Recommended Guitar Tools & Accessories

On this page I’ve listed guitar products and services that I actually use myself or have personally tested, so I know they’re great. This page represents the best of the best–stuff I would (and do) confidently recommend to my own friends and family. Before you dig into the products, and important disclosure:

The links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these products, and I recommend them because I know they’ll help you, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them. Learn more.

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Cleaners & Polishes

Music Nomad Guitar ONE Guitar Cleaner, Polish, and Wax

Guitar One All-in-1 Cleaner, Polish, and Wax
If your guitar has a glossy finish, this is the best all-in-one spritz I’ve found. If your guitar is really dirty, I recommend using this after you’ve first cleaned off major gunk.

Music Nomad F-One Fretboard Oil

F-ONE Fretboard Cleaner & Conditioner
This is all I use on unfinished (non-glossy) fretboards now, including maple fretboards. I don’t use it as a “cleaner” though. I still like to clean fretboards the old-fashioned way, then use this as a conditioner 1-2 times a year. However, it can definitely be used as a cleaner too.

GHS Fast-Fret String Cleaner and Conditioner

GHS Fast-Fret String Cleaner & Lubricant
I don’t use string cleaner very often, but when I do I reach for Fast-Fret. I’ve been using it since I was a teenager and can’t see any reason to switch. If you need to liven-up an old set of dirty guitar strings, or just want them to feel slick and new again, Fast-Fret will do the trick.

(adorable greyhound not included)

Humidity Regulation

Oasis OH-2C Digital Hygrometer

Oasis OH-2C Digital Hygrometer
Before you take proactive measures to regulate humidity, you need to know what your current humidity level is. This is the hygrometer I use and trust because it can be manually calibrated and carries a 5-year warranty. I own 2–one to measure room humidity and another dedicated for use inside my guitar case when I travel (along with the Oasis hygrometer holder).

Slide the Humitar between the D and G strings

Humitar Acoustic Guitar Humidifier by Music Nomad
If you live in a DRY climate and need to get more moisture into your guitar, this is hands-down the best sponge-based guitar humidifier I’ve found. You can read my in-depth Humitar review here to learn more.

D'Addario 2-Way Humidification System

2-Way Humidification System by D’Addario
The best of both worlds, it’s called “2-way” because it protects your guitar against wet OR dry conditions. Great if you have unpredictable weather or travel a lot between wet and dry climates.

Guitar Tools & Tuners

CruzTools Guitar String Cutters

Guitar String Cutters
Having a decent set of string cutters (or side cutters) with a hardened edge (so they last longer) is something every guitarist should have on-hand. I like these CruzTools string cutters because they’re reasonably priced, compact, spring loaded, and they just work. I really couldn’t ask much more of a string cutter.

StewMac String Action Gauge

String Action Gauge
Made specifically for guitar work, the progressive string height scale makes it a lot easier to see the individual string heights. It’s a precision-cut piece of stainless steel, so the short edge can even be used as a fret rocker in a pinch. You can see me using the string action gauge in this blog post, where I demonstrate how to measure string height.

Drill Bit String Winder

Drill Bit String Winder
Though my drill bit string winder is the least expensive tool I own, it is without a doubt one of the most valuable and useful. HUGE time saver for string changes. For years I used a cheap (free, actually) manual string winder, and never thought much about it. Then, I bought this, and I can’t believe I ever lived without it.

Music Nomad Guitar Detailing Towel

Guitar Detailing Towel
Microfiber towels are great for cleaning and polishing the glossy lacquer finish of guitars, but not all microfiber towels are created equal. That’s why I use this one. It’s made specifically for guitar care: it’s lint-free, has a nice high pile, and there’s no stitching on the outside edges. Great for safely lifting dust and dirt from the finish, as well as buffing with your favorite guitar polish.

Peterson StroboPlus HD Guitar Strobe Tuner

Peterson StroboPlus HD Strobe Tuner
Inexpensive clip-on guitar tuners are fine for everyday tuning, but if you’re planning to set your guitar’s intonation (which is part of a normal guitar setup procedure), you need the accuracy of a strobe tuner. I love my Peterson StroboPlus HD because it’s relatively inexpensive for such a feature-packed strobe tuner. I’d also recommend you check out its little brother, the Peterson StroboClip HD Strobe Tuner.

Music Nomad Cradle Cube Neck Support

Guitar Neck Support
A lot of the work you’ll do on your guitar will require it to be flat on its back. Stop propping up the neck with books or towels, and get a proper neck support like this one from Music Nomad. I like use this one because you can get different types of support depending on which edge you use, plus it doubles as a little storage container if you turn it upside down.

DeoxIT D5 Spray Electrical Contact Cleaner

DeoxIT Electrical Contact Cleaner
If you’re hearing cracks, pops, or scratches when you move your guitar’s knobs and switches, this little can of miracle juice can probably fix it–assuming your electronics are in otherwise good condition. You’ll find DeoxIT in every guitar repair shop.

Big Bends Ultra Nut Sauce Guitar Lubricant

Big Bends Nut Sauce Guitar Lubricant
Tragic name, awesome product. If your guitar won’t stay in tune or your strings generally seem to be binding (sticking) in the nut slots, a tiny dab of this in each string slot is usually all that’s needed to fix most issues (assuming your nut is in good shape). It’s also great lubricating truss rod nuts, string saddles, Floyd Rose knife edges, and more.

Guitar Care & Maintenance Books

Sketchy Setups #1: The Fender Stratocaster ($5)
A simple, straightforward step-by-step guide to getting your Strat or Strat-style guitar playing great. Includes really helpful guidance on setting up your Strat’s tremolo bridge. Finally say goodbye to trem troubles on 2-point or 6-screw bridges. Vintage or modern, your Strat will feel and play great. Available as a PDF download.

Sketchy Setups #2: The Fender Telecaster

Sketchy Setups #2: The Fender Telecaster ($5)
Book #2 in the Sketchy Setups series shows you, step-by-step, how to set up the grandaddy of electric guitars. Includes advice on both modern and vintage-style Telecasters, as well as info on setting action and intonation on the tricky Tele 3-saddle bridge.. Available as a PDF download.

Sketchy Setups #3: Gibson Les Paul, SG, 335, etc.

Sketchy Setups #3: Gibson Les Paul, SG, 335, etc. ($5)
Get your Gibson playing great with book #3 in the Sketchy Setups series. After reading this guide anything with a Tune-o-matic style bridge should be a piece-of-cake. You’ll also learn about a few Gibson quirks that trip-up many people. Available as a PDF download.

Sketchy Setups #4: The Fender Precision & Jazz Basses

Sketchy Setups #4: The Fender Precision & Jazz Basses ($5)
Bassists, you haven’t been forgotten! Now you can get your P-bass and J-bass in great playing shape. Packed with the how-to setup info you’ll need, this guide also includes pointers for setting up a 5-string bass.

Special Offer: All 4 Sketchy Setups Guides for the Price of 3

All 4 Sketchy Setups Guides for the Price of 3 ($15)
Save $5 when you buy all four Sketchy Setups guides. Essentially, you’re buying three guides and getting one guide completely free. This package deal includes all four setup guides:

#1: The Fender Stratocaster
#2: The Fender Telecaster
#3: Gibson Guitars
#4: Precision and Jazz Basses

How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great

How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great
Written by master guitar repairman, Dan Erlewine, this is a must-have for those who want to do their own electric guitar setups without getting to deep into guitar repairs. If you just want to know basic maintenance and setup, this is a really great book to read and keep around as a reference. Comes with free (plastic) fretboard radius gauges and a DVD inside.

Guitar Player Repair Guide 3rd Edition

The Guitar Player Repair Guide
Now in its 3rd edition, this is THE book you need if you’re looking for in-depth instruction on care, maintenance, and repair of electric and acoustic guitars (and much of the material can be applied to bass too). Most of what I know today has came from this book and Dan Erlewine’s other instructional videos, books, etc. I always have this book nearby, and constantly refer to it.

Guitar Lessons

Gibson's Learn and Master

Gibson’s Learn & Master Guitar
Great For: Beginners

Gibson’s Learn & Master course has been around for a long time, and for good reason. It’s a rock solid, step-by-step course that is excellent for complete beginners. If you’re looking for a more structured learning experience that rivals one-on-one lessons, this is a great course that I’ve recommend to a number of people over the years.

Andy Guitar: Guitar Method for the Complete Beginner
Great For: Beginners

Finally available on Amazon.com! Andy Crowley is one of the most recommended guitar instructors I know of. I’ve met countless guitarists who rave about his courses and I highly recommend this book to beginners. I’m 100% confident you’ll have fun and see excellent progress if you follow Andy’s lessons.

Andy Guitar Beginner Strumming Course

Andy Guitar: Beginner Strumming Course
Great For: Beginners

This is the perfect complement to Andy’s Beginner Guitar book (above). There are two parts: 1 and 2. Part 1 teaches you 14 strumming patterns that’ll take you from being a total beginner to what Andy calls “improver level.” Part 2 has 5 bonus strumming patterns plus other techniques that will take your strumming abilities to the next level.

Andy Guitar Easy Fingerstyle For Beginners

Andy Guitar: Easy Fingerstyle for Beginners
Great For: Beginners – Intermediate

Another great complement to Andy’s other books, for those who’d like to learn fingerstyle guitar. This easy-to-follow book will help you get started and keeps it fun by teaching you 12 well-known melodies in the process. I do recommending completing Andy’s Beginner Guitar course (above) first, but it’s not necessary if you already know some guitar basics.