Finding Stocking Stuffers for Guitarists
‘Tis the season to start thinking about the perfect stocking stuffers for those special musicians in your life. Unfortunately, the task is often more difficult than it sounds. Whether the musicians in your life are drummers, guitarists, or flutists, choosing the perfect stocking stuffers can be difficult- especially if you’re not a musician yourself. No matter whom you’re buying for, they’re sure to love one of the below musician-approved stocking stuffers.
Although guitar straps can be a very personal choice, many guitarists will enjoy a nice, leather guitar strap. Some guidelines for a good strap are two inches wide for a light guitar, and three inches wide for a heavier guitar or bass. When purchasing a guitar strap, make sure the strap is adjustable, as some guitar players prefer to hold the instrument higher than others. If you know what their primary guitar looks like, avoid purchasing a strap that will clash with their guitar. Another great addition to this gift is a Strap Lock, or a lock that keeps the strap from sliding off the guitar. When it comes to purchasing a guitar strap, it’s best to err on the side of safety- avoid colorful or crazy designs and opt for something a bit more traditional.
Microfiber cloths can almost be considered a universal gift for musicians, as virtually every instrument requires at least some element of cleaning or maintenance. In addition to cleaning instruments, microfiber cloths can be used to clean laptops, television screens, and cell phones, so even if they can’t be used to clean an instrument they’ll still serve a purpose. Some microfiber cloths are pre-treated, meaning they automatically come with a built-in cleaner, while others are used in conjunction with a standalone cleaner. If you aren’t sure about the exact preference of your friend or family member, opt for a microfiber cloth that’s not pre-treated- they can always purchase a bottle of their favorite cleaning solution on their own.
This may seem like an odd choice, but many musicians will enjoy this out-of-the-box gift idea, as keeping their nails neat and trim is sometimes essential. For example, the clack-clack of long nails on piano keys can distract audience members from hearing the music as it was intended to be heard, so many piano and keyboard players prefer to keep their nails round and short. If you’re looking for something in addition to nail clippers, throw in a small bottle of hand lotion. Unscented works best, as the perfume in scented lotions often contains oils that can stain or strip away the gloss of an instrument. For the lotion, make sure the bottle is small enough to fit into a gig bag, as the musician will likely prefer the option to carry the lotion with them to rehearsals and recitals.
Guitar Picks & Strings
Unless you are absolutely certain of the exact brand and gauge of strings or picks the guitarist in your life prefers, purchasing a set of guitar strings or picks should be avoided. On the other hand, if the stocking stuffer is intended as a gift for a beginning musician, they likely don’t have a preferred brand or gauge yet, making this the perfect stocking stuffer for them. While a few packs of the right strings or a package of 100 picks is an economical choice for any guitar player, it’s the music equivalent of getting socks or underwear in their stocking. If you prefer to give gifts with a bit more personality, choose something else off the list and leave the guitar picks and strings to someone else.
If you don’t know the personal preferences of your family member or friend and are concerned about purchasing the wrong thing, you can’t go wrong with a book of Christmas sheet music. Available for a variety of skill levels, you can purchase a book of Christmas sheet music for your niece or nephew who just started taking lessons, or a family friend who has been playing their instrument for years. When purchasing Christmas sheet music, pay attention to the instrument- many publishers print books exclusively for pianos, guitars, flutes, or other instruments. Alternatively, you can purchase them a book of sheet music from your favorite composer or music genre.
Finally, you can never go wrong with purchasing a gift card or gift certificate to your family member or friend’s favorite music retailer. Chances are, you already know their favorite store or retailer and, if you don’t, just ask. While the amount is purely up to you, here are the average prices of various accessories and gear that you can use as a baseline: a pack of acoustic guitar strings typically costs about $10, a standard music stand averages $20, and the average price for a pack of drumsticks can range from $20-$40. If you prefer to do the shopping yourself but still aren’t sure what to get, make them a card with an IOU- make a plan to browse Music & Arts with your favorite musician and purchase them exactly what their heart desires.
For more gift ideas for guitarists, check out our Essential Guide to Guitar Accessories.