Christmas is just around the corner, and that means I’ve been fielding the annual question of “Hey Jonathan, what do you want for Christmas?”
Strangely enough, I always have a hard time coming up with answers for that question, but it got me to thinking – what would be some cool ideas for stocking stuffers or gifts for guitar players?
Well, I’ve got a few ideas here. A few of them are even on my own list! =)
1. Strap Locks
Strap locks are super handy for your guitar – a close friend of mine once dropped his $2500 GNL (yeah… it broke in half) because the guitar strap fell off. Sucky way to learn a lesson. Strap locks guarantee your guitar is never coming off unless you want it too. They’re pretty easy to install (if you’re not sure, just bring them in and get a guitar mechanic to do it for you) and they’re pretty cheap too.
2. Electronic Guitar Tuner
If you know a guitar player that doesn’t have an electronic guitar tuner, then this one is a no-brainer. Electronic tuners are excellent because they don’t depend on your ear unlike tuning forks and the like. They consistently get you exactly in tune (though like any tool – you have to use it correctly!). Big benefit? If your guitar is electric or has a pickup, you can plug it in and peacefully tune your guitar right in the middle of a 120 decibel rock concert without difficulty.
3. Guitar Stand
Don’t like always digging your guitar out of the case each time you want to play it? Have an amazingly beautiful gem of an axe that you simply want to display to the world? Or do you simply want some place safe to put your guitar while you run to the bathroom in the middle of a practice session? A guitar stand is your answer…
4. Guitar Strap
At under $4 this workhorse of the guitar world is truly a great stocking stuffer. Nothing fancy here – we’re talking about a plain black strap. However, if you can squeeze an extra few bucks out of your budget, you’ll likely find something more colorful, or even leather. Straps are a cool way of adding a bit of personality to your guitar. My personal favorite strap is the one I use on my electric – its white leather with black music notes on it. I think Stevie Ray Vaughn used one just like it! Here’s One Just Like It
5. Guitar Capo
One of these days I’m going to do a lesson on using a guitar capo. Capos let you instantly transpose a song into another key, and they’re tons of fun because you can get some really crazy tunings out of your guitar by capoing only some of the strings. Most commonly though, you can use a capo to play a song that is in F for instance as if it were in open E (chords are MUCH easier) simply by putting the capo at the first fret. Great for guitar players of all levels.
6. Guitar Strings
Buying a guitar player more strings is like getting a ‘normal’ person more socks. Eventually they’re going to need more, and what better place to get resupplied than their Christmas stocking? I’ve put a link here for D’Addario light acoustic strings, which is what I use personally on my acoustic, however if you click through you’ll find electric strings there as well. I was surprised to see Amazon selling three sets for less than $20 – usually I pay more locally! A quick tip for keeping your guitar playing fresh – replace your strings often. I try to do mine once a month to keep that great sounding tone.
7. Guitar Picks
Last, but not least (though definitely cheapest!) are guitar picks. Every guitar player needs them (well – some of you might be hardcore finger pickers I guess) and these things are always getting lost or worn out. You can get a nice pack of picks for a few bucks, and why not throw in one of those handy pick holder gizmos as well? Every guitar player has their own preference on the hardness of their picks – personally I prefer a medium-hard pick… something around .83 or .88 mm.
Well that’s it for this year’s stocking stuffers list for guitar players! Any other great ideas? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!
…and a Merry Christmas to you :)!