Last Minute Shopping
by Cullen James

Got some last minute Christmas shopping to do for the guitarist in your life? Here are some great gift ideas certain to strum your string-slinger’s power chord.

Here are some of the cheaper entries you could find, $100 or less:

Guitar Tool. Regardless of the age or playing level of your guitarist, a tool such as this makes a fantastic gift. Similar in design to your average multi-tool, it parts company in functionality with tools specifically tailored for the demands of the instrument.

Cost: $20 - $30

Links: Music 123, Musician’s Friend

This particular product is no longer made. How fucking awful is that? This stuff was so cool. Great packaging. Cleaning Kit. I have spoken here about how important it is to clean and care for your instrument. So, you might want to pick up some gear for your axe-slinger to show their instrument love.

Cost: $15 - $30

Links: Music 123, Musician’s Friend

Line 6 Guitar Port. A cool tool for beginners and pros. The Guitar Port gives you 10 amp models and an array of effects as long as you have a USB equipped PC or Mac. And, if you don’t, I mean, get out of the cave already.

Cost: $100

Links: Music 123, Musician’s Friend

If your axe-man is more deserving, you might consider the following gifts in the $101 - $400 price range:

Roland Mini Cube. This little wonder allows you to take your annoying … er, guitar playing mobile. This little amp runs on 6 AA batteries or AC power. It offers 6 DSP effects, 7 amp models, headphone jack, and auxiliary input.

Cost: $125 - 130

Links: Music 123, Musician’s Friend

OLP John Petrucci Guitar Pack. If you’ve got a beginner looking for a decent axe or an enthusiast who’s a Dream Theater geek (Me? Naaaaw), the OLP John Petrucci signature pack is an affordable alternative to its Music Man bigger brother.

Cost: $199 - $350

Links: Music 123, Musician’s Friend

Ibanez RG350. The choice of guitar for metal and punk, the Ibanez RG series is a serious instrument in any of its incarnations. The RG350 is a very affordable yet feature rich guitar. It has an Edge III bridge for unhindered dive bombing, three DiMarzio-designed pickups. The guitar is offered in many different colors and designs to fit your musician’s aesthetic desires.

Cost: $350 - $400

Links: Music 123, Musician’s Friend

Fender G-DEC 30. The G-DEC (Digital Entertainment Center) that offers a wealth of digital effects, amp models, presets, MIDI, connections, and a wealth more. Seriously, check the links, this thing’s amazing. All of this combined with legendary Fender sound and you’ve got a hell of a package.

Cost: $370 - $400

Links: Music 123, Musician’s Friend

Maybe you’re rich or have a lot of extra cash to spend in 30 days or you’ll lose the $300 million, but let’s be honest – if you’re in the market for the next few items, you’re buying them for yourself. Here are some suggestions from $400 and up.

DigiTech GNX4. This GNX4 Guitar Workstation is the gold standard of multi-effects processors today. If you read any guitar magazine, you’ll find that all the lessons and tab breakdowns tell you how to dial in the sound using the GNX4. There is so much going on with this thing that you’ll have to click below to check out the sites to see for yourself and even then you won’t see everything. Download the user’s manual and you’ll get a better idea. One of the neat things is that all the effects and user banks can be tweaked via included software when you plug the thing up to your PC. Maybe not as cool as single effects, but you’d spend thousands to get a fraction of this multi-effect system’s capabilities.

Cost: $500

Links: Music 123, Musician’s Friend

Gibson Les Paul Menace. Every so often, Gibson plays around with their standard guitar design to offer a special instrument that usually only lasts for a limited time. The Voodoo series is a good example. This year, Gibson tinkered with the Les Paul a bit and came up with this new model – the Menace. It’s got some interesting cosmetic changes and has brushed chrome hardware. Most importantly though, it has an ebony fretboard – very much a rarity on a Gibson Les Paul! If you play metal, this thing should be right up your alley, but honestly, I imagine this thing’ll be a good investment as I’m sure it won’t last long.

Cost: $860

Links: Music 123, Musician’s Friend

M-Power Pro Tool Recording Kit. Get your home studio started the right way. Industry-standard Pro Tools digital audio recording and editing is paired with a M-Audio 1814 FireWire recording interface, mic stand, mic and headphones. Just what you need to take your music out of the garage. Or put the garage on MySpace, which is more likely.

Cost: $800

Link: Musician’s Friend

Krank Half Stack. Aural sex abuse. This is the same stuff Dimebag Darrel used. Clear, crisp clean sounds with amazingly voiced, screaming distortion. Better not have neighbors.

Cost: $2,600

Link: Music 123

Gretsch Brian Setzer Black Phoenix Guitar. Do I even need to say anything about how cool this guitar is? I didn’t think so.

Cost: $3,640

Link: Private Reserve Guitars

So, um, if anyone feels a little extra generous this holiday season, a certain guitar-centric writer would love any of these things.

Cullen wants Santa to know that he was a very, very good boy this year. Except for that one thing. And he's already done his time for that.



I have that Roland Cube and it is unbelievable how good it is! I've had it since August, I use it all the time and I still haven't replaced the batteries- the effects are limited as you might expect but they still sound clear as hell - the stack distortions are excellent though, I've actually considered outputting this amp to my mixer.
Oh, and good luck on that Gretsch Cullen! ;)


Yeah. If I didn't have a family, I might be able to get away with buying stuff like this.

Damn family. ;)


You left out guitar picks! I like Fender heavy's for anyone that's looking for a last min stocking stuffer...


I was looking for some last minute gifts for the kid (who got nothing but guitar related stuff this year again) - I think I'll get him that tool thing.


That Gretsch is a fucking thing of beauty. Aw, who am I kidding ? It'd just sit in the corner and collect dust. But good god, it'd be pretty to look at...


You know, I was going to put picks and strings on here, but you know they're relatively cheap and people tend to have very strong feelings about what kind of pick or string they like to play.

I use the big, rounded triangle, 1mm Clayton picks. I can't even stand the feeling of a "regular" sized guitar pick any more.


dude i still have some dorito picks from back when i started. laff! This is all stuff i would be happy to have for xmas but probably would not in a million years go buy for myself.

And Cullen, here's something for you to chortle over.

I'm giving a free clinic to the people who buy the guitars at the husband's department. On how to do things like string it, tune it, clean it, etc. Well, you know, do as i say, not as i do. Because last year the number one reason for returns on the guitars was- ok get this- a string broke. I don;t understand the mentality of someone who would return a guitar because a string broke, but whatever.


you need to tell them they broke the strings cause they played the flux capacitor with too much reverb


Liking that Les Paul


Pril, I am gobsmacked about that. I mean, how could you stop yourself from smacking them?

I don't think I would let them buy another guitar.

I could picture that scene. "Um, my geetahr is broken. I wanna eckschange it."

Me: "What's wrong with it?

Person about to get smacked: "This hear [they can't even speak words spelled correctly] string broke."

Me: "Get out."

I might even throw a floor tom at them.


I started to like to like my MicroCube when the first storm came down and everything went out.
Plugged the ol' piece of wood in and cranked it a bit
with a candle
cool guitar moment


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