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The Perfect Present For Your Player

The Christmas season is upon us again. 'What would make a great gift for the musician in my life?' That can be a difficult question to answer but hopefully this column will be of assistance to you. There are many gifts for musicians in many different price ranges. This guide is not by any means complete but can help give you ideas and steer you in the right direction.

For the drummer:

There are many different gift options for the drummer in your life. I'm going to make the assumption that the drummer already has a standard five piece entry level (or higher) set. Drummers love accessories. There's always another add-on just waiting to be added to a set. Cowbells, jam blocks, effect cymbals, chimes, tambourines, and ethnic percussion instruments are all great gift ideas that won't break the budget. Auxiliary percussion instruments like these can be found for a range of $20-$100 and up. Another idea would be to look at the level of set that they currently have and see if there's anywhere to upgrade any of the hardware. Most sets are sold with standard bass drum pedals, cymbal stands, and thrones. Upgrading any of these to the next level up will be greatly appreciated by your drummer. This is especially true for the throne. Most 'good' hardware can range in prices from $80-$150.The next idea is to look at a possible snare drum upgrade. If the student is using a snare drum that has 8 lugs or less, upgrading to a 10 lug snare drum will make a great improvement in sound. 10 lug snare drums can start around $200 and can get as high as $1000.

For the guitarist:

Guitarist suffer from G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) much like drummers. Because of this, there are many gifts that will make Christmas very special for the guitarist on your list. Guitar accessories like slides, tuners, straps and capos can make great gifts and generally sell for $20 or less. Individual effects boxes like fuzz boxes, chorus pedals, delays, wah-wah pedals, and volume pedals can range in prices from $20-$100. These pedals make great gifts as guitarists are always looking for ways to enhance their sound. Hard-shell cases and gig bags are another possibility. These cases not only help protect guitar but also come in many shapes and designs that can accentuate the unique qualities of the guitarist. Prices can range from $30 to several hundred.

For the pianist:Pianists can be difficult to purchase for because whether they are using a piano or a keyboard, they generally have everything they “need” already. There are some ideas though to help add some cheer for the pianists this holiday season.Sheet music can be the perfect gift for the piano enthusiasts. There are piano books and sheet music for almost every style of music and artist around. I've seen racks that have the music for piano parts from every artist imaginable (Abba through ZZTop). Prices for sheet music and books can go as low as $1 to as high as $35. Most piano players and keyboardists do share one common trait, almost all of them sit the entire time. Because of this, a bench upgrade can really help take the load off of the pianists. Benches range from $50-$300.

For the orchestra student:

Orchestra students are a little harder to buy for since most of the students either rent their instruments or they have most of what they need already in their instrument.Cleaning and maintenance kits are available for almost all brass and woodwind instruments. These kits contain greases, cleaning cloths and other supplies that all brass and woodwind students can always use. These kits can range from $15-$35.Many companies now are selling unique colored instrument cases for woodwind and brass instruments. These cases can help make the student more stylish and allow them to proudly display their love for playing music. These cases can run from $125-$300.

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