As you’re a Guitar Player reader, and you’re well aware we cover gear goodies all year round in these pages and online, we hope you’ve spent the past few months wisely as far as assembling a fabulous holiday wish list—both for yourself and your guitar-playing buddies. But, just in case you were somehow distracted from your seasonal planning, the GP staff has put together some “almost” last-minute ideas for your consideration. Now, since this is the December issue, you should probably get cracking on that holiday shopping!
SOLDERLESS PEDALBOARD KIT
As customization is huge these days, it seems that a guitarist’s pedal armory changes out almost weekly. Happily, you can facilitate rapid and neat pedalboard revamps by making your own cables. The BOSS solderless system is a super-easy DIY option that requires no cable stripping. Only the tightening of a single ground screw on each connector is all you need to start rocking—well, after you choose just the right cable length for your pedals, that is. Cables are low-capacitance and manufactured using oxygen-free copper and braided shielding. The savvy, bi-directional jacks let you position pedals as close together as one centimeter. Kits are available in lengths of two feet ($19), six feet ($49), 12 feet ($89), and 24 feet ($149).
BLACK BELT DREADNOUGHT CASE
Gig bags are always a good choice for holiday cheer—especially if your player of choice is getting tired of lugging hard-shell cases around. The Black Belt Dreadnaught features a water-repellent exterior, an interior lining, a Comfort Grip handle, dual shoulder straps, and a large exterior accessory pocket.
$19 per month
We’ve run several stories about inspiring young players and keeping them engaged about playing guitar, so one of the hippest gifts you could give a beginning or aspiring guitarist this season is an educational “help line.” Fender Play offers a curriculum with noted teachers and educators, and all the lessons are filmed so that the student can see the instructor’s entire guitar—it’s almost like being in the same room.
FURNITURE NASHVILLE CABINET
$1,850 direct ($2,450 with humidifier)
American Music Furniture’s beautiful Guitar Habitats display multiple guitars as if they were museum pieces, and they’re even humidified to keep the wood of your lovelies nurtured and happy. The company recently released its Nashville model—a display case for a single guitar that can be built in walnut, cherry, oak, maple, sapele, or a selection of exotics.
GUITAR PRO 7
Whether you’re an aspiring film composer looking to create orchestral scores, or just want to print out tabs for your band, the seventh generation of Guitar Pro offers tons of options and ease-of-use to get you there. New features in Guitar Pro 7 include a redesigned interface, additional notation elements (pick scrape, dead slap, golpe, etc.), more onboard sounds (Dobro, electric sitar, mellotron, and others), and more than 1,000 presets. You can also plug your guitar right into the software via an audio interface and chose between ten guitar amps and three bass amps. Compatible with Windows and Mac.
OPTEK MUSIC SYSTEMS
Another awesome initiative for keeping players of all ages thrilled and obsessed with the guitar is Guitar Tunes. This app (Mac iOS; Android coming soon) serves up real songs—not “sounds like” tracks or cover versions done by artists you’ve never heard of—and displays the notes on a virtual fretboard so that you can easily see how your favorite guitar heroes created their riffs, solos, and melody lines. The onboard SMAR-Tuner even adjusts pitch to the original recording. Even if the original artists detuned their instruments or slowed down (or sped up) the tape machine, you’ll always be right in tune to play along. There’s also a full library of lessons, jam-along videos, and more. Rock and learn!
This little hunk of genius has the potential to be this year’s biggest stocking stuffer for guitarists. It’s fun, super affordable, unique, eminently practical, and absolutely “crafty.” Imagine being able to make custom picks out of any piece of plastic? The whole idea just makes me laugh, but it’s a very happy laugh. The Plectrum Punch is certainly one of the most delightfully bizarro guitar gifts this year. Do I hope that I find one in my stocking? Duh. Yeah!
One way to keep your children—or, well, yourself—from constantly using an iPhone solely as a distraction is to clip it into a guitar. Yeah! Now, that’s more constructive—and possibly more fun—than sharing images of your dinner on Instagram, or losing yourself in cute puppy videos for hours. Once you integrate your iOS device into the Fusion guitar, you get access to all kinds of guitar and recording apps. In addition, the Fusion is a self-contained music machine. It has an onboard amplifier, built-in speakers, and an integrated, rechargeable battery. No cables or other gear are needed. It’s a space age guitar that you could play on the space station!