It’s that time of the year again! The holiday season is in full swing, and we’ll be ringing in 2016 before you know it. Haven’t started your holiday shopping yet? Don’t fret. If you’re looking for an awesome gift for the guitar player in your life, we’ve got some ideas for you in this article. Here are some of our favorite gifts for guitar players:
A New Guitar (or Upgrade)
Your first guitar is something you’ll always remember, whether it’s a gently-used acoustic passed down from a family member, or a shiny new electric ax. If you have the budget for a new instrument, it’s a gift that’s sure to be a hit.
Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to choosing between an acoustic or electric guitar, and do some research before you start shopping. Not all guitars are created equal, and often the best model comes down to personal preference. For a total beginner, an electric is a great choice. Since the strings are thinner and require less effort to press down, beginners generally find them easier to play. Buying for a child? Kids (and even some adults with smaller hands) may need a smaller body and scale length to avoid straining the hands. Keep your budget in mind, but also remember that you get what you pay for. As a general rule, you can expect to pay about $300-$500 for a quality instrument. (You can learn more about buying a guitar in this article.)
Buying for a more experienced musician is a little more risky, since by that point, players might be loyal to a certain brand or have their eye on a specific model. If you’re not a guitarist yourself (or, if you don’t know exactly what they want), consider some of the accessories or gear listed below, and leave the actual instrument purchase to them.
A guitar is just the starting point – there are several key accessories that every guitarist should own. A tuner and extra strings and picks are great gifts for beginner guitar players, while more advanced players might be eyeing effects pedals or amps. For more ideas, check out some of our gear recommendations in this podcast with guitar tech guru Steve McKinley.
Good guitar players know the importance of taking care of their gear, especially if you’re running around town from gig to gig. You can find prepackaged kits to purchase (like this one from Gibson), or simply throw together your own. Must-haves include extra strings, a string winder, string cutter, guitar polish or cleaner, and a soft cotton or microfiber cloth for wiping down the guitar.
Online Music Lessons with JamPlay
Everyone can use a little guitar guidance now and then, no matter if you’re a total beginner or you’ve been playing for years. Offer a helping hand by giving the guitarist in your life a JamPlay membership or gift card, and they’ll get instant access to thousands of prerecorded online guitar lessons, as well as live, interactive video guitar lessons. Members can search the video archives for a specific style or song they want to learn, view the new videos we add each day, practice lead guitar riffs over our library of jam tracks, and much more. (Trust us, it will keep them busy!)
Extras to Experiment With
Has your guitarist hit a plateau? It might be time to mix things up. The great thing about the guitar is that once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s relatively easy to pick up another similar instrument – like a banjo, mandolin, or ukulele. It’s an easy way to broaden your musical horizon, without having to learn an entirely new skillset. Plus, who can resist a crowd-pleasing uke rendition of “Mele Kalikimaka”? Hit your local music shop and you’ll find many inexpensive models that are excellent to noodle around on.
Unique Stocking Stuffers
So what if the guitarist in your life already has everything? You can always find inexpensive guitar-related gifts for quick stocking stuffers. CafePress has tons of great gift ideas, including this acoustic guitar iPhone case, this guitar tree ornament, and this custom journal for the budding songwriter. You can also try browsing Pinterest or Etsy for additional fun and unique items.
With the right instrument and gear, you can help your musical friend or family member with a lifetime of learning and having fun. And there are tons of other gift ideas out there! Get creative, and you’re sure to earn some brownie points with whoever is on your list.
Good luck, and happy holidays!