Thank you to Bobby Kittleberger of Guitar Chalk for this guest post, I hope you find the gift ideas useful this Christmas.
Gifts are their own type of product, what constitutes a “gift” is often not useful, practical or even worth keeping after the dust settles… The mystique wears off. A lot of what passes as a great guitar gift idea, adheres more to the “gift-industry” than it does to the needs of actual guitar players. It’s a shame because there are so many inexpensive and practical gifts that you can give someone who plays guitar. I’m going to show you some gifts for guitar players that won’t be a waste of money and won’t end up in this spring’s yard sales.
Guitar Gift Buying Rule #1: Limit gift prospects to things that directly apply to playing the guitar. In other words, avoid things like a guitar-shaped spatula. Those are guitar-themed gifts, but not guitar applicable. It’s a gift for the sake of being a gift.
Guitar Gift Buying Rule #2: Focus on the practical needs and activity of a guitarist.
To make things easier, we’ll break our gift guide into a couple of different low pricing categories:
Let’s get started.
Gifts for Guitar Players Under $10
1. Ernie Ball Guitar Polish and Cloth
A lot of guitarists find themselves needing this sort of thing but never being able to find it around the house. Perhaps many of us don’t want to put the time into ordering it when we can just wipe our guitar down with a paper towel.
However, this is a more effective cleaning method and would be well-received by any guitar player that doesn’t absolutely love the finger-smudge look.
2. Clayton Picks DWS3 Guitar Pick
Picks are usually a safe gifting bet, simply because guitar players always lose them. It’s a pain to constantly have to search for a pick, so getting a few as a gift is always welcomed. The DWS3 is made of organic material that gives the pick a soft edge and warm tone.
Most Amazon reviewers are enthusiastic supporters of this one.
3. Dunlop Deluxe String Winder
Also called a “peg winder” this is a tool that allows you to restring guitars much faster.
Again, it’s one of those items that a lot of guitar players want but never take the time to obtain or keep track of. It’s an easy stocking stuffer and a practical option for less than $5.
4. iRig Audio Interface
There are a lot of different audio interfaces you can get to plug your guitar into an iPhone, iPad or Android device but, I’ve found the iRig to be one of the better ones for the price. The latest version iRig 2 is $40 but the original version is still available for just under $10!
5. Assorted Pick Pack from Dunlop
The Dunlop pick lines are among some of the most popular, and the same reasoning that we gave for the DWS3 applies to them.
In fact it’s even better if you can gift picks in bulk, since this allows the giftee to lose a few and still have plenty to choose from. This particular package has an assortment of 12.
Gifts for Guitar Players Under $15
6. Tetra-Teknica Hardwood Home and Studio Guitar Hangers
These are solid hardwood guitar hangers that can make a nice addition to a studio or even just a bedroom where you don’t want to keep guitars in a case all the time.
It’s not a flashy gift, but this pack comes with two hangers, gets almost unanimously positive feedback and is perfect for those who need to come up with a better guitar storage system.
7. Dunlop Moonshine Slide
The Moonshine from Dunlop is a slick-looking guitar accessory and one of my personal favorite slides. It is made out of ceramic instead of glass, so it’ll be a bit more durable and shatter-resistant.
In terms of playing style, it’s a safe bet that if a guitar player doesn’t have a slide, they’ll be happy to field one as a gift, even if it’s just something they play on occasion. Every guitarist should own one.
8. Effects Pedal Couplers
If you can verify that the guitar player you’re buying for runs a lot of effects, pedal couplers like these are a great complimentary gift. These ones even come in a nice box for easy wrapping.
These eliminate the need for running cables between your pedals or just allow you to add more stompboxes to your pedalboard.
9. Ernie Ball Powered String Winder
If you want to take it one step further than the peg winder, this powered string winder from Ernie Ball is similar to what professional guitar techs use to restring instruments. It saves guitar owners an incredible amount of time, making it one of my preferred stocking stuffers.
10. Korg PITCHCLIP Low-Profile Clip-on Tuner
Clip on tuners are incredibly useful, they discretely hide behind your headstock and allow you to tune in an instant whether in dark or light conditions by analysing the vibration from the guitar. This model has fast pitch detection and accuracy within ±1 cent plus a detection range from A0 to C8.
Higher Price Ranges
After the $15 mark your options will expand quite a bit, depending on what you want to spend. There are a lot of cheap guitar pedals that you can pick up in the $50 to $60 range, especially with such an active used and refurbished market.