The Ultimate Music Lover's Holiday Gift Guide

Posted by Jeremy Young on Dec 14, 2015 09:00 AM

synthsanta2-02All images via

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.


This holiday season, there’s probably a handful of Golden Ticket gift items on our wish lists, like the incredible Nord Electro 5 Keyboard, or Native Instruments’ new Komplete 10 pack, or Artiphon’s recently introduced Instrument 1, which unless we’ve been very, very good boys and girls, we might not get. So here are a few more great ideas to inspire those tasked with finding us, the musically obsessed, the perfect present.

Domestic doodads

1. For the well-tuned wine lover

tuned wine glasses

If your family is anything like mine, it probably takes a few glasses of wine to get Uncle Lester singing. These major scale musical wine glasses can help keep him stay in key.

2. For analog enthusiasts

vinyl bowl

If you’re entertaining a bunch of vinyl-heads, I’d recommend picking up some of these record bowls (or you could make them yourself!). And for drinks, these sets of assorted record coasters will make any beverage look and taste funkier.

3. For the all-natural audiophile

Gourd Amplifier

Check out this handmade gourd amplifier for your phone – it’s freaking awesome! (Walter Mitty soundtrack sadly not included.)

4. For the at-home party animal

akai karaoke machine

For those families that might be a bit more… energetic around the holidays, a karaoke machine is all you need to satisfy everybody from baby to pappy.

DIY-project gifts

5. For the musical tinkerer

FretWire Guitar Kit

If you’re the kind of guitarist who needs a customized look for your axe, the FretWire assembles and sells super affordable, high-quality guitar-making kits. It’s a tenth the price of a store-bought guitar, plus you get the satisfaction of telling every fan that comes up to your stage rig after your gig, "Yeah, I made this one." Which, in our line of work, is one heck of a value add!

6. For the burgeoning sound engineer

DIY Speaker Kit

The DIY speaker kits from Technology Will Save Us allow you to create custom speakers out of any household item (balloons, paper bags, whatever you can find). Learn while you build!


Soundfly just released the first installment of their totally free course series on synths! Pick out any of these knobby toys and Soundfly can help your loved one sculpt screechy siren noises into any sound they can dream possible. Sign up for free today!

7. For the synth fundamentalist

littlebits synth kit

The LittleBits DIY Synth Kit, created in partnership with Korg, allows you to hone your understanding of the fundamentals of synthesized sound with their totally modular synth kit. It’s a killer present for an kid interested in playing with noise, but is also a completely captivating toy for grown-ups.

8. For the synth-enthusiast on the move

pocket operators

Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operators look like handheld video games, but are easily way more fun. At $59 each, these powerful processors are the perfect gateway for anyone interested in becoming a total synth nerd.

9. For someone with slightly bigger (and deeper) pockets

pocket piano

The next level up in portable, easy-to-use synths is this stunner from Critter & Guitari. The Pocket Piano features an 18-key MIDI keyboard (made out of maple!), built-in speakers, and seven synth modes.

"But how will I know how to use all those synth modes?" Glad you asked…*Shameless plug for Soundfly's synths course.*

Pet fancy

10. For the hippest cat you know

DJ Cat Scratching Pad

Both the DJ Cat Scratching Pad (shown above) and the CATIO Keyboard Scratcher will keep your talented little compadres clawing their way to stardom!

11. For the Bub-lover

lil bub album

Lil BUB’s debut record, Science & Magic, out now on LP, CD, digital download, and even a special cat-eye colored vinyl, is the premier gift for Bub-lovers out there. How can you resist that magical space cat?

12. For the full-blown cat lady

cat shirt

Check out this statement-making piece of high-school-music-teacher-approved apparel from Cafe Press. Or show your love for the fur-beasts with black cat headphones...

cat ear headphones

13. For that special dog-loving sax player in your life

dog sax

We haven’t forgotten about the pups! What dog lover could live without a bronze pug playing the saxophone? And for the pampered musical pooch, Piano Supplies is selling a keyboard-print frisbee to keep him entertained and a keyboard-print leash to keep him close by!

Subscriptions galore!

14. For the vinyl hoarder

vinyl me please

Vinyl Me Please is a record-of-the-month club, highly curated and delightfully packaged, that exists to make sure your collection is not without today's most essential new releases. Check it out – there's loads of member benefits!

15. For the in-the-know music lover

singles club

Singles Club is a subscription-based record label releasing seven inches from the most exciting emerging bands out there alongside long-form features and stories on the artists, photo essays, and other digital content. This is musical content meant to be experienced in magazine format.

16. For the avid reader

pitchfork music review

Speaking of magazines, here are a few of our favorite print publications that offer subscription plans: Tom Tom Magazine, The WIRE, The Pitchfork Review, FADER, Film + Music, and Performer Magazine.

17. For the rabid fan

Now that tons of artists and bands offer subscription-model purchase systems to support their craft through both Bandcamp and Patreon, purchasing music can now be considered a gift that keeps on giving! Every artist offers different perks to go along with a subscription, but usually they include some sort of unique or exclusive new music, and some artists offer crazy bonuses like personal postcards, buttons, webcasts, drawings, even chances to hang with the artists themselves!

Still stumped? Any music-lover loves a gift certificate!

18. For absolutely anyone who loves music gear

I know, last year he was a clarinetist, now he’s a heavy metal drummer – who even knows what Trevor likes anymore! There’s nothing wrong with sponsoring a much-anticipated trip to the store, and letting him decide what his next obsession will be! Musician’s Friend, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, Napa Music Supply, and Reverb (for rare new and used vintage gear!) are all great options for gear. If it’s records you’re after, well, there are thousands of music stores out there. Just try to pick the purchase option that supports musicians as best as possible.


Give yourself the gift of Sonicbids for the holidays! Use the code 30plus10 when you sign up to get 30 days free + 10% off your annual subscription. 

30 Days Free

Jeremy Young is a music business guru and loves giving advice to young, emerging bands on how to make their tours more effective. He also plays guitar, publishes audiobooks, runs a record label, and is an artist working in sound media. He has performed and released material throughout Europe, Asia, the US, UK, and Canada, mostly with his trio, Sontag Shogun.


Topics: holidays, Musician Life


Get weekly updates on articles, gigs, and much more!

Posts by Topic

see all