Holiday Stocking Stuffers and Groovy Gifts for Guitarists

Yep. You waited until almost the last minute for your holiday shopping, and now you’re stumped and panicking about what to get your favorite guitarist.
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Yep. You waited until almost the last minute for your holiday shopping, and now you’re stumped and panicking about what to get your favorite guitarist. Well, we can’t promise instant delivery, guaranteed in-stock supplies, or late-shopper discounts, but we can offer up a few ideas that should make most guitar players beam with joy if one of these babies makes it into their hands.

ALL YOU NEED
YAMAHA AXPAK
$49 street

I like to call these types of things “grandparent’s gifts,” because they’re the perfect “can’t go wrong” presents for friends and relatives who want to give you something nice, but don’t know much about anything regarding your guitar jones. Having said that, there’s stuff in the AxPak that every guitarist can always use: a guitar stand, guitar picks, a polishing cloth, a guitar strap, a string winder, and a clip-on tuner. A good value, too. usa.yamaha.com

WOOD ON YO’ FACE
PATTERSON GUITARS/PARKMAN SUNGLASSES
$195 direct

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If you’re obsessed with tonewoods—and what guitarist isn’t?—thanks to a partnership between Patterson Guitars and Parkman Sunglasses, you can now caress your face with mahogany and rosewood. Handcrafted in New Jersey with leftover wood from the Patterson factory, these limited-edition sunglasses offer polarized lenses, an aircraft-grade birch core, and stainless-steel spring hinges. The “top” wood is unstained to retain each tonewood’s natural beauty, as well as to make each pair of sunglasses a one-of-a-kind art piece. parkmansunglasses.com

BOTTLE ROCKING
THETUBESTORE.COM
Prices vary

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For many of us, giving the gift of tubes is such a terrifying exercise that we typically jettison the whole idea, and go for a Starbucks card or a pair of socks. Think again. This website makes buying tubes a snap with its “Shop by Amp” feature and an old-school Sears catalog-like (remember Good, Better, Best?) presentation of Value, Premium, Vintage, Metal, and Invasion packages (depending on the amp type). There are even tutorials on the site for those who want to dig deeper into the tubular arts. thetubestore.com

PERSONAL GUITAR TECH
ROADIE AUTOMATIC TUNER
$99 direct

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Wouldn’t it be great to toss your instrument to a guitar wrangler every time your tuning got a bit sour? Okay, a personal tech would be quite expensive, but for under $100, the motorized Roadie tuning device and a smartphone (armed with the free Roadie App) can quickly keep your guitar in tune, as well as store alternate and custom tunings. You simply select the target tuning from the app, put the Roadie on a guitar-type machine head, pluck a string, and—zing—you’re tuned. And, unlike real roadies, the Roadie fits right into a gig-bag pocket and is always at hand. roadietuner.com

FOR AGLEAMING DEMON
KYSER GUITAR CARE KIT
$24 retail
For some players, keeping their guitars buffed and shiny is like brushing your teeth— you do it every day. Other guitarists—not so much. But whether you’re an obsessive guitar-care zealot, or someone who needs reminding that maintenance is due, having the Guitar Care Kit at hand is a good thing for your stringed instruments. Included are bottles of string cleaner, polish, and Lem-Oil (for your fretboard), and three color-coded Ultra Opper Fiber cloths. kysermusical.com

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ESSENTIAL DIY OUTFIT
ERNIE BALL MUSICIAN’S TOOL KIT
$29 street

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Stop searching for tools when you want to change strings, make adjustments, or otherwise batten down the hatches on your guitar’s hardware. The Musician’s Tool Kit has everything you need in a neat, tidy, and handy carrying case: a string cutter, peg winder, 6-in-1 screwdriver, hex wrenches, ruler, a polishing cloth, and Wonder Wipes. Put it in your gig bag and never fumble around for MIA gizmos again. ernieball.com

SAVE YOUR MONEY MAKERS
ALPINE MUSICSAFE CLASSIC EARPLUGS
$19 street

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It’s no joke. If you play loud music, you’re beating the hell out of your ears. So you should wear hearing protection religiously if you don’t want tinnitus, or to doom yourself to responding to every conversation with, “What? What?” These MusicSafe Classic plugs include two filter sets so you can tailor the defense to the decibel levels without feeling isolated from your band mates, or otherwise “closed off” from the music. Gift them to anyone who prizes their ears. alpinehearingprotection.com

CELEBRATE 40 YEARS OF AWESOME
THE GUITAR PLAYER BOOK
$19 street

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We put this tome together to honor GP’s 40th anniversary, and we’re 48 this year, so it’s certainly not what you’d call a “brand new” book. But it’s still chock full of indispensible interviews with guitar heroes from 1967 to 2007, as well as music lessons, gear applications, how to’s, and other vital information from what should be your favorite guitar magazine. You can get copies from amazon.com and other outlets. It’s a really fabulous gift if we do say so ourselves. halleonard.com

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