Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009| by Will Chen

Fall is upon us and the Christmas shopping season is fast approaching (unless you’re my wife who’s been shopping for Christmas since Dec 26 last year). Here are some great gift ideas for that special guitarist in your life which are very easy on the wallet:

Strings ~$5 USD – Guitarists always need strings. D'Addario XL Nickel Wound strings are my favorite featuring environmentally friendly packaging and bulk sets to save money, but Ernie Ball Slinky and Dean Markley Blue Steel are also popular among Frugal Guitarists. Pass on the no name strings in the bargain bin at your local shops. Hint: invade your guitar player’s stash (or trash) and find a pack of strings. Bring the pack to your local music store and match the package to ensure you get their preferred brand.

Capo ~$15 to $20 USD - Capos allow guitarists to shift the key of the guitar opening up possibilities to explore chords which would otherwise be impossible and are incredibly important to the guitarist who also sings. The Kyser Quick-Change Capo or Dunlop Trigger Capo are two great and affordable options.

Planet Waves Lock Strap ~$20 USD – We reviewed this back at the beginning of the year and what a great piece of technology. Without any modification to your guitar, the Lock Strap provides excellent prevention against strap failure ensuring your prized axe won’t take a dive.

Music Books ~$20 to $40 USD – Who’s your guitarist’s favorite act? A music book featuring songs will be a great gift which will keep them picking and grinning for months. For the country lover, consider The Best of Brad Paisley, the metal lover Metalica, or for the Jazz Cat, The Real Book.

Danelectro Cool Cat ~$30 to $70 USD – Danelectro pedals have been a main stay on the boards of the frugal minded for years now. There was a bit of a controversy when it was alleged on several forums that several of their pedals were clones of higher end pedals.

Peavey Revalver HP ~$69 USD – Peavey’s Revalver MkIII delivers an incredible amount of realism and detail. The HP edition is scaled back version containing only the Peavey amp models offered at an incredibly affordable price point.

Guitar FX Kit (Prices Vary) – For the guitarist who loves to tinker and has some soldering skills, an effects kit is a great gift and will provide an incredible learning experience as well as since of pride when they perform though something they’ve made themselves. Consider products from Original Licensed Circuits, Build Your Own Clone, or General Guitar Gadgets.

Guitar Lessons (Prices Vary) - Most local guitar shops offer lessons often with several teachers covering a wide range of styles and skill levels. 

First Act V-Stack Classic $79 to $99 USD – A recent price cut by more than 50% makes this boutique quality dirt box an incredible value. First Act also makes models flavored after Brian May’s treble boosted AC30 and classic Fender tweed amps.

Gift Certificates – For the very finicky guitarist, the easiest way to please is with a gift certificate. However to ensure the widest range of selection, consider a purchasing one from an online retailer such as Musician’s Friend of Guitar Fetish.

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