Most guitarists will know this situation all too well – you look into your stocking and find some generic guitar ornament, a guitar shaped burger flipper, or a tie with guitars on it. Sweet and thoughtful, for sure, but kinda missing the mark.
As a guitarist, I have received a lot of stocking stuffers over the years. A lot have been great, but a lot of them ended up in the Goodwill pile after a year or two because I just didn’t use them. This is going to make me sound ungrateful, as I know the gift givers always have the most generous intentions, but in realty, the wrong stocking stuffer just ends up in a pile somewhere in the house. I guess I just feel bad, because the stuff accumulates, and when it’s time for Spring cleaning, they find their way out the door. Don’t let that happen to your stocking stuffer this season!
(PS – if you’ve ever found yourself purchasing a guitar trinket at Goodwill: guitar burger flipper, guitar flip flops, guitar belt buckle, etc – you’ve literally just purchased what another guitarist just threw out. You need my help!)
This is all too common with almost any hobby and gift-giving, and in all honestly, it’s very hard to buy a gift for someone who has a specific interest when you know nothing about it. It’s super thoughtful that you even thought of their hobby in the first place, so well done! The key to an excellent stocking stuffer for a guitarist is usefulness. I’m sure you want to spend your hard earned $ on something that will last and provide true enjoyment to the recipient, so here are my 9 suggestions for stocking stuffers for guitarists under $15:
Guitarists always have to change strings. This neat little “all-in-one” tool is a string winder (speeds up the winding process), string clipper, and has other uses. It’s made by a respectable brand – not some cheap generic, and it reduces the amount of tools your guitarist needs in his gear box. A useful stocking stuffer! SEE CURRENT PRICE
Every guitarist wants their guitar as buffed, polished, and shiny as a 1965 Corvette. This Dunlop guitar polish is a great stocking stuffer because it is a brand and formula that have been around a long time – it won’t hurt the guitar’s finish and it is widely used across the industry. SEE CURRENT PRICE
Most guitarists have a type of pick they like, and they don’t venture into other brands or styles. I was one of these, until I tried another pick type by accident. Picks come in different thicknesses, are made with different materials for alternative feels, and have different shapes. This Dunlop pick sampler is a discounted assortment of 12 different styles. Who knows, you may completely change one of the key tools your guitarist uses with this stocking stuffer. SEE CURRENT PRICE
Every guitarist needs a capo, and if you’re like me, you can never find it when you need it! A lot of guitarists won’t buy two because a quality capo is $15-$20. This capo is a bit less than most, but it’s a great backup. I know I would appreciate having an extra one around. If you’re not sure what a capo does, I won’t bore you with it (Google it if you really want to know), but it’s a good stocking stuffer for a guitarist. SEE CURRENT PRICE
Like an extra capo, an extra cable is nice too. But not all cables are created equal….actually, a lot are garbage. They do affect the sound of the guitar, so you want a quality cable. This 20′ guitar cable from GLS Audio gets fantastic reviews and is a good length. SEE CURRENT PRICE
Alright alright – you can have some creativity here, but be careful. Guitar straps are the “Father’s Day ties” of the guitar stocking stuffers. That said, most of us appreciate a good strap. Here are a two guidelines:
- Don’t buy a strap under $10.00. They just aren’t worth the trouble and might break, and guitar falls to the ground.
- Don’t get a crazy pattern unless you KNOW it is something that the recipient would like
- Look at the guitarist’s other guitar straps to see what material/colors they like
This little tool is used to set the appropriate string height on your guitar. From time to time, guitars need to be adjusted. This tool will help with this, and provides some other measuring uses around the workbench. This one is on the cheap end, but still a good addition to the toolbox. SEE CURRENT PRICE
Guitar stands can be hit or miss. First, do they have one at all? If not, this is probably a good idea. Second, maybe they already have one, but are there additional guitars that could use a stand? Take note of the guitar stand style that your guitarist is using – stick to the same style because this is definitely a preference thing. Third, does he prefer to use guitar hangers? All guitars have their place – on a stand, on a hanger, in a case, or in your lap.
Even the most experienced musicians use clip on tuners, and it’s not a bad thing to have an extra around. We did a full review on this little guy and it’s pretty nifty. I found it to be quite handy, especially when I needed a tuner to be portable. SEE CURRENT PRICE
That should be enough as far as stocking stuffers. Now, just for fun, here’s a list of guitar stocking stuffers NOT to get. Disclosure: this is my preference, others may differ….
- Guitar Shaped Objects That Shouldn’t Be Guitar Shaped for Optimal Use: Burger Flippers, Cooking Tongs, Grill Pans, Bottle Openers, USB Thumbdrives, Toilet Roll Dispenser
- Guitar Related Ornaments. If it’s signed by Keith Richards, that’s one thing…but mostly nope.
- Generic Guitar Related Graphic Clothing – ties, socks, sunglasses, hats. If it just has a picture of some guitars, pass. If it’s a brand, that’s cool – Fender, Schecter, Reville, Gibson, etc, but otherwise it’s like getting a generic stuffed “Mikey Mouse” instead of a real Mickey Mouse for your kid.
- Generic Guitar Artwork & Posters – Especially if it has some fuzzy saying like “FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS.” This is something Grandma gets you. Now, a picture of Jimmy Page? That’s cool.
- Guitars for Dummies – Unless they literally just started, they can learn better from YouTube
For the guitarists reading this, what are some other good (or bad) ideas for stocking stuffers?