Awesome gift ideas for gigging musicians
The more you gig, the more you realize that bedroom gear won’t always work for gigs. You have quick setups and tear downs, need to make efficient trips from your car to the venue, and need reliability and durability above anything else.
We’ve all had the instrument stand that failed, or cheap DIs and cables that failed, or regretted not getting the next-step-up-gig bag. And sometimes there are things we just haven’t seen before and didn’t know we need! (#foreshadowing)
That’s why we’ve put together a list of gear we feel brings durability, practicality, and reliability. Some of these are instrument specific, some can be used by the whole band, and all are worth checking out.
The MONO M80 is a really slick dual guitar case. You can carry two guitars at once (separate compartments), with additional storage for cables, strings, and tools.
The high density foam is lightweight and very rugged. It has a Headlock system that secures your guitar inside the case for safe transport. The outer layer is water resistant, and the case has heavy duty zippers and stitching. Since you need to bring (at least) two guitars to your gigs, may as well carry them in one highly protective case.
Most bands these days are using in ear monitoring. It cleans up the stage noise and gives you a better mix. The benefit of having custom in ear monitors is that they’re molded specifically to your ears. Those also come with a hefty price tag.
So the next best thing, and what I personally use, is the Shure SE series IEMs. They’re made for gigging musicians. The audio is clear, they wrap over your ears to stay in place, and they’re sound isolating (37 dB of outside noise reduction). The cable is detachable and replaceable.
And best of all, they come with several moldable foam tips. So they’ll stay comfortably in everyone’s ears.
(if this is a little out of budget, check out the SE215. This is still an excellent option)
If you use a tablet for any reason, even just for rehearsals, you need a tablet mount. This clips securely on any mic stand or stage hardware, and makes it easy to see what you’re doing. The low profile magnet mounts discretely to your table. The two hinge points make it so you can find that perfect position.
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.
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 exact 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 never play a gig without a tool kit. You never know when you’ll need to fix something on the fly. This kit gives you everything you need to change strings and make minor adjustments. The expansive hex wrench set works on all truss rods (with a female slot) and electric guitar bridges. You’ll also get a few extra tools like a screwdriver, ruler, clippers, and string winder.
A multitool made specifically for the drum set. It has 6 different hex key sizes, 5 screwdrivers, and perhaps most importantly, a bottle opener.
I see a lot of drummers strap their stick bags on a floor top. But I prefer a stick holder like this, it’s much easier to grab a spare. You can mount it to your high hat stand, or a cymbal stand.
This is an affordable pedalboard designed after the Pedal Train boards. You can cleanly and securely mount your pedals and power supply, and pack it all in an easy-to-carry case. The case has a big pocket for you cables, spare batteries, and that tool kit I mentioned earlier.
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, and works on single and even double tier keyboard stands.
On a dark stage in the middle of your set, it can be hard to see your pedals. This micro pedal has a small footprint, comes with a 17” USB powered light, and has a second USB output to charge your phone or tablet.
Record your rehearsals and gigs with this 4 channel stereo recorder. You can record using the built in X/Y mics, or take the mix from the board. Record ideas, see how transitions and sets sound, and then use it to record your podcast.
Have some gifting to do for the rest of the band?
Check out these Holiday Gift Guides: