Be a holiday hero this holiday season.
'Tis the season for giving. We all have at least one friend who loves music. What better way to show you care than to feed their obsession? Whether your friend is a musician or simply an avid listener, the guide below will help you pick the perfect gift to suit any budget.
Gifts for Your Concert-going Pals
1. Custom Fit Earplugs
People who like going to concerts will raise an eyebrow at people who wear earplugs, but when you consider that nearly everybody on stage is wearing them, maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all. Modern rock concerts can easily exceed 110 decibels, which can result in hearing damage. Etymotic Custom Fit Earplugs are used by a lot of musicians and lower the volume of your surroundings without sacrificing audio fidelity. Remember, in order to give your friend the gift of custom earplugs, you will need to set up an appointment for them to get molds of their ears taken.
2. Concert Tickets
It goes without saying that a concert-going friend would be ecstatic to receive concert tickets for the holidays
. Save your friend the hassle of having to find the tickets themselves. Make sure you fully understand their schedule and tastes before making the purchase.
3. Handmade Lyric Posters
Feeling a little DIY? If you want a relatively inexpensive gift and you know your friend’s favorite song, why not put together a poster for them featuring some of the lyrics that changed their life? You can go the simple route by buying a canvas and stenciling on the words, or make it a little classier by putting it together in Photoshop — here
are some typographic tutorials to get you started. If you’re not into DIY, Etsy is full of artists and designers who can custom-design a poster for you.
Gifts for Friends Who Love to Listen
1. Gift Cards
Music gift cards are a great, easy gift for your music-loving friends. If you’re sure that your friend wants music, you can get them an iTunes gift card, which allows them to take advantage of the large selection of titles available in iTunes. Maybe your friend is too busy studying for their online college
to listen to music. If you aren't certain that your friend has the ideal album in mind, an Amazon gift card might be a better option. They can use your gift to buy tunes or practically anything else.
2. High Quality Headphones
Believe it or not, Bose and Beats by Dr. Dré are not the best headphones available from a price vs. quality perspective. Some great alternatives are, on the high end, Sennheiser HD 600s, Audio Technica ATH-M50s in the mid-range, or Porta Pros on the lower end. If your friend prefers earbuds, a pair of Etymotic In-Ear Headphones could be a great alternative. You can even get custom-fitted pads for them.
3. Studio-Quality Portable Speaker
While it goes without saying that anyone would be thrilled to get audiophile speakers or high-quality studio monitors, maybe your friend travels a lot or doesn’t have a lot of space. The iLoud speaker gives listeners high fidelity audio in a small, portable format. It pairs nicely with an iPad or iPhone.
Gifts for Musicians
1. KORG MS-20 Mini
KORG has re-released the classic MS-20 synth of the 70s in a smaller format for 2013. This synth was originally created to help introduce people to the concepts of musical synthesis and it is still a great synthesizer today. It’s known for its trademark rough, raw sound and is a great noise machine and sound effects engine. Anyone looking to get into synthesis or seeking a vintage sound would be happy to receive this synthesizer as a gift.
2. Strings, Reeds, Valve Oil, Etc.
These might not be the most exciting gifts, but your musician friends might really appreciate high quality instrument strings, reeds, or any other instrument necessities. To make the gift more exciting, try bringing up the subject naturally in conversation — what item would they like to try, but it’s a little too out of their price range? There’s your gift.
3. Instrument Cases
Musical instruments don’t often come with cases, or if they do, they aren’t very good cases. When shopping for cases, keep in mind the type of instrument your friend plays. Would you really want to buy a soft case for a synthesizer only to have it obliterated when somebody sets something on top of it? A hard case would definitely be the way to go here. Again, this may not seem like the most glamorous gift, but cases cost more than you may think, and many musicians may never feel quite justified in getting them.
These nine gift ideas just barely scratch the surface of the realm of gift possibilities for your music-loving friends, but they’re a great place to start. Have any awesome suggestions of your own? Feel free to add them in the comments below. Happy holidays!
is a music lover and freelance writer. To see more of her work, feel free to follow her on Twitter
Join the celebration, concert-lover.