Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

50 Great Gifts for Musicians

  • Published Nov 30, 1999
50 Great Gifts for Musicians
By Bruce Adolph, courtesy of {{Christian Musician}} Magazine

We do not endorse these items as the "one and only" (refer to rule #2); we are simply giving you some suggestions to consider. It usually doesn't take much to get a player to talk about what they want next, but in case no one's listening, you can print this out, circle items you like and leave the list out somewhere where family, friends or band-mates are sure to see it.

First, keep in mind that we are only offering you information. You need to access your own needs, budget and other responsibilities before purchasing. We don't want any of those emails from spouses accusing us of telling their significant other to buy some new gear instead of making the house payment.

Second, never pay retail! Believe it or not, you can find a wide range of pricing on every item you buy. There are several ways to purchase gear these days: local retail "brick & mortar" stores, email commerce sites, super-chain mail order and fellow band members who have decided to cut loose with some of their instrument arsenal. The key is to educate yourself on several different brands in the category of product you're considering. Compare the ones you're most interested in. Keep in mind that some instruments may require a more "hands-on" approach while others are "box" inventory. For the "touchy-feely" items you may desire a retail environment, while the "box" items lend well to mail order or e-commerce sites. It seems as if nowadays the retail stores are trying to be more e-commerce friendly while the e-commerce sites are trying to offer some type of customer service and informative advice much like a retail outfit would give. Quite a topsy-turvy mess to wade through at times, but there are plenty of people out there who want your business. If you make the effort and shop around, you'll be rewarded for it.

1. Lessons - No, this isn't a joke. Good instruction (vocal, guitar, bass, drums etc.) can make a huge difference in musicianship skills. Prices vary depending on instrument, length of lesson and level of instructor. $15.00 and up per session.

2. D'Addario Cross Guitar Strap (model 50N00C): There are times when having a good strap can make a world of difference. This web stitched strap includes an embossed cross. $13.99

3. Kyser Lifeguard Humidifier: Help protect your acoustic guitar investment. A great stocking stuffer. $18.95

4. Shupp Deluxe Guitar Capo: This perennial gift item is a winner: a top quality capo that will probably last longer than your guitar. $29.95

5. Grooving for Heaven Bass Videos Volumes 1& 2: These instructional bass videos are produced by none other than {{Christian Musician}}'s own columnist Norm Stockton, and are chock full of good stuff. $35.00 each.

6. Ultimate Support "Genesis" Guitar Stand: Well-designed and versatile adjustable guitar stand that folds up nicely to save space when traveling. $35.00

7. Carvin MA 12 Amp Rack: Strong enough to hold a 2x12 combo amp with a 10lb. ham on top of it (it can handle 100lbs.) $42.00

8. Resound Media "Indie Artist" placement in their in-store demo systems: Let your music be heard in tons of retail stores via their high tech demo kiosk. $49.00 a month.

9. Danelectro Dan-O-Matic Guitar Tuner: Not only will you be in tune but you'll also be in "retro" style with this hip pedal tuner. $79.95

10. DOD FX66 Flashback Fuzz: Can anyone remember the fuzz tones of Canned Heat? Even if you can't, this pedal will take you down memory lane. $89.95

11. GHS Acoustic Soundhole Mic: Choose between an external (A131) or internal (A137) mount microphone. Don't confuse this with a pick-up, it is an actual microphone that amplifies your guitar's true sound. $99.95

12. Ultimate Support DX-48B Deltex 2-Tier Keyboard Stand: Sturdy stand for your keyboards. Get rid of that old wobbly stand and go Deltex. $109.00

13. Plus E-Bow: They've done it again. The ever-popular E-Bow has been updated. Get swell swells and lots of other ethereal harmonics sounds from your guitar. $119.00

14. Registration to the Christian Guitarist Conference on January 21-22 in San Jose, CA with featured artist {{Phil Keaggy}} and Reggie Coates: A happenin' event for guitarists. $89.00

15. Alesis NanoVerb: Back by popular demand this year, you just can't beat the value of this stereo reverb and multi-effects processor. $135.00

16. LR Baggs Double Barrel: A micro-miniature, all-discrete Class A dual channel microphone/pick-up system that is built right on to a 4-Pin strapjack. It pairs an undersaddle transducer, the Ribbon Transducer, with a high quality FET condenser microphone. $199.00

17. Midisoft's Worship Studio Software package. Do your own lead sheets, notation, sequencing and digital audio. Great for worship leaders. $249.00

18. Fostex VM04 Digital Mixer: A compact 20-bit digital mixer with built in digital audio effects (reverbs, chorus, delays etc.) can add a lot to any small project studio. $299.00

19. Hamer BZ-4CB Electric Bass: Great entry-level bass guitar. Check out the Cobalt Blue finish. $329.00

20. Sabian Proformance Cymbal Package: Great entry-level gift set for drummers. Includes 14" hi-hat, 16" crash, 20" ride, 8" splash and a cymbal bag. $333.00

21. Shure Hi-Performance Microphones: The "nuts and bolts" of any band, give them a SM58 (for lead or BGV's) and a SM57 (for instruments) mic. $348.00 for both.

22. Line 6's Pod: This versatile effect processor received high marks from our product reviewer {{Lincoln Brewster}} this year. See the review in the PRODUCT REVIEWS area of Musician Resources. It also can model several of the top guitar amp sounds. $399.00

23. Studio Time: Sometimes just knowing that you have four or five hours already purchased in a local studio makes you get off your bottom and hone your skills in preparation for recording. It may just jump-start your gifting if you're in a musical rut. Prices range widely depending on the studio and the needs. Could range from $20-$100 an hour, find one that fits your level. Be prepared, you may realize that you want a lot more time to actually record a project. $100-$500 and up.

24. Tascam 414mkII Porta-Studio: Double-speed four track cassette recorder for sketching out those musical moments of genius. It comes with 2 XLR inputs to boot! $379.00

25. Danelectro 12 String Electric Guitar: Those guys at Dano have done it again! We love their 6 string electrics, now they've delivered a 12 string version that rings true to the golden age of British-influenced "chimey-twang-vibe" guitar at a low cost. $399.00

26. Boss VF-1 24-bit Multiple Effects Processor: Arriving in a merry shade of red, this half-rack guy houses 400 patches including COSM-based Guitar Amp and Microphone Modeling. $495.00

27. Rane AP-13 Acoustic Processor: Specifically suited for acoustics with dual pick-up systems, the AP13 provides two separate signal paths (1 for a piezo - 1 for a microphone) that let you do wonders to your sound. $569.00

28. Audio-Technica AT4047/SV Studio Mic: This precision-engineered large diaphragm capacitor microphone captures the warmth and sonic characteristics reminiscent of early F.E.T. studio mics. $695.00

29. Selah Mandolin: Hand-crafted mandolin with rosewood back & sides, walnut neck and sitka spruce top made with care by some brothers in Stewartstown, PA. $695.00

30. Toca 3000N Double Conga Set: It's easy to add some percussion to your life with these all-wood natural finished congas. They come with a heavy duty double stand, just add rhythm. $699.50

31. Tacoma EM9E7 Acoustic Guitar: Solid spruce top, solid mahogany back & sides and mahogany neck acoustic with pick-up. This model shared 1st place in Guitar Player magazine's recent "Editor's Pick Award" for the best budget Acoustic-Electric guitar. $749.00

32. Ovation S771 Balladeer Special: The satin finished solid spruce top cutaway acoustic-electric guitar features Ovation's signature rugged composite bowl back & sides (great for those hardy youth camp/trips), a AP-24+ pick up system and a Honduran mahogany neck. $849.00

33. Yamaha EMX-860ST Powered Mixer: Not only gives you stereo power amps with a 8 channel mixer but also throws in digital effects and will power your monitors. $899.00

34. Fender American Standard Precision Bass: The bottom line of modern music all started with the original "P" bass. Case is included. $950.00

35. Roland DB-500 D-Bass Amplifier: Proof that big sound can come in small packages, this compact bass amp with FFP design delivers tones that are surprisingly loud and dynamic. The amp also sports D-Chorus, compression and EQ. $999.00

36. Takamine EF-261SAN Acoustic-Electric Guitar: The well-crafted compact-bodied guitar has a solid cedar top, laminated mahogany back & sides and an easy to play fingerboard. The size and looks are great for stage and the smaller body design may work well for women players too. $999.00

37. Guild F4-CE Cutaway Acoustic Guitar: Thin body design built with solid woods and equipped with a Fishman Acoustic Matrix pick-up and pre-amp system. $1,200.00

38. Yamaha SCW2F56 Acoustic Drum Set: Yamaha's new entry-level kit that delivers a great value. Good sounding drums along with quality hardware. Check out the available colors - they're gorgeous. $1,245.00

39. Roland XP-30 64-Voice Expandable Synthesizer: With 64-voice polyphony, 61 full-sized keys (velocity and aftertouch sensitivity) and more sounds packed in it than any previous Roland synth (1,534 to be exact) this synth remains very affordable. $1,395.00

40. Fender American Vintage 57' Stratocaster: The re-make of a classic, Fender pulls out all of the original specs along with a maple neck and fretboard, 21 nickel polished frets, vintage pick-ups and they throw in a tweed case for the vibe factor. $1,679.00

41. Crown K-2 Power Amp: Featuring the newest BCA technology, this power amp kicks speaker cabinet bottom. 1,250 watts @ 2 ohm - 800 @ 4ohm and 500 @ 8 ohm - comes in 13 different colors. Unlike many musicians we know, this guy needs no fan. $1,840.00

42. RainSong WS 1000 Acoustic Guitar: This all graphite constructed guitar from Maui includes the patented "projection tuned layering" for lots of volume. Throw in a pair of round-trip tickets to Maui to visit the place of their birth and you get a vacation out of buying the gift. $1,995.00 + travel expenses.

43. Yamaha S80 Synthesizer: Featuring a 88-note weighted-action keyboard combined with a synth engine that offers multimode resonant filters and 20MB of sound ROM, this versatile keyboard packs stereo sampled pianos, strings, brass and choir voices. $1,999.00

44. Mackie Designs PA Package: Mackie's new "active monitoring" technology makes this quality mixer (1402vlz pro) and two powered speakers (SRM 450's) combination a winner. $2,027.00

45. Yamaha AES1500B Electric Archtop Guitar: The word is out: archtops are coming back. This guitar brings a sycamore top, maple back and sides and 2 DiMarzio Q100 "soap bar" pick-ups to the table. Add to that a Bigsby B6 vintage vibrato and a lush orange finish. $2,199.00

46. Rivera "Sedona" Model Amp: This Doyle Dykes signature model guitar amp is all tube and is designed for both acoustic and electric guitars. The sound is terrific and the volume level can harm small dogs at 50 feet. $2,400.00

47. Martin D35 Acoustic Guitar: One of the premier guitars of modern times, the classic rosewood three piece back with solid spruce top Martin is always welcomed as a gift. One of our good friends got one and she wouldn't let anyone else touch it for days. $2,430.00

48. Taylor XXV-GA 25th Anniversary Grand Auditorium Acoustic: Solid wood, quilted sapele back and sides and sitka spruce top. Lots of ornamentation and a commemorative inlay. $2,500.00

49. Lowden S23c Acoustic Guitar: CM reviewed this cedar top cutaway jewel last issue and the resonance of this beautifully made instrument from North Ireland still rings in our ears. $2,900.00

50. Subscription to Christian Musician Magazine: Shameless self-promotion or possibly a priceless investment in your musicianship as a Christian musician? You decide. $20.00 (US, or $24USD for Canada) for one year (6 issues) and you'll get a free CD! You may know a few people who could benefit from the gift that keeps on giving all year.

Blessings on your holidays!