Someone you know is a guitarist, and he or she is celebrating some special occasion. You’re supposed to show up with a gift in your hands, but no good ideas are coming to your mind. It’s far from being an easy task. Guitarists are very picky when it comes to the stuff they use. So unless you know they want something, in particular, you’ll guess it’s best to stay away from buying them any sort of guitar equipment. If you buy them the wrong thing even with the best intentions, it will likely just end up collecting dust.
Of course, much of this depends on the age and on the personal relationship with the person. If you’re buying a present for your kid who’s just starting out, an amp or a distortion pedal might be just the thing they need. In that case, things are much simpler. If you’re in the market for an amp check out our list of best guitar amps for beginners. Perhaps the person needs a tuner? Check out these couple of tuners that will do the job well.
With that out of the way – let’s see some great gift ideas for guitar players!
This might be one of the best gifts you can possibly buy for a guitarist. It’s just one of those presents, sort of like a wristwatch, where it ends up reminding you of the person who gave it to you. Instead of buying them a random piece of equipment that they might never use, buy them something that’s more of an accessory and it won’t affect their sound or the way they play in any way. A guitar strap is something they don’t need to actually use in order to enjoy it. It can be appreciated even if it’s just hanging on the wall or beside a guitar stand.
A great plus is also that there are so much different straps to choose from. This means that your gift can be relatively unique and therefore thought of as being more personal. You can choose from lots of different groovy 60s style straps, like the strap that Jimi Hendrix used during the Woodstock festival. If the person prefers simplicity, you can buy them one of those stylish leather guitar straps. Whatever you choose, don’t cheap out. Even the most premium straps are still relatively cheap compared to most of the other stuff on the gear market.
Personalized Guitar Picks
Psychologists argue that the most important word to any given person is their own name. If you decide to play this card, the easiest thing to do it is to simply buy a set of guitar picks from Amazon and decide what you want the have written on them. You’ll get a set of six picks of medium thickness, with the requested words written on one side. The picks are of relatively decent quality, and they are not a gimmick, meaning that the person can actually use them to play.
As these are relatively cheap, it’s maybe a good choice to pair them with a Pickholder. This is a small device for organizing and storing guitar picks. Since most of us end up losing picks at a surprisingly fast rate, we’re sure that the person will more than appreciate having one in their arsenal. There’s a number of different models to choose from, but the one below seems to be the most popular among the users.
Guitar Pick Punch
Another neat thing related to picks is that there are products available which allow you to make your own picks using whatever material you have on hands. You can use old vinyl records, expired visa cards, or basically anything else that has some thickness to it. If the person is creative, something like a pick punch enables them to make picks that will be completely unique to them as the possibilities are almost limitless.
Guitar pick punch is a relatively simple tool. It basically works on the same principle as a paper puncher which we all are much more familiar with. Because of its simplicity, there’s not much variety on the market in terms of models available. We’ve chosen the most popular pick punchers to display below, although you should make sure to explore other options as well.
Guitar Tool Kits
Although some people may opt in for something like a cleaning kit instead, the fact that most of them do not cost more than $10, leaves most us thinking that we’re not investing enough into this present. That’s why a guitar maintenance kit is by miles a better choice. It’s way more practical and it contains the stuff which most of us guitarists are always too lazy and forgetful to actually purchase for ourselves. Most importantly, contrary to the cleaning kit, it only suggests positive things about the person.
The guitar toolkits are pretty straight-forward. You get a couple of really useful tools like the string winder, wire cutter, and a ruler for measuring the height of the strings (action). The kits that are popular come in a neat carrying bag, and with the exception of a couple of tools, they are all largely the same. So if the person you’re buying this present for is a die-hard Fender fan you can buy them the Fender Custom Shop toolkit, which will cost you a bit more, but otherwise, Ernie Ball Musician’s Tool Kit offers a much better value for the money and in our opinion is the best option out there.
Books are probably the most common presents of them all, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are regarded as impersonal and lazy. Buying a book for someone tells a lot about what you think of that person, and how well you know him or her. It shows whether you listen when they talk about the stuff that personally interests them and whether you care enough to put some thought into choosing the right book based on the information you’ve ‘secretly’ gathered.
Unfortunately, in the world of the guitars, it’s usually not that easy to choose a book to gift to someone. This is mostly due to the fact that there really isn’t that much to choose from. The simplest and perhaps the best way is to buy a personal biography of the guitarists that the person idolizes (for instance, Eric Clapton has written one himself, as did many others). The alternative is to buy them an instructional book. The latter is highly valuable and practical for anyone who thinks seriously about playing the guitar, and given that they like reading, they will appreciate it and more importantly actually use it to better themselves.
Although we said previously that you should avoid buying gear such as pedals and strings, this one might be an exception. There are some things to consider before buying this gift since it is a little bit tricky because not everyone will need one. Regardless, those who do need it will without any doubts feel appreciative. So take note – you should only buy this if the person already owns an amp and plays through it since without it this pedal is pretty much useless.
A looper pedal is a relatively simple piece of equipment, and all it does is let you record a sequence of you playing the guitar and play that same sequence back to you. This basically means that a person can record themselves playing rhythm parts of a song, and while playing it back through this pedal play the leads along with the rhythm that was previously recorded. Once he or she learns more advanced stuff on the guitar, it opens up all kinds of possibilities. The person can start working on their improvisation skills and getting a hang of that feeling of playing in an actual band.
Lastly, we have something targeted at more special occasions, like anniversaries or big personal accomplishments, where you have the time to plan in advance. The perfect scenario would, of course, be the one in which you know the exact model of the guitar which the person considers his favorite, or you at least know who the person’s favorite guitarists are – so you can order a miniature replica of one of their guitars. For instance, people who like Eddie Van Halen are likely to appreciate a replica of his Frankenstrat guitar.
If you do have some time to plan ahead, we would certainly recommend that you contact someone who does this professionally, as that way you can basically order anything you want since those guitars are not mass produced and special effort is put in each every one of them. Our friend, Thierry, is probably one of the best in the business, and he’ll make you the most beautiful miniature replica given that you supply him with decent photos and details about what exactly you want. If you don’t have the time to wait for the guitar to be done or you prefer a more simple approach, a company named AxeHeaven also sells pre-built models on Amazon. These are far from being as good as something Thierry would make for you, but they are decent enough.