Looking for some great gifts for guitarists? Excellent. Guitarists LOVE gifts and there’s plenty of goodies that you can get for them. In this article I’ll share with you some of the best gift ideas for your favorite guitarist friend or relative. Hey, and if you are a guitarist yourself – why not get something for yourself along the way? Because there is so much guitar gear and accessories that you could get online today, getting a gift for a guitarist is really just a matter of budget. Another thing to watch out for, of course, is whether the guitarist you’re getting the gift for already has what you intend to get him or her. But, as I’ll point out later, there are some items that a guitarist would always love to have more of. Here are my personal recommendations in random order.
Gifts for guitarists #1 – Strings and picks
A guitarist will always appreciate a new set of strings. Why? Because guitar strings tend to break often. But which type should you get? Strings come in a variety of sizes (gauges) and also depend on guitar type (acoustic or electric), so you’d better know which type you need. If you buy the wrong type of strings, your guitarist friend will not be able to use them. If they’re the wrong size, your friend might not use them either because string gauge affects playing style and tone. Best advice is to check in advance what type of guitar they have. Sometimes they would have more than one type. Then you need to select a brand, and price tags could vary. That said, if your friend is a beginner guitarist with no particular preference yet as far as strings go, here are 3 great recommendations:
For electric guitar I personally love the Ernie Ball Regular Slinky which comes 3 in a package. They are affordable, strong, and sound great.
For acoustic (steel strings) I recently got this set which would be great for beginners and also very affordable:
Now you may want to add a set of cool guitar picks to go along with the strings. Here again, you need to either be aware of your guitarist friend’s preferred pick size (thickness). If you’re not sure, just get a set that has different pick sizes, so not only you’re 100% certain to hit the right size, but also your guitarist friend may actually appreciate the opportunity to experience pick sizes that they don’t normally use. My favorite brand is Dunlop, and here’s my recommendation:
To complete this gift idea, you may want to add a pick holder. It’s ridiculously cheap so just get it and add it to your package, it’s a best-seller!
Gifts for guitarists #2: A headphone amp
Another great gift idea for your guitarist friend, especially if they play or practice at home a lot, is a headphone amp. I have a few of those lying around in case I want to practice in the living room or somewhere else where I don’t normally practice, without all the hassle of dragging along cables and amps. This kind of amp is battery powered, and sometimes even has an additional effect – like distortion or delay. The tone this little gadget produces may not be high end, but it’s perfectly good for practicing. Once again, the main value here is the freedom of not being dependent on cables and amps. Some models will offer USB charging which is even better – get your friend two of those, and tell him or her to always keep at least one fully charged. This is what I do. No batteries needed! Just stick it in the guitar, put your headphones on and start rocking!
Gifts for guitarists #3: Straps and locks
If your guitarist friend is dear to you, then you must make sure they have a decent guitar strap, and much more important – strap locks. Strap locks keep the guitar from slipping off the strap. A guitar that doesn’t have strap locks WILL meet the floor at some point and this will be very painful for both your guitarist friend and their guitar. This is just a fact of life. So if your friend doesn’t have strap locks – get him a set immediately. They will thank you later. And as long as you’re getting them a pair of quality locks, why not add a cool strap to go along with them?
Gifts for guitarists #4: A mini amp
The next gift idea is a mini amp. Unlike the headphones amp I recommended before, whose purpose is to let the guitarist conveniently practice with their headphones on, the mini amp is a full-featured guitar amplifier, albeit a small one. Its compact size lets you easily carry it around and even use it on batteries if you’re on the go. It will often come with a few on-board options and tone control, and also a headphones jack. If your guitarist friend doesn’t have one already, I strongly recommend that you get him or her the Black Star Fly 3 which is what I use at home for practicing. It’s a cool looking mini amp, but don’t let its small size fool you. Its sound is absolutely fantastic, unlike other mini amps out there which sound like crap, even from well known brands. Maybe because it’s made in England and they have a serious reputation to live up to? Who cares, it’s just a fantastic amp and quite possibly the best gift you could give a guitarist if you’re on a budget. The Fly 3 offers, in addition to standard tone control, a delay effect and also an overdrive option, which all sound surprisingly awesome. The other thing that I absolutely love about the Fly 3 is that it has a Line-In input to easily mix in a backing track from your phone or some other audio source. Super convenient! A perfect gift idea for any electric guitar player, at any level.
Gifts for guitarists #5: A guitar learning book
There are hundreds of guitar books out there. Even if your guitarist friend has a few of them, it’s always a good idea to add another one to their collection. It could be a song book, or a guitar learning book. I prefer the latter, because quite honestly these days you can literally learn to play any famous song on YouTube. But quality guitar lessons are hard to find there. And in that category, the best book I can recommend is the Berklee Guitar Method Book by William Leavitt, which is considered by many, including me, the best guitar learning book out there.