Gifts for the guitar lovers in your life
We’re hurtling ever faster towards the end of another year. Naturally this means Christmas is approaching fast and you’re looking for inspiration. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
We know the guitar world is large and rather daunting, particularly if you know nothing about the instrument yourself. So many items, so many brands…where to start? Let’s try and make it easy for you.
Let’s assume an actual, physical real life guitar or amplifier isn’t on the agenda. The reason being that a guitar is a very personal purchase, usually the culmination of many months of testing, researching, trying out different models and coming to a decision. To go out on a limb and buy one as a present is a risky option; sometimes the guitars which we like the look of simply aren’t suitable to play and you could end up with a very expensive instrument which doesn’t get the love it deserves.
If you’re dead-set on putting some serious money down on a guitar, we’d instead suggest gift vouchers. And yep, don’t worry, we do them. The lucky recipient can then come into one of our 10 stores and get proper advice from our product experts.
So, with that cleared up, let’s instead focus on a few gifts which would put a smile on any guitarist’s face.
Guitar straps are a hugely important part of a guitarists playing experience. They allow you to stand up and play, for example, which opens up the possibility of charging up and down a stage throwing some serious rock star shapes. This is perfectly understandable. We all do it (or at least think about doing it…)
A good strap will stay with a player for life, making it a potential present with huge longevity. While many people make do with basic, flimsy straps, those who take the instrument seriously will tend to favour something more rugged and well built.
For electric guitar players, something like the classy Gibson Montana strap will make a huge impression. Constructed from full-grain leather, and with a memory foam insert, it’ll keep its shape and provide a comfy playing experience for years. It’s also embossed with detailing from some of Gibson’s best known acoustics, so there’s a nice nod to its rich heritage there.
If that’s slightly out of budget, then the Stagg Carved Leather strap will also have that same wow effect, as well as providing a gift which will be used for years to come. Alternatively, if the guitarist in your life is strictly an acoustic player, then this superb Taylor Suede strap will go down a storm, representing one of the biggest names in acoustic as it does.
It’s fair to say that tuners are under-rated. The typical player will spend stacks of cash on guitars, amps and effects pedals, but if you’re not playing in tune it all counts for nothing. So while a proper tuner might not be the most exciting gift, you can guarantee that it will be the most useful.
Tuners usually come in the form of pedals – which sit at the guitarists feet and can be used standing up – or clip-ons, which sit at the headstock of the guitar.
A good quality foot pedal like the Boss TU-3 will form the backbone of a guitarists rig for the rest of their lives. It’s built like a tank, and once a user buys one they generally never need to buy another tuner in their life. Gifting someone one of these is a gift that will, as the saying goes, keep on giving.
Alternatively, some players favour the smaller, more portable clip-on tuners. These don’t need to be plugged in like the foot pedal versions do. This makes them more portable and, ultimately, replaceable if something goes wrong.
Boss does a great little clip-on, the Boss TU-10, but products like the TC Electronic PolyTune Clip are both expertly engineered and have added technology which offer something different to a standard tuner.
Perhaps more for electric guitar players here. While a good quality amplifier can cost hundreds – even thousands – there is a new sub-genre of amps which go the other way entirely. And although, as we mentioned before, guitars and amps are hugely personal choices, there are a few options we can point you towards which any player of any style will appreciate.
Over the past few years ‘mini amps’ have become a thing. Top of the pile here is the Blackstar Fly 3. This tiny amp really packs a punch way above its minute appearance. It can also play tunes from your smartphone through the included aux input, and comes with a selection of fun effects to augment the player’s sound. It can even be chained together with a separate additional speaker to create a mini stack system. Very cool, and very useful for practice session.
Even smaller than the Fly 3 are the amPlug series amps from Vox. These are around the size of a box of cook’s matches, and plug directly into the guitar making them ultra-portable and great for quick play sessions. They come in different ‘flavours’ too, depending on the sound the player prefers. The Vox amPlug Clean will provide that classic, chiming clean sound; the Vox amPlug Lead adds a bit of distortion for extra sizzle, while the Vox amPlug Blues provides a lovely warm tone, perfect for blues players.
We hope you found this guide for the best gifts for guitars lovers handy. It can be pretty overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. We’ve tried to show gifts which would be useful, rather than novelty – although the perennial Gibson Bar Stool is still going strong if that floats your boat!
Journalist, PR and multimedia specialist. Write professionally on subjects ranging from musical instruments to industrial technology.