetooth.

1/4″ to Headphone Adapter

Ugreen 1/4″ Headphone Adapter (on Amazon)

Don’t let an incompatible jack stop you. This adapter is essential for using professional headphones with various audio equipment. I recommend the Ugreen brand on Amazon. They’re reliable and don’t seem low-quality.

iLoud Micro Monitors

iLoud Micro Monitors (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

Incredible sound in a compact size. I’ve had the iLouds for 3 years now, and they’re perfect monitors for small home studios or musicians on the go. If you want more volume, the MTMs are a bit bigger.

Stands, Furniture, and Lighting

K&M Mic Stand

K&M Mic Stand (on Amazon)

This is a high-quality stand that I’m glad I bought over a cheaper one. Well worth the money. It’s sturdy and adjustable. A reliable choice for recording sessions or live performances.

AKR Racing Gaming Chair

This is the AKR Gaming Chair (on Amazon) that I have.

When I bought this chair I upped my comfort game in my home studio and work space. Comfort meets style. Ideal for long studio sessions, providing great back support and ergonomic design.

If I had to do it over again though, I would’ve spent at least $600-$700 on a gaming chair like this one. With the amount of time you spend in the chair, it’s well worth the money.

Desk Light

Adjustable Desk Light (on Amazon)

Probably one of the better – and inexpensive – purchases I’ve made. It’s essential for late-night music sessions. A good desk light reduces eye strain and keeps your workspace illuminated. It has many purposes.

Ivisii G2 RGB Light

Ivisii G2 RGB Video Light
Ivisii G2 RGB Light (on Amazon)

I use this constantly for all kinds of videos and pictures. If you ever look at the content I make on my YouTube channel, the light in the background of all the video frames is either made by the Philips Hue Lights or this Ivisii light.

Sometimes it’s a mixture of both. Either way, I couldn’t recommend this light enough. It’s incredibly powerful and useful.

The battery life lasts about 3 hours at 100% brightness which is pretty good for a portable light like this. I just use the power cord for it though that’s connected to my power bar.

Manfrotto Stand

Manfrotto Stand (on Amazon)

I messed around with cheaper stands on Amazon for a while and was always disappointed. The Manfrotto brand was the solution to that problem. All of their stuff is high quality. It’s a very versatile, durable, and reliable stand, great for holding lights, cameras, or microphones.

Philips Hue Lights and GO

Philips Hue Lights & GO
I have the 60W and 100W versions, and 100W is the superior option. They’re more expensive though (on Amazon)

I adore these lights and use them for all kinds of things. They’re amazing for setting the mood in your studio, for video backgrounds, or even just hanging out.

They can sync with music and create an inspiring atmosphere. I also have 2 of the GO models as well which you can find at the same place.

Surge Protector / Power Bar

Ditto X2 on Power Bar - Where to Put The Flanger In Your Signal Chain? [ANSWERED] - 1
This is the Trond Power Bar that I got on Amazon. It works perfectly. Make sure to get the long one.

Not much to say about it. Getting the longest power bar you can get is the best move because you want to be able to connect all of your lighting and power supplies to it.

You also want it to be as close as possible to where you’re playing, because then it makes it super easy to turn everything on all at once.

You could get the Furman PST-8 (also on Amazon), which acts as a power conditioner. It’s supposed to supply “cleaner” current to your power supplies, but I’m not sure how true that is.

Recording Equipment

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pros 2017 and 2010
I’ve got the 2010 and 2017 MacBook Pros, however, I’ll be getting this one soon (on Amazon)

The newer MacBook Pros and iPads with the M1 and M2 Chip are great. I don’t think you can go wrong with them.

MouKey Mixer MAMX3

MouKey Mixer MAMX3 (on Amazon)

A compact and budget-friendly mixer with enough inputs for a small home studio setup. Super inexpensive, sturdy, and reliable. This one’s a real winner if you ask me.

Shure SM57

Shure SM57 (on Amazon)

The industry standard for miking instruments. This microphone is known for its durability and versatility in capturing a wide range of sounds. This is the primary microphone I use for capturing sound.

iRig HD 2

iRig HD 2 for Traveling Guitarist
iRig HD 2 (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

An interface for the mobile musician. Connect your guitar to your iOS device for playing and recording on the go.

The Through capability on the iRig HD 2 as well as the fact it doesn’t take batteries like the iRig Pro I/O make it a better audio interface, if you ask me. This thing is super small and fits in any bag or pocket.

Multiport Adapter

j5 Create Multiport Adapter (on Amazon)

Multiport adapters are notorious for sucking. This one from j5 is pretty good. I’ve had it for more than a couple of years. Use it to expand your MacBook’s connectivity.

This adapter is a lifesaver for connecting multiple devices simultaneously. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would’ve bought two.

PreSonus AudioBox USB96

Presonus Audiobox USB96.jpg
Presonus Audiobox USB96 (on Amazon)

A great starter interface for recording. It offers high-quality preamps and is incredibly easy to use. It isn’t the greatest quality, but it’s inexpensive, and it also has something the Scarlett 2i2 doesn’t: MIDI IN/OUT on the back.

Scarlett 2i2

Scarlett 2i2 for Traveling Guitarist
Scarlett 2i2 (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A popular interface among home recordists for its excellent preamps, durability, and easy-to-use features. I have the 3rd generation, but Focusrite recently came out with the 4th. I would just stick to the 3rd for now because I know it works.

Samsung SSD T5

Samsung SSD T5
The Samsung Portable SSD T5 (on Amazon)

This is another one of those keystone purchases for me. It’s fast and reliable storage for your projects. This SSD is a must-have for keeping your sessions secure and accessible.

I use it for storing all of my sound libraries, presets, and samples as well. I even use it to store GarageBand and Logic’s sound libraries.


Fender Acoustic Guitar

Fender Acoustic Guitar .jpg
Fender PD-220E (on Thomann)

This is my brother’s guitar, and it was originally brown. A classic choice for both beginners and professionals. Known for its rich tone and comfortable playability.

Epiphone Les Paul Custom

Epiphone Les Paul Custom (on zZounds/Thomann)

Offers the iconic Les Paul sound at an affordable price. Great for rock, blues, and everything in between. I’ve heard great things about the 1959 standard reissue as well.

ESP Eclipse

ESP Eclipse II
I can’t find the original ESP Eclipse anywhere, so it’d be best to find it on eBay or elsewhere.

A favourite in the metal community. Known for its fast neck and aggressive tone. I’ve had this guitar for years and use it when I need a lot of distortion.

ESP Eclipse II

ESP Eclipse E-II (on Thomann/zZounds)

The newer version and re-branded edition of the Eclipse. A serious guitar for serious players.

Fender Squire Affinity Telecaster

Squier Affinity Telecaster (on Amazon)

Perfect for those looking for that classic Telecaster twang on a budget. Versatile and reliable. I loved this guitar but had to get rid of it. Make sure to get the Affinity instead of the Bullet.

Fender Squire Affinity Stratocaster

Fender Squier Affinity Stratocaster
Squier Affinity Stratocaster (on zZounds)

Brings the legendary Stratocaster experience to an affordable price point. Great for a variety of styles. I got this at an auction for like $100. It was a great deal.

PRS SE Custom 24

PRS SE Custom 24 - New
PRS SE Custom 24 (on Thomann/zZounds)

A beautiful and versatile guitar that punches well above its price class. Ideal for players who want a bit of everything. If you swap out the pickups on this guitar, it’ll compete with $3,000 guitars.

Valencia VC404 Nylon String Guitar

Valencia VC404 Nylon String Guitar
Valencia VC-404 Nylon String Guitar (on Amazon)

A great entry-level classical guitar. Perfect for fingerstyle and traditional genres. It’s pretty and works well for the price, however, its ability to stay in tune isn’t the best when in harsh climates.

Oscar Schmidt Aloha Ukulele – (Washburn)

Oscar Schmidt's Aloha By Washburn
The Oscar Schmidt Aloha (on Amazon)

A fun and easy-to-play instrument. Perfect for adding a tropical flavour to your music. This one has the same problem as the Valencia. It goes out of tune more often than I’d like, but it’s to be expected considering its price.


Fender Mini Twin Amplifier

Fender Mini Twin (on Amazon)

Portable and surprisingly powerful. Great for practice mostly, however, I would say it’s more of. a novelty than anything. These days, I have all of my equipment hooked up in a way where I just press one switch to engage everything.

Orange Crush 35RT

Orange Crush 35RT (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A solid-state amp known for its warm, tube-like tones. Great for practice and small gigs. It also has an FX Loop which is the primary reason why I got it. It’s capable of everything you need for a good price.

Cables and Connectors

Amplifier Cable

AC Amplifier Power Cord
This is the Omnihil 15-Foot Cable that I got on Amazon. Works perfectly.

This cable is marketed as working perfect for Marshall amps. That may be the case, but I can’t say it does for sure. It does work perfect for Orange amps, at least, because that’s what I’m using it for.

Guitar Cables

Ernie Ball Right-Angle Instrument Cable 1/4″

Ernie Ball Right Angled Cable (on Amazon)

High-quality cable that minimizes tangling, but really what makes it special is the right angle. This means you can sit on your couch or chair and the jack doesn’t protrude outward. Perfect for home recording.

RoadHog Straight Jack Instrument Cable 1/4″

Roadhog Instrument Cable (on Amazon)

Durable and reliable, ensuring a clean signal path between your guitar and amp. The RoadHOG series are meant to be extremely durable, and that they are.

Pedal Cables

MXR Power Cables

Essential for powering your pedals. Reliable and noise-free. You’ll have to use Voodoo Labs DC cables instead because I can’t find the MXR ones anywhere.

Hosa Pancake Patch Cables

Hosa Pancake Patch Cables (on Amazon)

Save space on your pedalboard with these slim-profile cables. They’re tough, efficient, and high quality. I wish I would’ve chosen these first over the Harley Benton ones.

Daisy Chaining Cables

Fender Daisy Chaining Cables (on Amazon)

Power multiple pedals from a single power source. Frankly, I wouldn’t recommend using Daisy Chaining Cables but if you need to, the Fender brand is the way to go.

MXR 1/4″ Stereo Cable

MXR Stereo Cable .jpg
Not much to say here. It’s a solid stereo cable that works (on Amazon).

1/4″ Stereo to Dual-Mono Splitter Cable

Disino Stereo Cables Splitter (on Amazon)

Perfect for routing your signal to two destinations, like two amps or an amp and a mixer. You can use this for all kinds of purposes.

1/4″ Inline Patch Jack from Planet Waves

1/4″ Inline Patch Jack from Planet Waves (on Amazon)

A convenient solution for connecting pedals, especially BOSS and EHX pedals. These patch jacks are robust and low-profile.

Recording & Computer Cables

USB-C Cable

USB-C Cable
USB-C to USB-C Cables (on Amazon)

Essential for modern music production. Connect your devices to your computer or charging port. Not much to say about this, other than they’re great if you’ve got a super long one (10ft or more).

USB-C Adapter

USB to USB-C Cable
USB to USB-C Adapter (on Amazon)

Expand the capabilities of devices with USB-C ports. A handy tool for modern musicians. I have many of these, probably 4.

USB Multiport/Camera Adapter

Multiport Adapter Camera
USB Multiport Adapter (on Amazon)

You’ll need one of these if you plan on using older mobile devices with audio interfaces. Old phones don’t have the power to drive modern equipment. Keep in mind you don’t have to get the Apple one.

Printer Cable (USB-A to USB-B)

USB-A to USB-B (on Amazon)

Make sure you choose one that’s 10 feet or longer. The Amazon Basics brand is solid. I’ve had good experiences with all of their cables and adaptors.

USB to Mini-USB Cable

USB to USB-Mini Cable
USB to USB-Mini (on Amazon)

There are a few reasons why you would own one of these, including for connecting to the TCE Vortex Mini Flanger and other devices. It also connects to my Zoom H2.

Guitar Strings

Ernie Ball 9-42 Strings

Ernie Ball 9-42 Super Slinky Strings
Ernie Ball Strings 9-42 (on Amazon)

Popular for their bright tone and easy playability. Great for genres that require a lighter touch. There was a time when I used heavier strings, but these are a go-to for me now.

Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms

Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms (on Amazon)

Offers the best of both worlds – light tops for easy bending and heavy bottoms for a fuller rhythm tone.

Elixir 11-49

Elixir 11-49 Strings (on Amazon)

Known for their long-lasting tone. Perfect for players who don’t want to change strings too often. However, I like changing strings so I just buy Ernie Balls now.

D’Addario Pro Arté

D'Addario Pro Arté Classical Guitars
D’Addario Pro Arté (on Amazon)

A top choice for classical guitarists. These strings offer a warm, rich tone and consistent quality.

Books & Learning Resources


I recommend you read the following Engineering books in the order I’ve presented them.

Timothy Dittmar’s Audio Engineering 101

Audio Engineering 101 by Tim Dittmar
Tim Dittmar’s Audio Engineering 101 Book (on Amazon)

A great starting point for beginners in audio engineering. The book breaks down complex concepts into understandable segments. I recommend you read this one first.

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski

The Mixing Engineer's Handbook - Fifth Edition - Bobby Owsinski .jpg
The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook (on Amazon)

A staple for anyone interested in the art of mixing. Full of practical advice and industry secrets. I’ve read this book probably 4 times. It’s extremely practical, ie, “do X get Y”-type of advice.

The Art of Mixing by David Gibson

The Art of Mixing by David Gibson
The Art of Mixing (on Amazon)

A visually comprehensive guide to mixing music. It’s as informative as it is visually engaging. There’s a good video online you can watch too.

Mixing Audio from Roey Izhaki

Mixing Audio by Roey Izhaki
Mixing Audio from Roey Izhaki (on Amazon)

This book covers everything from basic concepts to advanced techniques in audio mixing.

Maintenance & Repair

Dan Erlewine’s Guitar Player Repair Guide

Guitar Player Repair Guide
Guitar Player Repair Guide (on Amazon)

An essential guide for guitar maintenance and repair. It’s packed with practical tips and tricks. A very good reference manual for guitarists who want to know how to set up their guitar.

Music Theory


You can sign up on their site.

An online platform offering guitar lessons across various genres. Great for learners at any skill level.

Mark Levine’s Jazz Theory Book

The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine
Jazz Theory Book from Mark Levine (on Amazon)

This was recommended to me by a professional guitarist. It’s a must-read for aspiring jazz musicians (really, any kind of musician). It covers theory in a comprehensive and digestible way.

Mark Sarnecki’s Complete Elementary Music Rudiments

The Book (on Amazon) and the Answer Book (also on Amazon)

Ideal for beginners wanting to learn music theory from the ground up. I’ve recommended these books probably a hundred times. They are what taught me music theory.


PianoForAll (on their site)

This is an innovative and interactive way to learn piano. Suitable for beginners and intermediate players. Why recommend this on a guitar site? Because you’ll understand the guitar better if you know the piano too.

Punkademic’s Music Theory Course (All-Access Pass)

Music Theory Comprehensive on Punkademic - How To Learn Music Theory (Parts 1 and Parts 6)
Punkademic’s All-Access Pass for the Music Theory Course

Probably the cheapest way to get into music theory. Simply put, it’s a college course that costs nothing. Comprehensive and engaging, this course covers everything from basic to advanced music theory.

Get the All-Access Pass that I mentioned and you’ll get every single thing the site has to offer.

Music Business

All You Need to Know About the Music Business from Donald Passman

All You Need to Know About the Music Business - Donald S Passman
The book (on Amazon)

A bible for anyone looking to make a career in music. It covers legal, financial, and organizational aspects.

Masterclass Metallica

Learn from the legends. This masterclass offers unique insights into songwriting and performing.

Richard Schulenberg’s Legal Aspects of the Music Industry: An Insider’s View

If you get tired of speculating about the legal side of contentious and controversial issues in music, this is the book you need to read.

It’s not the easiest read, but ultimately, it’s an invaluable resource for understanding the legal side of music. This book has everything that you want and need to know, although, it could use an update.

Tab Books and Technique

Mastering the Guitar Series – Mel Bay

Mastering the Guitar - Mel Bay
Mastering the Guitar 1A (on Amazon)

This is the book that taught me how to play guitar when I was a kid. It’s a comprehensive series for learning the guitar. Suitable for beginners to advanced players. I got all the way to 2C.

Joseph Alexander’s Funk Guitar Mastery

Funk Guitar Mastery - Joseph Alexander
Joseph Alexander’s Funk Guitar Mastery (on Amazon)

Dive into the world of funk guitar with this detailed guide. Great for intermediate to advanced players. This is a cool book for practicing right-hand rhythms.

Joseph Alexander’s Jazz Chord Guitar Mastery

Jazz Guitar Chord Mastery - Joseph Alexander
The Book (on Amazon)

If you especially like jazz for the chords, this is a good book for you. It’s a deep dive into jazz chords and progressions. Ideal for guitarists looking to expand their jazz vocabulary.

Metallica’s Master of Puppets Book

Metallica's Master of Puppets
Metallica’s Master of Puppets (on Amazon)

Dive deep into one of Metallica’s iconic albums. Great for fans and guitar players looking to learn their songs. Probably one of my favourite tab books.

Metallica’s Kill’em All

Metallica's Kill'emAll
Metallica’s Kill’Em All (on Amazon)

Another essential for Metallica enthusiasts. This book offers insights into their early work. Some people say it’s mostly Dave Mustaine’s work, but I’m not sure how true that is.

Van Halen’s Greatest Hits

Van Halen's The Best of Both Worlds
Van Halen’s Book (on Amazon)

A great tab book featuring some of the most popular songs from Van Halen – the best of Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth-era Van Halen.

Maintenance & Repair Tools

0.050″ Wrench

0.050″ Allen Wrenches (on Amazon)

Handy for making precise adjustments to your guitar hardware. This is for the PRS SE Custom 24, specifically.

1/4″ Screwdriver

I can’t find single 1/4″ screwdrivers anywhere so this one as part of a set will have to do.

A must-have tool for general guitar maintenance. I use this on all of my guitars.

5/16″ Truss Rod Wrench

Truss Rod Wrench for Eclipse - How to Set Up The ESP Eclipse II
This one on Amazon

Essential for adjusting your guitar’s neck, particularly the ESP Eclipse and others that use this size.

4mm (5/32) Truss Rod Wrench

I recommend getting the 4mm wrench (on Amazon) instead of the 5/32. I find it fits better.

Different guitars require different tools. But this size is common for many models, including the Epiphone Les Paul Custom.

7mm Truss Rod Wrench

This one on Amazon

This is the one that came in the bag for my PRS SE Custom 24.

DeoxIT D5

DeoxIT D5
DeoxIT D5 (on Amazon)

The go-to solution for cleaning electronic contacts. Improves performance and prolongs the life of your gear. You can use this instead of WD-40.

Digital Caliper

Digital Caliper
This one on Amazon

Perfect for measurements in guitar setup and maintenance. It works well considering the price, but if you’re super serious about getting the exact measurement, you’ll need to spend way more money on a digital calliper.

Flathead Screwdriver

Flathead Screwdriver Small (on Amazon)

Useful for a variety of guitar adjustments and repairs.

Feeler Gauges

Feeler Gauges (on Amazon)

Essential for setting precise string action and pickup height. I use these for setting up every guitar of mine.

Music Nomad KISS Setup Kit

Music Nomad KISS Setup Kit
This one (on Amazon)

Everything you need for basic guitar setup and maintenance in one convenient package. I don’t personally own this toolkit, but I recommend it to people who want everything in one, rather than buying piece by piece.

Snark Clip-on Tuner

Snark Clip-on Tuner (on Amazon)

I love this tuner and don’t care what the haters say. It’s a popular choice for quick and accurate tuning. Its compact size makes it a great addition to any gig bag.

Soldering Gun

Weller WTCPT Soldering Gun
Soldering Tool (on Amazon)

I got this at an auction not that long ago. It’s a good choice for guitar wiring repairs or modifications. Made in the USA.

Sperzel Locking Tuners 3+3

Sperzel Locking Tuners - ESP
Sperzel Locking Tuners (on Thomann)

Upgrade your guitar with these high-quality tuners for better tuning stability. I like Sperzel locking tuners a lot because they save tons of time.

Steel Ruler 6″ Mitutoyo

Mitutoyo Straight Ruler 6″ (on Amazon)

I’ve recommended this ruler many times. Precision is key in guitar setup. This ruler helps with accurate measurements, and it doesn’t cost much.

Fretboard Conditioner

Fretboard Conditioner (on Amazon)

Keep your fretboard in top condition. This conditioner helps prevent cracks and keeps the wood healthy.

Ernie Ball Power PEG Electric String Winder

I don’t have one of these but it’s my Amazon cart as we speak. Speed up string changes with this handy tool. A real time-saver. It takes way too long to wind the pegs by hand.

Superfine 0000 Wool

Steel Wool 0000
Steel Wool (on Amazon)

Ideal for polishing and cleaning your guitar without scratching the finish. Make sure to use painter’s tape so you don’t damage anything else while you’re using it. It’s also best to use in the garage because particles of steel wool get around.

Tape Measure

Irwin Tape Measure
Irwin Tape Measure (on Amazon)

A high-quality tape measure that I got from Canadian Tire. It’s useful for measuring scale length and ensuring proper placement of hardware.


Wirecutters (on Amazon)

Essential for trimming string ends and other guitar maintenance tasks. I used to use pliers, but wirecutters are way better for cutting strings.

Pedals & FX


Behringer UT300 Tremolo

Behringer UT300 Tremolo Pedal (on Thomann/Amazon)

An imitation of the BOSS Tremolo pedal. Great for creating rhythmic pulsations. Not a high-quality pedal though, it just sounds good.

Behringer SuperFuzz SF300

Behringer SF300
Behringer SF300 (on Amazon/Thomann)

Perfect for those seeking a gritty, vintage fuzz sound. Again it’s Behringer so it’s all plastic. Sounds great though.

Behringer UV300 Vibrato

Behringer UV300
Behringer UV300 Vibrato Pedal (on Thomann)

Create natural-sounding vibrato effects. Ideal for adding depth to your tone. I used to use this all of the time before I got the Walrus Audio Julia V2.

BOSS DD-6 Digital Delay

You’ll probably have to find the BOSS DD-6 on eBay.

I love this delay pedal and it’s on my board right now as we speak. A versatile delay pedal with multiple modes. Excellent for experimenting with echo effects. The BOSS DD-8 is a great pedal too (on Amazon/Thomann).


The quintessential distortion pedal. Known for its hard-edged attack and smooth sustain. I’ve made a YouTube video about this before.

BOSS FS-7 Footswitch

Behringer FS-7 Dual Footswitch
BOSS FS-7 (on Amazon/Thomann)

Another pedal that’s currently in my shopping cart. It’s a compact, dual footswitch. Great for controlling pedals or switching amp channels.

BOSS RC-1 Loop Station

BOSS RC-1 Loop Station
BOSS RC-1 Loop Station (on Amazon/zZounds/Thomann)

Perfect for practice and creativity, particularly for beginner loopers. Lets you layer sounds and create full arrangements.

BOSS RC-5 Loop Station

BOSS RC-5 Loop Station
BOSS RC-5 Loop Station (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A serious upgrade from the RC-1, with more features and memory. Ideal for advanced loop creations. This is my go-to looper pedal. It’s capable of a lot.

BOSS TU-3 Tuner

BOSS TU-3 Tuner
BOSS TU-3 (on Amazon/Thomann)

A staple on many pedalboards. Known for its accuracy and durability. This one’s on my board now too.

DigiTech Whammy DT

DigiTech Whammy DT (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

If I had to do it over again, I would get the Whammy DT instead of the Whammy IV. It’s a pitch-shifting pedal that offers a range of expressive options, including drop tuning and harmonizing.

DigiTech Whammy Pedal V

Digitech Whammy Pedal IV .JPG
This is the IV, but I recommend getting the DigiTech Whammy V (on Amazon/Thomann) because the newest edition has a regular AC-DC power adapter.

The classic Whammy experience with added versatility. Great for creating unique pitch-based effects. Make sure you get the V instead of the IV. The old one uses AC power which is annoying.

Dunlop Crybaby Wah-Wah

Dunlop Crybaby Wah (on Amazon/Thomann)

A legendary pedal for expressive wah effects. Essential for funk, rock, and everything in between. The Crybaby Mini Wah (on Amazon) is probably a better bet because it’s much smaller and has a true bypass.

EHX Nano Q-Tron Envelope Filter

How to Use The Nano-Q Tron Envelope Filter - Featured Image
EHX Nano-Q Tron Envelope Filter (on Thomann/zZounds)

This is a pretty cool pedal that I use fairly often. Add a funky, dynamic filter effect to your playing. Great for groovy, percussive sounds.

EHX Silencer Noise Gate

Electro Harmonix Silencer Noise Gate
Electro Harmonix Silencer Noise Gate (on Thomann/zZounds)

Control unwanted noise from your pedal chain by putting it in your FX Loop. A must-have for high-gain setups. Add in an ISP Decimator in front of your amp and you’ve got plenty of noise reduction.

EHX Soul Food

Electro Harmonix Soul Food
Electro Harmonix Soul Food (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

I love the Soul Food and like to use it alongside my Morning Glory. Known for its transparent overdrive. Enhances your tone without altering it too much.

ISP Decimator Noise Gate

ISP Decimator Noise Reduction Gate
You’ll probably have to get this one on eBay

I’ve had the Decimator for a long time. It’s a powerful tool for eliminating noise and hum. Keep your tone clean and clear.

Ibanez TS 9 Tube Screamer

Ibanez TS 9 Tube Screamer
Ibanez TS 9 Tube Screamer (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A classic overdrive pedal. Adds warmth and grit to your tone. Not my favourite drive pedal, but it’s good at what it does (a mushy drive, in my opinion).

JHS Morning Glory V4

Featured Image - How to Use the JHS Morning Glory V4
JHS Morning Glory V4 (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

My favourite drive pedal. It’s a versatile overdrive with a great range of tones. Perfect for blues, rock, and more.

JHS Little Black Amp Box

JHS Little Black Amp Box
JHS Little Black Box (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A simple, effective tool for managing your amp’s volume. Perfect for achieving the sweet spot of your tube amp at manageable volumes, particularly for us apartment players.

JOYO Atmosphere R-14 Digital Reverb

JOYO Atmosphere R-14 Reverb on the Recommended Products Page.jpg
You can get the The JOYO Atmosphere R-14 on Amazon and Thomann.

The JOYO Atmosphere honestly surprised me when I first got it. I first heard about them on Rhett Shull’s channel, and I didn’t think much at the time.

Ultimately, you get a really versatile and stylish reverb pedal at a competitive price when you grab the R-14.

Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler

Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler
Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A legendary and versatile multi-effect pedal. Offers a wide range of effects in a single, convenient unit. If you go on YouTube, you’ll see all kinds of people singing this pedal’s praises. Almost 20 years later and it’s still a great-sounding multi-FX pedal.

M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal

M-Audio EX-P (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A dirt-cheap expression pedal that works great considering its price. You can enhance your control over effects with this expression pedal. Compatible with a variety of units.

MXR 10-Band EQ

MXR 10-Band EQ (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds) – get the silver one.

Fine-tune your sound with this equalizer. It’s great for sculpting your tone precisely, however, I’d recommend getting the silver one over this one because it has a noise-gate built-in.

MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay

MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

Known for its warm, rich delay. I use this pedal alongside my Digital delay and I love it. It adds depth and dimension to your playing. It sounds awesome.

MXR Clone Looper

MXR Clone Looper - How to Use the MXR Clone Looper Pedal [Full Tutorial]
MXR Clone Looper (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A high-quality looper pedal. Simple to use, yet offers powerful features for creativity. If you want a pedal that’s a bit more advanced and feature-rich than the RC-1, but don’t want to spring for the RC-5, this is a decent pedal.

However, the Ditto X2 is a better pedal. The problem with the TCE Ditto is that it’s hard to find.

MXR Dyna-Comp

MXR Dyna-Comp (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A classic compressor that adds smooth sustain and tightens up your tone. I use this thing on my board almost daily.

Source Audio Programmable EQ 2

Source Audio Programmable EQ 2
Source Audio Programmable EQ2 (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

This is a cool, high-quality, well-built EQ pedal. An advanced EQ with programmable presets. Tailor your sound for different guitars or styles. This thing is built like a tank and it’s sleek.

TC Electronics Vortex Mini Flanger

TCE Vortex Mini Flanger
TCE Vortex Mini Flanger (on Amazon)

Compact and powerful. Delivers classic tape flange sounds. It’s super small and fits on any board. It sounds great.

TCE Hall of Fame Reverb 2

TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb 2
Hall of Fame Reverb 2 (on Amazon/Thomann)

This reverb pedal rules. It’s rich with expansive and versatile sounds. Offers a variety of reverb types.

TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper

TCE Ditto X2 Looper
TCE Ditto X2 (on Thomann) – you’re probably better off getting this one on eBay. That’s where I got it.

This is an awesome and very easy-to-use looper pedal, that’s unfortunately quite hard to find. I had to get mine on eBay.

Walrus Audio Julia V2

Walrus Audio Julia V2
Walrus Audio Julia V2 Chorus (on Thomann/zZounds)

As explored in my detailed review, this pedal offers a range of lush chorus and vibrato effects. An extremely versatile chorus/vibrato pedal that looks awesome. If you need a chorus or vibrato, this is good for you.

Power Supplies

9V AC to DC adapter – Dunlop ECB-003 

Dunlop ECB-003 9VDC Power Supply Front and Back
The Dunlop 9V Adapter (on zZounds)

Essential for powering pedals that require a 9V adapter. This is the one I recommend to people if you don’t know what to get.

9V AC to DC BOSS Adapter

BOSS 9V Adapter (on zZounds)

Reliable power source for BOSS pedals and other compatible devices. This is the one BOSS tells you to get but any 9v adapter will work just fine.

Carbon-Zinc Battery 9V and Alkaline 9V

Panasonic 9v Carbon Battery (on Amazon) and an Energizer 9V Alkaline Battery (on Amazon)

Always handy to have as backups for pedals that can run on batteries. Carbon batteries are supposed to sound better in some pedals over others.

MXR Isobrick M238

MXR M238 Isobrick - How to Use the MXR Isobrick (With A Demonstration)
MXR Isobrick M238 (on Amazon/Thomann/zZounds)

A high-quality power supply for multiple pedals. Reduces noise and ensures consistent power delivery. I used this a lot before I got the Pedal Power 3 +

Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 3 Plus

Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 3 + (on Amazon/Thomann)

A big upgrade from the Isobrick. The main reason why I got the Pedal Power 3 + is that I outgrew the Isobrick. I needed more outputs for more pedals, and I needed one that had 500mAh for each port.

Simply put, the PP 3+ can power 10 pedals and it’s a trusted power solution due to its reliability and noise-free operation. Make sure to get the Pedal Power 3 +, and not the other ones though.

Software & Apps

Blue Cat Audio Hot Tuna

Hot Tuna Blue Cat Audio
Blue Cat Audio’s Hot Tuna (on Plugin Boutique)

A precise and versatile tuning plugin. Great for studio and live settings. Dirt cheap and effective.

Blue Cat Audio’s Axiom

BlueCatAudio’s Axiom (on Plugin Boutique).

This is my go-to amp sim. I’ve used it for years. An advanced guitar and bass plugin suite. Offers a wide range of tones and effects.

Guitar Pro 8

Guitar Pro 8
Guitar Pro 8 (on Plugin Fox)

A powerful tool for writing, playing, and learning guitar music. Ideal for practicing and composing. I should’ve had Guitar Pro years ago.

Guitar Rig 7 PRO

Guitar Rig Pro 6 PRO
I’d recommend getting the updated Guitar Rig 7 PRO (on Plugin Boutique), rather than the one I have – 6.

Offers a vast array of amp effects. A staple for home-recording guitarists, especially guitarists who like FX. Get the upgraded edition, not 6.

Melodyne 5

Melodyne 5
Melodyne 5 – Editor (on Plugin Boutique/Plugin Fox/Thomann/zZounds)

I’ve had Melodyne for years. It’s essential for pitch correction and creative audio editing. Great for vocals and instrument tuning. Works in every DAW too.

Andrew Siemon is the principal creator for, a website entirely devoted to all things guitar. From repairs, music theory, chords, and improvisation, to recording at home. I've been doing this for 20 years and I've got another 50 in me.

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