When you’re out Christmas shopping for the musician in your life, you’ll likely come across loads of kitschy sheet music-patterned ties, guitar-shaped pancake flippers, tissues with guitars all over them and music note earrings. Unless you’re playing Santa at a holiday party (or a joke on someone), save your money and find out what gifts musicians really want to see under the tree this year.
Chances are, musicians already have a stellar instrument they like, so don’t bother buying someone a new trombone or guitar (unless you know specifically what they’re hunting for). However, instruments require upkeep, and accessories can make playing pieces infinitely easier. Ask them about their gear wish list, then head to an online retailer of music equipment, like West Music to find that Manhasset music stand or specialized mouthpiece for his or her trumpet.
If your budget allows it, consider buying your musician-friends some related electronics. Chances are that, if they play music and dream of performing for others, they’d love to build a nice assemblage of speakers, recording gear and microphones.
Affordable accessories can make for great stocking stuffers, and are often quite practical. Guitarists can always use strings and cables, clarinetists go through reedslike crazy and string players are always running low on rosin. Just keep in mind that the person you’re buying for may have a brand or style preference. Find out what that is beforehand to avoid any gift-returning hassle, and so you’ll both be guaranteed the perfect gift exchange.
With all of that gear, you musician will need something to cart it around in. A messenger bag is the perfect gift for music teachers, music therapists, vocalists, instrumentalists, DJs and basically any performer who needs to haul around a moderate amount of gear. Look for features like large pockets to hold wires and cables, zippers that lock and thick padding to protect a laptop, small instruments or microphones. For instance, check out this bag from Namba Gear.
Personalization always lends a thoughtful note to gift giving, so maybe you’ll consider buying a beautiful baton storage case with an engraving of your conductor’s very own initials. Or think about monogramming a tote or messenger bag for a truly unforgettable gift.
Original recordings, CD box sets, concert ticketsand season tickets to the symphony, jazz series, opera or arts center are all spectacular gifts that any music lover would thoroughly enjoy.
A framed copy of an original manuscript or song is always a sweet token that can be displayed in a home studio or bedroom, and enjoyed for years. If you’re feeling sentimental, you can take it one step further and purchase a mechanical music box set to record a special tune.
iTunes gift cards make everybody happy: buy a card that fits your budget, and your music maker will be able to download those apps they’ve been eyeing all year long.
When in doubt, always go with green – it matches everything. Artists who bring home the big bucks are few and far between, but ask any number of them and they’ll gladly tell you that money is always an appropriate and welcome gift.
There’s no doubt about it, shopping for the active musician – especially if you’re not a musician yourself – can be a difficult undertaking. But hopefully these suggestions will help you find the perfect holiday gift for the musician you love.