Guitars are a very popular musical choice this time of year. Now, guitars are available with more accessories and features then ever before. Guitars, strings, capos, slides, picks, books, and other paraphernalia all make great gift ideas! Here are some great ideas for the picker in your family.
1. Kyser Quick-Change capo. A capo allows one to change the length of the string, facilitating different fingerings for chords. The Kyser brand has long been a favorite among players for many years. It features a hand grip mechanism to aid in the change. This helps greatly, and one can change capo positions on the guitar in the middle of a song for instance without difficulty
2. Guitar Strings – every guitar needs strings (no-brainer) and they are relatively inexpensive for a set. They come in all manner of gauges and makes, so you’ll want to converse with a person at your local music shop before buying if you don’t know the difference
3. Picks – another necessity. Guitar players go through picks like water, as they end up lost, given away, borrowed, in the laundry or elsewhere. Picks come in varying thicknesses (light, medium, heavy, etc.) and are usually sold in packages of 20 or so. Again check your local store
4. Slides – especially popular if you or your family’s guitarist is a blues or country fan. Slides are made from brass, glass, steel, or porcelain usually, and are available in varying sizes and thicknesses. Can’t have enough of them, I say. Most players own at least two if they’re serious.
5. Acoustic Guitars – typically stores have serious sales on entry-level acoustic guitars around the Christmas Holiday. If you or someone you love wants to get going with guitar, odds are really good that your local shop has a deal.
6. Roland Micro-Cube guitar amplifier. This little guy is quite the unit. No larger than a boom box (smaller actually), this amp is packed with amp models of classic amplifiers and digital effects. You can typically buy one for $100-$150
7. Mel Bay or Hal Leonard Guitar Method books. If you want to take lessons or self-teach yourself, odds are good you’ll need a book. Mel Bay guitar books have been around for a long time now, and are still the standard by which guitar instruction has come to be measured in this country. Mel Bay has books for every style: classical, jazz, rock, pop, etc. They are very solid for learning the guitar and music fundamentals. The Hal Leonard guitar method is newer. It is quite good as well. This series tends to discuss topics in a slower, more graduated way then other methods.
8. Squier Strat/Bass packs for guitar or bass guitar. Squier is the budget line of Fender Guitars, arguably the most famous brand of electric musical instruments in the world. Squier guitars are a good way to get into the Fender line without spending an arm and a leg. Squier Strat (Stratocaster guitar) packs come with an electric guitar, a gig bag (soft case), a Fender Frontman 15 amplifier, guitar cord, guitar strap, picks and an electronic guitar tuner. Bass packs come with a Squier Precision bass guitar, a Fender Rumble 15 bass amplifier, gig bag, cord, tuner, and strap. Either way, a very good deal for the budding guitar player.
9. Straps and cords – OK, I technically lumped two into one here. ? But these are other guitar accessories that everyone needs but no one think of. Guitar cords with ¼” plugs are available in varying lengths from 5′ – 100′. Guitar straps are available in a wide range of materials from leather to nylon.
10. Songbooks – Printed music is as popular as always and remains a good tool for musical discipline. If you can name a favorite artist, odds are they have a songbook or sheet music available.
Postscript – Where to buy from?
Musical stuff can be a tad more expensive than we are used to with other goods. So you’ll want to balance value and cost. So do you shop local or do you go online? It just depends. I would never buy bigger-ticket online like a guitar or an amp sight-unseen without having done my homework first. It’s always good to go to a shop where you can be hands on. Consider it like shopping for groceries, find out what’s out there and try things until you find something you like, can afford, etc. Consider as many avenues as: local stores, online sites, catalogs, used stores etc. Guitars and their accessories make great Christmas gifts for the tuneful types in your family.