Okay.. it’s that time of year where I’m providing a Public Service Announcement to your friends and family. As a guitarist.. or musician for that matter, it can be hard to purchase gifts for you. Everyone knows you’re a musician and want to get you something relating to your passion. But that passion is very personal – where friends and family might not know exactly what you’re into.. and often, those things you *really* want are way out of peoples’ budgets. So what often happens is you get cheesy gifts relating to your craft. Here comes the guitar ties, the guitar sweaters, etc. Those are nice, and the thought does count, but are utterly useless.
If you know what I’m talking about, you might want to share this post in a nice way. For me, the perfect gifts to musicians are items that we can actually use, that are affordable and are generally things that can always have a home. I also, like gifts that aren’t the funnest to purchase (for us) but great to get as gifts. I’ve assembled a few items below.
Okay.. now I’m speaking to the friend or family….
Gift Certificate – To me, the no brainer gift is the gift certificate. An Amazon gift cert will allow that musician to score anything they need. Some people like to purchase gift certs, while others like to purchase physical gifts, but if you’re short on time, this is an easy slam dunk.
Guitar Picks – Okay, these are great, but you need to be smart about this.Guitar picks aren’t the same. They vary in thickness, material, etc. So it’s important to get the right picks. If you have access to their studio, basement, etc.. you should see them laying all over the place. Most picks will have the information (specifically the brand and gauge) on the picks. Dunlop Tortex picks are extremely popular and you can get the information based on the color. For me, I use ONLY the Dunlop .88s so those are the green picks for example. If you know what they like.. get a gross (72 picks).. can’t go wrong!
Instrument Cables – We can all use cables. Bandmates loose them. They can fail over time. A musician might need extra cables for a specific recording session, etc. In my opinion you can’t have too many cables. I prefer Rattlesnake Cable Company cables (disclosure – I own/run this company). These are great cables and make ideal gifts. You can purchase those at Amazon, but if you wanted something specific or level up with a gift tin, etc., you can order direct from the site.
Patch Cables – Man, you can never have too many patch cables. These can be very specific musician, but to have a set of ‘just in case’ patches laying around is good. I would avoid the molded patches (HOSA) and go with something that can be repaired if needed. The Donner could be a right fit. $20 for 6-Pack for example.
Guitar Tools – Oh man, how many guitarists do I know that need a tool while on the road. I feel like all of them. There are certain “must have” tools to do basic maintenance on guitars. Having a simple kit can be a life saver. We’re talking wire cutters, string winder, allen wrenches, screw driver, etc. The Kenley Pro Guitar Care Tool Kit is exactly what I’m talking about. Compact with all the goods. Can fit in a guitar case, etc.
String Cleaner – I had an opportunity to try this product a few years ago, and I was blown away. I like *live* strings, and over time – sweat, dirt, blood, beer will coat the strings.. and they get dirty and sound *dead*. So you replace with a new set. BUT this string cleaner is great for getting the grime/oil off and giving you many more sessions before a restring. For $10.. perfect stocking stuffer.
Guitar Strings – This is an item.. that you need to get right or it’s a fail. When dealing with strings, this is super personal. Brand and gauge are key. Again, like picks, you should be able to find sets laying around in the rock room. If you know exactly what your player uses, then I highly recommend the bulk set. 25 sets in a box will last that player a long time. Now they don’t have to buy strings, can save those funds up for a new pedal/guitar that they’re after.
Pedalboard Velcro – This is another one that can be super useful. BUT.. only if your player has a pedalboard. Typically guitarists with a pedalboard will start swapping out pedals or adding new pedals to the board. To mount those pedals, they usually have velcro for this. Over time, the velcro that came with the pedalboard will slowly be used up (I give hunks to guitar player friends all the time). Give them a fresh stock of back up velcro. Again, perfect stocking stuffer for $10.
Guitar Tuner – This is odd for me to recommend this. All guitarists on the planet already have a tuner. Why do I recommend this? Because having a backup tuner can be pretty great. I personally own 3 tuners. I keep one on my board. I have one in my basement rock room, when I’m just plucking on random guitars and not wanting to pull out the whole set up, and I have one in a cable case as a backup, which I’ve had to use or lend to people at shows. It’s never a bad thing, and as they say – it *should* be the most important pedal you own. I would highly recommend the TC Electronic Polytune Mini.
Pedal Kit – Many guitarists out there want to tinker with electronics. If that’s the case for the person you’re buying for.. a pedal kit might be something fun. Basically, you can purchase full pedal kits (enclosure, PCB, components, hook up wire, switches, etc) where you can assemble it and call it your own. I would make sure that they’re set up for this first – have soldering iron and show interest in this. If that’s the case, I recommend General Guitar Gadgets. I would think something global cool, yet not too difficult is the way to go. I would recommend the Big Muff build
Item to consider – Guitar Straps. I did not add this to the main list, because straps can be extremely personal as well. The musician might be looking for a specific fit or style, so unless you really know what the person wants, this might be a gamble.
All of these items are under $100 and I know would be much more appreciated than your typical guitar related gag gifts out there. Most of these serve a function and would help a musician save up for bigger personal items rather than dealing with maintenance.
Let me know what you think by commenting below!!