Top 10 Best Gifts for Musicians 2017
On one hand, having a musician to buy a gift for can be nice. There are a wide variety of music-related items out there to choose from, including everything from funny t-shirts to books. Musicians are a rare breed who love what they do so much, any and all references to making music are appreciated. And if all that fails, there’s always music itself, of course. I know about this first hand, since I am a musician with many musician friends.
On the other hand, though, musicians are extremely picky when it comes to the stuff they use to actually make music. This can make shopping for them tricky if you want to get them something more useful than novel. Most musicians won’t stray very far from their favorite brands or models, so a little due diligence goes a long way into picking more practical gifts. We’ve compiled a good mix of items to help you choose a great gift for your choosy musician.
From guitars to gigabytes, here’s our list of the top 25 best gifts for musicians:
Did you know musicians require (at least) two pairs of headphones? Because they’re often obsessed with music in general, musicians tend to have one set of headphones for recording and another for listening. When simply listening to music, the preference is for something a little lighter weight with slightly more bass response, like the Bose SoundTrue[http://amzn.to/2i6lriw], which are my personal favorite. When recording in the studio, however, headphones need to be larger and better balanced, with no added bass. Studio monitoring requires natural sound response, and these Sennheisers are a great option. I have personally used them and can attest to their performance, particularly at this price point. The sound is clear and even after many hours of recording, they remain comfortable.
Need more ideas? Browse all professional headphones here.
Somewhat in the vein of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, Musician’s Dice gives composers a method to randomize note or chord selection as either a way to get valuable practice or to get through a block when writing. The random nature of the dice will stretch even the most practiced musician when they need it most. A technically complicated gift that’s easy to give and will appeal to a wide audience. These are extremely popular, so if they’re out of stock when you go to buy, you could also consider Chord Dice.
Speaking of composition, after utilizing the dice, the musician in your life will need a place to record their new creation. Sure, there’s excellent software for this these days, but for relatively simple songs, it’s still sometimes nice to put pen to paper. I owned this notebook for many years and it inspired me to write a good number of songs. Musicians can toss it in the gig bag and have it on hand when inspiration strikes.
Need more ideas? Browse all music books here.
4. Prime Music
Every musician loves music — usually just a touch more than the people around them. They are fanatics who can’t get enough of exploring new bands and cherishing their favorites. An Amazon Prime subscription includes unlimited, ad-free access to over one million songs in addition to all the other benefits of Prime. Alternatively, you can get an Amazon digital gift card so the musician on your list can download digital music.
Price: $99 for one year
Everyone knows Gibson and Fender, the two most popular guitar companies who make a number of truly excellent guitars. My main guitar is a 1985 Fender Stratocaster. They’re great. But for people craving something a little different, I recommend Godin. These beautiful North American-built guitars offer technical innovation with three outputs — normal electric, acoustic, and 13-pin which can carry all three voices. The on-board acoustic guitar simulator means this may be the only guitar you need, while the synth voice offers even more options. It’s a very modern, advanced guitar in a traditional package. Don’t be afraid to step out from the shadow of the big boys.
Need more ideas? Browse all electric guitars here.
Musicians love to collaborate, and that usually means packing up the gear and heading over to another studio. Since studio setups are (generally) more involved than just a laptop, having a simple way to carry files around can really simplify the process. A 1 terabyte drive that fits in a pocket is a perfect solution. Even if it doesn’t get used for recording projects, it’s a great way to back up what is sure to be an enormous collection of digital music. Available from 500GB to 3TB, it’s practical, affordable, and always appreciated.
Need more ideas? Browse all recording gear here.
Music memorabilia makes a great gift. This happens to be a display honoring Pink Floyd’s achievement, which will look great on any wall of the house, but especially in a studio or listening room. Not a Pink Floyd fan? Not to worry, there are plenty to choose from, including Dr. Dre and Bob Dylan. Inspire your musician to greatness by reminding them of their heroes.
Need more ideas? Browse all Gold Record Outlet’s collectables here.
Price: $129.95 (48 percent off MSRP)
Musicians love musical toys. Whether it’s a theremin or a noise maker, messing around with a toy version of more serious gear can be a way to free up creativity and unlock new ways of thinking about making music. This Stylophone pocket synth is a recreation of the 1967 version and includes the ability to pitch-bend three different organ voices. This little gem has been featured on some of my own music, and I happily recommend it to anyone looking to give a fun musical gift. You can also get the newer GEN X-1 model.
Need more ideas? Browse all synthesizers here.
Price: $20.90 (30 percent off MSRP)
Also in the synthesizer category, this kit allows the adventurous musician to create a fully customizable, modular synth. The modules snap together with magnets for quick reassembly so the musician can spend more time generating new sounds than building. There’s an included guide to get started quickly with famous tones, but the possibilities are really endless. A great gift for the aspiring sonic pioneer.
Need more ideas? Browse all synthesizers here.
10. Pick Punch
The player of strummed instruments in your life might also enjoy the freedom to make a pick out of just about anything. Make custom-designed picks, reuse old credit cards, or memorialize a plastic item. Guitarists especially lose picks all the time, so having something handy to make one on the quick is great. You can also buy a variety of pick material strips to give them plenty of ammo.
Need more ideas? Browse guitar accessories here.