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The Top 10 Best Under $100 Christmas Gifts For Musicians

Updated on August 14, 2013
MagicMan007 profile image

Bill Watson has authored 3 books and many articles online and for print publications such as Sports Afield, Income Opportunties and more.

It's tough for non-musicians to figure out what to purchase for musicians without asking them what they want!

For sure they want something musical, better yet, something related to the instrument they play. But not being a musician yourself and not wanting to telegraph your gift purchase, you're totally lost, right?

Some musical items are useful to any player- a music stand for example or a quartz tuner. Others, such as a guitar strap, are more specific to a certain instrument .

My credentials for being the "recomendee"? I've played guitar, keyboards and bass guitar almost all my life, usually in pro situations. And although I don't play drums very well, I own a drum kit and often work with studio session drummers who play for major label recording artists. At the top of the page I've selected some lower priced gifts that the musician on your Christmas list will appreciate and use for years to come!

And every time they do they'll remember you bought it for them!

My Top Picks for Beginning To Advanced Players: - Items I'd personally like to receive as a gift or would recommend

Korg CA40 Large Display Auto Chromatic Tuner
Korg CA40 Large Display Auto Chromatic Tuner

Any instrument that gets tuned before each performance should be tuned with one of these devices. Most musicians have a tuner but having multiples is a good thing (one for in the Strat case, one to keep at the studio, etc.). Keyboard players don't usually need a tuner but any stringed instrument player- bass guitarist, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar, steel guitar and electric guitar players- all do.

 
Dunlop 5006SI Ergo Pickholder
Dunlop 5006SI Ergo Pickholder

This is one of those stocking stuffers that's easy on the pocketbook but gets a lot of mileage in the thoughtfulness dept.....any guitarist would dig this.

 
Kyser KG6B 6 String Capo, Black
Kyser KG6B 6 String Capo, Black

Did you ever hear the phrase, "I'm busier than a capo at a bluegrass festival"? Kind of an insider musician joke there- capos are considered by some players as "cheating a bit" to make playing in a specific key easier-- but I've attended several bluegrass festivals and believe me, capos are indeed used often and with no noticeable signs of guilt. Know an acoustic guitar player? Buy it!

It's definitely a good little capo. But no, I'm not admitting I've actually used it!

 

And a few more under $100 gifts for the musician in your life: - With plenty of additional choices beiow to round out the "10 gifts under $100" promised. But I'

Musician's Gear Electric, Acoustic and Bass Guitar Stand Black
Musician's Gear Electric, Acoustic and Bass Guitar Stand Black

Guitar players need guitar stands, but saving pennies for that next amp or guitar, often won't buy one for themselves.

 
Manhasset Model #48 Sheet Music Stand
Manhasset Model #48 Sheet Music Stand

Just about every musician tracking on every studio session in L.A. and Nashville uses a stand to hold the charts of the songs being tracked. And nearly every beginning player needs a stand to hold their lesson book. Even live players "filling in" occasionally use one in live situations. I like/use this type for my studio. The cheaper pressed metal ones are so flimsy they're junk in my opinion. This is sturdy enough to add a little clip on light which helps tremendously in the low light conditions many studios and stages have.

 
Sterling Silver Handcrafted Drum Set Pendant
Sterling Silver Handcrafted Drum Set Pendant

What drummer wouldn't love wearing this?

 

A few more of my choices, most a little more pricey, for that special gift:

Some of these I'd like to have, some I'm including because I have personal experience with them, as noted in the item description comments.

Yamaha CP1 Premium Stage Piano with Natural Wood Keys and 3-Pedal Unit
Yamaha CP1 Premium Stage Piano with Natural Wood Keys and 3-Pedal Unit

This is a much desired keyboard and definitely not entry level so you'd likely buy this for a pro or serious keyboard player. I have no direct experience with it but a couple of keyboardists I know have expressed that they'd love to have this model so I think it's a pretty safe recommend.

 
Gretsch 4pc Renown Maple Shell Pack - Ruby Sparkle Fade
Gretsch 4pc Renown Maple Shell Pack - Ruby Sparkle Fade

He or she probably doesn't know it yet but this is THE drum kit your drummer wants to find under the tree! I know this because I own this very kit although I don't play myself, it's permanently set up for real drummers to play. It's a great live performance set too. I bought this model because a major label artist touring drummer I work with owns and uses one.

This is Nashville and it's world class drummers we're talking about. Without exception, every one of the many drummers I've worked with hit the kick drum (a.k.a. bass drum) the first time in and remarked something to the effect of, "Man, I wish MY kick sounded like THAT!

 
Fender Custom Shop Custom Shop David Gilmour Signature Stratocaster Electric Guitar Relic Black
Fender Custom Shop Custom Shop David Gilmour Signature Stratocaster Electric Guitar Relic Black

Ask any guitarist that already owns 15 guitars what they want for Christmas and if they're truthful, it's guitar #16, lol. This one is a bit expensive but it's an extremely desireable model that will likely increase in value and will have the guitarist in your life bowing down to you for years to come!

David Gilmour was (is?) the guitarist in rock group, Pink Floyd. Whether the band is completely finished at this point is a matter of speculation but their "coolness factor" lives on.

 

Pro Quality Microphones

There are microphones designed principally for live performance and others designed for studio use although some crossover into both applications.

I own at least one of each microphone listed in this mod and wouldn't put them here if I didn't believe in them and use them often in pro situations.

Mojave Audio MA-300 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone
Mojave Audio MA-300 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

This is my workhorse large diaphragm studio vocal microphone. Highly recommended.

Do NOT buy this for a singer doing live gigs thinking the more you spend the better; buy the rugged stage-proven Sure SM58 below. This Mojave mic is somewhat fragile and has a power pack to provide phantom power that would be unwieldy in a stage situation. To operate, it also requires a studio pre-amp that a live singer wouldn't have such as an Avalon VT737 (over $2,000 additional).

 
Shure SM58S Vocal On/Off Switch Microphone Bundle with 20-Foot XLR Cable, Windscreen, and Boom Stand
Shure SM58S Vocal On/Off Switch Microphone Bundle with 20-Foot XLR Cable, Windscreen, and Boom Stand

The SM58 is THE standard microphone for live vocal performance. It's doubtful there's a pro singer alive who hasn't used one of these many times onstage. If you are purchasig for a singer just starting to play gigs and looking for a "good microphone," buy this.

On rare occasions a 58 happens to be a better choice than far more expensive microphones in the studio but not the best gift choice if the singer you're buying for only records at home. For that you'll need to shell out a few more beans. The AT4040 below would be better for vocals in a home recording application.

 
Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

An excellent "huge bang for the buck" studio mic. I have two (for stereo perspective)

run as "room mics" on the drum kit. They've also been pressed into service as the best choice for saxaphone, acoustic guitar, fiddle and bgv's (background vocals). More than once an AT4040 was a better choice for vocals than pricier mics.

 
Shure BETA 52A Supercardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone with High Output Neodymium Element
Shure BETA 52A Supercardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone with High Output Neodymium Element

Our studio drum sound is known for the solid, meaty sound of the kick drum. A lot of that is the bass drum itself but this very mic has a lot to do with it. For live gigs or studio. A great gift for the drummer on your list!

 

Does the musician you're gifting write songs?

This would be considered a gift above and beyond: Click Here For A Tremendous Gift For The Songwriter What a great surprise that would be!

And this songwriting software is something any songwriter would want:

Guitar Strap With A Pocket For The Pick, Under $10!

A nice strap makes a great choice, even if they already have one as they change out in seconds.

For Your Studio Rat...

All studio owners and home recording enthusiasts can put any type of soundproofing materials to good use! They're always tweaking their "room sound" with it. Or building an isolation panel...or a vocal booth. It won't go to waste or sit unused!

Not Finding What You Need For Your Guitar Player?

Let Them Choose EXACTLY what they want! - Purchase this Guitar Center gift card and let them make the selection..

Amazon.com Gift Card in a Black Gift Box (Various Card Designs)
Amazon.com Gift Card in a Black Gift Box (Various Card Designs)

The box adds some class making it look and feel more like a traditional present!

 

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