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6 Outside-the-Box Gifts for Musicians

6 Outside-the-Box Gifts for Musicians

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.

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Kaleidoloop

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.

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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.

Theremini

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.

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Noise-Cancelling Headphones

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

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on May 21, 2020

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

1. The Paleo Diet

The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

2. Whole30

The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

During the month you are eliminating:

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  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • legumes
  • grains
  • dairy
  • soy

Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

Finding Out How Food Impacts You

Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

3. The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes & nuts
  • Replacing butter with olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Moderate amounts of red wine

Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

4. The Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

The Big Takeaway:

Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

Reference

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