By now you have probably purchased all of your big gifts for the Holidays, but perhaps you are still looking for some smaller items to stuff the stockings of the budding musicians in your household. Here are some last minute gift ideas that won’t break your budget and will help make your Christmas morning happy, bright and full of festive sounds!
The best part… most of these items will be in stock at your local music store, so you can support small businesses in your area and not have to worry about shipping times!
Ahh the metronome... a musician's best "frienemy"! Although there are many apps that you can download on your phone or tablet for free or low cost, it is great to have a standalone metronome for practice without the distraction of app notifications. We recommend this Korg tuner/metronome that has all the features you need for effective and efficient practice.
It's tough to practice with your lesson materials and sheet music sitting on the floor or on your coffee table while you struggle to read the notes. A good music stand is a must if you want to give your eyes, neck and back a break during practice time!
Speaking of tools to help you tighten up your playing, if your instrument isn't in tune... that's the first place you should start. If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, you can't go wrong with the Snark Clip-On Tuner. It works for Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Mandolin, Violin and pretty much any other stringed instrument you can think of. For less than $20 you can't beat it's value, ease of use and accuracy.
Need to practice without waking the neighbors? The Vox amPlug 2 Clean headphone guitar amp is your silent guardian. Just plug in, and you're ready to jam out quietly with great tone.
Ok... so you may not find this brand in your local music shoppe, but the Couch Guitar Straps are just TOO COOL not to mention. They also sell camera straps, wallets and bags for some of the other friends and family members on your "nice" list.
Dunlop guitar picks are a top choice of today's pro musician! Dunlop's wide variety of gauges, shapes, sizes and materials allows the player to select the exact pick for his/her own particular style of playing. From classic country to nu-metal, every great player knows that their pick is an integral part of their tone, and Dunlop guitar picks are the picks that more pros rely on in the studio or on stage.
A capo is an essential tool for all acoustic and electric guitarists, as well as ukulele, mandolin and banjo players. It makes switching keys a breeze and allows for a multitude of different tonal variations on your instrument. There are different models for electric, acoustic, ukulele, mandolin and banjo.
Like the old adage says, "A watched pot never boils..." the same can be said for "A guitar in it's case never gets played"! Display that axe and have it at the ready for whenever creativity or practice strikes with a sturdy stand for your acoustic, electric or bass guitar. There are also stands available for ukulele and other string instruments.
One of my favorite quotes goes something like, “…everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”
Well if you want your instrument to play well every time, then you need to take good care of it! For guitarists and bassists, that means fresh strings are a necessity. As soon as your old strings begin to feel grimy or rusty, it’s time for a new set. We can help you put on your freshies and teach you to change your own strings in a lesson for future string switches in the future.
For electric guitar, there's nothing better than a fresh pair of Slinkys. A 3-pack is less than $20, which should last you for 6 months to a year depending on how much you play.
Discover your guitar's true voice! Martin's Retro Light acoustic guitar strings are the real deal. With Martin Retros, you get one tough set of strings that will last a long time and give you true, consistent tone that sounds like nothing else on the market.
Bass strings have a much longer lifespan than guitar strings, but if you string up your bass with some flat wound strings, they will last for YEARS! Most basses come setup with round wound strings, but flat wound strings make less noise when sliding up and down the fretboard and are easier on the fingers.
You have probably noticed the wood shavings on the floor next to your kid’s drum set. It’s never a bad idea to have some spare pairs of sticks around for the inevitable time that you catch a drum rim with the shoulder of your stick and it cracks sending the tip flying across the room. You can also add some rods or brushes to your batter arsenal for more textures and colors and a stick bag to transport all of those new beaters.
Beat up the beat!
Vic Firth drumsticks are the choice of top players in all different genres. Whether you play rock, jazz, country, pop, or other musical styles, there's a pair of Vic Firth drumsticks made to fit your taste.
Vic Firth are some of the best American Made sticks on the market. Right now you can buy 3 Pairs of Black Extreme Drum Sticks and get 1 Pair Free! That should get you through a few months of heavy playing.
Brushes are typically used in Jazz and for various quieter performance applications and there is a whole separate technique to playing with brushes in contrast to drum sticks. Add a new element to your playing with these high quality Vic Firth wire brushes!
"Hot Rods" or Bundled Sticks live somewhere between conventional drumsticks and brushes. They feel much like playing with sticks, but offer the volume control and texture of brushes. You can choose heavier or lighter gauges of rods, but we like these Promark Hot Rods as a great catch-all.
You're going to need a handy carrying case to transport all of those new sticks, rods and brushes to practice, rehearsal or the gig. Grab this Road Runner Stick Bag for less than $10!
There aren't many keyed instruments that you can fit inside a stocking or purchase for under $100, but the Korg nanoKEY2 is just that... You can control virtual instruments in GarageBand or your other favorite DAW or recording software and it fits inside your back pack!
Before you go breaking the bank setting up a home studio (been there… done that!), take a look at these affordable entry level options to get your foot in the door to creating, recording and producing your own music at home!
How about recording through your favorite condenser mic — straight into your iOS device — with high-definition 24-bit/96kHz conversion? IK Multimedia lets you do all of that and more with the iRig Pre HD Mfi (Made for iPhone/iPad) microphone interface.
If this is your first Shure SM58 dynamic microphone, then congratulations! You're about to discover why it's the most popular vocal microphone on the face of the planet. In fact, virtually every serious studio and live sound rig have several SM58s. Why? Because the Shure SM58 gives you three of the most important things a microphone can deliver: quality, consistency, and durability. In your hand or on a stand, in your studio or onstage, gig after gig, show after show, session after session, the Shure SM58 dynamic microphone will never let you down.
Once you have a microphone, you are going to need a good set of studio reference headphones to listen back to your tracks and record multiple parts without "bleed" between instruments and your computer speakers. These Tascam headphones will do the trick!
If you have any further questions or need any advice before you make your last minute Holiday purchases, shoot me an email at [email protected] or give us a call a 610-459-4096.
Jared & the Rockdale Squad