The holidays are fast approaching, soon December will be on us. Holiday music and joy will be shadowed by stress. On top of traveling, planning, and celebrating, everyone has gifts to buy. You can be part of the preppers who start buying gifts now, though waiting may seem more financially responsible. Whether you buy now or later, chances are you have at least one person who is difficult to purchase a gift for. Musicians are some of the worst gift receivers ever!
Every birthday and holiday my family gets me some strange musical gifts. A handful of them have been amazing, but some have just been bad. One of my favorite all-time small music related gifts was a Sabian mouse pad. I use only Sabian cymbals and it was very fitting. One of the worst gifts I’ve received was a drumhead for a size I didn’t even own.
My drum set took a year to piece together. I saved and found the gear that fit my sound. It took research and patience. After I completed my kit, I was gifted an item “perfect for me.” A little too perfect, as it was the exact same ride cymbal I already owned. Lucky my friend purchased it from a store with a good return policy and I was able to get the full return value.
The lesson from my story? Gift Cards. If at the end of this article you feel no less lost then at the start, get a gift card. Every musician knows the feeling of walking into the store with the intent to buy. It feels amazing! Getting a gift card is not a cop out when buying for musicians. They may be planning to buy a large piece of equipment and your gift helps them achieve their direct goals.
Making the right choices
Gift shopping for anyone is tough, but when the buyer doesn’t understand the fundamentals of what they are buying it gets worse. Ask the receiver questions, no need to get obvious. What kind of music do you play and or like? This question is a great icebreaker, as it opens the topic of music without hinting at a gift. Ask about equipment and sound. Don’t be shy. I know I can ramble on about the sounds I try to achieve; I know countless other musicians who also can too.
Be observant. If you walk into your nephew’s practice space and see four Ibanez guitars, chances are he wouldn’t want anything Fender related. Look at what they have already! Try to avoid gifting duplicates. Duplicates can be a worse gift than a bad one, as it requires work to correct.
If you feel unsure, avoid buying online without some research. I would suggest go into a store and ask some questions. Most stores train their staff to help people just like you, not everyone is a musician.
Go small! If you are buying a musical gift, and you want to go big, then go for it! If you are buying a regular gift I would say buy small. Little nick nacks, things they will need, guitar picks, DVDs, drum sticks, merch from their favorite vendors, all make great care package type gifts.
There are so many products on the market, it can get overwhelming. Below are items that I feel are great buys for any musician. Some being very simple and fun, others being some serious equipment.
Remember before buying do some research. If the gift recipient is a DJ, they might not need a portable guitar speaker. Always be confident when buying, if you feel hesitant maybe you should do more research or look elsewhere.
1) Jack Rack Guitar Amp Key Holder
The first suggestion is a great gift idea for music lovers. It’s a guitar amp key holder. The Jack Rack key holder emulates the look of a Fender amp, perfect for almost any guitar player. It is a very nice inexpensive gift for music lovers. This is the perfect gift for guitarists and bassists alike.
2) Zildjian 10″ K Con Cutting Board
- 10" diameter
- 100% real bamboo
- Engraved K Constantinople logo
- Juice groove around perimeter of board
- Eco-friendly packaging
The second suggestion is for the drummer in your life. Drummers can be especially hard to shop for. Buying gear is almost always not an option if you don’t understand the fundamentals. This gift is for drummers who need to cook. It’s a Zildjian brand cutting board.
Zildjian is one of the largest cymbal companies on the market makes this gift resonate with almost every drummer. I can tell you from experience that vendor branded merchandise is a great gift. I love all the vendor merch I’ve gotten as gifts over the years.
3) VOX AP2AC amPlug AC30 G2 Guitar Headphone
- Connections: Headphone Out, AUX In
- Power Supply: AAA batteries x 2
- Dimensions: W x D x H) 3.39 x 3.15 x 1.22" 86 x 80 x 31mm)
With the new school year on us, this gift is perfect for student musicians. It’s a portable guitar speaker. It has a low volume making it perfect for dorms or apartments. It’s a Vox brand product, making it very reputable.
It plugs right into the output for the guitar, amplifying the sound directly from the guitar. This gift is for any guitarist looking for a quiet practice alternative. I recommend this gift, as almost every guitarist sometimes wants to play quietly to practice.
4) Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
- PROTECT YOUR HEARING from harmful noise levels at loud events. Cut out excess sound from everyday life and your favorite activities.
- PRESERVES SOUND QUALITY with our patent pending innovative attenuation filters. Reduces noise evenly to maintain the full spectrum of sound while protecting hearing. Won't muffle music or voices as foam plugs do.
- GET THE PERFECT FIT with two pairs of different sized earplug shells included with every order. Fits most normal to large ear sizes. Easy removal with a tug on the elongated pull tab that is now twice as long as competing brands. Individuals with smaller ear sizes may want to consider our Smaller Ears Earplugs model.
- HYPOALLERGENIC SOFT SILICONE is non-toxic and comfortable for prolonged wear. Won't cause itching or pressure pain. Ideal for all-day wear at festivals and long band practices.
- ERGONOMIC ALUMINUM CASE is over 35% shorter than competing brands for easy storage on your keychain. An anti-stick interior guarantees earplugs will always be easily removable. Waterproof rubber seal ensures their protection from moisture, dust and debris. Threading is uniquely placed on exterior of canister to prevent damage to earplugs when opening and closing.
This gift is for music lovers in general, not just musicians. They are in ear ear plugs, with some great noise canceling. Perfect for concert goers, gigging musicians, and also every other musician. Ear health is often overlooked.
These are reusable ear plugs, making them perfect for any musician. If they practice they need ear protection. They don’t kill the sound completely making it a great way to practice safely. Perfect gift for young and old musicians.
5) Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
- Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers
- Proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
- Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with deep, accurate bass response
- Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
- 90° swiveling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring, and professional-grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort
This product is the perfect gift for musicians, DJs, and music lovers. They are an amazing pair of headphones. Created by Audio-Technica, they are over the ear headphones, with noise canceling included. As a drummer I have a pair to practice with, I absolutely love these headphones.
I take these headphones on almost every practice session, alone or in a group, to every show, and every studio session. If you are looking for something to buy a musician, these headphones are a great suggestion.
6) Ultimate Ears Boom 2 Phantom Wireless Mobile Bluetooth Speaker
- Insanely good, loud 360 degree sound with deep bass
- Portable design so you can bring the music anywhere
- Waterproof*, shockproof, designed for adventure (* IPX-7 rated waterproof up to 30 minutes and a depth of one meter)
- PartyUp from Ultimate Ears allows you to wirelessly connect more than 150 Ultimate Ears speakers
- 15-hour battery life and 100 ft. Bluetooth wireless range (Actual battery life will vary with use, settings and environmental conditions. Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles)
Perfect for that special someone in your life, or just anyone to be honest. A bluetooth speaker! This brand is amazing, super powerful for its size. I also have one of these speakers, and I love it! I take it everywhere as it’s waterproof and shockproof. Something they don’t advertise it also is one of the best beach speakers on the market.
If you are shopping for a music lover, I would recommend this item. A very durable speaker, which allows the user multiple uses. I use mine at the beach all the time, it’s super loud, it really can get powerful so be careful with the volume!
7) Pelican U100 Elite Backpack With Laptop Storage
- Built-in watertight & crushproof case
- Fits 15" laptops and up to 17" Apple
- IP67 Tested - 3 ft. underwater/30 minutes
- Easy open push button latch
- Pressure EQ valve prevents vacuum lock
This gift is a great option for music lovers, and people working as musicians. It’s a very durable backpack, road tested by traveling musicians. It is known for its’ extreme durability. It holds up to a 17 inch laptop, with padding! Almost no laptops are more than 17 inches, making this available to hold any laptop.
This gift is perfect for anyone who works with technological equipment. Most musicians these days have a mixture of equipment, traveling it tough. With this backpack, you make that easier, by putting everything in one location, right on their back.
Remember that gift giving is more about the thought. Don’t stress to much, have fun with it! And if in doubt get a gift card to your local music shop.