Whether your favorite music-lover plays in a band or simply enjoys listening to music, a gift tailored to her musical tastes is sure to delight. Consider the elements of music that she talks most about, such as audio quality and format or bands from other eras, as clues to the ultimate musical gift.
The Aural Experience
Sound quality is of utmost importance, whether she is a musician or a music-listening aficionado. Quality speakers that accurately reproduce the dynamics of each song, including bass, are the key to an enjoyable audio experience. Laptop speakers in particular are less than ideal, so an external, studio-quality speaker or speaker set is an optimal gift idea for the fan who enjoys listening to her favorite tunes through a laptop. High-quality headphones or earbuds ensure accurate audio reproduction if she enjoys listening to or mixing her favorite music in private. If she travels frequently, noise-canceling headphones allow her to hear the music instead of the cacophony of external sounds. If she has a home studio or practice space, studio monitors offer excellent sound-reproduction capabilities, even at loud volumes.
Analog: Ambient Warmth
Some music-lovers prefer the sound of their favorite songs on vinyl, rather than through digital mediums such as MP3s or CDs. Offer a selection of albums featuring his favorite artists on vinyl; many classics are still available from used record stores or specialty retailers. Even current popular artists often have vinyl versions of their albums pressed, although it may take some hunting to track down the LPs. For a young loved one who enjoys music from eras gone-by, offer a turntable and stereo or amplifier to play it through, along with several albums from his favorite artist. Offer a songwriter a colorful vinyl version of one of his own releases for an extra-special surprise, choosing his favorite color or combination of colors for the vinyl rather than the standard black material. Pressing vinyl may require a minimum order such as 100 copies, so keep this in mind when ordering.
If your favorite music-lover is all about one band, artist or instrument, offer a wearable gift, such as rare T-shirt featuring a defunct band or record label. A shirt with a brand of guitars, drumsticks or speakers allows him to show off some of his favorite companies without saying a word. If you enjoy sewing or crafting, create pillow covers, quilts or wall art out of assorted band T-shirts found at a thrift store, or make your own screen-printed fan art of his favorite band or instrument on a plain hoodie or T-shirt.
For the music-lover who simply likes to jam, no matter what the instrument, offer a gift of an instrument she does not currently own, such as a USB keyboard that plugs into a computer for making her own music. Inexpensive instruments such as claves, shekeres, tambourines or harmonicas may be presented as a set of gifts so she can jam along with friends any time inspiration hits. Portable drums such as bongos or djembes allow her to sit in on any open-mic coffee-house performance or impromptu jam session after work or school.