Acoustic Nation's Holiday Gift Guide
I’ll admit it. I’m always looking for another gadget that will enhance my guitar playing. From simple capos and tuners to more complex apps, pedals and accessories, there’s a boatload of cool stuff that we guitarists crave. And don’t even get me started on picks. They seem to disappear on a daily basis.
And of course, there's always another instrument to try. Whether its another guitar or something else with strings, like a ukulele or mandolin, putting your fingers on something new and different keeps things fresh and sonically interesting.
I bet you’re wondering what to get the acoustic musician in your life right about now. Or, of course, what to put on your own wish list. I reached out to our family of bloggers to see what they find to be the most useful. Here are our top picks for gifts for the acoustic musician in your life…or for yourself!
Kyser Quick-Change Capo -- $24.95. Kyser capos are solidly built and now they come in a variety of really cool colors. I’m always searching for my capo, so another one (or two!) is never a bad thing. (Hint, hint!)
Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic/Electric Player Pack –- around $200. Great for beginners or folks getting back into playing, this offers you everything you need to start playing guitar right away. In addition to the guitar it includes an Epiphone Studio Acoustic-15C amp along with a chromatic tuner, strap, cable, picks, gigbag, and a comprehensive instructional DVD with easy guitar lessons.
Intellitouch Freedom One Wireless Tuner WT-1 -- $149.95. Singer/songwriter Ali Handal shares:I LOOOOOOVE the Intellitouch FreedomOne Wireless Tuner. The range is phenomenal (up to 30 ft!), and the pedal tuner is very accurate. There's no battery back to wear, and no messing with wireless channels, like on other types of wireless units.
Peavey Walking Dead guitars and accessories -- Straps 39.99, Picks: Pack of 12 for $9.99, guitars $219.99 - $329.99. Found Sound blogger Tom Gilbert gave us a heads up on Peavey’s Walking Dead accessories. Awesome graphics on some cool gear! Who wouldn’t want to have a zombie-laden strap or picks lurking in their stocking? They have electric guitars too, in cause you want to make it a loud xmas!
The Loar Small Body Acoustic Guitars -- $400 to $600 range. For whatever reason I am somewhat obsessed with small body acoustics. So when blogger Tom Gilbert brought up the collection of small bodies from The Loar, all I could thing was, “Yes!” Great for traveling, songwriting and just about anything else!
“The Beatles: The BBC Archives, 1962-70” -- Hardcover $30. For the Beatles fan on your list, Tom Gilbert suggests the new book, “The Beatles: The BBC Archives, 1962-70.” Written by Beatles aficionado Kevin Howlett, the book brings to light television broadcasts, radio appearances, rare photos, scripts, reproductions of memos and more.
Clip-on Tuner - they range from $7 to $70. Blogger Alex Mitroff shares, “When I was touring with a band it was invaluable to have a clip on tuner. Easy to use, quick switching to other instruments, and works on pretty much anything with a headstock!” Some options are the Boss TU-10, Fishman FT-1, Korg AW-2G, DeltaLab CT-10 and many more.
"The Little Black Songbook" – around $17. Mitroff also clued us in on this. "I received a copy of the Tom Waits’ "Little Black Songbook" for Christmas two years ago, and I have to say it's among the best stocking stuffers ever. It contains a plethora of great songs spanning Waits' entire career, with lyrics and chord progressions. Also available for the songs of Dylan, Cohen, Paul Simon, and more.
Washburn M3SWE Acoustic/Electric Mandolin – around $600. Washburn has been building mandolins since the late 1800s, so you know you’re in good hands (so to speak!) Here’s a mandolin with pickup included. Great for bluegrass, Celtic or rock, it’ll be a nice addition to the sonic palette. It even comes with a case!
Alaska Piks -- $1.98. Blogger Kristin Stillwell shares: Alaska Piks are amazing finger picks! Unlike normal finger picks, they sit just under your nail, so they act like an extension of your nail. And they don't cover your finger tip, so you don't lose contact between your fingers and the string. You can also cut and/or file them down to the length you want. Great for players who don't or can't grow nails, or for players with a recovering broken nail.
Spider Capo -- $39.95. Hit Nashville songwriter Marty Dodson says, “I'm not a big gear guy, but my favorite new gadget is my ‘Spider Capo.’ You can capo each string individually, so it makes for some interesting tunings.” You can check out a recent article that talked about this and other capo ideas here.
Boss Loop Station -- $200 to $600 depending on model. If you’ve read any of Dorit’s articles, you’ll know she’s into looping. So her wish list includes a Boss Loop Station. They come in a variety of sizes and price levels, but the goal is the same: construct a performance as simple or complex and you wish!
Lag Ukulele U77S -- $194. Don’t laugh. I picked up a ukulele the other day at Guitar Center and realized I didn’t even know how to hold it! This diminutive instrument is hot! It makes a great gift for any acoustic musician. The Lag U77S is made of Mahogany and it sure is purty!
Dean Markley Guitar Polish and Cloth -– under $20 for both. This is a really nice stocking stuffer or secret santa gift for the acoustic musician in your life. The polish cleans up your instrument to shiny perfection, and it smells super. The cloth comes in two sizes and really picks up the gunk. Sweet!
TC Helicon Voicelive Vocal Designer and Looper -- $350 to $700 range depending on model. NYC musician Dorit wrote in: “I love TC Helicon products. Voice live is very cool. Either the pedal version for instrumental players or their touch version just for singers.” This vocal processor puts singers in control of their sound for the ultimate live vocal sound. Cool!
Martin Build Your Own Guitar Kit - $389.60 for the Rosewood kit. OK, this kind of blows my mind. It’s everything you need in one package to build your own Martin guitar. Perfect for the DIY acoustic guitarist in your life. Has anyone out there tried this? I’m guessing it’s not something you finish overnight. Fun!