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19 Great Affordable Gift Ideas for Musicians
The holiday season is upon us! It's the time of year where sharing moments with the people that you love is what's most important. It's also the season of giving, and what better way to put a smile on the face of the musician in your family than to get him or her a thoughtful, useful item that they will be able to incorporate into their daily musical lives.
The gifts below have been chosen for their practicality. Almost every musician needs at least one, or even perhaps a few of these items from time to time. These are the things that musicians will use and use often...and sometimes it's even good for them to have more than one. These are also the items that commonly get worn out over time, so it's always a treat to have a brand new one.
If you have a friend or a family member that works as a musician, whether it be part-time, full-time, or even for someone just starting out, these are all great gift ideas that won't put too much of a dent in your wallet. In addition, I've added some pretty cool novelty items below that any musician will appreciate.
Check out the items and descriptions below, and feel free to click on each one for more information. You can also browse around Amazon to find even more ideas.
Most of these items will ship quickly...but you better hurry up. Christmas is fast approaching! :)
1. Vocal microphone
The industry standard for live vocals - the SM58 is a must for any musician. Many gigs provide house mics, but it's always good for players to have one of their own.
The SM58 by Shure is a die-hard piece of equipment. If taken care of, this microphone will last for decades. It comes with a sleek leather case that will protect the mic from dust and dirt when not in use. It also comes with a mic clip that will fasten to any microphone stand.
Even if your favorite musician isn't a singer, this is a great item to have in his or her arsenal. There are many times where background vocals are needed, or even gang vocals, so every musician should have one of these bad boys at the ready.
2. Instrument microphone
Just like the SM58, the SM57 is the industry standard for miking up musical instruments. Some musicians and singers even prefer to use this for vocals over any other, but the intention for this piece of equipment is to amplify instruments in a live setting, or to capture a player's parts in the studio.
I carry an SM58 and an SM57 with me at all times as a working musician. I never know when I'm going to need one (or even an extra one for someone else to borrow), and this is one of the most reliable items that a musician can own.
The SM57 also comes with a handy leather case as well as a mic clip. Treat a musician with one of these and they will definitely be grateful.
3. Microphone stand
What good is a microphone without a stand? Sure...some singers will carry the mic with them at all times on stage, but even they will eventually need a place to put it down.
There are many different options for mic stands based on how it's going to be used. Some musicians that aren't singing lead prefer a "boom" on their stand, which gives the player more flexibility to position the mic where it works best.
There are also shorter mic stands available that are designed specifically to mic up instruments (where you would be using the SM57). But for our purposes, I've featured your basic, standard mic stand that can be used just about anywhere for anything.
It's easily adjustable and comes with a sturdy, round base that will secure its position on the floor no matter where it's placed.
4. Music stand
If the musician on your gift list is a student, plays in an orchestra or wedding band...or many other circumstances, it's likely that they will need to read sheet music either at practice or at the gig.
The item pictured here is a great quality stand that is easy to compact for travel, and sets back up in a flash. The sturdy, metal design keeps it form moving out of place during a performance, and will be a welcome addition to any musician's tools.
5. Guitar (or bass) stand
Believe it or not, there are many guitar players that don't own a stand. There are also many guitar players that own many guitars, and it's good for each one of them to have a home.
If you want to give a simple, affordable gift to your favorite guitar or bass player, a stand is a great idea. Every guitar player at one time or another will lose a stand, or it will get stolen, or it will just break down over time. They can never have enough. :)
6. Guitar/Bass tuner
The standard die-hard tuner for the serious musician. It only takes two AAA batteries (included) that will last forever, and is as small as a pack of cigarettes. A must for any musician that need to be in tune.
7. Guitar strap
Guitar players go through strings more than anything else, but from time-to-time they also need a new strap. As mentioned before, some guitar players own several guitars, so it's best to have a good, reliable strap for each one. It's also a good idea to have an extra one on hand at all times, because straps don't wait for the most opportune moment to break.
Check out the basic black one listed here, or shop around for a custom design that is more to your recipient's liking.
8. Drum sticks
It's an unfortunate fact of being a drummer that they go through sticks - lots of 'em. Drum sticks break, get worn out, lost, or are even given away. Drummers can never have enough sticks. The Vic Firth set pictured here are the standard type for many drummers.
9. Electric guitar
Do you have someone on your musical gift list that is just starting out? For guitar players, the Fender Squier is not only a great beginner guitar, some players even prefer to use it professionally.
The classic Fender design makes this axe the perfect electric guitar to learn songs, practice, and jam with the band. It's one of the most widely recognized brands by musicians all over the world, and looks great under the Christmas tree.
Click the link and shop around Amazon for the best design and color that your loved one will prefer...or if you're feeling extra generous, step up to the Fender Precision electric guitar. The person receiving a gift like that will never forget it.
10. Guitar amplifier
Every electric guitar needs an amplifier if you want to hear it - and this little guy pictured here is a great way to start. Some players just use this 20 watt Fender as a practice amp, while others will even use it on a gig.
Lightweight and easily transportable, the Fender Champion 20 houses an 8" speaker and offers many options to adjust the tone including a variety of effects to choose from. It also includes an auxiliary input as well as a headphone jack which can help players practice without disturbing others.
11. Stereo headphones
There are several situations in a musician's life where they will benefit from owning a good set of headphones. Practicing in private is much easier if the player can absorb themselves into the seclusion of over-the-ear headphones that provide both comfort and clarity.
Some musicians need them for the studio, to review songs at practice or at a gig, and others just like to have them to listen to music for fun.
You can never go wrong by giving any musician a quality pair of headphones.
12. Electronic keyboard
This exact keyboard kit was given to me for Christmas last year....and I love it. It came with everything I needed to practice, play live or record. The tones are amazing, and the built-in speakers make it convenient to practice.
The keyboard is touch sensitive making it easy to put some authentic feel into anything that you play. It has an 1/4" output on the back to send to headphones or a mixer, a USB port and a sustain input - which is all you really need.
I highly recommend this keyboard package for any musician - whether that are playing professionally or just starting out.
13. Keyboard stand
Maybe you know someone that owns a keyboard but doesn't have a stand? This is a simple gift idea for that person that will be greatly appreciated. The difference in their playing will be evident when they have the flexibility of standing while playing. This stand pictured is as basic as it gets. It's easy to transport in any vehicle, and sets up in a snap.
14. In-ear headphones
Many live performers are using in-ear mixes during their performances these days, and many venues are even starting to require it. These headphones get paired with an in-ear system, which can be purchased separately, but is also provided free of charge at some gigs.
In addition to live performances, these ear buds can be used in place of headphones and work just as well.
Every musician will have other things to carry around. Cables, picks, sticks, tuners, and many other assorted items will be needed from time to time. It's best to keep things organized, especially if they travel or gig a lot. One of the best ways to do that is to own a sturdy backpack with lots of compartments.
Take it from me as someone who works as a musician full-time - a brand new backpack is an excellent gift.
Here are just a few items that I came across that I think would make a great gift for the holidays, or even for any other special occasion.
1. Music notes wall clock
This clever wall clock uses musical notation to replace the numbers on the face based on how many beats each note represents. Perfect for any musician to hang in their studio, office, living room, or bedroom. It's a simple but unique gift for the music lover or musician on your gift list, and it won't break the bank at under 20 bucks!
2. Zildjian bar stools
If the musician on your list has a bar, den, or man-cave, he would surely love this addition to the furniture. These stools are well padded and quite comfy. The item pictured here actually comes in a pair, at a pretty reasonable price. These might be difficult to wrap, but will get a ton of use in the long run.
3. Marshall amp refrigerator
If you're feeling extra generous, this makes an excellent gift for any guitar player. It looks just like an authentic Marshall stack, but it's a refrigerator! It fits in nicely with the décor of a studio, practice room, garage, basement, or even the bedroom. And it keeps a musician's tasty beverages nice and chilled...and within reach! ;)
4. Guitar Afghan throw
Perfect for the winter months, this cotton Afghan throw can be used on the couch, as a bed cover, or simply draped as a blanket on chilly nights.
The guitar print and musical notes add a warm touch to the home of a musician, and would most certainly be appreciated as a gift.