Musicians are simple people. They see an instrument (or, really, anything related to music) and they’re happy. That said, we’ve rounded up some pretty awesome holiday gifts that we’re sure the musicians in your life will love to see, regardless of whether they’re a seasoned pro or a curious student.
Update, 11/4/22: Checked content for accuracy, product availability, and dead links. Replaced T-SIGN Portable Music Stand with Klvied Sheet Music Stand.
Practice Quietly: VOX Headphone Amplifier
Flesh Out Your Playlist: Fake Book for C Instruments
Full-Featured MIDI Controller: AKAI Professional MPD226
See Your Music: Klvied Sheet Music Stand
Make Like Bowie: Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth
Online Music Lessons: Yousician
Learn from the Masters: MasterClass
Get in Tune, Stay on Beat: KLIQ MetroPitch
Practice Guitar Anywhere: Jamstik Guitar Trainer
Be Prepared for Live Shows: GIGmate Guitar Tool Kit
Never Lose Your Keys Again: Fender Jack Rack
Thumb Out a Little Melody: Mini Kalimba
It’s always a good time to practice, and with this headphone amplifier from VOX, you won’t have to worry about bothering your family or roommates with your oh-so-sweet dulcet tones. That is, until you’re ready for them to hear it. The gadget works for both guitar and bass and features both headphone out and aux-in ports. You’ll only need two AAA batteries to power it on (and a good pair of headphones, of course). Happy practicin’!
VOX Headphone Amplifier
This headphone amplifier lets you be the only one who can hear you practice.
Want to flesh out your musical repertoire? Interested in playing a song without fully learning a song? A fake book is your new best friend. These books contain the basic melody and/or chord progression for songs, and are designed to be super easy to read and play through. You can easily thumb through a fake book and, well, fake your way through a song. While they lack the advanced harmonies and embellishments you might be familiar with, they’re a popular choice for jazz musicians and new musicians alike.
This fake book features over 1,000 popular songs for all “C” instruments, including tunes from Queen, The Beatles, and many others. You’ll be able to enjoy playing a variety of popular rock and pop songs, like Unchained Melody, Kansas City, Dust in the Wind, Thriller, Bohemian Rhapsody, Imagine, The Way We Were, Eleanor Rigby, California Girls, and more.
The Best Fake Book Ever for 'C' Instruments
Use the basic melodies and chord markings in this book to play popular songs like a pro.
A powerful and robust MIDI controller is an essential piece of gear for any musician interested in making great-sounding beats. AKAI’s Professional MPD226 MIDI Pad Controller features 16 thick RGB-illuminated velocity- and pressure-sensitive MPC pads. It also has dedicated controls for four pad banks, providing you with a total of 64 assignable pads. With four assignable faders and four assignable Q-Link knobs, you’ll have 36 assignable controls easily accessed via three banks.
It boasts a variety of features, like classic MPC note repeat,16 level full level and tap tempo controls, and MPC swing. The MIDI controller also comes with MPC Beats Software, which contains an impressive variety of essential production tools and other robust features to help you make your best music; you’ll even get Ableton Live Lite and Drum Synth 500 by AIR Music Tech. The controller measures 13.08 x 9.96 x 1.92 inches.
AKAI Professional MPD226
Create award-winning beats with this terrific little MIDI controller.
Whether you’re a professional gigging musician or a hard-working music student, you should always have a good music stand nearby. This portable music stand adjusts from 20 inches up to 48.5 inches, perfect for both kids and adults whether they’re standing or sitting. The bookplate tilts up to 180 degrees and is fully adjustable.
You can even take it apart, detach its accessories, and store it in the included carrying bag when you’re on the go. Speaking of accessories, the collapsible stand comes with a clamp LED light, a USB cord, a violin holder, and a note clamp. Perfect for all types of musicians.
Klvied Sheet Music Stand with Violin Hanger
You can take this music stand with you to a different room or out on your next gig.
Any musical instrument that can fit in your pocket is cool in our book, and bonus points if it’s the same one David Bowie used in Space Oddity. Play along with the iconic song or make your own tunes with the classic Stylophone synth—just move the included stylus across the keyboard-like surface. The synth even has a vibrato switch, a three-way octave switch, a headphone jack, and a built-in speaker. It’s super easy and fun to play, even if you’re not a seasoned pro.
Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth
This small synthesizer has been used for melodies in tons of popular songs, including Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Whether you’re looking to learn how to play an instrument or just brush up on existing skills, you can get quality music lessons from professional musicians at any time with Yousician. The service offers virtual lessons for popular instruments like guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, and even singing; what’s more, lessons are available for students of all ages and skill levels.
Yousician only hires quality educators, so you know you’ll be in good hands, and both lessons and practice exercises are tailored to you. The service also offers up thousands of exercises and songs, allows you to set goals, track your progress, and monitor your improvement as you continue to learn. Students will even have access to step-by-step tutorials. It’s a great option for anyone looking to learn an instrument online instead of in person.
You can take music lessons online for guitar, piano, bass, and other instruments.
If formal lessons aren’t quite your jam but you still want to learn more about music, you’ll most likely be interested in the online music classes offered through MasterClass. No, it’s not like music lessons or even an online college class—it’s just a ton of videos from world-renowned musicians like Hans Zimmer, Tom Morello, Timbaland, St. Vincent, Itzhak Perlman, Carlos Santana, Questlove, NAS, Yo-Yo Ma. It’s fun to hear their expert thoughts on various aspects of music, and should give you plentiful insight into your own musical interests.
MasterClass‘s music-centric video collection features remarkable production value, and covers topics like Beatmaking, Songwriting, Music Production, Film Scoring, Electric Guitar, Jazz, Violin, Dance Music, Singing, The Art of Performance, Music for Film, and so much more. Of course, MasterClass spans other topics, too, from cooking and science to design and finance, so it’s a worthwhile service far beyond what it can teach you about music. It is a subscription billed annually, though, so keep track of when you sign up.
Watch experts in music (and other fields) talk about production, performance, creativity, and more.
Every musician needs a quality metronome and tuner in their bag! The KLIQ MetroPitch is our favorite because it combines the two and it’s affordable. It works with all instruments, chromatic tuning modes, pitch calibration, and transposition settings. The MetroPitch also supports a wide pitch range, from A0 up to C8.
Stick to the beat with its tap tempo metronome feature, or take advantage of its variety of other beat and rhythm patterns. You can also dial in the exact tempo you want in a matter of seconds. It boasts other functions, too, like a tone generator. And when you’re done with your practice session, you can store it away in the included carrying pouch to keep it safe.
This two-in-one gadget will help you tune up your instrument to the correct pitches and stick to the tempo.
The Jamstik Guitar Trainer is a great tool to have whether you’re new to guitar or just want a way to practice on the go. It’s travel-friendly, and thanks to its small portable size, you can put it in your backpack or luggage. The MIDI guitar is also wireless, so you can tinker around without having to carry a bulky instrument or plug in your headphones so as to not bother your roommates when you practice.
It comes with interactive teaching software that can teach you how to play guitar, write songs, and create and produce your own music. You’ll also notice its FretTouch Finger Sensor tech and Infrasense Optical Pickups, which are able to note where your fingers are on the Jamstik and give you real-time feedback on a connected device. With such a powerful, yet simple, tool at hand, you’ll become a veteran guitarist in no time.
Jamstik Guitar Trainer
Hone your ax skills quietly at home or on the go with this clever guitar trainer.
No matter how much you practice, you can never expect the unexpected, like a string breaking in the middle of your set. Be ready to tackle pesky problems right as they pop up with this hand guitar tool kit and string organizer from GIGmate—it features all the tools you’ll need to handle common instrument issues.
Included in the slim carrying case are carbon steel string cutters. a 2-in-1 screwdriver (Philips and Flat), an LED flashlight, two AAA batteries, a trem poker, a string winder with a bridge pin remover, and a stainless steel string action/set up gauge. There are also five Allen wrenches—0.050-inch for Fender USA saddles, 1.5mm for MIM Fender/import saddles, 2.5mm and 3mm for Floyd Rose, and 5mm long ball end acoustic truss rod wrench for Takamine, Martin, and other truss rods)—along with six pockets for storing picks, strings, business cards, and anything else you might need.
GIGmate Guitar Tool Kit
This tool kit includes all you'll need to repair strings and more on your guitar.
Musicians might not ever take their eyes off their instrument, but that doesn’t mean we don’t lose other things, especially our keys. That’s why this cool little Fender Jack Rack is the perfect gift for the musician who’s always losing their keys. Simply attach the amp jack onto your key ring and plug it into the companion amp key holder once you’re home.
This gadget is officially licensed from Fender, and is made with real amplifier components from the amp fabric down to the brushed metal Fender logo. It can store up to four sets of keys at a time and only takes a few minutes to mount on your wall. In fact, it comes with four laser-etched guitar plug keychains and one wall mounting kit, so you’ll have all the hardware you need to hit the ground running. Never lose your keys again!
Fender Jack Rack
Plug your keys into this cute amp-themed jack rack so you'll always know where they are.
A mini kalimba is a neat little instrument—essentially a thumb piano—that not everyone knows about and it’s fun to tinker around with even if you aren’t a pro-level musician. It has a solid sapete wood design with eight stainless steel keys, which is enough to create basic melodies. Want a large kalimba with more keys and a bigger sound? Check out this one.
Play around with this adorable small thumb piano and create simple melodies.