The holiday season is upon us, bringing with it one of the hardest tasks: gift-giving. If you're like me, you agonize for weeks over whether a gift you give will be useful and enjoyable (and don't get me started on shopping for dads). Musicians seem easy to shop for, but when it comes down to it, usually they already seem to have everything music-related that they need. If you don't play music, or don't play the same instrument as your gift recipient, it may also be tough to know what they might need.
That's why we've made The Ultimate Musician's Gift Guide!
We've thrown in things for everyone: from students to teachers, professionals to beginners, children to adults, practical to fun, and sections specific to the type of instrument you're looking at. Most importantly, they're all affordable (mostly under $100, and many of them under $50) so you don't have to break the bank gifting all of your friends.
Moleskine music notebook. For the songwriter, a sturdy notebook with staff lines and space to write notes/lyrics.
Stand phone holder. Read lyrics or chord charts attached to your mic stand, music stand, or drumset
Gig bag. For the gigging musician, to store & transport all their cords, pedals, and other gear.
Portable music stand with lights. Perfect for gigs and rehearsals.
Magnetic pen holder. Allows pens and pencils to stick to metal stands, out of the way of sheet music.
Staff tape. Easily write notes or edit a bar without messy scribbles. Great for teachers who are always writing corrections in the margins.
Echo Dot. Voice activate your backing tracks, set reminders, check your schedule, and more. Great for teachers!
Shower speaker. Working on a transcription or memorizing a long piece? Continue studying a song in the shower or on-the-go.
Subscription to a lesson service. There are great online lesson services or bundles available. If you can find one made by their favorite artist, or actual lessons with an artist they like, that would make a great gift that would benefit them forever.
Concert tickets (& sheet music for the piece performed at said concert). Sometimes the best gifts are experiences. The bonus would be having the sheet music ready to learn from once they're properly inspired.
Capo smartphone holder. Read tabs & lyrics or watch tutorials from your phone without needing a stand.
Guitar repair toolkit. Everything needed to repair a guitar.
Slide ring. Discreet tool to play slide guitar and the same one used by guitarist Will Ray.
Wallet with pick holder. Musicians on-the-go can carry a couple picks with them.
Amp key holder. Fun addition to a studio or a musical home!
Desktop mic. Stop posting covers on YouTube with audio from the laptop/phone mic! This plug-and-play mic is affordable and easy to use for anyone - just plug it into a USB port on your laptop.
Portable mic. A more portable option for traveling or bringing to a friend's house.
Encore (game). Played this at a music department party and vocalists LOVED it. Instrumentalists who absolutely can't sing might find it fun to play the game with their instruments.
Roll-out keyboard (for kids). Perfect for practicing while traveling! (No more excuses.)
Piano lamp. You can use the clip or not, making this work for any piano or keyboard setup. The warm light version is recommended.
Flexible phone holder. Record videos of yourself playing at any angle (since this is trickier for piano) or view lyrics from your phone without covering any sheet music on your stand. Also great for lounging around at night and binging on YouTube videos.
Silent mute with headphones. - Great for practicing in smaller/quiet spaces. It really is silent - I saw someone use this to warm up in the audience while another performance was going on.
Pocket trumpet. My band teacher would literally keep one in his pocket (he was a big guy) to solo over our songs whenever he felt like it. Also great for non-trumpet brass players who want an option to play trumpet.
Monster Cleaning Kit. All the tools needed to keep your instrument in tip-top shape. (Kits available for several brass instruments.)
Neck strap. Necessary for pretty much all woodwinds except flute, if you don't want your arms to feel like jello after a couple hours.
Polishing cloth. Keep instruments nice and shiny. (These also work well for strings & brass!)
Reeds. A good stocking stuffer, and something reed instrument players can never have too much of. BUT (IMPORTANT) make sure to get reeds for the right instrument & strength (it’s best to ask if you don’t know).
Reed humidity control case. Reeds last longer, and it holds different kinds of reeds and multiple reeds at once.
Instrument mustache. A silly stocking stuffer, available for multiple instruments.
Rosin. A great stocking stuffer. Every string player loves that satisfying feeling of using new rosin, and they can't have too much of it.
Electric instruments. Perfect for practicing in quieter spaces, experimenting with effects, or just rocking out. All kinds of electric string instruments are available.
Portable Roll-Up Drumset (for kids). Your kid played GarageBand and wants to learn drums, but you live in an apartment with paper-thin walls. This is a good alternative to start, or to bring along for remote practice.
Drumsticks. Always good to have spares, even if they already have a set.
Drumstick holder. Easy access to all your drumsticks while playing.
Ear plugs. Drummers especially need to take care of their ears. These earplugs are from Zildjian, the biggest cymbal maker in the world.
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