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Gifts of Christmases Past: Real-life Gift Suggestions

Gifts of Christmases Past: Real-life Suggestions

This time of year I often plan to blog about gift ideas you can give the musician in your life. I doubt I will be getting any musical gifts this year. The truth is I have a wonderful wife and family and don’t need any gifts. Even if you pressed me to suggest a guitar or other musical gift I might want, I’d have difficulty coming up with a reasonable answer because I’ve got pretty much everything I want or need. At least everything anyone in my family could afford. However, reviewing the past, I have received some very nice music related gifts for Christmas and other occasions. So here are some of the gifts I’ve received over the years, with comments. Let these real life examples serve as suggestions for gifts for your musician.

I know the dates and occasions for some of these gifts. Others (e.g., music stands or picks) I don’t remember when so clearly.

Birthday 1999

Tuners and Metronomes

  • Korg AT-2 Chromatic Tuner: Christmas 1994
  • Korg Metronome (MA-20): Christmas, 1998
  • Wittner Taktell Piccolo Metronome (wind-up): Birthday 1999
  • Sabine MT9000 Tuner/Metronome: Christmas 2003
  • Intellitouch Tuner Christmas: 2004

Comment and Suggestion: The first tuners I received are so obsolete. The concept of a dedicated tuner that is bigger than your smartphone is obsolete because you can get an app for your smartphone. But tuners that clamp onto your guitar (or banjo, or ukulele or mandolin or violin, etc. ) are a very good idea. Here is my suggestion if you want to give a tuner.

NS Micro Tuner.

D'addario Ns Micro Headstock Tuner

Amp Modelers, Effect Pedalszoom

  • Zoom 503 Amp Modeler Birthday 1999
  • Ibanez Tube Screamer

Comments and Suggestions: Small dedicated amp modelers are somewhat obsolete. You can get smartphone software that does much of the same thing. The alternatives are high end guitar amp modelers which now are often built into a tube amplifier. Pedals can be a good gift idea if you know what type of pedals your guitarist wants. The problem is that there are so many different pedals that are trying to do the same thing and the judgement of what is a good pedal is so personal that it is easy to buy one that isn’t appreciated. Still, here are a couple of suggestions.

Ditto Looper by TC Electronics

Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer
(This is a classic)


  • Fender Standard Jazz Bass (Mexico) A gift to myself on my 50th birthday. I no longer have this.
  • Hohner Chromatic Harmonica CX12
  • Art & Lutherie AMI Spruce Parlor (Godin) Father’s Day 2006

Comment and Suggestions: I’ve written a number of other articles about giving a guitar as a present so I’ll recommend smaller and less expensive ideas here.

Hohner Special 20 Diatonic Harmonica
(Key of G – but having harp in different keys is good)

They come in all sizes and prices.


  • The Realbook Volumes 1, 2, 3 & 4. Christmases past, not all in the same year.
  • Other music books
  • Guitar History books
  • Musician Biography’s

Comments and Suggestions: There are fake books for almost every genre. Some are for specific instruments and others are in different keys or written on different cleffs (horns, bass).

The Realbooks
Volumnes I through V are available. Get the appropriate key. If you don’t know, C is good.

Classic Rock Fake Book

Christmas Gift (date forgotten)


  • Fingerpicks
  • Slides
  • Music Stands
  • Guitar Stands
  • Microphones

Comments and Suggestions: Picks and slides are fairly inexpensive. Guitar stands are always welcome.

CooperStand PRO-G

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