Guitarists are some of the hardest people to buy gifts for. For one, they’re usually pretty particular about the gear they play. And two, guitar equipment can be expensive.
So how do you go about finding the right gift for your guitarist for under $100? If you’re not a guitarist, you might need to do a little investigative work. (And if you are a guitarist, here’s some info you should make sure your non-guitarist friends and family know).
- Find out if they are primarily an acoustic or electric guitar player. (Guitarists: Even if you own both, let them know your main focus.)
- Keep a keen eye on what accessories they already have – get specific. (Guitarists: Leave your capos, picks and odds and ends out on the table when you have visitors, at least around shopping season.)
- Be bold and ask if there’s any gear they need. (Guitarists: Drop hints – obvious hints. Think Ralphie with his Red Rider BB gun with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.)
That little bit of information will go a long way in helping you navigate the music store. But before you hit the store for that wow-worthy gift for your guitarist with your pocketful of information, let’s start with a few gift ideas to avoid.
Novelty Gimmicks: Although they’re cute and are usually worth at least a laugh, try to resist the urge to buy a gimmicky guitar-themed gift. Guitar-shaped ice cube trays, guitar spatula and guitar-themed toilet seats can be the gift of the year for a small minority of guitarists, but for most players they’ll be buried in the closet by New Years. Instead of buying something for a chuckle, shop for something more useful.
If you simply can’t resist the gimmick, here’s a list of gift ideas to raise an eyebrow and in some cases roll some eyes.
The Obvious: Standbys like capos and sets of strings are on most gift idea lists for guitarists on the cheap, but for every reason to buy one as a gift, there’s a reason not to. Consider this: Most guitarists already own a capo and will only need one. Unless they ask for one specifically, leave it on the store shelf. And when it comes to strings, players are particular, so again unless you know exactly what you’re shopping for, it’s best to steer clear.
OK, now it’s time to get shopping!
Gift ideas under $25
D’Addario Planet Waves Keychain Pick Holder
As long as you don’t lose your keys, you can’t lose your picks. This is a great gift or stocking stuffer for your guitarist who always needs a spare pick close buy. You can store up to four medium-gauge picks in its pouch. It also has a bright blue LED light to help you find your pick on the floor when you drop it.
Price: $6.49 at the time of publishing – Buy Now*
Snark ST-8 Clip-On Guitar Tuner
You can never have enough of these little guys around. Even if they already have a clip-on tuner, get them another one for another room in their house where they play guitar, a spare in their gig bag or one to keep in the glove box of their just in case. The ST-8 is super compact and its tight tuning response reacts to the vibration of your instrument while clipped on the headstock. It’s high-definition display also rotates 360-degrees, so it works for lefties too.
Price: $12.99 at the time of publishing – Buy Now*
MusicNomad Cradle Cube
This is a handy cube that makes caring for your guitar, or any stringed instrument for that matter, easy and safe on your instrument. The MusicNomad is a 5-in-1 cradle that keeps your instrument safe and secure while cleaning, changing strings or during maintenance. This is also a great one to keep in mind for the multi-instrumentalist with a lot of different stringed things.
Price: $19.99 at the time of publishing – Buy Now*
OK, this one borders on gimmicky, but it’s actually pretty cool. The Musicians Dice are glossy black 12-sided dice engraved with the chromatic scale. Use them to bring an element of chance to the musical process to find random opportunities in music. They can also be a good learning tool for ear training or used as “musical flashcards.” Plus, they look cool and make for a good conversation piece about music.
Price: $24.95 at the time of publishing – Buy Now*
Gift ideas $25-$49.99
Ernie Ball Musician’s Tool Kit
Everything your guitarist needs to fine-tune their instrument is right here. The Ernie Ball Musician’s Tool Kit packs a microfiber polish cloth and Wonder Wipes to keep your guitar or bass looking new, string cutter and peg winder, 6-in-1 screwdriver, hex wrench set and a ruler. Everything you need to keep your instrument in top playing form.
Price: $29.99 at the time of publishing – Buy Now*
Pick Punch 351
For the player who never has a pick and is always looking for one, the Pick Punch let’s you make guitar picks from credit cards, gift cards, hotel key cards, ID cards and other plastics. No more cutting picks with a pair of scissors from a spray paint can lid when you’re in a bind. Plus, this is a great way to upcycle and make picks out of an endless supply of materials.
Price: $25 at the time of publishing – Buy Now*
Planet Waves Circuit Breaker Cable
The Circuit Breaker Cable incorporates a mute switch right in the cable to help prevent loud pops or squeals when unplugging your instrument. Just press and hold the button to activate the mute, and unplug. When you’re plugged back in and ready to jam, release the button to bring the signal back. Comes in straight and right-angle ¼” plugs and lengths from 10-30 feet.
Price: $22-$42 at the time of publishing – Buy Now*
Gift ideas $50-$100
Cooperstand Pro-G Sapele Guitar Stand
Don’t just get them any guitar stand. Get this unique collapsible wooden guitar stand made from sustainable solid African sapele hardwood. This isn’t going to be a heavy duty stand for stage, but it is a great little stand for studio, home and display purposes. More than one guitar? It also comes in a double!
Price: $58 ($84 double) at the time of publishing – Buy Now*
Vox amPlug 2 Headphone Amp
The Vox amPlug 2 is an incredible little plug-and-play practice headphone amp. This version 2 of the amPlug has upgraded analog circuitry and improved battery life, and comes in seven different flavors to match your style of playing: Classic Rock, Metal, Clean, Blues, Lead, Bass and even one based on the classic Vox AC30 amp.
Price: $35-$45 at the time of publishing – Buy Now*
String Swing Hardwood Guitar Case Rack
Got a guitarist with several guitars that they like to keep out on display? Show them you’re really paying attention with this guitar case rack. This cases have to go somewhere when the guitars aren’t in them. This handmade solid ash case rack holds up to five standard size guitar cases and looks good while doing it. When not in use, it folds flat for easy storage.
Price: $69.99 at the time of publishing – Buy Now*