It’s that time of year: time to think REAL hard about what gifts to get for your friends and family. It’s a big question. What do I want to get them that they’ll ACTUALLY like and use, and is within my budget? Well, if the person you’re shopping for is a musician, we’re going to make it really easy for you.
Here are our suggestions for gifts for musicians this holiday season, any of which are guaranteed to stoke the player in your life.
As far as I’m concerned, the Line 6 HX Stomp was the guitar product of the year. It took everything I love about amp modelers and shrank it down to the size of a double-wide stomp box. Truly an amazing tool for any guitarist, the HX Stomp is an amp sim, recording interface, and effects processor in a tiny package that’s almost half the price of the Helix LT, the next biggest in the family.
Doesn’t matter who you are or what genre you play, loopers are fun as hell. Not only are they fun, they can be a serious practice tool for jamming over chords or creating complete songs from a single instrument. The Boss RC-1 Loop Station is one of the most popular loopers on the planet for good reason.
Maybe they’re a drummer who plays a lot. Maybe they’re a weekend warrior. Maybe they don’t play the drums at all – it doesn’t matter! EVERYONE likes to play the drums, and if you play you know that drumsticks break a lot (IF you’re doing it right!). Get the drummer (or soon-to-be drummer) in your life enough sticks to last a while with this brick of nylon-tipped 5A sticks from On Stage!
If you know a singer, then you know somebody who needs a microphone. The Shure SM58 is easily the most popular vocal mic on earth, and it’s something every singer should have.
Guitars and basses can be pretty heavy instruments to play, and you can’t play standing up without a strap so you might as well have a padded one to make the experience just that much more comfortable! This padded strap from Peavey makes a great gift for any player, and at that price you can get them one for each guitar!
If your guitarist is handy, then having a tool to make adjustments to your guitar is a must-have. The last thing you want is to be looking everywhere for that lone Allen wrench that fell between the cushions in the couch years ago. Have all your guitar tools in one place!
Having a good amp head is essential for any bass player, and this is the one that I have found to be the best for the price. It’s an absurdly cheap $250 for the soul-crushing 500 watts of clean power (plus a built-in compressor) that you get with the TC Electronic BQ500. You can watch my review above to hear it in action!
The most important bass effect, by a long shot, is compression. If you can only have one kind of pedal in your rig, desert island-style, most bass players agree it’s a compressor. If the bass player on your list already has a bass amp, then a compressor like this TC Electronic Spectra Comp should be on your hit list. It’s tiny, you can change a ton of the parameters via USB or even on an app, and it’ll kick your bass tone up a notch or ten!
Ibanez is one of the most heralded names in rock and metal guitars, and their Iron Label series consistently churns out awesome looking, solid and simple heavy metal machines. I picked this one for the list because it’s the best looking of this year’s crop, with the reverse inline 7 string headstock and Northern Lights Burst finish.
Gus G. is one of the guitar heroes of the 21st century. His clean and articulate shredding coupled with a highly refined melodic sense and tasty expressive execution make him a joy to watch and listen to. His signature Jackson guitar is available as an inexpensive import model that will make a great gift for a budding young shredder!
For anyone wanting to enter the wide world of home recording, it can be tough to know what to get or where to start. An all-in-one bundle like this one from Presonus will get any musician up and running right away, with speakers, headphones, a condensor microphone, an interface to get sound in and out of their computer, and software for recording and mixing. It’s everything they’ll need.
Being a musician in 2018 involves a lot of video as well as audio. As they say, video or it didn’t happen! Get your musician the attention they deserve with a camera that’s easy to make look great and some accessories to get them started: the GoPro HERO7 White Travel Kit! It has a mini tripod/extension pole, frame, carrying case, and 32gb memory card.
YouTube awaits – video or it didn’t happen! Pick up the gateway to internet fame here for $260!
Even if you’ve never taken a piano lesson in your life, a MIDI keyboard is a very useful tool. Think of it as a gateway to sounds you couldn’t otherwise make: drums, strings, flutes, tubas and more will come to life in your recording software through the power of MIDI control over USB. This Samson 49-key MIDI keyboard is a great example of such a tool. It even has percussion pads for an easier time inputting drums!
This one sort of speaks for itself: everyone needs to stay in tune! The perfect stocking stuffer is the TC Electronic PolyTune Clip, a clip-on version of TC’s bestselling PolyTune guitar and bass tuner, which allows you to hit all the strings at once and see every note displayed so you don’t have to go through and check every single one — just see right away which ones are out and tune them!
Without bass, music just isn’t the same. Bass is the foundation of the song, and, according to one study, the most important thing in music. So it’s important that you have a killer bass, and if you’re looking to get one without paying an obscene price, Schecter has you covered. This Stiletto Custom 5 string has active pickups that really crush for heavy tones.
A guitarist needs something fierce to plug into: an electric guitar without an amp is like a car without an engine. If it’s metal sounds they’re after, the EVH 5150III LBXII is a high-gain lunchbox that’ll blow your socks off. And if 15 watts doesn’t sound like enough to you, read this post about how 15 watts is plenty loud.
If you play guitar, then you know the soul-crushing sound of a guitar hitting the floor. The running and checking for damage. The sigh of relief/scream of agony. If you don’t know such a feeling, then I envy you.
Either way, you want to prevent it from ever happening (again?) and having a solid guitar stand is the best way to do this. If you don’t have one, you’re likely to wind up leaning your guitar against something, and that’s a recipe for disaster. A-frame stands use nature’s most stable shape (the triangle) to their advantage, and this one holds two electric guitars.
As I mentioned earlier, everyone loves to play the drums, even if you’re TERRIBLE at it (like me!). But not everyone wants to listen to a terrible drummer (even if they’re having the time of their life) or even a really good one (drums are very loud!). Luckily there’s an easy compromise: electronic drums! The drums and cymbals are replaced with sensor pads that trigger sounds on a module that you can listen to on headphones so your parents/neighbors/the cops don’t have to hear you as well!
This TD-11K kit from Roland is a great compact electronic kit that comes with everything you need to get started in your bedroom (except sticks!).
This is one for ANY musician on every instrument. Keeping time is one of the most important parts of being a musician, and that starts with practicing to a metronome. Keep perfect time with the DB-30 from Boss!
Harmonica is one of the most intuitive instruments on the planet. You blow into it, and sound comes out. It takes some practice to make it sound great, but it’s a fun and simple gift that any musician will appreciate!
Learning scales and mode shapes on the guitar is the best way to break down the barriers to creativity on your instrument. Learning the pathways to all the different types of sounds and tonalities on the guitar will allow you to freely express yourself. My RelationShapes scales video course is an hour-long course that is by far the EASIEST way to learn all these shapes without rote memorization or having to know any music theory. Grab it today for yourself or the guitarist in your life for 50% off the usual price here!
Thanks for checking out our Holiday Gift Guide, hopefully it helped you pick out a gift for the musician in your life – happy holidays!