The best musical equipment for learning instruments (2021): guitars, microphones, etc.


There are many iconic guitar brands, but I still recommend Fender as the first guitar. Not just because Hendrix, Clapton, and Buddy Guy have all played Fenders; this is because Fender made in Mexico or Fender Squier made in South Korea are affordable, sound great, and preserve their value. If you buy a second-hand Fender and don’t treat it as garbage, then you may be able to sell it at the original price.The four most representative models are Stratocaster (US$230), TV broadcaster, Precision bass ($480), with Jazz Bass (230 USD).

Photo: Soundbrenner

These are the first gadgets and gadgets you want to get.


Practicing with a metronome (you might recognize this tacky-sounding thing on grandma’s piano) can help you develop muscle memory and keep your rhythm consistent with a piece of music. Mechanical Metronome ($17) Works fine, so free Smartphone application, But my favorite is Soundbrenner core ($229)During the exercise, you connect the buzzer to your arm or leg. Instead of hearing the beat, you feel it! It also has a built-in tuner and decibel meter to warn you when the sound is too loud.


You can use mobile apps, but many people prefer the reliability of a real tuner.For stringed instruments, I like Snark Super Skinny ($14), This is the industry standard for clip-on tuners.For wind instruments, I like KLIQ MetroPitch ($28), It also has a built-in metronome.

Music Stand/iPad Stand

You can use a table or any other surface to fix the tools while practicing, but once you learn how to read music correctly, you need a music stand to read while playing.I like this from Shimmer (US$26), It has two spring arms, you can hold an open book or put your music on the shelf on a windy day.You might still want iPad accessory ($32), If you are reading sheet music from the app.


Photo: Audio-Technica

A pair of cheap earplugs can start to use, but it’s worth buying a decent pair of wireless over-ear headphones, such as Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT (230 USD) If you take your tune seriously. They sound great for listening, have Bluetooth connectivity for modern smartphones, and can double as colorful studio headphones for home recording.

Practice amplifier

Photography: Roland

You may not shine on stage anytime soon, so the best amplifier to buy for your electric guitar, keyboard, or bass will not wake up your neighbors.There are cheaper options that I like, but I recommend Roland Micro Cube (US$165)It can be battery-powered when you are out (very suitable for backyard practice), and if you start thinking about a guitar pedal, it even has some built-in effects. If you are a bass player or keyboard player, Roland Cube can also be used until you decide to get something more advanced.


Don’t hurt your ears! Music can be very loud. Any sound over 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. Either practice at a normal volume or use a pair of earplugs. There are many claims to cut all frequencies evenly (so that your music sounds the same).None of them have fully mastered the listening sound without a plug, but my favorite is Earplugs ($40), It has a small transparent plastic handle that makes them very easy to take out, and there is a shell that can be connected to the key.

For electronic music and recording

Photo: Novation

Interested in playing music digitally? Here are some basic tools to start making and recording music.

Digital recording software

One of the most enduring nerd debates is about which recording software is the best.The studio people will tell you Avid’s professional tools The best, because it is the industry standard.The home producer will tell you Apple’s Logic Pro or Presonus Studio One Better because of their drag and drop interface. Beatmakers will tell you Alberton Live Is the only way out. honestly? You can’t go wrong these days. All the well-known digital recording software are very good. I recommend trying some of the brands listed above, all of which have free software samples, so you can test the water before buying.

Laptop or computer

Photo: Apple

You can use an iPad, smart phone or other tablet to make and record electronic music, but most music production software is still made for traditional computers. That’s because they are more powerful, allowing them to do more with your voice and handle larger recording sessions.This is a list Our favorite laptop. I recommend using a device with 16 GB or more RAM; recording software takes up a lot of memory.

audio port

Photo: Nigel Matthews/Focusrite

this Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (US$170) If you are considering using an actual microphone to record at home, this is the perfect entry interface. It has two inputs as well as easy-to-use controls and software. It even comes with some digital audio workstation (DAW) download codes, such as Pro Tools and Ableton Live Lite, so you can know which recording software you are using. Use before spending big money.


Photo: Apple

My favorite tool for making presentations or other basic recordings is the iPad. There are plenty of great applications, you can plug in an external microphone and interface to capture higher quality audio. I also like that I can extract diagrams and notes digitally to help organize presentations and practice sessions.Which one to buy depends on you (we There is an iPad guide), but I have been using iPad Air ($539) I like it.

Innovation launch pad

this Novation Launchpad (200 USD) Paired with recording software, you can complete everything from playing the melody to triggering samples, making it a core tool in the arsenal of many electronic musicians. It connects to your computer via USB, at this time you can assign its various pressure-sensitive pads to control almost anything you like, from individual beats and sounds to entire music arrangements.

Computer Micro Mk3

Photo: Lauren Joseph

this Computer Micro (US$269) It is a compact sampling controller with excellent software, which essentially provides you with a 21st century equivalent drum machine. Classic hip-hop producers started using it in the early 1990s. You can chop up your own samples or use any samples in the Vault containing 1.6 GB of sound. You can use Maschine with its own software or as a plug-in for any popular recording software. Apart from your skills, there is no excuse for failing your beat; this is the same tool used by many of your favorite hip hop producers.

Smartphone microphone

Photography: Shure

Whether you are looking for higher quality presentations or higher fidelity Instagram streaming, you can use a good phone microphone like Shure Mv88 or MV88+. MV88 (US$135) If you have an iOS device (only supports Lightning), the effect will be great, but MV88+ ($215) It has recently become my favorite because it is equipped with a tripod stand and its USB-C cable is suitable for Android devices such as Google Pixel (although MV88+ is not compatible with all Android devices).


Photo: Amazon

If you don’t want to fiddle with your smartphone or audio interface, a great portable recording option is Zoom H2N (170 USD). This is a simple portable recorder that provides excellent fidelity, especially suitable for recording lessons, live performances or rehearsals for future comment.

Shure SM57

Photography: Shure

Symbol of studio and stage, Shure SM57 ($99) Suitable for vocals, musical instruments, and anything you want to capture. This dynamic microphone is the backbone of the studio for guitars and snare drums, but you may have heard it in various recordings of almost all instruments. They are relatively cheap, they will be hit, and they will last forever. Turn your first “real” microphone into SM57; you won’t regret it.

Microphone stand

Buy a crappy microphone stand, it will last for a few months. Buy a better one and use it for a lifetime.My favorite starting station is On-Stage’s tripod microphone ($38). It is well-made and equipped with a telescopic arm, which means you can place the microphone exactly where you need it, making it easier to play the guitar.

Photography: Vic Firth

When you are a budding music student, you will quickly learn that things will break down. Here are some smaller items, just in case.


Drumsticks are very personal and come in many shapes and sizes, but it’s best to start with the old standard: 5A. These are almost as close to the “medium” that exists in the world of drumsticks-you will find professionals playing them in all genres.I prefer Father (8 USD) with Vic Firth ($10) Brand, but you really can’t go wrong. Take a few pairs and keep them at hand-they tend to disappear when you need them.


If you have an old guitar, it is likely to use new strings. I like buying strings in bulk because they are part of the guitar that needs regular maintenance. If you just picked up a new guitar (or you still have a tag for that guitar in your closet), check the strings that came with it and continue to use those-this may be what it is set to use. Otherwise, it is best to start with medium-sized strings.I like These Daddario strings for electric guitars ($8) with These Ernie Ball strings for acoustics ($6), But there are many other good options. What string are you worried about?Check This cool guide From the music retailer Sweetwater.


If you are learning stringed instruments, you will want a lot of picks on hand. What is the best way to find what you like?Get this Fun Fender multi-pack ($14). It has three sizes and various colors. You will find your favorite, and then there are some urgent options for other sizes.


For woodwind instruments, you need reeds. Many of them.we like Van dollen reed. They are a bit expensive, but they are the best.For cheaper exercises, you can go Daddario Rico Reed. Taking a break in the middle of a meeting is a buzz. Have extras on hand so you can switch them out easily.


Capos lets you play standard fingering on the guitar, making it easier to change the keys. You will lose one, so you might as well buy two as a backup. I am a big fan of the adjustable tension option; Shubb C1 ($16) Because it allows you to adjust the strength of the gripping guitar fingerboard to get a perfect buzz-free sound.

Instrument cable

If you are playing an electronic musical instrument, it is best to invest in high-quality cables.These Kirin Cable (14 USD) High quality, and provide a limited lifetime warranty. Make sure to wind the cables as much as possible and keep them away from the floor. The best way to make them lasting is to treat them well.


It is worthwhile to have some basic tools on hand to perform any maintenance your instrument may require.this Ernie Ball’s Musician Toolkit ($40) It is a great all-in-one option for many people, with all the tools needed to set up or repair a guitar or bass. Otherwise, it is best to have a set of hex wrenches, a drum key and some screwdrivers on hand.

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