Choosing a gift for anyone can be tricky, but finding one of the best gifts for guitarists can be especially difficult if you’re not well-versed in the wide world of guitars and guitar gear. Thankfully, we’re here to help you cut through the noise and find your six-string-loving family member or friend a properly good present, whether it's their birthday, for Christmas or some other occasion.
You don’t have to spend loads of money on a gift either, so we’ve made sure to include a whole range of cost-effective presents that are sure to brighten up their day. You may not think it, but a pack of strings or some new picks can put a smile on any guitarist's face, and fresh gear is always a welcome addition.
From giving their old instruments some TLC with cleaning products, or adding a capo that will rejuvenate the way they play, there’s an incredible range of gifts on offer here no matter how picky they are. If you’re looking for the best gifts to get your guitar-playing pal, then keep scrolling to see our top picks.
Best gifts for guitar players: Where to shop
Wondering where to start? Well, below are a selection of our favourite places to grab a guitar-related bargain.
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- Guitar Center: Shop new, used and vintage guitar gear
- Sweetwater: Free 2-year warranty and fast shipping
- Musician’s Friend: Regular deals and a great selection of guitas gear
- Etsy: Handmade and unique, for the drummer who has everything
- Thomann: Huge stock and three-year warranty on all purchases
- Andertons: Gift-buying covered, with a massive range of guitar gear
- Gear4Music: Shop all the big guitar brands in one place
- Etsy: The place for personalized, handmade gifts
Best gifts for guitar players: Under $/£20
Guitarists will always need new strings. These days you can buy multi-packs to keep your musical other half on the road to ultimate stardom. The only catch is that we've suggested a popular choice but you need to do your homework and wheedle out what brand and gauge your friend/partner/significant other likes. You could just ask them, or you could check out our guide to the best electric guitar strings.
This little tin of slippery greatness has been a favourite of guitarists for years. The idea is to rub its slippy bit up and down the strings of a guitar. It not only lubricates the strings but protects them from the hideous secretions that seep from your fingertips. Strings live longer and the guitar just feels nicer to play.
There's no sweeter sound than George Harrison playing slide guitar. That's a fact. A slide is essentially a glass, ceramic or metal tube dragged along the strings to emulate the sound of a wailing human voice. In the wrong hands it can sound like a dying cat being pulled through a hedge backwards, but this fancy brass number from Fender is a brilliant choice for a guitarist that wants to try something new.
Yeah, go on, get it out of your system. Guitar culture's best double entendre since the Big Muff Pi fuzz box, you squirt Nut Sauce lubricant into the slots on the guitar's top nut to help tuning stability. Some people use the graphite in the humble pencil instead. 2B or not 2B? We'd stick with the Nut Sauce.
There's nothing more distressing for a guitarist than the moment their pride and joy slips off its strap and hits the deck. If Sir Isaac Newton were around today and riffing and that, he would be using strap locks. These are available in various finishes - black, gold, nickel, chrome - to suit the rest of the hardware on a guitar. So, do your homework... Our guide on how to upgrade and install strap locks is a great place to start.
Best gifts for guitar players: $/£20-50
There hasn't really been much innovation in guitar wall hangers, until now. Macra Music's range of instrument hangers takes the boring black and plastic of the past and brings it firmly into the future with all-natural materials and a huge range of colour options.
We particularly love the Macrame Acoustic Guitar Hanger, with its isometric lines that enhance the features of your guitar whilst simultaneously holding it securely. The hanger itself is super lightweight, yet the rope is strong enough to hold even the heftiest jumbo acoustic guitar.
It's made from 100% cotton and a bamboo hoop, which means that there's no chance of harming your vintage guitar's finish. Whilst it takes a little getting used to get it in and out of the hanger, once you've nailed the process it takes no longer than a regular one. It's a perfect gift for acoustic guitar players who want something different or the guitarist who has absolutely everything.
There are two types of guitarist. Those that keep their gear clean... and those filthy beasts that need to get their act together. Keeping a guitar clean and polished protects the finish and hardware, and actually adds to the lifespan of guitar strings. This Fender set comes with a cleaner, polish, quick clean and a fingerboard revitaliser.
Yeah, get them a great guitar strap without being an accessory to animal cruelty. Don't scoff. Vegan guitar straps are every bit as good looking and strong as those formed from forcibly deceased beasts. There are a load of designs available so if anyone needs to hang a guitar inches from their crotch there's no need to be hell bent for leather.
TC Electronic has been a pedal making super-power for a while now, and rightly so. Their ability to make great-sounding, durable and affordable gear has made them very popular with us axe-wielding creatives. The June 60 Chorus accurately replicates that fantastically overwhelming chorus tone that was so prevalent in the 80’s, when all music was better (fact) and guitarists led the charge. It’s nice and simple, with only two modes. Mode 1 is basically ‘on’, and mode 2 is just ‘more’ - and they both sound pretty damn good. It doesn’t half look cool too - it's easy to see why this is one of our picks for the best chorus pedals out there.
Best gifts for guitar players: From $/£51-100
CruzTools are the masters of putting the right tool in a guitarist's palm - and every guitarist needs a good tool kit. This set contains a string cutter and winder, a ruler and a six-in-one screwdriver. The Allen keys are supplied in metric and Imperial to cover all guitar brands. There's an easy guide to setting up the action (string height) and intonation. If your guitar friend is a Fender freak get the Custom Shop version.
All you need to know about capos is you can't play The Beatles' Here Comes The Sun the way George Harrison intended, without one. That goes for Johnny Marr stuff too. Until recently, you had to pick one of these useful gadgets to fit either an acoustic or electric guitar. The clever little G7th Performance 3 handles both. If you really want to push the boat out, this 18k plated edition is good as gold.
Best gifts for guitar players: $/£150+
If you think the best thing about a holiday is putting considerable distance between your loved one and their guitar, you can sit this one out. For the rest of you, consider buying your travelling companion a travel guitar. The 3/4 size JR1 is just the thing for campsite sing-alongs and impromptu busking if that's their thing.
Want a one-way ticket into the good books? What if we said you could buy the guitarist in your life a whopping ten amplifiers and 65 effects? And all for less than the price of a games console. The Boss Katana II 50 watt combo uses clever internal gubbins to replicate the sound of the aforementioned mountain of gear. Plus, it can be run at gig, rehearsal and bedroom volume. Yes, there is a headphone socket. The Boss Katana isn't just one of our favourite cheap guitar amps under $500/£500 but also one of the best guitar amps on the market - period.
The Martin LX1 is the smallest and cheapest of the Little Martin series acoustic guitars, but you absolutely don’t compromise on tone or quality as a result. The solid Sitka spruce top is of the same grade as some of Martin’s most desirable USA-made models, and paired with the durable HPL back and sides this little beauty provides a depth of tone that no other small bodied acoustic can get close to. It’s that typical Martin sound - but in a nice neat package.
This LX1E has an internal pickup from Fishman, who are widely regarded as one of the best in the business. Plug this bad boy in and it’ll produce an arena-filling sound - FYI it also makes a fantastic travel guitar for those on the move!
Read the full Martin LX1E Little Martin review
Best gifts for guitar players: Last minute ideas and subscriptions
Music software: Various
Recording and creating music at home is now easier than ever, thanks to powerful laptops and easy-to-use recording software.
Plugins and software are great last-minute ideas as they are instant downloads, meaning there's no need to wait on delivery! Why not tell your giftee what budget you have for them and set them free on sites like Plugin Boutique or Waves?
These sites have everything from guitar amp simulators to reverbs, delays and compressors, so they won't be short of options.
Concert tickets: Ticketmaster
If you’re shopping last minute for someone who loves live music, then e-tickets for a concert or a voucher to put towards their next gig is a no-brainer.
There are many sites out there, but Ticketmaster is our vendor of choice. This is due to the vastness of events on offer, plus you can spread the cost of tickets!
Gift cards: Any amount
Ok so gift vouchers aren’t the most inspiring gift idea, but with guitarists being a fussy bunch, sometimes they are the best option.
Buying vouchers for their favourite shop gives them the option to choose what they really want, plus, you can usually get them delivered straight to an email address; ideal if you’re shopping very close to the big day!
Music magazines: subscribe and save!
Sometimes nothing beats sitting down with a good book or magazine and ditching the tech for a while. You can subscribe and save on music-making magazines right now from Future Music and Computer Music, to Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World and Guitar Techniques. Head to our subscriptions site or call 0330 333 1113.
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