This list of best holiday gifts for musicians offers some great ideas for the musician in your life. Or, if you are the musician in your life, some great accessories and tools that can help you with your craft. Everybody would love a new guitar, drum kit, or recording interface, but these are meant to be “stocking stuffer” ideas.
From staying in tune to trying sounds that are new, here are some ideas for the guitar player on your list.
Best Clip-on Tuner: Peterson StroboClip
Peterson is well-known for creating some of the most accurate strobe tuners on the market. The StroboClip brings their fantastic tuning technology right to your headstock. It includes multiple tuning functions in a bright, easy to read display. While the StroboClip might come at a higher price point than you might expect from this kind of tool, the efficacy and accuracy (to 1/10th of a cent!) it provides more than makes up for it. This is one of the most useful gifts for musicians, and it works on a number of stringed instruments.
Runner Up: Snark ST-2
Snark was one of the first companies to really popularize the clip-on tuner, and they are still one of the best. The ST-2 is affordable, accurate, and offers a variety of features that work not only with guitar but also for other stringed instruments like banjo, ukulele, and bass. The colored display gives you full visibility even on the darkest of stages, and the onboard microphone lets you tune from a distance if needed.
Best Pedalboard Power Supply: Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus
This power supply is trusted by touring veterans and gigging professionals around the world for its clean, versatile power that works with pretty much any type of pedal. Everything is isolated and filtered for silent operation. It has eight 9v outputs, a “Sag” output that emulates a dying battery, and can even power 18v pedals with an additional cable.
Runner Up: Truetone 1 SPOT
It might present some grounding issues depending on what pedals are on your board, but for hobbyists and gigging guitarists alike will find a use for this ergonomic power supply.
Best Affordable Multi-Effect: Line 6 M5
Multi-effects have a number of uses. They are great for being able to DI into an interface to throw down ideas or direct into the soundboard at a live show, have a variety of different amp sounds on tap, or to experiment with effects before investing in dedicated individual processors.
Best Cleaning Kit: Dunlop Formula 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit
This kit from Dunlop provides everything you’ll need to clean your guitar, fretboard, and frets. Perfect for keeping your guitar looking and playing great. It might not be one of the most glamorous gifts for musicians, but it can save a lot of money.
For some more ideas on what to get the bass player in your life, check out these must-have bass guitar accessories.
Best D.I./Preamp: Tech21 Sansamp
As far as gifts for musicians, especially bass players, it doesn’t get much more on point than the Sansamp. It can be used as a preamp, D.I., or both, and comes with a full feature set for shaping your tone. It also has some very tasty overdrive that can help your sound cut through a mix.
Best Gig Bag Amp: TC Electronic BAM 200
This is a 200W Class D amp head that can easily fit into your gig bag. It has a single speaker out, as well as a D.I. No non-sense controls include gain, master volume, and 3-band EQ. The on-board headphone output also includes speaker emulation for better monitoring.
Drummers might need more accessories than any other instrument, and there are a number of items that make the perfect holiday gift for the drummer on your list.
Best Drum Tuning Key: Yamaha DK-15 Chrome Drum Key
Just like guitar picks, drum tuning keys have a tendency to get lost – especially when on the road. But they can make for the perfect holiday gift as they are inexpensive and extremely useful.
Best Stickbag: Vic Firth Essentials Stick Bag
As any drummer knows, having a number of different implements on hand can expand your sound options infinitely. Brushes, mallets, hot sticks, or maybe just different types of sticks, a good stick bag makes bringing all of these things easy and organized.
Best Dampeners: RTOM Moongel Percussion Dampeners
Dampeners come in handy in a number of situations so that the kit can sound as good as possible in whatever acoustic space you happen to find yourself.
If you’re looking for gifts for the producer in your life, this guide to the top 10 accessories for music producers is a great start. Here are some ideas to help get creativity flowing and ideas recorded quickly.
Best Control Surface: Presonus Faderport
A control surface can speed up your session workflow by giving you quick access to controls like panning, mute, solo, and transport. They are not for everyone, but the Faderport from Presonus is a great place to start.
Best MIDI Controller: Arturia Keylab Essential 49
Thanks to the versatility of today’s digital recording, MIDI controllers can now be implemented into pretty much every phase of the recording process. From controlling virtual instruments to writing automation this very useful tool makes a great holiday gift.
Best Headphones Under $150: AKG K240 MKii
These studio headphones are the perfect blend of value and affordability. Varimotion technology enhances the bass response of the semi-open design. They are also very comfortable to reduce fatigue from long sessions.