Practical gifts for the discerning guitarist
The problems presented when buying gifts for guitarists are plentiful. With so many different instruments available, and so many smaller sub-sections of accessories and novelty items underneath that, gift-buying can be a nightmare to navigate your way around. How do you know if you’re buying something that will actually be used, as opposed sit on a shelf for the next few months before it finds its way onto eBay? Hopefully we can help. We’re all musicians here at Dawsons, so we know the difference between novelty gift and practical tool. Better to buy something that the recipient will grow to love, right? Let’s take a look at a few dead certs which the guitarist in your life will love.
Any stringed instrument is only as good as it can be when it is nicely tuned up. For that, you’re going to need a tuner. These often come in the form of foot pedals, however the technology behind clip on tuners, which attach to the guitar itself, has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years. The TC Electronic Polytune Clip is perhaps one of the best on the market, yet doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It uses the same advanced calibration features as TC’s other Polytune pedals, yet can be slung in a gig bag or backpack and carted around with ease. Tuners are a great present because they are often the unsung hero of a guitarists setup, and a good quality portable one like the Polytune Clip will be the gift that keeps on giving.
Blackstar is one of the hottest names in the guitar world, and the success of this tiny little amp is one of the many reasons why. The Blackstar Fly 3 is a 3 watt micro amplifier, which guitarists love on account of its size, versatility and the wide range of great sounds it can produce. It boasts a wonderfully straightforward ‘plug and play’ vibe, and is equally at home as a speaker for your smartphone or tablet as it is powering a guitar. Battery power and the ability to chain a separate Fly 3 speaker together for full stereo sound makes this a very tasty proposition.
For acoustic guitar players, the IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic interface is a must have. This tiny plectrum shaped device attaches to the guitar’s soundhole and enables it to be recorded into a smartphone or tablet device. As an entry into the hugely rewarding world of home recording it is fantastic; the guitarist simply attaches the iRig, plugs into their device and uses one of the many recording apps to capture their playing. IK Multimedia has also produced a range of similar devices for capturing electric guitars and microphones, which are well worth looking at too.
Despite looking like some kind of tortuous medical device, the Planet Waves Varigrip is actually an amazing tool for guitarists. Featuring four adjustable spring loaded buttons, users can begin working on building up finger strength which will enable them to play for longer before they get tired. It’s small enough that it could be carried around in a coat pocket, meaning the user can be working on their finger strength and stamina when they’re watching TV, at work or waiting for a bus.
Guitarists love pedals because of the way they can transform the sound produced by the guitar. The Boss DS-1 is perhaps one of the best known of such pedals, and has been used by countless players over the years. Every pedal board needs a decent quality overdrive or distortion pedal on it to provide tonal variety, and there are few better to start with than the Boss DS-1.
If the guitar or bass is ever going to leave the house, then it really needs to be transported in a way that will protect it from bumps, scrapes and the occasional drop. Gig bags are a great way to carry your instrument around, and padded ones like the Stagg STB-10 offer increased protection and are easy to hold. They also boast useful pockets for carrying essentials like leads, plectrums and spare strings. We have cases for most types of guitar and bass – check out the full selection here.
Another essential on the list for guitarists is a decent strap. The old adage about buying good, buying once stands true here; yes, there are cheaper straps around but few can match the Gibson Slingshot for quality, durability and craftsmanship. It has the kudos of being made by one of the biggest names in the guitar world, and will ensure the guitar can be held safely and securely while also looking pretty darn cool.
We hope this list has provided a bit of inspiration if you’re looking for gifts for guitarists. You see, we’re a practical bunch and favour usability over novelty. Anything from the list above will be well loved and, more importantly, well used for years to come. If you’re still stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our website or call 01925 582420 and speak with one of our product specialists who’ll be able to help you find that perfect gift for a musician.