Best Guitar Center Gifts 2020 for Musicians, Singers, DJs, Podcasters - Rolling Stone
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Think Outside the Band: Gifts for All Musicians, Streamers and Content Creators

The best guitars, gear, podcast mics and accessories for every musician and audiophile on your list

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Nowadays, we’re seeing musical genres and styles fuse together like never before. Rock and hip-hop have blurred the borders, elements of EDM are prevalent in pop, and country has crossed over into mainstream Top 40 hits.

It’s a new age in creativity for any artist, where what was once “off-limits” because it was outside their genre is now open to all. And the songwriting options are absolutely endless.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Guitar Center this season. With their huge inventory of items, there’s plenty of gear that musicians and content creators of any age and style can integrate into their sound. And the selection goes way beyond bands and beats. There’s even the necessary equipment to start up a new online streaming channel or podcast.

They also offer Guitar Center exclusives: Instruments and products designed by Guitar Center in close collaboration with major brands, that you won’t find anywhere else.

We’ve picked out 10 diverse items here to get you started finding the right gifts for any and all types of audiophiles.

1. Gibson Les Paul Traditional PRO V Mahogany Top Electric Guitar

Expect nothing less from a Les Paul 

Gibson Trad Pro V Mahogany

Guitar Center

Gibson masterfully blends the best of old with the tech of new here, improving controls for altering tones in a guitar that’s endlessly fun to play.

Proudly made in America, the Trad PRO V keeps the classic warmth we love about the Les Paul series, in a modern model that weighs way less – without sacrificing sound quality.

A sleek satin finish shines on the mahogany top, and a bound, asymmetrical mahogany neck provides a low and smooth action that thins out and flattens as you go up, making complex chord forms easier, and upper-register solos soar.

But it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The electronics and engineering here are what can really help you find and define the perfect sound.

The Tradbucker pickups are underwound at the neck and overwound at the bridge, blending both into a clear, full sound no matter the setting.

A three-way toggle pickup switch lets you quickly flip between the pickups to explore new tones. There’s also a set of traditional volume and tone control knobs, along with two push/pull tone and volume knobs that further split the pickups’ sound down to single-coils. This coil-split mode lets you choose within a single pickup whether you want the outer coil or inner coil, allowing for subtle shifts in tonal coloration, and making it easier to dial in the sound that’s in your head.

From the locking Grover tuners all the way down to the aluminum tailpiece, this is a modern classic that any guitarist would love to get their hands on.

Purchase: $1,899 at GuitarCenter.com

2. Taylor 414ce V-Class Limited-Edition Sinker Redwood Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural

Taylor’s limited-edition V-Class provides a sustainably sourced sound 

Taylor 414ce Redwood

Guitar Center

The Grand Auditorium body is one of Taylor’s first and most famous, designed by Bob Taylor himself in 1994.

Taylor’s acoustic guitars are known for their rich sound, as well as their sustainable sourcing. This limited line in the 414ce family was made from sinker redwood that was rescued from rivers in Northern California. The result is a resonant and rare sound with a warm, natural feel.

It delivers range and versatility regardless of your style, and amplifies the entire sound spectrum, coming through loud and clear especially in the midrange – whether you’re picking or strumming, on stage or in the studio.

Purchase: $2,999 at GuitarCenter.com

3. Breedlove Pursuit Exotic Concert Chocolate Box CE Mahogany Acoustic-Electric Guitar

This guitar’s chocolatey body is delicious looking, and so is the tone it produces

Breedlove Chocolate Box

Guitar Center

Built with Breedlove’s most popular body type, the Concert series is constructed with a mahogany top, back and sides for a beautifully balanced sound. The shape and solid wood top help give it a strong midrange tone and warm upper end, without an overpowering bass.

Playability is easier for everyone, thanks to its low action on the slightly radiused neck, and all 20 frets on the ebony fretboard are reachable with the Concert’s single cutaway. The guitar is conveniently compact, and, as with most of Breedlove’s guitars, works well for all musical styles, skill levels and even hand sizes thanks to its slimmer neck profile. You can even adjust the play action and neck angle with the Breedlove bolt-on neck and single-action truss rod, which makes doing a “neck surgery” significantly simpler than on other guitars.

This acoustic-electric features exotic tonewoods like koa, ziricote and myrtlewood, along with L.R. Baggs EAS electronics for when you want to plug in and amplify.

Purchase: $649 at GuitarCenter.com

4. Guitar Lessons

Learn the music you love with your own customized lessons

Guitar Center Lessons

Guitar Center

Traditional lessons can quickly diminish the enjoyment of starting a new instrument, with droning, forced repetitions of tedious songs and scales, zapping the fun right out of learning – especially for kids.

That’s where Guitar Center’s changing the game. With their lessons, students learn the music and style they actually want to play. They’ll look forward to lessons, and learn by breaking down their favorite songs, eventually gaining the skills to start writing their own – all with a totally customizable schedule in 30- or 60-minute blocks.

Guitar Center’s got professional musicians all over the country, ready to give one-on-one lessons online or in-store, providing instant instruction and feedback in real time. And the options go way beyond guitar, including bass, drums, piano, vocals and DJing.

It’s a gift that’ll give them a lifetime of confidence, passion, self-expression, and ability to hit their goals. All you have to do is get them started.

Plus, for a limited time, you can buy 3 lessons and get a 4th one free here.

5. Alesis Nitro Mesh Special-Edition 8-Piece Electronic Drum Set

Rock out without waking up the whole house

Alesis Nitro Mesh Special-Edition 8-Piece Electronic Drum Set

Guitar Center

This special-edition electronic kit is complete with everything you need: An 8″ dual-zone snare, along with three 8” toms, a kick pedal, a 10” ride, crash with choke and hi-hat with a custom-designed foot pedal. The Alesis mesh drum heads keep things quiet for anyone else around, routing the full sound through headphones, while retaining a natural feel and tight bounce back that makes them fun to play for hours on end.

But the Nitro’s electronic drum module is where you can really start exploring different sounds and rhythms. It’s loaded with hundreds of drum and percussion sounds, including 40 drum kits and 60 built-in play-along tracks. You can even connect up your own device through the auxiliary input and practice along to your favorite songs and albums.

On top of sounding great, it includes all necessary cables, and the flashy red finish makes it stand out in any home or studio.

Add on the new Alesis Nitro Mesh Expansion pack, with an additional cymbal pad and tom pad, to really complete the full setup.

Purchase: $379 at GuitarCenter.com

6. DW Sea Glass Snare

This series of two snares is a limited Guitar Center exclusive, and looks as good as it sounds

DW Design Series Acrylic Seasglass Snare Drum

Guitar Center

Drum Workshop, or DW, has been manufacturing percussion gear for nearly 50 years, and picked up a long list of impressive endorsements along the way, including Chad Smith, Dave Grohl and Neil Peart, just to name a few.

The seamless, see-through Sea Glass finish is available on the 14 x 6.5” model, with 10 single-row DW lugs. But for drummers who want something deeper and darker, the 14″ x 8″ size features a Smoke finish, with 20 double-row lugs.

The 5 mm extruded acrylic shell packs a punchier sound than wood, and is lined with chrome hardware with True-Pitch tuning, triple-flanged chrome hoops, DW’s MAG throw-off with three different settings and drum heads by Remo that can take a serious beating no matter the beat.

For those drummers looking for a full Sea Glass or Smoke setup, these are available as a 5-piece kit as well.

Purchase: $249 at GuitarCenter.com

7. Carry-On 88-Key Folding Piano

Full-sized, fully foldable and ready for the road

Carry-On-Folding-Piano-800x800

Guitar Center

Pianists and keyboardists have always faced a tough dilemma when traveling with their instrument of choice: either lug your favorite full-sized keyboard along with you, or downsize to a smaller unit and sacrifice features, keys, quality and sounds.

But this clever keyboard is designed to collapse into four sections, folding down from 88 standard-sized keys to just 13” long.

No more hauling heavy, bulky digital keyboards, or quickly shifting octaves up and down to make a portable one feel full. At only 3.5 pounds, this makes it easy to take the music with you wherever you go, whether to a local open mic or across the planet.

It also features 128 various sounds and rhythms, along with a metronome, tempo control, transpose function and stereo speakers. The battery is built-in, lasts about 8 hours when full, and is easily rechargeable through USB. There’s also an included sustain foot pedal and a travel tote bag.

Purchase: $99 at GuitarCenter.com

8. Shure MV7 USB and XLR Dynamic Microphone

This dynamic mic is perfect for content creators, and takes the hard work out of the technical parts, so you can get started faster  

Shure-MV7-800x800

Guitar Center

For anyone looking to start streaming or podcasting, a good mic is crucial no matter what. That’s where the Shure MV7 shines.

Shure’s Voice Isolation Technology focuses directly on your vocals, while Auto-Level Mode keeps a consistent and steady sound across the board, providing your listeners with proper modulation while cutting down on distracting background noise.

The Shure MV7 features both USB and XLR outputs so you can connect to a computer, interface or mixing board of your choice.

Along with that, the ShurePlus MOTIV desktop app makes it even easier to set the mic position (depending on if you’ll be right up close or a few feet away) with presets, along with a choice of tones and a sliding monitor mix bar.

Hearing and maintaining your levels through headphones is simple thanks to its handy 3.5 mm input. The built-in touch panel lets you quickly make adjustments to things like volume and monitor mix before recording. For those who prefer to have more control, reverting to Manual Mode lets you set the EQ, gain, limiter and compressor yourself (and save them as presets for the future, too).

Purchase: $249 on GuitarCenter.com 

9. Bose L1 Pro8 Portable PA System With Bluetooth

A PA system that’s actually easy to lift and load

Bose L1 Pro 8

Guitar Center

Bose began in Boston over 50 years ago and hasn’t stopped innovating since. The company is constantly pushing the limits of audio quality in their efficiently designed, reliable products, and this one follows that tradition. The L1 Pro8 Portable Line Array System is a slim and sleek speaker set that’s ideal for gigs, band practice or events.

This portable PA packs an eight-driver articulated C-shape line array, and sends out 180 degrees of consistently balanced, steady sound to reach every corner of the room. Its frequency range is wide, from 45Hz to 16kHz, and an integrated subwoofer brings the low-end bass – rivaling a regular 12” woofer, without the added weight.

A built-in mixer features illuminated knobs to help you adjust volume, tone and reverb settings, while Bluetooth capability puts you in control right from your phone.

This is an excellent addition for any type of performer to instantly amplify their sound, whether using it for DJing, vocals or instruments, but especially for solo artists loading up and setting up their own speakers. Best of all, it’s significantly lighter than traditional PAs, at about 35 pounds, and easily breaks down into three parts.

Purchase:$1,199 at GuitarCenter.com

10. Pioneer DDJ SB3-S Limited-Edition Silver Serato DJ Controller With Pad Scratch Silver

Start your first set with this limited edition Silver Serato Controller

This two-channel controller was co-designed with hip-hop legend DJ Jazzy Jeff, and just like with Serato’s DDJ-SB2, its layout is extremely easy to navigate, putting everything right within your reach.

With a durable build and a limited-edition shiny silver color, this all-in-one unit encourages new users to explore and experiment, with an overall professional feel.

Endless effects are at your fingertips here. The FX Fade feature makes it easy to smoothly blend tracks together, along with a high pass filter, low pass filter, loop playback and backspin. Other features like Pad Scratch automatically match the BPM, and Serato’s DJ Lite software lets you control it all without skipping a beat.

The aluminum jog wheels are large with a low latency and great scratch response, so you can accurately extract the exact track samples you’re looking for to piece together the perfect set.

Purchase: $249 at GuitarCenter.com

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