Guitarists and bassists—really any musician—can be tricky to shop for, even if you are one yourself! What follows is a 2018 guide to find the best gifts for guitar players and bassists, broken down into categories with featured items, plus a few bonus ideas.
1. Cables | Mogami Gold Instrument-10
Guitar players and bassists can never have too many high-quality audio cables. Since almost everything that your friend does involves the necessity for audio cables, having a few extra is always a great idea. That way they can keep the spares at home, one in the bag, on at their rehearsal space. It makes traveling easier as they don't have to carry one cable with them everywhere.
For guitar/bass/keyboard players, get them a long 1/4 inch TS cable(s). These will allow them to connect their instrument into any soundboard and also plug it into any amps that they own. Our recommendation: Mogami Gold Instrument-10.
2. Portable recording device | Spire Studio
Spire Studio is iZotope’s one-touch professional recording device, and it makes for one of the best gifts for guitar players and bassists. We created Spire Studio to make recording, mixing, and sharing high-quality music simple, without complicating creativity with a time-consuming setup process. Guitarists and bassists can use the built-in professional-quality microphone, or choose to plug into the two XLR/TS combo inputs on the back of the device.
But don’t take out word for it. Guitar-windmilling rock legend of The Who said, “I am in love with this thing.” Cat Popper, bassist for Jack White and Ryan Adams, called it her "favorite goddamn thing ever." Listen to Townshend’s Spire Studio recording of "Behind Blue Eyes."
3. Tuners | PolyTune Clip
Guitar and bass players need to tune their instruments to make sure that they're staying on pitch with the rest of the band. Give them a gift of a tuner. If your guitar player plays an acoustic guitar, take a look at the Polytune Clip ($49.99) which is capable of actually helping your guitar player tune all six guitar strings at once!
Bonus ideas: Electric Guitar and Bass players alike will love the Boss TU-3 ($99.99) which will fit perfectly into their pedalboard setup.
4. Portable cube amps | Roland Mobile Cube
Great for those who want to perform in small venues or on the street. These cube amplifiers are light, easy to carry and powerful—you can’t go wrong. Plus, they're battery-operated, which means they can be used anywhere! The Roland Mobile Cube ($179) is a good entry level amp to get decent sound happening.
Bonus ideas: The Roland Cube Street ($299) provides all the features to not only connect any device (pro microphones, guitars, bass, as well as their computer/phone) but also make it all audible on the portable setup. Plus, as an added bonus, this one comes with multiple great effects and a built-in tuner.
5. Kala U-Bass or Kala Ukulele | KA-15S
This is an awesome gift for guitarists or bass players (or singers who know how to play either!) who want to expand their musical abilities to similar instruments and are looking for new sources of inspiration. Plus to make things even more exciting, they're super easy to carry in your bag wherever you go. KA-15S ($78) and the U-Bass ($269) are both great gifts, particularly for singer-songwriters who dabble in folk sounds.
6. Stompboxes | TC Electronic Ditto Looper
As the name suggests, a stompbox is a box that you...well, stomp! The box will usually hour an effect that you enable or disable by stomping on it. All electric guitarists in the world use them, so if your favorite guitar player doesn't have one yet, you better help them start out their collection!
Loop stompboxes focus on loop effects, which are a creative compositional tool that allows the same person to layer multiple parts on top of each other. Particularly useful for those players who perform mostly on their own. Priced at $99, the Ditto Looper is an awesome first purchase or as an addition to an existing collection of stompboxes.
Bonus ideas: For those wanting to get much more intense with their looping game, the Boss RC-300 is an amazing unit, with a ton of options to customize all the sounds and make each loop (up to three) sound truly fantastic ($549).
If your guitarist also happens to sing, the Boss VE-500 will give them all the effects and presets to make their voice sound great as well ($399).