10 Father's Day Gifts for 10 Very Different Dads

Here are ten gift ideas for rockin' dads of different temperaments and personalities.
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Frustrated by the barrage of "Father's Day Gift Guides" because your rockin' pop simply is too cool for a tie or a wallet? Flummoxed because dad is an obsessed guitarist like yourself and only cares about stuff that helps him play better and sound better? Worried because your dad is a particular personality who doesn't fit into the usual "gift parameters"?

Yeah. We've been there...

So to help us all discover some groovy gifts for Father's Day, here are ten "type driven" gift ideas for fussy dads.

The Tinkerer Dad

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Mod Kits DIY The Rattler Distortion Pedal

$49 direct

Dad works on his own Harley or Honda, builds shelving units for the garage, or tries to "improve" the coffee maker with a few tweaks? Well, he's a natural for building his own effects pedals. The Rattler is a slightly tougher than "novice" build if he wants to step gingerly into pedal construction, but Mod Kits DIY also produces wahs, reverb tanks, mini amps, and other signal processors if he wants more of a challenge.

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The Fan Dad

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D'Addario Planet Waves Beatles Straps

$29 street

Pop have a fan boy obsession with the Fab Four? These vinyl 2.5" guitar straps from D'Addario let you choose from Meet the Beatles to Abbey Road and beyond. Dad a bit more guitar focused? D'Addario also offers signature straps from Joe Satriani and Pat Metheny.

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The Alternative Dad

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Capo Clips

$24 direct (capo); $9.95 direct (extra clips)

Yeah. Your pop is weird, and he abhors anything stinking of convention. The Capo Clip may be just the thing for him, because he can use its clips to never play a "normal" tuning ever again. Choose from EAD, G, or C models, or get dad a complete setup for $96. Guitar Player's "capo of capos," Associate Editor Matt Blackett, rigged up the clips for E-major drones, mournful Dm-add9s, and other unique voicings. Give dad the power to really explore the bizarre.

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The Fumble-Fingered Father


Dunlop Max-Grip Nylon Picks

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$3.99 street (12 pack, Standard)

So, anything in dad's fingers ends up splattering all over the floor, a table, or himself? The non-slip surface on the Dunlop Max-Grips might at least keep his guitar technique focused on his guitar strings. These hard-to-drop picks come in different gauges and colors, are available as Standard or Jazz III models, and Slipknot's Mick Thomson even has a signature set.

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The Paranoid Pop

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Tempo AnyCase Tracking Device

$295 direct

Your dad won't dare leave the house to gig because he fears that thieves have eyes only for his prized guitar? The Tempo AnyCase won't totally ease his paranoia, but, at least, if his guitar does get nicked, he'll be able to track its whereabouts, and hopefully seek its safe return with the help of local law enforcement. This GPS tracking "bug" fits securely and nearly unnoticed in your guitar case so that you can see your baby's real-time location from any computer or Apple or Android mobile device.

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The Fastidious Father

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SKB Universal Electric Guitar Soft Case

$84 street

If your dad is one of those who likes everything well-arranged and in its proper place, the storage pockets on this SKB gig bag will ensure he's not swearing a blue streak while rummaging around for an MIA cable or tuner. The interior is molded EPS with a plush lining, and it even has rubber feet for standing the case neatly on its side (he'll dig that). But the best bets for bringing a smile to dad's face are the generous pockets, which allow separate storage of accessories, pedals, set lists, and other stuff.

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The Deafened Dad

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Etymotic Music•PRO Earplugs

$299 direct

Your father consistently says "Huh?" or "Speak up!" every time you talk to him, but still won't wear hearing protection because he doesn't like how inexpensive, conventional earplugs make music sound bass heavy and muted? It's time for a tech intervention! These Editors' Pick Award-winning earplugs from Etymotic are not cheap, but they'll save what's left of dad's hearing without making him feel like he's playing music wrapped in a foam pillow. Adaptive "robot" processing only kicks in 15dB of hearing protection when sound levels reach the hazardous level (Normal mode). You can also opt for 9dB of hazardous signal reduction coupled with a 6dB boost of low-level sounds (Enhanced mode—good for dads who can't discern band-member chatter on stage or in rehearsal).

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The Practicing Pop

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Vox Valvetronix VT20+ Classic

$179 street

Wherever the family banishes dad to work on his chops, he'll be much happier in the garage, pool room, tool shed, or home office if he's plugging into a practice amp that doesn't look or sound like a practice amp. This limited-edition modeling amp from Vox has the look of the company's classic AC30, wields 99 amp and effects tones, puts out 30-watts RMS through an 8" Vox speaker (and processes the works through a 12AX7 tube), has an onboard tuner, a speaker-simulated headphone jack, and an Aux input so dad can jam to his favorite songs, or riff away to recorded band rehearsals.

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Father Time

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Soundbrenner Pulse Watch

$99 direct (pre-orders)

If your dad is an early adopter of tech gear, but can't bring himself to join the Apple watch crowd, give him a timepiece so new that you can only pre-order now with delivery due in November 2015. The Soundbrenner Pulse is a wearable (there's a buzz word for pop, as well) metronome that keeps your sense of time on the money with strong pulses you can feel. Save your ears from horrid click tracks! Guitar Player's own Christopher Scapelliti has already given it a thumbs up.

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Pop Unbound

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Line 6 Relay G70 Wireless System

$499 street

It may be risky freeing your dad from the confines of his guitar cable — after all, who knows what embarrassing rock-star moves he may unleash on an unsuspecting public — but if you're going to give him a wireless system, give him one he can put on his pedalboard with no muss or fuss. The Line 6 G70 gives him eight hours of battery time on the metal transmitter and the "pedal" receiver includes an onboard tuner.

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