Gear I Use and Recommend!

Disclaimer: while I may earn a small commission from some items purchased through these links, there isn't a single thing on this page that I don't legitimately use and recommend.

Picks

The journey to one's preferred plectrum is one wrought with destiny and adventure. I cannot tell you what pick to pick (hehe), nor should you let anyone. You should try lots of different picks, and your preference may change over time. Here is my personal favorite since 2003 (don't ask me how I remember that). People tend to begin their guitar careers with a thinner pick, and prefer progressively thicker picks as they develop. I used yellow for a long time until I topped out at green. The fact that there's a turtle on them is pure coincidence.

Variety Pack
(for personal discovery and exploration)

12 pack

I buy 72 at a time. It lasts me years.

Strings

I used to obsessively read everything I could get my eyeballs on about Pearl Jam and their gear. Of course these days there is literally more information about everything than anyone could ever pass one's eyeballs over, so I have largely given up that hobby. Hence, like my knowledge of baseball rosters (I'm super good at 1989-1992), my intel is rather outdated. That said, wherever I got the information that whichever member(s) of PJ used GHS Boomers on his/their electric guitars is the best thing I ever stumbled on. It is true that compared to your acoustic guitar, more variables go into the tone of your electric guitar (shape of guitar - kind of wood - strings - pickups, pedals - amp - amp settings - how you play), so your electric string selection is arguably less important than on your acoustic. That is why I'm surprised by how much I prefer GHS Boomers to anything else. You'll have to try them for yourself to know what I mean by this, but they truly do BOOM. And the best part is they're not even expensive.

Treat yo'self.

Cheap livin' baby - only five bucks per set.
Pick your poison, but I use 10-46

On the other hand, when it comes to acoustic strings I have an exclusive relationship with one of the more expensive offerings, because Elixirs are worth every penny. They sound newer for much much longer, and while they break a little more easily than 'normal' strings, a set usually lasts me 2-4 months - even playing the guitar almost every day. And they feel AMAZING on your fingers. Do yourself a favor and try these out. You will see the light.

Tuners

While I have a tuner app on my phone, I prefer the Snark by a factor of a lot. Snark tunes off of vibrations rather than a microphone so you can even tune when your Aunt Didi is yapping away in the kitchen. I remember purchasing a similar tuner for sixty bucks when this technology was brand new. Definitely broke and/or lost that tuner in short order, but I've had the same twelve dollar Snark for five years. Go figure. I can also vouch for the Roadie automatic tuner. I demoed one a while back. Super freakin' cool.

Snark (yay)

Lifetime supply of Snark batteries for eight bucks. MUCH cheaper than a last minute battery run to the drug store...

Roadie 3 will blow your mind.

Tea

Tea?? Yes, tea. Throat Coat Tea is a magical elixir that turns your vocal chords into a slip 'n slide. Upon your first sip your lungs will feel 15% bigger. I drink Throat Coat whenever I'm going to sing, and you should too.

Normal people amount...

...I buy six boxes at a time.

Acoustic Guitar For Beginners and Beach Purposes

When shopping for a guitar to learn on or to take to the beach, you want to check three boxes: 1) inexpensive 2) solid 3) easy to play. I cannot recommend the Gretsch Jim Dandy enough. It was far and away the best $179 dollar acoustic guitar on the market. When dear friend introduced this guitar to me I pegged it as a 400 dollar specimen before being otherwise informed. So now I own one. It's 3/4 size so it's easy to play, stays in tune great, and doesn't (to my hands, anyway) feel cheap in the slightest. Plus I love the matte finish and the Gretsch brand. The Jim Dandy is the only beginner acoustic guitar I can recommend to you in good faith.

Gretsch Jim Dandy destroys the competition at this price point

Pedals

I was twelve years old when Pearl Jam got me by the boo boo. Like everyone else in the universe experiences, the frontman was the initial face and identity of my favorite band; AND - my first role model. The thing is, Eddie Vedder famously doesn't use any pedals. My journeys have sparked interest in other guitarists by now. (wait... there are bands other than Pearl Jam??) But it takes me a very long time to get around to doing anything, so I have only recently acquired my first guitar pedals. I'm no expert and certainly not a collector, but I know what I like and I will share with you some of my favorites here.

The magical JHS Bonsai is nine tube screamers in one. I demoed it here.

This $ultra-inexpensive tremolo pedal gets the job done. I did a Green Day song with it.