Father’s Day Gifts that Don’t Suck—A List By a Guitar Dad

Enough with the novelty beer bottle openers, fart joke t-shirts and fishing hats! I’m a dad who plays guitar. If you’re gonna buy us stuff, my fellow guitar dads and I would really enjoy things we’d actually use. You know, gifts that don’t suck.

Here’s a list…

Tickets to a show. You’ve seen our music collections. You know what we like. Why not get us a pair of tickets to a really good show? (Yes, a pair of tickets so we can spend some time with you.) I’m a guitar dad on the East Coast, so I suggest the Susquehanna Folk Festival (July 28 & 29 in Lewisberry, PA) because it’s affordable, there’s tons of acoustic guitar acts along with seminars, including blues legend Rory Block’s guitar seminar. Do your homework and find a fantastic concert or festival. Buy two tickets. Let’s go together and hang out.

Ernie Ball Expression Tremolo Pedal

Ernie Ball Expression Tremolo Pedal
(Image: © Ernie Ball)

A new pedal. Guitar dads like to explore new sounds and a new pedal is the quickest route there. Personally, I’ve been eying up the Ernie Ball Expression Tremolo pedal.

Something to build with our hands. Get us a $35 cigar box guitar kit so we can play the deepest blues. We’ll spend our evenings building it and our weekends on the back porch trying to play Son House on it while annoying your mother.

What’s better than a fart joke T-Shirt? A custom printed shirt or hat with the band logo from our old garage band from high school, before you were born. (Yeah, we still dream about being rock stars, even as we lose our hair and grow our bellies.) Find a photo of our old band, get one of your artsy fartsy friends to re-create the logo and have it printed on a shirt. There’s plenty of online companies that do single shirts.

A unique guitar slide. Sure, we don’t always play slide, but we like to dabble. I suggest the of Snake Oil Tonic Bottle slides ($10), the same ones that are sold at the Delta Blues Museum.

A new guitar. Haven’t we always told you, “you can never have too many guitars!” Ignore what mom says about the growing collection. Guitar dads could always use one more.

Can’t afford anything? We'd trade everything listed above for one single afternoon jamming with you. Just don’t ask us to play any of that djent crap...

Musician and author, Shane Speal is responsible for the resurgence of cigar box guitars in modern music. He fronts the DIY-instrument band, Shane Speal and the Snakes, curates the Cigar Box Guitar Museum inside Speal’s Tavern in New Alexandria, PA, and has made 2,000 cigar box guitars to date. His latest book, (Fox Chapel Publishing, August 2018) combines DIY instrument projects with their deep blues history.