Awesome gift ideas for your favorite keyboard player
Your keyboardist may very well be the most underrated member of your band or group. They’re super talented and yet they’re stuck holding 5th pads while the guitarists do a saucy intro. They’re typically off to the side of the stage, almost in the wings. And sometimes they even have to play the bass parts with their left hands (amiright?!?!?!?).
So this holiday season, why not treat that special keyboardist in your life to something they actually want, need, or don’t know they need yet. We’re passing on the tchotchkes (like some monsters do on the holiday stuffing/dressing) and bringing you a list curated a real person and not a random aggregate list.
As great as the “Best Keyboardist In The Band” shirt is (and it is), let’s take a look at some really useful gear.
If you or your keyboardist are using a sketchy stand, you may want to look into something a little more durable. Since the stand holds your keyboard, you don’t want to chance a cheap, wobbly stand. Be confident knowing that your keyboard will be well supported and secure all gig long!
Instead of carrying an extra music stand, the ON-Stage keyboard accessory tray mounts into any 1” tubing (basically any keyboard stand). It takes up way less space on stage that a music stand, and works on single and even double tier keyboard stands. Perfect for holding sheet music, tablets, phones, and a good book to read while the guitarist is learning their part.
If you use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone for shows or rehearsals, you should check this out. STOMP is a hands-free, Bluetooth page turner and app controller pedal. That means you don’t have to take your hands off your instrument to change charts or sheet music, start/stop click tracks, or trigger backing tracks.
Basically, you can control anything you use your laptop, tablet, or smartphone for in your set.
If you use traditional sheet music for your gigs, you'll need a light to see your music. Perfect for keyboardists using a laptop for plugins, or those that haven’t upgraded from paper sheet music or set lists. Also really helpful if your keyboard/MIDI controller doesn’t have lights.
If you’re looking for a second/auxiliary keyboard, you should check out the Akai MPK Mini. It’s a 25 key controller, with Octave Up/Down features for a big dynamic range. The MPC style pads add triggering and virtual instrument control capabilities. Pair it with your favorite plugins or DAW. Pro Tip: if you’re playing keys in a church worship team definitely checkout Sunday Sounds.
Roland’s Cube line has brought portability to musicians. The Mobile Cube runs off AA batteries and is small enough to fit in a briefcase or backpack. It’s great for jamming at home, warming up at gigs, and taking with you on those weekend trips.
With 14 products, and more than 7000 sounds, your tonal options are nearly limitless. From classic organs to grand pianos, synths, and everything in between. The software is expandable and works with the computer you’re most likely already using.
Stage monitors are getting harder and harder to find. Most venues and churches are using in ears, especially the smaller ones. The cleaned up stage allows for a better FOH mix, and less hearing damage for the musicians.
I like the Shure SE series, and the SE425s in particular. The fit is the next best to custom molder in ears, and the sound quality is top notch. The ~30db of sound isolation makes sure your ears are safe and your mix is tight.
(if this is a little out of budget, check out the SE215. This is still an excellent option)
If you’ve been around here before, you probably know I'm a huge fan of the Focusrite Scarlett series. These are super affordable, USB powered (on the smaller format options), and sound really good. There are several sizes with varying ins and outs, but the 2i2 is a great place to start (and what I personally use).
The Grandmother of them all. Moog synths are highly sought after for a reason: they’re legit. If you haven’t played an analog synth before, you really should. This is one of the more affordable synths from Moog, and a good way to dip your toes in the water.
As a keyboardist, you have the luxury of not having to spend a ton on wireless in ear monitoring. This highly portable headphone amp fits discretely on your keyboard or music stand, and can also clip to your belt. Use it in stereo or mono, with batteries or a 9v power supply.
If you’re curious about outboard synths, this is a great entry point. Designed primarily for EDM production, the Volca series has digital synths with true analog tone. This is a 27 key lead synth with a 16-step sequencer. It has a MIDI IN option, a built in speaker, and can be battery powered.
$89 (49 key)
Keyboards can be delicate instruments. And people have a tendency to just throw gear in and out of vans. Give it a good bit of protection with a padded gig bag from Gator. It’s durable, has heavy duty zippers, and even has straps inside to keep the keyboard from shifting. With the large accessory pockets, you won’t need to bring any other bags to your gig.
You know you need one, so you may as well get the one the pros use. This is the one I’ve used for years (the same unit for at least 7 or 8 years). They’re as durable as it gets and you’ll get a lifetime out of it. This is the stereo model. If you don’t need a stereo signal, check out the Radial AV1.
I don’t know what to say. Just watch this video.