If you know anyone who can be considered a true musician, you know how quirky they can be. They’re always looking for some new way to make music, and will experiment with pretty much anything at their disposal as long as it allows them to be creative. Luckily, the Internet is full of instruments and products that allow musicians to express themselves through notes, chords, and…sometimes, plain noise.
Digital Audio Workstation
A digital audio workstation, such as FL Studio, is a way to “compose, arrange, record, edit, mix, and master professional quality music” on your own personal computer if you are a musician. Though a bit pricey, these workstations can help take recreational musicians to the next level in their playing. DAWs can be used by bands working toward cutting their first CD, or DJs looking to get their dubstep mixtape heard. Just be sure not to bother them while they’re recording.
Sometimes music isn’t just about notes on a scales; it’s about appreciating the sounds all around you. Enter Critter & Guitari’s Kaleidoloop. This little gadget collects sounds all around you, allowing you to record and store them as you go. With over three hours of recording time built into the memory card, a musician can store thousands of sound clips and bites, from the birds singing outside your window to the crackling of a campfire. With Kaleidoloop, you can “invent new musical games,” and “explore new harmonies” at all times.
Electric Thumb Piano
For the musician in your life that always breaks out the weirdest instruments you’ve ever seen, check out these cedar thumb pianos. If they look primitive (except for the whole amplifier jack thing), that’s because they’re based on the mbira, an African instrument invented thousands of years ago. You might not see much use in the small instrument outside of a novelty, but your musically-inclined friend will definitely find a way to sneak it into his next recording.
Travel Acoustic Guitar
There have been many times in my life in which I wanted to bring my acoustic guitar to a party or campout, but simply didn’t have space in my trunk to store it. The Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar makes those worries a thing of the past. It’s slender frame allows it to fit in the tiniest of spaces, and its lightweight body makes it easy to lug around. However, just because it’s small doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound good. As it is meant for travel and outdoors play, it promises “strong intonation” and durability. I probably don’t have to warn you of this, but just don’t mistake it for firewood.
You may have heard of the theremin, the instrument you play without actually touching it. The Moog Theremini makes playing the theremin a little less complicated, and provides “new ways to experiment with music, education, and gestural control.” It includes a built-in tuner, so the player can see not only what note he’s playing, but how perfect his pitch is. it also comes with a built-in speaker, but also can be plugged into an amplifier.
Okay, this last gift might be more for the person giving it than the one receiving it. If you purchased any of the gifts on this list for a significant other or family member who you happen to live with, you might also want to invest in a pair of Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones. They provide full sound, while virtually eliminating any outside noise – even when not playing music. Bose makes specific models for Apple or Android products, and with a small adapter jack they can be plugged into most amplifiers as well. Or, you could buy them for yourself while your friend rocks out.
Featured photo credit: Weird Al Yankovic in Las Vegas / michaelbwelch / flickr via farm8.staticflickr.com