What Do Guitars Come With? (Cases? Strings? Cables? Etc.)

If you’re shopping for a new guitar, then you’ll also need to know what accessories are included, and which ones you’ll need to purchase separately.

Generally, all new guitars come with a case (either a hard case or gig bag) and will have strings already installed. Some may come with an extra set of strings, but this is rare. And your guitar definitely won’t come with cables or an amp, unless you buy a beginner guitar package.

It’s possible you’ll also get other accessories like picks, a string winder, etc. However, exactly what you’ll receive does vary, so let’s dig deeper into specifics.

What New Guitars Typically Come With (List)

If you’re in the market for a new guitar, you have two main options: you can buy the guitar only, or choose a guitar package, which comes with everything you need to start playing as soon as you unbox it. 

Guitar packages are generally marketed toward beginners, which is great if this will be your first guitar purchase, but if you’ve been playing for a while, you’ve likely accumulated most of the items included in the package already. And as an experienced guitarist you’ll probably be looking for higher-quality items anyway.

What New Guitars Typically Come With

  • Guitar
  • Hard case or gig bag
  • String winder
  • Tools for making adjustments/repairs
  • Spare tension springs (for guitars with Floyd Rose tremolo)
  • Whammy bar (for guitars with Floyd Rose Tremolo)
  • Picks (rarely)
  • Extra strings (rarely)

What New Guitar Packages Typically Come With

  • Guitar
  • Hard case or gig bag
  • String winder
  • Tools for making adjustments/repairs
  • Spare tension springs (for guitars with Floyd Rose tremolo)
  • Whammy bar (for guitars with Floyd Rose Tremolo)
  • Picks
  • Extra strings
  • Guitar strap
  • Cable
  • Amplifier and power cords (for electric guitars) 

As you can see, a guitar package comes with a lot more “stuff,” and all for a low price. But that stuff is more suited to beginners and isn’t always the highest quality. It will be good enough to get you started though, and you can always upgrade later as you get better!

A couple of other items that I haven’t mentioned yet are tuners and capos. You might see one of each of these bundled in with a guitar or guitar beginner package sometimes.

Do New Guitars Come With Cases?


Any guitar you buy will come with a case. But the more you spend, the better the case will be. Most intermediate and higher end guitars will come with a hard case, which offers much better protection when storing or traveling with your instrument. 

High end cases may also feature combination locks for added security, so you won’t have to worry about other people getting their hands on your guitar when it’s not in your possession, like while traveling or flying. Though this doesn’t prevent someone from walking off with the case itself… 

Do Guitars Come With a Gig Bag? 

Beginner guitars or guitar packages typically only come with a gig bag. This offers some protection during transport, but won’t be as robust as a hard case. Even if you’re a beginner or have purchased a budget guitar, I would still highly recommend buying a hard case if you plan on traveling a lot with your guitar. 

Do New Guitars Come With Strings?

All guitars will come with strings already installed. Unless you purchase a guitar designed or set up for a very specific genre of music, most instruments will come stock with the most common gauge string set: 10-46 for electric guitars (like the Ernie Ball Regular Slinky) or 12-53 for acoustic guitars (like the D’Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze Light).

These string sets provide a balanced tone and easy playability for most music styles, making them a very popular choice for most guitar brands. However, depending on the style of music you want to play, they may not be right for you. For help choosing the best strings for your needs, see our previous article about how strings affect your guitar’s sound.

Do Guitars Come With Extra Strings?

Unless you buy a beginner guitar package, it’s unlikely your new guitar will come with an extra set of strings. These extra strings will be the same as the ones installed on your guitar. 

This is fine if you’re a beginner, but most intermediate and advanced players are very particular about the strings they use. And since there are so many string brands, gauges and materials to choose from, providing an extra set that appeals to everyone would be an impossible task. 

Strings are pretty cheap anyways, so if the guitar you want doesn’t come with an extra set, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. 

Do New Guitars Come With Cables? 

If you’re buying a new electric guitar, you’ll likely need to buy a cable to plug it into your amplifier. The only guitars that come with a cable will be those in beginner packages that also come with amps. 

So if this is your first guitar purchase and you’re also shopping for an amp, make sure to grab a cable too. It’s frustrating when you’ve got your new guitar and huge amp ready to shred loud enough to blow the windows out of your home, only to realize you can’t connect them!

Do New Guitars Come With Whammy Bars?

First off, you may be wondering what a whammy bar is. A whammy bar is a metal rod that screws into a Floyd Rose tremolo on an electric guitar. 

What’s a Floyd Rose Tremolo?

In essence it’s a “floating bridge” that allows you to alter the pitch of your guitar on the fly while playing individual notes or chords. The whammy bar lets you bend the bridge, which then changes the pitch of your strings up or down. This allows for some really cool effects (think Eddie Van Halen or Joe Satriani). 

Not all guitars come with a whammy bar…because not all guitars feature a Floyd Rose tremolo. But if your guitar does have this bridge system, it will come with a whammy bar.

Examples of Popular Guitar Models With a Floyd Rose Tremolo

Examples of Popular Guitar Models Without a Floyd Rose Tremolo 

Do New Guitars Come in Boxes?

If your guitar comes with a good quality hard case, then that’s what it will be in when you walk out of the store. These guitars typically don’t come in boxes. If you buy a beginner package or get a guitar that only comes with a gig bag, then it will likely come in a box for extra protection until you get it home. 

The exception to this rule is if you order your guitar online. These instruments will be shipped in a box, even if they come with a hard case. However, storing your guitar in a box is no substitute for a hard case: you should still invest in one of those.

Do New Guitars Come Pre-Tuned? (or Do They Need Set-Up?)

If you buy a guitar from a music store, it’s likely that an employee will tune it for you before you leave. This may not apply to beginner packages, where the guitar and accessories are stored in a box. Though before leaving with your purchase you should absolutely open that box to make sure your guitar is in good condition!

Guitars ordered online also may not be tuned when they arrive. Depending on how long the guitar has been sitting in the box, how long it took to ship or the condition in which it was shipped, even a guitar that was tuned before packaging may not show up at your door that way. 

But tuning a guitar isn’t too difficult, and it’s something you should get good at anyways, as you’ll be doing it a lot! This is especially true if you play songs that require tuning your guitar up or down from standard tuning (which is, from low to high, E/A/D/G/B/E). 

Regardless of how you purchase your guitar, set-up should be relatively minimal, and you’ll be on your way to shredding your favorite songs in no time!

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