The holidays approach and gift-giving is in full swing. As a musician, my family often wondered what to get me for Christmas and birthdays. “He’s so hard to buy for”. And I get it. Music is a highly specialized field, and personal opinions about gear and brands run hot. So it’s intimidating to buy a gift for a musician. But never fear, this article is here to help.
Here are 10 great gifts for the acoustic guitarist that are easy, inexpensive, and sure to be a hit.
(Hint: forward this to your family).
The Gift List
Guitar Cleaning Kit
Every guitarist I know wants their guitar to be in good shape. But very FEW guitarists that I know have the tools to keep their acoustic guitar clean and well-maintained.
A package like Dunlop’s 6500 Guitar Maintenance Kit provide everything you need to keep the fretboard, frets, and body of the guitar clean and cared for – just like high quality wood should be.
Guitarists always need capos. Theoretically, we could make do with one. But, inevitably, you’ve left it in the car when you need it in the house. Or you left it at church on the stand when you’re trying to practice at home. So you can always use another…or maybe three. This is a fail-safe gift.
This is the capo you should buy. It’s the popular capo for a reason – it’s durable, highly accurate, and has been running strong with the same design for decades.
Finding a local music shop and teach to get a gift voucher for is difficult. Instead, do online video lessons. I recommend JamPlay.com lessons because they have a huge library of courses for all levels and genres. And the subscription gives you access to everything. Beginning folk? Check. Advanced heavy metal solos? Check. With a gift like this, the guitarist can choose any course that suits them and the change it up next month if they want.
JamPlay has gift vouchers that allow you to send a digital code. So you can print it out and put it in a card, or just email it to your niece cross country.
Again, guitarists always need tuners. And, again, one is really never enough. Having one for the studio and one for the house (and one to leave in the case) is super nice! I’ve written a longer post on which tuner is right for you, so you can take a look at that for more reviews. But this is the most popular (and inexpensive) tuner out there, used by beginners and experts alike.
Nothing says commitment to the craft like putting that guitar up on the wall! This wall mount allows you to easily hang any type of acoustic guitar on the wall. It will look great and the guitar will be instantly available to take down and jam whenever. I had one of these in my office for several years and loved it.
This wall mount is nice because it comes with the hardware to hang on drywall, plus has a nice wood base that looks “acoustic-y”.
There’s not many tools you need for acoustic guitar. Sure, you need picks and strings and stuff. But the only tools you really need are this restringing kit. It has the wire cutters for trimming guitar strings, and the notched turner for quickly stringing a guitar.
A simple, inexpensive gift that saves many hours of time.
Speaking of which, picks are a great gift! There’s two ways to go on this:
a) if you know what the guitarist uses, buy a big package of those. I once bought a 72-pack of Dunlop .60mm Mediums and LOVED it. I never had to wonder if I had lost all my picks. I’d just stash them everywhere – guitar case, wallet, car, dresser.
b) If you don’t know what the guitarist uses, but a mixed pack for them to experiment with. This package is general purpose that would suit most guitarists – folks playing rock, country, pop, folk, even jazz. This thumbpick pack would be a great fit for fingerstyle players who are trying out the popular Tommy Emmanuel style of playing. (You can also check out a post I did going more in depth on thumb pick options.)
Guitarists change their strings often. For some, it’s every week or two. For other, it’s every month or two. But, inevitably, a guitarist is constantly throwing $15 at their guitar to keep the strings fresh and sounding great. Similar to picks, you can do this two ways:
a) If you know the strings they use, just buy 1 (or 3!) packs of those. It’s always nice to have those handy.
b) If you don’t know the strings, it’s a bit more difficult. There’s no easy way to do a “variety pack” like with picks. Instead, I would recommend Medium-Light strings by Elixir. These are super popular strings that are high quality, last a long time, and are the right weight for most players. They’re like blue jeans. Everybody looks good in them.
Too many guitarists ignore, or forget, the benefits of a humidifier. Acoustic guitars are (almost exclusively) made of wood. Wood expands and contracts in hot and cold temperatures, as well as with humidity changes. If you want to keep your guitar sounding good and avoid problems like cracks, raised frets, or difficulty in tuning – you need a humidifier.
Fortunately, these are not at all expensive. This humidifier is a popular model that sits in the soundhole of the guitar while it’s in the case. Easy and inexpensive – but a great gift.
Guitarists, particularly beginners, can fall into the habit of laying their guitar down wherever convenient – on the bed, the stage, the living room floor. This is not good, though! Guitars laying flat in these places are easy targets for getting stepped on, dropped on, etc. The correct solution, of course, is a guitar stand.
There are a lot of versions of guitar stands. Some are fancy, some are minimalist. But this one is a tried’n’true design that has served guitarists for decades and decades.
Got some other ideas? Put them in the notes below!