It’s that time of year again, and the madness of Christmas shopping is upon us. We all want to make our loved-ones happy with the right gift, but some people are just so difficult; yes we know they are mad about guitar, but how would you know what present to get?
Well, we’re all guitarists too, and we’ve got some suggestions for you… from stocking-fillers to main presents, we’ve given it some thought. Read on!
1 – Black T-shirt
You can’t go wrong with a black T-shirt; they’re cheap, useful and come with just about every design ever conceived. Most bigger guitar manufacturers offer such things, but you can also get them printed yourself if you have the perfect photograph. Here are some of this seasons favourites
2 – A Barstool?
A what? This one might surprise you, but these really are useful for guitar players. I have one next to my amp at all times, and you’d be amazed how useful they are. The design is nothing too unusual, but the metal footrest is position perfectly for playing, allowing you to just sit and play. With your foot on it, the guitar no longer slips down your leg, no accidental string dampening etc. And with your favourite guitar and amp branding these make a very stylish addition to any music room. Available with logos by Fender, Gibson, Ampeg etc
3 – Fancy Guitar Picks
We’ve discussed stone guitar picks on this site before. They can be used to create interesting tonal effects and are very attractive in their own right. A lot of players haven’t tried them, as they are a little bit more expensive than normal picks. The perfect Christmas present?
4 – A Leather Guitar Strap
There are a lot of very high quality guitar straps out there – something often overlooked by guitarists – but a good strap helps keep your guitar in place, stops it sliding around or neckdiving, and most importantly stops it falling off. There are so many patterns and styles, but we recommend leather; they are comfortable, hardwaring, secure, and exude quality – maybe a little too expensive for a younger player to buy themselves, so an ideal Christmas gift.
5 – Levys Deluxe Leather Gig Bag
OK, this is one for the guitarist who has everything… expensive, but a real piece of luxury, and great protection for a really loved guitar… quality that will last a lifetime! Levys Deluxe leather gig bags are available for guitars, basses and acoustics and come in several colors: Tan, Black, Dark Brown etc. These cases provide a great deal of protection; maybe not as muchy as a hardcase, but perfect for taking on aircraft as hand luggage, and very, very stylish to boot. Exceptional quality, phenomenal protection – we love these!
6 – Beginners Guitar Outfits
So you’re thinking about getting a guitar for a youngster to learn on? there are some great deals out there just now, but you’ll need to consider a few points.
Firstly acoustic or electric? Electric guitars need amplifiers, which will add to the cost, and can you and your neighbours take the noise? But if your little one prefers One Direction to Ed Sheeran (Or Grandad prefers Jimi Henddrix to Bob Dylan) getting the wrong type of guitar might ruin all your good intentions. Even though you may be selling this again before next Christmas, getting anything too cheap might be counterproductive; remember this is a musical instrument, and you don’t want it to be unplayable. Learning a musical instrument is hard enough without having to fight your guitar!
There are a lot of good starter packages out there, that include smaller practice amps, and we recommend the Squier Affinity Strat with Fender Frontman FM-10G Amp – this package includes a great guitar and amp (both made by Fender) plus a cable, electronic tuner, instructional DVD, guitar stand, gig bag, and picks. How they do this for the money is quite remarkable! The Stratocaster is one the best guitar designs of all time, and this guitar will happily see them through their entire guitar playing life. I started on a Squier Strat, and despite having a large guitar collection, it is still one of my favourite players.
7 – Beginners Acoustic Guitar
Or for a starter acoustic, how about the Fender FA-100. A quality Fender Dreadnought acoustic at a very affordable price. How wrong can you go with a Fender? And what a price.
8 – Guitar Strings
All guitarists need strings. They deteriorate a lot quicker than some people realise, and have a major impact on guitar sound. And far too often players throw on the cheapest strings they can find as quickly as possible. But what if your loved one is really serious about guitar playing. There are some very nice strings out there, at a wide range of prices. As Christmas is about doing something special, we recommend some very highly regarded strings; hard to find in regular stores, and certainly not cheap. Maybe a little too expensive for the average player to stretch too, but Thomastik have a fantastic reputation for guitar and bass strings, that will certainly help any serious guitarist get the best out of their axe. For rock players, check out Thomastik Power Brights, and for other players, try the George Benson Signature set. These are expensive strings, but a real treat, and frankly, worth every cent. Thomastik strings are on my Christmas list most years!
9 – Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder
These are just so useful. Whether rehearsing with the band, gigging, or coming up with new ideas. This great little device has a great reputation for capturing the moment. Whether for personal records, or to spread virally to the world, this great little piece of kit is the modern musicians BEST friend. FANTASTIC!
10 – Fender Shot Glasses
Ok, so the guitarist in your life has everything. But they like a drink? So what about some other merchandise with a guitar theme. How about some branded shot glasses? Chuck in a bottle of JD too?