12+ Gifts for Your Guitar-Playing Dad

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So, your dad plays guitar. Also, it’s time to get him a gift. Don’t let these things be mutually exclusive! Get him a pedal he’ll love, or a tool he needs. Read on for some guitaristic ideas for your axe-swinging dad.

1. The Electro-Harmonix MEL9

Buy dad the MEL9 Pedal for two reasons. First, Electro-Harmonix is a wonderful manufacturer of guitar pedals, and these days they’ve been issuing incredible new designs as well as updates to classic pieces. Secondly, your dad probably knows the sound of a Mellotron. If he’s a "Boomer" Dad, he lived through the original proliferation of Mellotrons. Perhaps he’s a bit younger, in which case he almost certainly heard the indie-band revival of the Mellotron. Either way, he’ll find this pedal nifty, as it will transmute the sound of his electric guitar into a Mellotron-style orchestra, cello, flute, and much, much more.

Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Pedal

2. Boss Waza Craft DM-2W

Once Boss discontinued the original DM-2 delay, it became a classic. The pedal was prized for its deep, murky repeats, and easy-to-use controls. Now, the pedal has been reissued in the Boss Waza Craft DM-2W with quite a few upgrades for the modern age. Note the two-voicing behavior—Standard, for a faithful reproduction of the DM-2, and Custom, which gives you a different timbre, clearer repeats, and a longer delay time. Also, dual outputs can feed separate amplifiers either a wet or a dry signal.

BOSS Waza Craft DM-2W Delay Pedal

You’ll find an expression control jack for the Rate parameter; this means your dad can ramp up the speed of his echoes whenever he wants to, just by rocking his foot. If your dad has plantar fasciitis, we can’t help you there.

3. Walrus Audio Kangra

If your dad is a Boomer, he’s going to want some fuzz on his guitar, as well as something like a wah-wah pedal; it will remind him of a time when he had the guts to stand up to authority. So we’re recommending a two-in-one situation—the Walrus Audio Kangra, sporting dedicated fuzz and filter sections. Your dad can even run the fuzz section into the filter section!

WALRUS AUDIO Kangra Filter Fuzz Pedal for Electric Guitar

The fuzz circuit has vintage and modern voicings, so your dad can have all the sound of a classic germanium pedal without any of the dependability issues. The filter can be used to tamp down aggressive frequencies or to create unusual tones; it can also be used as an envelope follower, tracking how hard you pluck to give you a wah-like sound. Get your dad an extra expression pedal, and he can trigger the envelope filter with his foot—just like a pro guitar player!

Walrus Audio pedals are prized for their circuitry, their sound, and their look. Your dad will know it’s legit just by looking at it, and will fool people into thinking he’s legit with its gorgeous tone.

4. Boss JHS Angry Driver

Boss and JHS are world-renowned pedal manufacturers, so for overdrives, we’re recommending the Angry Driver. In one solid housing, your dad will get a Boss Blues Driver and a JHS Angry Charlie. He’ll even be able to drive one into the other, depending on whether he sets the switch the BOSS, JHS, JHS/BOSS, JB, BJ, or Parallel mode.

BOSS JHS JB-2 Angry Driver Over Drive Pedal for Electric Guitar

The pedal sports dual-concentric knobs over Level, Tone, and Drive controls, so your dad can set each of the pedal sections differently. Any guitar playin’ dad is likely to geek out on overdrives, so give him two in one.

5. Expression Pedal

We’ve recommended some pedals that give your dad expression control. You know what goes with those? An expression-control pedal. Check out the Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal. It’s wallet-friendly and does the job.

Roland EV-5 - Expression Pedal

6. VOX Amplug Series

VOX has a series of headphone amplifiers for your guitar. These Amplug series units look like miniaturized VOX amps, with 1/4" plugs for guitars. You can use different Amplugs for different tones, such as AC30 amps, searing leads, screeching metal, and more. They’re also wallet-friendly enough for you to gift dad several at a time.

VOX amPlug G2 AC30 Headphone Guitar Amp

This is a gift you should definitely consider for your dad, because it effectively silences his electric guitar. Your dad will be touched: now he can practice anywhere, taking his axe with him on road trips without having to lug that heavy amp! He’ll never smoke out your true goal…

7. Tuner

Put this gizmo on the list of things no one wants to buy for themselves. So, do dad a favor and get him the Korg Pitchclip 2+ Clip-On Tuner. It’s fast, accurate, and is highly visible for your dad’s world-weary eyes. It’ll last 18 hours on battery power, and it includes a battery, so he doesn’t have to buy one.

Korg Pitchclip 2+ Clip-On Tuner

8. Capo

If your dad plays that horrible folky music dads tend to play, he’s going to need a capo, since he probably doesn’t know how to play chords in anything but open position. The On-Stage GA100 Guitar Capo will do the trick.

On-Stage GA100 Guitar Capo

9. Humidifier

A humidifier is essential for acoustic guitars, especially in winter months, when heaters can dry out a room and cause all sorts of wood issues. You don’t want your dad to have those issues, so get him a humidifier. The On-Stage GA150 will do nicely.

On-Stage GA150 Acoustic Guitar Humidifier

10. String cutter

Changing strings is supremely annoying. So is paying money for the string winder, string cutter, and pin-puller (in the case of acoustic bridges). This wallet-friendly tool does all three things. Buy it for dad, and he can spend that money on something more fun, like heartburn medication.

Planet Waves Pro-Winder for Guitar - All-In-One Restringing Tool

11. Strings

Professional guitar players will tell you they value string endorsements more than any other kind of arrangement. With a string deal, gone are the days of ever having to buy strings again! Your dad will likely not get a string deal. However, you can endorse him yourself by buying him ten or twenty packs of strings. This gift requires some reconnaissance: you’re going to have to ask your dad about his guitar playing. Sorry.

Don’t worry though—anyone who plays guitar will go on and on and on about the most minute aspect of their routine, and you’ll find out what strings he likes quickly. Once you find out the brand, make sure you note the gauge he prefers, as well as the wind: there’s a big difference between flat-wound, round-wound, and half-round. Find out the brand, gauge, and wind, and that should be enough information. Whether he likes GHS, D’Addario, or Ernie Ball, we have the strings for him.

GHS S315 Extra Light Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

12. Honorable Mentions

Like the spouse of a hobbyist with fifteen guitars in his den, we’re reaching the end of our rope. So let’s round out our list with a few last items.

If your dad is looking for a compressor, check out the Keeley GC-2, which models a classic DBX. For a mostly analog multi-effects processor, you can’t beat the Fly Rig 5. Does he seek modulation, such as chorus, phasers, and flangers? Give him the SOURCE AUDIO Soundblox 2 Orbital Modulator Pedal. If he wants to record himself playing for some reason, get him the Apogee Jam 96k, which records to Mac and Windows devices.

Keeley GC-2 Compressor and Limiting Amplifier Pedal

Think we missed anything? Key your ideas for gifts into the Comments section.

2 Comments

This article while informative is also offensive and insulting.  Seriously? 

Hello Irene,

I'm so sorry that this article is not up to your liking.  We value all of our customers opinions and your feedback is greatly appreciated.  May I ask what you found offensive and insulting so we can ensure that we do not make this mistake again?  Again, we sincerely apologize and your feedback would be greatly appreciated.  I look forward to your reply.

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