Buying a gift for a guitar player can certainly feel intimidating. After all, like most musicians, guitar players are often very particular about the sounds they create. But don’t let that stop you. The truth is, there’s a plethora of guitar-related gifts available — from the useful to the novel to the simply awesome — that will make any six-string shredder, strummer, or plucker pucker up with delight. Here are some ideas to get you started.
After spending a couple of decades in a cubicle, office, warehouse, or other typical work environment, many experience the unmistakable yearning for freedom and self-expression of the artistic life. If they missed the boat early on, this is the perfect time to pick up a musical instrument. The great thing about a travel guitar is that, well, it travels. So if they travel for work, they don't have to leave their rockstar alter-ego in the basement back home. Now they can finally live their dream of going on tour with the band, even if it’s just a one-man band.
The EBow is a handheld device that uses a small electromagnetic field to vibrate the guitar’s strings, so you can play without picking, strumming, plucking or touching the strings at all. Moving and holding the EBow in different ways allows you to create a variety of different unique effects, from ephemeral orchestra-like sounds to undulating synth noises. The EBow opens up all kinds of sonic possibilities that can’t be recreated with just your hands.
For a luthier, a player with multiple guitars, or anyone else who has to restring frequently, an automatic string winder is almost a necessity. Cranking the tuning pegs to get the guitar’s strings up to tension (or unwinding them before removing) is the most tedious part of the whole string changing process, and this drill-like contraption helps to get it done in a fraction of the time. NOTE: This isn’t a beginner’s tool, because you need to know when to stop tightening the string so that it doesn’t snap. But for an experienced guitarist/guitar tech who restrings guitars often, this is worth its weight in gold.
In the world of guitar amplifiers, Marshall is one of the most iconic brands in history. But even the classic Marshall stacks seen on stage in the 60s and 70s fell short in one area: they were rarely filled with beer. This Marshall mini fridge rectifies that oversight in the coolest way possible. Is this the ultimate appliance for the musician’s man (or woman) cave? We think so.
It’s estimated that up to half of a guitar player’s waking time is spent rummaging through tabletop clutter and jacket pockets for a stray guitar pick. A pick punch goes a long way toward solving this massive time-sucking problem by allowing them to make guitar picks out of anything the punch is capable of cutting through. But like any great tool, it’s only helpful if used responsibly. If they start attacking the credit cards and window blinds, it might be time for an intervention.
Even the best guitars need a little work every once in a while to stay in top playing condition. And you don’t need the most sophisticated tools in the world to make the necessary adjustments or provide the proper care — but you do need the right ones. This Ernie Ball tool kit provides the essentials in a handy little carrying case.
A proper neck support makes working on a guitar — including doing simple things like changing the strings — immeasurably easier. This collapsible tripod support from Planet Waves lets you turn any surface into a convenient and secure work station.
For most guitar players, it’s not just an instrument — it’s a lifestyle. So not all guitar gifts have to contribute directly to making music. This opens up a whole wide array of clothing and accessory options. Guitar players especially like to rep their favorite brands, so find out whose gear they really dig and get them some great swag from those companies.
Different guitar players often have vastly different ideas about how to care for a guitar. Some are obsessively protective, while others don’t mind beating and battering their instrument until it looks like a used doorstop. If you know a guitar player who protects their axe like a newborn baby, this maintenance kit from Dunlop will help them keep it looking shiny and pristine for years.
The creative process is all about embracing the unexpected and trying novel combinations of familiar elements. But all artists get stuck in a rut every once in a while. This set of musician’s dice is a great way to help a blocked guitar player or other musical composer force their way out of the doldrums by accepting the random dictates of blind chance. It’s a technique used by many great musicians, and every creator should have some method of incorporating it in their arsenal.
As a beginning guitar player, one of the easiest ways to learn new songs is to look up tabs or videos on your phone. But positioning your phone can be tricky, especially if you have to continually look back and forth between the screen and your own fingers on the fretboard. A smartphone capo allows you to keep your phone in perfect position to easily read lyrics and chord diagrams while you’re playing.
If there’s one gift on this list that will make any electric guitar player squeal with happiness, it’s this one. Given its tiny stature, this might look like a toy, but it’s not. The sound of the Orange Micro Terror is nothing short of amazing. Even through the 8” Orange speaker cabinet (pictured) it delivers plenty of wallop and loads of genuine vintage Orange tone. But hook it up to a full-size speaker cabinet, and prepare to be utterly blown away. Not to mention, have you ever seen something look so adorable and awesome at the same time?