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Recommended equipment & services

Guitar & ukulele stuff...

What should you get? On this page you will find my recommendations for:

  • Instruments (acoustic, electric and classical guitars, ukuleles)
  • Accessories (capos, footstools, guitar cases, cables, metronomes, music stands, picks, amps, tuners)
  • Apps (iPhone/iPad)
  • Software (Mac/PC)
  • Services (instrument repairs, teachers)

Please note that I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers below, nor do I guarantee their equipment. So, if you’re not happy with your purchase don’t blame me!

These are my opinions only and I’m sure that there is plenty of good equipment out there that I am yet to discover.

This page should only be a part of your research. Read some reviews, check the forums, talk to people etc.

Portrait of a Baroque guitarist by Johannes Vermeer. Image in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Instruments

Acoustic guitars

I recommend going to Hanks on Denmark St WC2.

Try not to spend less than £100 and get a solid top if you can stretch to it.

Best budget acoustic guitars

  • Tanglewood
  • Yamaha
  • Vintage
  • Cort

Best mid range acoustic guitars

  • Tanglewood
  • Takamine
  • Epiphone

Best pro level acoustic guitars

  • Takamine
  • Taylor
  • Gibson
  • Martin

Classical guitars

I recommend going to The London Guitar Studio on Duke Street W1. Tell them I sent you. The staff there are very helpful.

Try not to spend less than £100 and get a solid top if you can stretch to it.

Best budget classical guitars

  • Coming soon
  • Coming soon

Best mid range classical guitars

  • Alhambra 4P
  • Alhambra 5P

Best pro level classical guitars

  • Alhambra 9P
  • Alhambra Luthier Indian

Electric guitars

The best thing would be to go to the guitar shops on Denmark St WC2, tell them your budget and ask them to show you what they have in your price range.

There are many great guitars out there, and I can’t list them all! Here are some popular models.

Best budget electric guitars

  • Avoid the Squier Strat! They sound horrible!
  • Yamaha Pacifica 012
  • Yamaha Pacifica 112
  • Epiphone Les Paul Special II
  • Epiphone Les Paul 100

Best mid range electric guitars

  • Fender Mexican Standard Strat
  • Epiphone Sheraton
  • Epiphone ES335
  • Epiphone Les Paul Standard

Best pro level electric guitars

  • Fender Telecaster (USA)
  • Fender Stratocaster (USA)
  • Gibson Les Paul
  • Gibson ES335

Ukuleles

The Duke Of Uke on Brick Lane have a great selection of ukuleles. I recommend concert ukuleles for beginners. Mango wood sounds nice.

Apps

iPhone/iPad

  • Amazing Slow Downer. Change the tempo of a song without changing the pitch, or change the pitch without changing the tempo.
  • iStrobosoft by Peterson. Great strobe tuner app, which is as accurate as the hardware device it was taken from but costs one tenth of the price. Not recommended for beginners due to it’s potentially confusing display.
  • Shazam. Hear a song on the radio but don’t know what it is? Shazam will tell you.
  • Provocalz. Singing exercises to develop your voice.

Software

Mac

  • Amazing Slow Downer. Change the tempo of a song without changing the pitch, or change the pitch without changing the tempo.
  • Sibelius. The world’s best selling music notation software.

PC

  • Amazing Slow Downer. Change the tempo of a song without changing the pitch, or change the pitch without changing the tempo.
  • Sibelius. The world’s best selling music notation software.

Accessories

Capos

Best budget capo

  • Pencil & elastic band :). I am yet to see a budget capo that doesn’t adversely affect the guitar’s tuning, so I can’t recommend one!

Best mid range capo

  • Shubb

Best pro level capo

  • G7th Performance Capo

Footstools

  • Any one will do.

Guitar cases

Forget about the flimsy vinyl case you got free with your guitar. It offers virtually no protection. Get yourself a (properly) padded gig bag for your budget or mid range guitar. If you have a pro level guitar then PLEASE get a hard case for it!

Best Instrument cables

  • Planet Waves
  • Fender
  • There are a lot of other good cables out there, just stay away from the very cheap ones.

Metronomes

  • Free: metronomeonline.com
  • Budget: Qwik Time QT7
  • Mid Range: Seiko SQ50
  • Pro level: Boss DB-90 (overkill for most people!)

Picks/plectrums

  • Soft: Jim Dunlop USA Nylon .60mm
  • Medium: Jim Dunlop USA Nylon .73mm or .88mm
  • Hard: Jim Dunlop USA Nylon 1mm
  • Very Hard: Jim Dunlop USA Jazz III

Best practice amplifiers (home use)

  • Budget: Fender Frontman 15G
  • Mid range: Vox Valvetronix VT20+
  • Pro level: Blackstar HT5RS Mini Stack! This thing rocks!

Tuners

Best budget/home use tuner

  • Snark All Instrument Tuner – a classic. Don’t buy an alternative, these are great!

Best mid range stage tuner

  • Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner

Best pro level stage tuner

  • Sonic Research ST-200 Stomp Box Strobe Tuner

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