AS SEEN ON GUITAR GIRL MAGAZINE ISSUE 6
A seasoned guitarist knows what they like. They know what strings give them their sound of preference, what tuner suits their needs, and what picks they can depend on. In other words, professional guitarists typically have everything they need because they know what they need.
But what about beginner guitarists? The guitar remains a popular holiday gift for many, yet those who are just picking up the instrument for the first time are unaware of what accessories they’ll eventually need to accrue.
Fortunately, the Holiday Season is the perfect time to get the beginner guitarist in your life on the right track to success. There is a wide array of great – and affordable – gifts that they will soon recognize as essential in their pursuit of guitar glory.
Let’s take a look at some critical gifts for beginner guitarists.
- Strings: a guitarist at any level of proficiency will tell you that a couple sets of strings are a great gift. The recipient may not need them today, but they will certainly need them in the future. Whether some break or lose their tone, guitar strings need to be changed regularly. By offering two or three sets of strings, your beginner guitar player will get the chance to try different gauges and figure out what they prefer when the time comes to purchase their own strings.
Suggestions: Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Medium-Light Strings (gauge .012-.054), Martin MSP4150 SP Phosphor Bronze Light-Medium Strings (gauge .0125-.0550), and D’Addario EJ17 Phosphor Bronze Medium Strings (gauge 13-56)
2. Guitar Tool Kit: having all the essential tools in one easily-transportable case makes a superb gift. A good kit will have everything a guitarist could need; from polish cloths to string cutters and peg winders to hex wrenches, the case will hold it all. These kits also are great for storing the aforementioned strings.
Suggestions: Ernie Ball Musician’s Tool Kit, GIGmate Guitar Tool Kit & String Organizer, or the Fender Custom Shop Tool Kit.
3. Instrument/Input Cable: if you’re buying for an electric guitarist, consider connector cables as critical as new strings. After all, like strings, these cables burn out and have to be replaced eventually. A 10-foot cable is always a safe bet and will ensure your beginner guitarist is always prepared to plug in and jam. If you’re not sure about whether to purchase a cable with right-angle plugs or straight-straight plugs (which can depend on the style of the guitar), just default to the straight-straight, which will work with any model.
Suggestions: Fender California Series Instrument Cable, Livewire Advantage Instrument Cable, or Mogami Gold Series Instrument Cable.
4. Capo: a beginner guitar player may not even know what a capo is or how it works, but they’ll eventually want (and need) one. Make sure you’re purchasing a quality capo, perhaps one with a recognizable brand name or positive online reviews. The quality of a capo can be hit or miss, and though you’re buying for a beginner, you don’t want them to struggle with a poorly-designed device that makes their strings “buzz” unexpectedly.
Suggestions: Dunlop 83CB Trigger Guitar Capo (Curved), Shubb Deluxe S Series Steel String Capo, or the Kava Legend Pro Capo.
5. Cleaning products: a novice guitarist learns quickly that proper care and cleaning will keep their instrument in top condition. That’s why guitar maintenance products are a great idea for a stocking stuffer. You don’t have to go expensive on this item – just a simple cleanser (and perhaps some polish) will do the trick.
Suggestions: Dunlop Formula 65 Polish and Cleaner, Gibson Pump Polish, and Ernie Ball Wonder Wipe Variety 6-pack.
6. Picks: these cheap and simple pieces of plastic are a great gift for any level guitarist. Like Chapstick, guitar picks seem to easily disappear. That’s why any guitar player will agree: you can’t have too many picks. You may want to consider customized picks just for fun; companies like Steve Clayton Inc. will let you design your own set and order them online. However, if you can’t decide what kind of picks to purchase, get a simple variety pack or select a medium-gauge set of picks – you can’t go wrong.
Suggestions: Dunlop Nylon Max Grip Guitar Picks – 12-Pack, Fender 351 Standard Guitar Picks (medium), or Everly Star Grip Guitar Picks (.73mm).