Buying gifts for guitar players can be a tough one, but luckily for you Northwest Guitars is on hand with some expert advice to ensure the guitarist in your life is all smiles this Christmas! We've put together some top guitarist gifts that will inspire and assist them in the continuation of their playing careers.
Choosing a Guitarist Gift
Choosing a gift for a picky guitar player can put you in a pickle. Separating your spalted from your quilted maple, string gauges from string action gauges and bridges from tremolos is tough when you've got no experience in the instrument yourself. So to make things easier we've separated our gift guide by instrument, with plenty of handy links to our other articles for extra reading should you need more information.
Allow us to guide you through the myriad gift options available to guitar players and we'll make sure you pick the right gift for the guitarist in your life. Any of these options are sure to make their day this Christmas, providing gifts that are fun, inspirational, and useful.
Gifts for Electric Guitar Players
Electric guitarists are the most well catered for in the music industry. This is down to the popularity of the instrument, which has hundreds of millions of players worldwide. Buying for electric guitar players is easier than others, but there are still certain hurdles to navigate, so let us do the hard work for you!
If the guitarist in your life plays live, or regularly goes to gigs then these ProGuard 'Mould Your Own' Ear Plugs will be incredibly useful to them. Not only will they help them hear better on stage, but they do the double duty of protecting the most important asset a musician has, their ears.
Wearing ear plugs is essential to prevent tinnitus from long term exposure to loud noises, and every guitarist needs a set of these in their armoury. The best bit about these is that you mould them to the exact shape and size of your ear canal, resulting in a much better fit than generic ear plugs!
Shop all Earplugs here.
Slide guitar is a whole other discipline within the electric guitar, and the D’Addario Chrome Plated Brass Slide is a great place for guitarists to start if they’ve never delved into it. It takes some getting used to, but can really enhance the understanding of the guitar from a technical and creative standpoint, opening up a world of new sounds to experiment with.
There are various different types of slide material, but metal based slides like steel and brass tend to work better for electric guitar, whilst a glass slide is the preferred choice of acoustic guitar players. We've got a great selection of slides for all kinds of playing, which you can check out by hitting the link below!
Shop all Slides here.
Probably not the sexiest item on this list, but Ernie Ball String Packs are an essential purchase for any guitarist. We literally cannot play without them! There are several choices of string gauge depending on your guitarists genre and playing style, so if you want more info on that, then check out our String Gauge Guide.
If you’re still unsure, then going for the Regular Slinky is your best bet. We guitar players are always happy to receive new strings, and you can be assured that unlike that hat and gloves combo you bought last year, they will definitely get regularly use!
Shop all Electric Guitar Strings here.
A lot of guitarists don’t realise that they can make their strings last longer by wiping them down before and after use. GHS Fast Fret does two jobs for guitar players, both cleaning and lubricating the strings. This ensures that guitar strings last longer, and enhances the playability of the guitar itself by allowing your hands to slide quickly across the strings.
GHS Fast Fret is one of those things guitar players don't realise they need, but once they get a taste for it they won't want to do without. The handy packaging ensures that the product stays fresh every time, just make sure that they close the lid once they're done with it to prevent drying out! This is a product that works great for any kind of guitar player, whether electric, acoustic, or bass.
Shop all Guitar Cleaning here.
Gifts for Acoustic Guitar Players
Acoustic Guitarists are a slightly different breed to electric guitarists, but are still very well catered for by the music industry. A lot of guitarists get their start on acoustic guitar as it’s considered a great foundation for building hand strength and dexterity, so if you’ve got a new guitarist in your house then these gifts will help them continue their guitar playing career.
A clip on tuner works brilliantly with an acoustic guitar, picking up the natural vibrations that resonate through the instrument to help guitarists get their guitar in tune. A tuner is an essential purchase for any guitarist, but often new guitarists are left frustrated by bulky and unreliable tuners that come in acoustic guitar starter packs.
With the Snark ST-2 Clip-on Tuner you can rest assured their guitar is always in tune, giving them the perfect playing platform to spring forth from. Snark Tuners are well known for their bright display and accurate tuning, and are one of the best selling clip on tuners in the world! Learn more about these great products with our Best Clip-on Tuners guide.
Shop all Clip-on Tuners here.
Long term care of acoustic guitars often goes under the radar, even for guitarists who’ve been playing for a long time. Acoustic guitars in particular are at the behest of temperature changes, so leaving your acoustic in a room that is too dry can cause the wood to warp and the neck and fretboard to shrink, giving guitarists issues with playability.
The D’Addario Humidipak takes care of that problem, ensuring they can store their guitar anywhere in the house without worrying about damage to the instrument. The 'Goldilocks' zone for acoustic guitars is somewhere between 45-55% relative humidity, so make sure their acoustic is in the right place with these handy bits of kit.
Shop all Guitar Maintenance here.
Strings are essential for all guitarists, and these Martin Authentic Acoustic 3 Packs will keep them playing! Martin Guitars have been manufacturing instruments since 1833, so you can rest assured they know a thing or two about what makes a great guitar string!
If you’re unsure of what gauge to get, we’d recommend the Extra Light gauge for new guitarists, or Medium gauge for those that have been playing a bit longer. These are packs of 3, so with proper maintenance will keep them playing for months on end.
Shop all Acoustic Guitar Strings here.
The humble String Winder is not a flashy gift, nor is it expensive, but by Clapton it is useful. There are loads of guitarists who are hand winding their strings, blissfully unaware there’s a much easier way! One of these will make a great stocking filler for any budding, or experienced guitar player.
Our very own Northwest Guitars String Winder can really be a game changer, allowing guitarists to quickly change their strings without the time consuming bit of winding the strings on. If the guitarist in your life doesn’t have one of these then trust us, they will thank you!
Shop all Guitar Accessories here.
Gifts for Bass Guitar Players
The bass guitar player is the underserved and unsung hero of the guitar world. The foundation of any great musical act, the bass may not be as flashy as electric guitar or as sophisticated as the acoustic guitar, but it is the most essential part of any sound, alongside the drums. Bass Guitar players have slightly less choice than Electric and Acoustic Guitarists, but there are still plenty of great gifts you can get for bass players this Christmas.
Cables are a renewable item and bass players will go through many of these in their lifetime. You can help bass players this Christmas by getting them a high quality cable that will last longer. A good quality cable ensures that sound signals are transferred reliably and accurately, whilst being durable enough to put with the abuse musical instrument accessories suffer during life on the road.
Our selection of Ernie Ball Cables gives you loads of options for length and a great selection of colours, helping you give them something stand out this Christmas. Pick an option to match the colour of their guitar or even their room, or just grab something they can use as a backup at their next show - you never know when one of these will come in to save the day!
Shop all Guitar Cables here.
A lot of guitarists see guitar care as a chore, but it's actually a key component of being a well-rounded guitar player. A well looked after instrument not only looks better, but it plays better too. Just like you'd do maintenance on your car, it's key to keep servicing your instrument to ensure year after year of great performance.
Dr Duck's Ax Wax can be used on any part of the bass guitar, making it a great gift for the bass guitar player that likes to take good care of their instrument. This cleaning fluid will ensure the fretboard remains gunk free, the body stays clear of streaks, and strings are well lubricated. It’s friendly to vintage instrument finishes and even works on the metal hardware components of the instrument, making it a great all in one gift idea. Dr Duck's Ax Wax also works on electric and acoustic guitars.
Shop all Guitar Cleaning & Maintenance here.
Just like electric and acoustic guitarists, bass players need strings too! Bassists across the years have made a name for themselves for not changing their strings often enough, so this Christmas you can give them some gentle encouragement with a set of Rotosound Bass Guitar Strings.
Developed in conjunction with the legendary John Entwistle of The Who during the late 60s, Rotosound bass strings have been played on thousands of hit records, including everyone from Rush to Oasis. Bassists don't need to change their strings as often as their electric and acoustic guitar bretheren, due to the fact bass strings are so difficult to snap - that said it's always handy to have a spare set knocking around!
Shop all Bass Strings here.
All guitarists are notorious for precariously placing their pride and joy against fireplaces, tables, chairs, sofas, and pretty much anything else they can find. This dangerous practice has resulted in many a broken headstock, dinged body, or damaged neck, and lets not get into the damage they can cause to floors and walls in the house!
With a robust guitar stand, you can ensure neither their instrument, nor your new wooden flooring is in danger ever again. An inexpensive gift, these stands also work electric guitars, and the Hercules Guitar/Bass Stand is great for any kind of guitar.
Shop all Guitar Stands here.
How about something different?
Maybe they’ve got everything on this list already, or you just wanted something a little different, whatever it may be, here are a few bonus suggestions for you if you didn’t fancy anything listed above.
Nothing says 'I’m serious about my guitar playing' as much as one of these Ernie Ball Mugs and Coaster Sets! They’re a great gift when you’re unsure how useful something will be for them. It’s a safe bet that every guitarist you know has a drink at some point, and these are perfect for snazzing up their studio space or workshop!
Guitar Picks (aka Plectrums) are another one of those essential items that guitarists cannot do without, and are always grateful to receive. Generally speaking, those that are into metal and hard rock, as well as bassists, prefer a thicker gauge, and those that like softer, styles and acoustic guitar players often prefer a thinner pick. If you’re unsure which gauge to go for you should pick then you can’t go wrong with a middle thickness, the Jim Dunlop Tortex Standard is a sure winner here.
Guitar Maintenance Kits offer a selection of tools for guitarists to ensure that their instrument is in the best shape possible. Great for gigging guitarists or those who like to tinker with things, the maintenance kit is an excellent gift idea that will please any electric, acoustic, or bass guitarist this Christmas.
Buying for people at Christmas is hard enough as it is without having to Google which gauge of strings is best for playing 70s era Prog Rock. But with these Christmas gift ideas for guitar players, you can rest assured whether they play electric, acoustic, or bass guitar, they’re well catered for!
Not sure which strings to choose? Check out our article on Guitar String Gauges.
Need an all-in-one gift idea? Check out the Best Guitar Maintenance Kits.
Clip on Guitar Tuners make for a perfect stocking filler!