December 09, 2022
Musicians can be notoriously hard to buy for. Not all music equipment is equal, choices are personal, and musicians tend to snap up what they want when they want it. So, when Christmas comes around, it can be hard for loved ones to come up with the right gift. Still, it’s not impossible. Finding the right gift for a musician you love just takes a little patience and listening.
Some people love surprises and some don’t. If your musician loves surprises, finding out what they want can be tricky, but you can still communicate. You’ll just have to be a little sneakier. In either case, find out things like what they’re missing, listen for complaints about their rig, and in general just spark up conversations about their stuff and their music. You probably already understand the big topics anyway – do they play guitar, bass, keys, drums, do they sing, is studio production their bag? Try to get an idea not just what cool things are out there, but what would make your person’s creative flow easier or inspire new material.
Some things just can’t be bought without trying them. If you’re not into surprises, then you could simply take your loved one shopping, and that’s perfectly ok. But if you want to surprise them, leave out the stuff they would need to handle before purchase. Guitars are a good example. Other gear can be integrated into a rig and there’s not much risk. For example, Carvin Audio’s X1 All Tube Preamp Pedal can be a great addition to any rig and open up new options, no matter how many other pedals are already there.
Some gear is just universally needed, and even if the musician you love already has one, another would not be bad. Stocking stuffers like Carvin’s FDR60 Direct Box is a good example of highly useful gear that will be appreciated no matter what. For a singer, you can’t go wrong with the WM5 Wireless Microphone System – a compact gift that’s all but guaranteed to come in handy soon.
When in doubt, the old standby is to buy a gift certificate for a loved one’s favorite store. But if a company doesn’t offer gift certificates, don’t let that stop you! All you have to do is make your own! Set a budget and tell your musician they can get whatever music gear they want – it doesn’t even have to come in under budget – you can simply help make it easier.
One thing you can always do for a musician is to help them get more bang for their (and your) buck. They’ll surely be on the lookout for great sales around the holidays, but you can take the bull by the horn there too. Shop around online and find out who’s offering amazing holiday deals. For example, Carvin’s 2022 holiday markdowns are massive and that’s a great opportunity for your musician to get something they’ve been waiting for like a battery-powered column array for live shows or a wireless in-ear monitor system like the EM900.
At the end of the day, gifting for musicians may seem daunting because of how specific personal rigs can be, but it’s not as hard as it seems. You may not be the expert they are, but if you listen a lot and get creative, you’re likely to give them a new perspective and a lot of inspiration for the new year. No matter what happens, have a great holiday season!
November 06, 2023
One of the most misunderstood things in mixing is bass – whether it’s getting the low end right in general, letting the bass guitar cut through without overpowering everything else, or just making the bass interesting and cool. It can be tricky to get it right, but there are plenty of tried-and-true tricks for getting there quickly. Let’s go over a few of those.
October 30, 2023
Some of the great guitar-playing artists were self-taught – which means a great many of them use weird tunings. That’s probably no coincidence – using alternate tunings is a great way to come up with a unique sound. So, let’s look at a few of the most common uncommon tunings you could try with your guitar – or your bass.
October 23, 2023
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"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all of the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp and the voice of the psalm." - Psalm 98:4-5