2010 Frugal Guitarist Gift Guide

Sunday, December 5, 2010| by Will Chen

Ahh, its that time of year. The weather is getting crisp and the holiday season is upon us. Looking for a gift for you beloved guitarist? Here are a few ideas which won’t break the bank.

Below $20

Picks - Guitarists seem to loose these faster than a boxer looses teeth! the seasoned guitar player is often very specific regarding tastes though so be sure to sneak one out of there stash to march at a store. For a special touch, consider a customized vanity pick featuring your 6-stringer’s name and/or signature.

Strings - D'Addario XL Nickel Wound strings are my favorite which feature environmentally friendly packaging and deep discounted bulk sets to save money, but Ernie Ball Slinky and Dean Markley Blue Steel are also popular among Frugal Guitarists. Pass on the no name strings in the bargain bin at your local shops. Hint: invade your guitar player’s stash (or trash) and find a pack of strings. Bring the pack to your local music store and match the package to ensure you get their preferred brand.

Qwik Tune Guitar Professor - Quite a handy piece of gear, the Guitar Professor from Qwik tune is a tuner with a built in chord dictionary and pitch pipe smaller than the average wallet with a street price of around $10.

$20 to $50

The Guitar Player Repair Guide by Dan Erlewine - I’ve recommended this before, and I’m recommending it again, and will continue to do so until I’m blue in the face. This book covers everything the budding DIY guitarist will ever need to know regarding maintenance and repair of their guitar. Well, maybe not everything...but it's a darn good reference and a must have for every Frugal Guitarist.

Rose Mariposa Pickups - For your Strat lover who always smells of solder, relative newcomer Rose offers the fantastic Mariposa set of vintage syled Strat pickups for ~ $30 USD which is an absolute steal. I’ve got a set and love them. Rose also offers a full range of custom wound pickups covering the tonal gamut, prices vary.

GFS Effects Pedals - With a wide variety of pedals to complement any guitar players tonal tastes, Guitar Fetish’s line of true bypass pedals offer a great and affordable gift for guitarists of any skill level. New for 2010 are their Twin effects. Prices start at $39.95 USD

Danelectro Cool Cat Pedals - Many of the earlier versions of Danelectro’s Cool Cat line have attained a cult following from players claiming the designs to be clones of some very high dollar boutique pedals. regardless if they are, they sound good and are very easy on the wallet. I reviewed a handful of their V2 pedals and was particularly impressed with the CO-2 Drive Pedal. Prices start at ~ $45 USD

Gift Certificates - While any guitar related gifts will be much appreciated by your guitarist, we can be picky and fickle in our tastes. You can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to a local music shop or one of the bigger online retailers.


Peavey Revalver HP - Peavey’s Revalver MkIII delivers an incredible amount of realism and detail and in my humble opinion is at the top of the list of PC based amp modeling based on its price performance ratio. At ~$69 USD, the HP edition is a scaled back version containing only the Peavey amp models at an incredibly affordable price point.

SX Hawk Stop Tail - Rondo music offers their strat styled Hawk in a variety of finishes and configurations including dual P90s and the popular HSS (humbucker/single/single), but my favorite is the stop tail which I reviewed back when it was called the SST57 (maple board, or SST62 with rosewood board) and have included it on the frugal Guitarist annual gift guides ever since. When they’re in stock (which is rarely), Rondo still offers the stop tail for $99, an absolute ultimate bargain in my humble opinion.

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