Gift buying for musicians can be tricky. They already have the equipment they need, or it’s too expensive to get something truly unique. Music students, for instance, have been known to receive everything from clarinet reeds to fake teeth during Christmas and Hanukkah. The good news is that several presents will be well-received by string players and violinists, violists, cellists, bassists, and even harpists. If you want to get your musician friend a fantastic gift, check out these seven ideas.
1) Instrument Additions
Instrument additions are one of the most popular things that musicians like to receive as gifts. These accessories can include anything from a violin footrest to a headphone holder. One of the most versatile gifts in this category is an accessory bag with added pockets. These are available in various colors, but it will be both functional and fun if you go for one in hot pink. Another great thing to get is headphones designed to block out exterior noise while giving maximum sound quality. This helps your musician friend to hear their music better, especially when they are practicing or performing on stage where there is so much going on around them.
2) A New Strap
A strap can be like a leash for a string player – essential if their violin is bulky and needs support (and dangerous if they’re not careful). Straps must be high-quality; cheap straps made of leather often come apart after only a short time. Some violinists have a strap attached to their case, but that can be even more cumbersome. Try something like the Everest Deluxe Nylon String Strap 5/8″ with Leather Ends from Music 123. As a bonus, it’s available in 21 colors, so your musician pal will have no trouble matching it to their outfit. An excellent synthetic strap lasts much longer and provides plenty of support without tearing up clothing.
3) A New Metronome
You’d better believe that there are some fascinating alternatives out there – digital metronomes that feel like magic in your hand (like the Korg MA-1 Digital Metronome ) and others that use an old-fashioned pendulum (like the Seiko DM50S Silent Metronome ). The best part is; violinists and string players can benefit from any one of these options since they work just as well for bowed instruments as they do for percussion.
4) Sheet Music
For whatever reason, some people think that sheet music is obsolete. There’s nothing new under the sun, according to them – why to bother learning anything new; it’ll be superseded before too long anyway. Well, guess what – not all classical musicians feel this way. A lot of musicians thrive on being constantly exposed to new works. If your musician friend feels overwhelmed by everything that’s already been written, try buying them some sheet music they’ve never played before. This will be much more exciting than yet another concerto.
5) A ‘Practice Buddy’ Clock
The idea behind this presentation is to encourage violinists and string players to practice regularly without leaving it until the last minute at night (which often leads to hurried practicing). The way it works is simple; you get your friend a clock (for example, the Westclox 203-009 Practice Buddy Digital Travel Alarm Clock ), and they set the alarm to go off at whatever time they usually practice. It’ll stop them from wasting time worrying about how late it is, so they can get on with more important things when they’re done practicing.
6) A Reed Case
Reed cases aren’t just for clarinetists. If you want to take a risk with your present this year, think outside the box and buy something different – like a reed case. Reed cases can be expensive, though, so make sure that your musician will love yours before going all in. There’s a perfect chance that they’ll appreciate anything you put in one of these bad boys – but if you do decide to spend a bit more, you won’t be disappointed. Reed cases come in every color and size imaginable.
7) Professional-Grade Rosin
If your violinist or violist is struggling with their bow technique, there’s a chance that it could be related to their rosin. Cheap rosins often contain additives that can affect how bows behave (for better or worse). For this reason, many musicians choose to use professional-grade rosin. A good example would be the Dark Rosin from D’Addario; it comes in three grades so that you can find the perfect one for the musician in your life.
If you’re looking for some last-minute gift ideas, look no further than these seven suggestions; all of them will make great presents for the violinist or violist in your life. Remember that it’s always better to give something unusual rather than something generic like rosin or sheet music – but if you’re unsure about something, ask.