The holidays are the best occasion to spoil the guitarist in your life. As eternal students of the instrument, we’re constantly on the lookout for the next piece of gear to propel our playing forward. It’s greatly inspiring to have something new to play with. It can also be somewhat demoralizing desiring a particular tone, knowing that there are tools out there to achieve it, but not having them in your hands. So this holiday season, make sure you treat this guitarist with the proper gifts he or she will enjoy for years to come.
Never enough guitars
The number of instruments a guitarist owns usually only grows. This is because they are so different from one another. In both the electric and acoustic worlds, there are many varieties, and each type offers something different. Experimenting with multiple axes has also the added benefit of deepening the playing ability and knowledge of the instrument. So this might be one of the best gifts you can possibly offer.
If the person you are shopping for has only an acoustic guitar, it may be a good idea to look into electric variants. This also applies if the individual in question has been complaining about lacking a certain type of model. A nice all-around introduction is a Stratocaster type instrument. It presents diverse sounds, and it’s easy to maintain, and even to upgrade. It’s perfect for a wide diversity of musical styles, including rock, pop, and funkier music.
Another good alternative or addition is the Telecaster. While they are simple designs, they have a lot of mojo and will be a welcomed add-on to any arsenal. For fans of the Les Paul, the Epiphone Special II offers a lot of value and will especially please fans of rock & roll. You can read my full review here.
For a first acoustic, it’s wise to invest in a versatile model that will cover a wide range of sound and accommodate multiple playing styles. A dreadnought-style guitar is an ideal selection. The Epiphone FT-100 presents tremendous bang for your buck, considering that it has tone woods used on much more expensive choices. You can hear the FT-100 in action here.
Nowadays, technology has greatly increased to offer very powerful practising tools. For example, many products offer modelling techniques that recreate the tones of legendary and popular amplifiers. The Vox VX15GT is an excellent unit that demonstrates how far technology has led us. Its excellent sound and integrated effects will provide guitarists of all levels many years of sonic exploration. It also presents a modern headphone output that enables silent practice or convincing direct recording when you pair it with an audio interface. You can read my full review here.
An interesting alternative is the Joyo DC-15. I tried it recently, and I was quite impressed with all the possibilities. It’s one of the only amps that includes drum tracks. These are great to work on your rhythm and to incorporate different styles into your playing. My review will be available soon.
Different kinds of pedals
There are an intimidating number of pedals on the market. Thankfully, there are some staples available that have been around for a long time. It’s wise to look into multi-effect solutions, because they include the most common sounds, and they make one awesome Holiday gift. Boss has been around for a very long time and has an excellent track record. Amongst its very large selection, the GT-1 offers an amazing value thanks to its versatility and sound quality. For more demanding guitarists, you might want to investigate Line 6’s Pod Go, which is based on the very popular HX technology.
You can find an enormous amount of affordable, stocking-stuffing type gifts in this section. Accessories are great. Guitarists can always benefit from extra packs of strings, cables, and picks. If you are buying strings, make sure you select the gauge (size) that the guitarist is used to. If you can’t get your hands on one of their packs, you’ll have to ask the player in question about it or try to find another way to know for sure. It doesn’t stop there though; there are a lot of other useful things you can consider. The Pitchcrow-G is a very compact clip-on tuner that can be attached to any type of stringed instrument. You can read more about it here. There are also great options like guitar cases, stands, and straps. They are very welcome additions to a guitarist’s gear inventory.
A few other things that I like in particular (and that I think a lot of players would also enjoy) are the iRig accessories. There are a few of them that are intended for guitar, such as the iRig HD 2. This is a digital interface that will turn a computer or mobile device into a powerful workstation. It will take the electric signal of a guitar and convert it to digital to communicate with an awesome rig for practising and recording. It’s really an awesome tool to have, and I highly recommend it as a gift this Holiday season.
One last thing that comes to mind when I think of a great gift idea is lessons. There are a ton of excellent options for those who can’t find the time to go to face-to-face private sessions with a teacher. For example, Fender has a great platform called Fender Play. It has well-made and clear instructional videos to learn the basics, exercises, and song tutorials. They even created simplified arrangements of popular tunes to make a large repertoire available to beginners and intermediate players. I’ve taken it for a spin (not too long ago), and you can read my impressions here.
As I finish up writing this article, I’m realizing that shopping for the guitarist in your life is a lot easier than for any other person. There are so many great ideas, and they have a high probability of being memorable and useful. Let me know in the comments section what has worked for you in the past.
Make sure you check out all the guitar gear on Best Buy’s website.