Guitar Gear & Accessories
Guitar Gear - The importance of using quality accessories
So you've made an investment - you've purchased your dream guitar (or at least a nice guitar), and now you need accessories to go along with it. If you're like most people, you don't have stacks of extra cash, so it can be tempting to purchase cheap accessories to cut corners. However, when you skimp on guitar gear, you'll often end up spending more in the long run. The best case scenario is having to purchase new gear as your old gear breaks. But at worst, cheap guitar gear can damage your axe and end up costing hundreds of dollars.
Obviously, one of the most important accessory investments you'll make is your guitar strap. A good quality guitar strap is comfortable and secure, and it won't make you constantly worry about it breaking or slipping. A guitar strap may seem like an afterthought, but it's what keeps your guitar off the ground and out of harm's way.
When you're buying a guitar strap, you want to look closely at a few things: the way it attaches to your guitar, the adjustability, and the material. The way the strap attaches is key, as many cheap straps are made of weak leather or vinyl. The last thing you want is for that cheap attachment to break mid-gig. When buying a strap, look for high-quality leather ends - these tend to become a bit more supple over time without losing strength.
Adjustability is important, too. Some straps adjust with a plastic slide, just like many dog collars do. Others involve threading the strap through a hole (this is how most leather straps adjust). Either of these are reliable - just be sure that the plastic is strong and durable.
Of course, you need a strap that will last. Most nylons are very strong and will serve you well. When choosing a leather or cloth strap, be mindful of construction - some very cheap straps will be either overly flimsy or entirely too stiff, and an overly flimsy strap may well break at an inopportune time.
A strap isn't the only accessory you'll need (though it's arguably one of the most important). A good capo is a smart investment as well. The type of capo you need may depend on how you play - if you gig frequently, you'll likely want something that comes off and on fairly quickly, and if you largely play at home, that may not matter as much. Regardless, though, be sure you choose something made of high-quality materials. If you opt for a cheap capo, you may find that it begins to come apart quickly. And a capo that comes apart is a capo that loses functionality.
In short, you know why it's not a good idea to buy cheap guitars - they don't sound great and they tend to not last as long. The same can be said for accessories. Making an investment in quality guitar gear will protect your guitar and last you for many years to come.