Posted by StringOvation Team on Dec 11, 2020
The holidays are right around the corner, and it's time to make those gift lists. If you have a string musician in your life, the following 10 gift ideas are right up their alley. We've done our homework and found items at various price ranges to fit any giver's budget.
From the most luxurious to the humble but still appreciated gifts, surprise them from among these choices:
Is your beloved student musician lugging around an outdated case? This is common among students newer to the string player craft, but old cases are prone to damage and don't protect the precious investment inside.
Any signs of age, corrosion in the hinges or clasps, tricky zippers, temperamental handles, etc., are all signs it's time for a new case. Consider one of Revelle's affordable but well-crafted instrument cases as a way to honor your musician's dedication.
2. Instrument humidifiers
Instrumentalists and their families often overlook these handy string instrument accessories. As a beginner, instrument case humidity is low on the list of priorities. However, fluctuating humidity levels lead to unnecessary instrument strain and damage. Investing in Boveda's humidity control pack will keep it in tune for longer and nourishes the instrument's body, making for better overall sound quality.
3. A gift card to a favorite local instrument store
Given how tough this year has been for everyone, let's go out of our way to support small businesses that are vital to our local economies. Locally-owned music stores deserve to remain in business, and your gift card will help do just that. Plus, gift cards give your favorite string musician the freedom and ability to purchase any string instrument accessories or sheet music they need or prefer.
4. A professional photoshoot
Is your advanced string musician starting to branch out on his/her own or with a group? Creating a persona, a brand, and an amped-up social media presence is key to moving ahead in the 21st century. That requires high-quality photos and images and, while the latest iPhone or droid may boast about professional photography quality, nothing replaces having an actual professional behind the lens.
Gift your musician with a free photography session to help them launch a career with professional images that will make them stand out with promotions and media posts for years to come.
5. An upgraded instrument
If your younger musician has outgrown their instrument, this gift is a must. The same is true if you've acquired a free, full-sized instrument from a relative or friend that is still too large for your student as yet.
The following links can get you started, but nothing replaces a conversation with a knowledgeable representative from your local instrument store, where you can discuss a reasonable budget based on where your string player is in their development.
Playing an incorrectly-sized instrument can lead to pain, discomfort, frustrating playing challenges, and bad habits, resulting from incorrect muscle memory that has adapted to the wrong sized string instrument.
6. Magic Rosin: the bow hairs' best friend
While we can't guarantee that a Magic Rosin gift will make your string player play better, we can guarantee this professional-quality rosin will help them sound better. It also protects the instrument body's finish from resin accumulation as Magic Rosin is more refined than most of the rosins out there. Plus, its unique designs and customizable properties make it a big hit for musicians of all ages.
7. A year's supply of strings
Did you know that the average intermediate to advanced string musician should replace the instrument's strings about every three months or so? Even well-cared-for strings can break or snap, so having instant replacements on hand is a necessity. While high-quality strings don't break the average bank, they can be a stretch for student musicians or fresh graduates.
Thomastik-Infeld's Ti and Rondo strings are known for creating professional-level sounds on an amateur budget.
8. A paid app to support their learning, playing, or composition/recording
We've published plenty about all of the apps available to support string players, from apps that help with sight-reading and tuning to those that support budding composers and their recording sessions. Many of the apps are free, but most offer paid options that unlock higher-quality features. Since most musicians only download the freebies, your willingness to pay for a few apps will catalyze your student's learning curve.
9. Handgrip exerciser
Musicians need to stay in shape. It's their responsibility to exercise, strengthen, and build stamina to accommodate the rigors of long practice and performance schedules and to prevent overuse injuries. We believe all string instrumentalists should keep a handgrip exerciser in their instrument case's accessory compartment or a backpack. You have a lot of choice — see what your favorite music dealer has on hand, they'll be able to answer your questions about them.
String players can use a handgrip exerciser anytime, anywhere, to build strength in the hand, wrist, forearms, and individual fingers.
10. A trip to a music summer camp next summer
There is a music camp for string musicians of every age and ability. Some even include entire families. Summer camps are an incredible way for musicians to meet others from around the country (and the world), where everyone takes classes and seminars from the best of the best. Many of them are held at well-known universities and music schools, which is a great way to inspire children and teens about their future possibilities. Although this past year we saw these camps having to shut down, many of them are offering full refunds if they have to cancel in 2021. Be sure to ask them!
Any one of these gifts will make your string musician play with gratitude. Plus, you'll be investing in gifts that keep on giving because they support the betterment of their passion.
Happy Holidays to you and yours from the team at StringOvation and Connolly Music.