Looking for the perfect guitar-related gift? Gift giving for musicians – especially gear freaks – can be a tricky and sometimes expensive proposition. But with a bit of clever planning, you can find a great gift even for the guitarist who has everything. Whether you are looking to buy a little something to encourage a budding talent or looking for something that will impress a grizzled veteran of the instrument, we have some nifty suggestions for gift shopping.
If you’re planning to go all out and purchase an expensive piece of gear as a gift, you might want to consult with the giftee. True, this does spoil the surprise, but if you’re investing a lot of coin into something, you’ll want to make sure it is properly suited to the guitarist’s tastes and interests.
Instruments and musical equipment in general can be highly personal and remarkably varied, so what appeals to one person might not do it for the next fellow! For those who aren’t looking to spend a ton of money and want to preserve the gift giving mystique, here are our suggestions for gifts both clever and practical for the guitarist.
If your looking for further information, check out our guides on the best acoustic strings, electric strings, pick punches, stands, capos, reverb pedals, gain basesed pedals, essential pedals for electric guitarists, and much much more. You might want to wrap your gifts better than this though…
The best gifts for guitarists:
Audio Assemble Recommends: Pick-a-Palooza DIY Guitar Pick Punch
A guitar pick punch is a pretty nifty little device. These can take just about any soft plastic material and punch out a guitar pick! The sky is the limit with the creative possibilities that can be realized with a pick punch. All sorts of unique and eye-catching designs can be created, different materials can be experimented with. Plus, they’ll never have to worry about running out of picks.
You can find a variety of different pick punches available on Amazon. Most of them are all pretty much the same, just a simple device that has a pick-shaped punch ideal for slicing through plastic to create cleanly cut picks ready to play.
Audio Assemble Recommends: Elixir Strings
It could seem like too mundane of a gift, but for the guitarist, strings are in constant demand! Not only do they break and wear out, losing their tone and intonation and forcing you to replace them after too long, but there is also something special and joyous about playing with a new set of strings. Fresh strings have more life and sing out with beautiful overtones that get lost as the string deadens over time. So don’t worry that you’re just giving them a replacement to something they already have: your gift will be appreciated quite viscerally each time they hear those brilliant new strings ringing out.
A pack or two of guitar strings can be a great little gift. But if you want to give something substantial, you can get real deals while ordering bulk guitar strings. You might need to do a little sleuthing to figure out what brand of string and gauge your guitarist prefers before buying dozens or hundreds of packs. However, if you get the right bulk deal, you can give them a gift that truly keeps on giving.
Just be sure you choose the right strings based on whether the person you are buying for has an electric guitar or acoustic guitar!
Audio Assemble Recommends: On-Stage Single Stand
Guitarists always seem in need of a stand. If you’ve ever seen a guitar haphazardly leaned against the furniture, or always locked away in a case, you have a sure sign that a guitar stand could be a good gift. Even if all of their guitars are proudly displayed on stands already, there is still some opportunity lurking!
Some stands are great for display, but not so great for practice and performing. Lightweight stands that fold up or easily breakdown are ideal for on-stage applications and for hauling around to practices and gigs.
Another option is looking into getting them a wall-mounted guitar stand setup. These can add a lot of character to a room and provide a very convenient way to create easy access to the guitar.
Audio Assemble Recommends: Donner Analog Delay Guitar
The world of guitar effects pedals can be a pretty daunting one. Especially if you’re not familiar with musical electronics at all, it can seem arcane and impenetrable. Not only that, it can be quite expensive with pedals costing hundreds of dollars, so making a mistake in choice can mean taking a hit.
Instead of trying to get something fancy, how about something fun? These mini pedals from Donner pack some pretty impressive sounds into tiny, miniaturized pedals that retail for around $20-$50. The sounds are totally usable and the price is perfect for experimenting with new effects.
Audio Assemble Recommends: Fender Guitar Combo Amplifier
Much like with pedals, guitar amplifiers can be a difficult thing to choose from. A guitarist’s main amplifier is a huge part of their sound and is a very personal decision. You might win their affections forever if you get them the amp of their dreams, but this is something you’d want to consult with them about, unless you already know what they’ve been pining for.
A more neutral (and affordable) gift idea is getting a miniature practice amp. These cool little amps usually run anywhere from $20-$100. Easily portable, often battery powered, and packing in some respectable tones and even sometimes a limited selection of effects, these can be fun and novel for busting out at a party, or a practical solution to keeping chops up on the go.
Audio Assemble Recommends: Donner-Mechanical-Metronome
The metronome is one of the most essential tools a practicing musician can have. While these days a computer or a smart phone can provide a steady click, there is still real appeal in having an old-school analog metronome that you can actually watch keeping time. Digital metronomes are a bit less fun, but can often include a lot of very useful features, such as the ability to program specific sub-divisions. Some even incorporate a tuner!
Lessons & Instructional Material
Audio Assemble Recommends: The Ultimate Guitar Chord Chart
The gift of knowledge is a good one. You could try to find a quality local instructor and pay for a few lessons. Or you can take a look through the incredible wealth of instructional material available for the guitar to find something you think your giftee would enjoy. If know who their favorite guitarists, there are likely plenty of instruction books, videos, and audio lessons available tackling their favorite songs and licks that you can seek out.
Internet guitar tutoring can also be very useful. You can connect with some of the best guitar instructors across the globe through the internet. Maybe you can even get an hour or two learning from your giftee’s favorite player as a gift!
Audio Assemble Recommends: Planet Lock Guitar Strap
Not only is a guitar strap a practical item, it can also be something of a fashion statement. Even if the person you’re buying for already has a guitar strap or two, getting them a particularly stylish one can be a great gift that they are sure to put to use. Explore the different options for materials, designs, and colors to find something that suits their individual aesthetic and compliments their guitars.
Audio Assemble Recommends: G7th Nashville Capo- Black
A capo can be a great gift for a new guitarist. Capos immediately open up interesting sonic avenues for exploration. It can also be a thoughtful addition for a more experienced player, or even a chance for them to explore the fret board in a way they had previously neglected.
While there are quite a few different sorts of capo, they all accomplish the same task. For someone just experimenting with the guitar, you can get away with a cheap option, but don’t get something so flimsy it will break! For those who might be using their capo in a performance setting, you’ll want to look into the sturdier, high-end models as they are far more reliable.
The electronic tuner is nothing short of a modern miracle for guitarists. Even if your guitarist giftee already has a tuner (or a good ear,) the different types of guitar tuners can come in handy in a variety of different situations.
There are three types of guitar tuner that are commonly used:
Audio Assemble Recommends: KLIQ MetroPitch – Metronome Tuner
Audio Tuner: An audio tuner has a small microphone it uses to listen for a tone. These have to pickup the noise of your instrument, so they don’t work in noisy environments. Best used for practicing acoustic guitar at home.
Audio Assemble Recommends: Snark SN-5 Tuner
- Vibration Tuner: A vibration tuner clips onto a guitar and senses the pitch of the note being played through the vibrations in the wood. These are very accurate and work even in noisy environments. These are great for electric or acoustic guitar and can be used in a performance setting.
Audio Assemble Recommends: Polyphonic LED Guitar Tuner
- Pedal Tuner: A pedal tuner is a guitar pedal with a digital tuner built-in. It “listens” to the signal coming from your guitar cable. These are extremely accurate and the best way of tuning for electric guitarists or acoustic guitarists who are plugged in.
Audio Assemble Recommends: Hand Held Electronic Effect Bow
The E-Bow, or “energy bow” is a device straight out of science fiction. It generates a small electromagnetic field which, when held over a guitar string, causes it to vibrate. The result is a sound you can’t achieve in any other way, something like a violin bow but entirely its own.
If nothing else, the E-Bow is a really cool toy. But it has found its way onto records by notable guitarists such as John Petrucci, Adrian Belew, and even The Edge. It can create ethereal, spaced out droning passages, or a guitarist can take advantage of the infinite sustain it produces to play whacky lead lines.
While the E-Bow certainly feels most at home with an electric guitar and a generous helping of effects like delay, reverb, and distortion, the device can work without any amplification at all. It can bring its strange higher-dimensional humming to an acoustic guitar with no amplifier at all. You could even give it a go on a bass guitar for some bizarre low-end.
Audio Assemble Recommends:Dunlop 210 Tempered Glass Slide
Slide guitar is some what of a niche playing style, but it is something every guitarist should experiment with! Sliding about the strings and getting those raunchy blues sounds or coming at it slow and gentle for those sweet, delicate country slides is a joy no matter how well you manage to do it.
A slide is a small, inexpensive gift that can inspire a lot of creativity. It could even be the nudge the guitarist needs to explore an entirely new playing style they hadn’t considered yet!
Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire the next Derek Trucks.
Gig Bag or Flight Case
Audio Assemble Recommends: Gator Cases Pro-Go
Whether a guitar is a working instrument out on the road or just something that stays at home, having a proper place to store it is vital. But especially for those routinely taking their guitars to practice, performances, clinics, and events, it is essential to have proper protection for your gear in transport.
High quality gig bags are ideal for going to and from locations not too far away from home, like local gigs or music lessons. They are lightweight and don’t add a lot of bulk like a flight case, but will still prevent the guitar from taking too much damage from any bumps and scrapes it might get along the way. Since they can usually be carried on the back, these are ideal for the musician on the move. You can even get a double-gig bag for carrying two guitars at once.
Flight cases are a bit more of an investment. As a long-term storage solution, or as a means of protecting your guitar while its on the road or in the sky, a flight case is always the way to go. Be sure when selecting a flight case that it is suited to the make and model of guitar that will be used with it! Many of them are form-fitted to specific guitars and brands.
Have Fun With It!
Whatever gift you decide to get for your guitarist friend or family member, be sure to put your own personal touch on it! Find them something that you know they will enjoy opening and enjoy putting to use.
Whether it is something immediately practical like a pack of strings, something that will inspire them to new levels of musicianship, or just a little something to show them you want to encourage their interest, giving your guitarist a musical gift is sure to be a winning way to brighten their day.
Good luck gifting!