Christmas is fast approaching and the time for getting the presents sorted is whizzing by. So, we’ve curated a list of 10 great gifts for piano players (potential future superstars?!). With something to suit every budget, let Dawsons help you in your quest to find the perfect present.
1. Yamaha YPT-260 Portable Keyboard
As it’s the start of the list, why not kick things off with something for beginners. Introducing the Yamaha YPT-260 Portable Keyboard which helps new players get off to a flying start. The Yamaha Education Suite provides onboard lessons that promote the development of correct technique whilst building confidence. The ‘dual-hands’ mode splits the keyboard down the middle – useful for enabling student and teacher to play side-by-side. Packed with 400 high-quality sounds, 130 auto accompaniment styles, and built-in effects, their imagination can run riot.
2. Mirage Keyboard Accessory Pack
If you’re thinking about starting them off with a keyboard, then the Mirage Keyboard Accessory Pack is a perfect accompaniment. Rather than occupying space at a desk or dining room table, the stand provides a stable base for the keyboard. The simple yet sturdy design is easy to manoeuvre and stays firm thanks to the quick-locking mechanism. The adjustable bench features safety locks for stability, whilst the cushioned seat maximises comfort during lengthy practise sessions. Finally, a pair of headphones enable silent practise when repeating scales for hours on end.
3. Stagg MM-70 Metronome
From absolute beginner to concert pianist, the humble metronome is critical in honing a musician’s timing. Clicks provide a reference tempo to play along to, use to subdivide the beat, slow down, speed up, etc. The Stagg MM-70 Metronome is a classically styled mechanical metronome. The all-metal, high-precision mechanism resides in a durable casing, whilst the – somewhat hypnotic – swinging pendulum provides a visual aid and that distinctive click. It doesn’t require batteries thanks to the built-in winding mechanism.
As cool as the classic mechanical metronome may be, it is a little cumbersome for musicians on the go. Here’s where the Korg MA-1 Digital Metronome comes into its own. Feature packed, pocket-friendly and affordable, it’s a favourite amongst musicians the world over. Not only is it a handy metronome, it also has a chromatic reference tuner, a headphone output and ludicrously long battery life! It will even switch itself off after 20 minutes in case you forget to.
4. Akai MPK Mini Play Controller Keyboard
You never know when a song idea might pop into your head. The Akai MPK Mini Play Controller Keyboard is a one-stop solution to help your creativity flow when lightning strikes. Alongside 25 synth-action mini keys there are drum pads to tap out beats, a built-in arpeggiator for cultivating complex melodies, pitch and modulation controls, and a plethora of dials and knobs to tweak and tailor your tracks. Akai have long been a favourite of producers thanks to their high-quality gear and rock-solid built quality. The MPK Mini Play benefits from a wealth of experience and is the perfect creation station. Thanks to USB connectivity you can hook it up to anything and everything, whenever and wherever your music takes you.
5. Gig Bag or Hard Case
So, you’ve got a keyboard, digital/stage piano and you need to get to a jam/practise session, a lesson, or a gig. Simply slinging it under your arm and hoping that it will get from A to B in one piece isn’t good enough. A gig bag or hard case doesn’t just make it easier to carry your keyboard or piano securely, it minimises or in some cases eliminates the chances of it getting damaged. We have a selection of bags and cases to suit everything from a mini-keyboard to an 88-key stage piano. Trust us, if you haven’t got one then there is going to come a time that you will need one.
6. Yamaha P-45 Stage Piano Bundle
Stepping things up a gear we have the awesome Yamaha P-45 Stage Piano bundle. Though compact and lightweight, the P-45 is a premium instrument from a highly respected manufacturer. The graded-hammer standard-weighted keyboard mimics that of an acoustic piano for superb realism. Yamaha’s Advanced Wave Memory tone generator opens up a selection of accomplished piano sounds to play with, with four types of built-in reverb for an added flourish. The P-45 allows you to hone your skills at home before transferring seamlessly to an acoustic piano for a recital. The bundle gives you everything needed to settle in for some serious practise, with a steady stand, comfortable stool, superb headphones, a Yamaha footswitch, music rest for sheet music, and a Yamaha power adapter. All that is needed is you.
7. Redwood DR-30 Keyboard Amp
Now that your playing is up to scratch, you want to wow audiences with your intricate chops. Taking your show on the road or rather to the street is one thing, but how can you ensure that you’re heard? Behold, the Redwood DR-30 Keyboard Amplifier is the answer to your prayers. Built with a solid hardwood enclosure with tough metal grille protecting the 10-inch woofer and 3-inch tweeter, it is perfect for busking and gigging with. The angled design projects your performance beautifully, whilst the volume and two-band EQ controls allow you to shape the output for maximum clarity. You can even connect an external audio device for playing along to backing tracks and Send/Returns connections for integrating external effects. A handy piece of kit to go along with it is the Stagg Deluxe Instrument Cable, you wouldn’t want to forget that!
8. Essentials M1 Microphone Pack
OK, so you’ve got the keyboard/stage piano, you’ve got the amp, but what about talking to your adoring fans? Yeah, screaming at them isn’t a good look (unless you’re going for an avant-garde style performance). The Essentials Microphone Pack features a responsive dynamic microphone, which is perfect for vocals. Along with the mic you’ll find a cable, stand and mic clip to get you up and running.
9. Mirage PB109 Adjustable Piano Stool
For the keys player or pianist who already has the instrument of the dreams, what can you get them to let you know that you care? How about a heavenly throne to ensure that they are comfortable whenever they play? The Mirage PB109 Adjustable Piano Stool offers a luxurious seat without breaking the bank. The solid hardwood construction with paired with a padded cushion seat with corduroy finish. Mirage have even gone so far as to place rubber feet at the base of each leg to eliminate movement. The adjustable height makes this ideal for families who require flexibility between adults and children. The adjustable bench is also great for tall players who find standard height benches uncomfortable. Available in a variety of colours, there’s a finish to complement most pianos (no, lime green is not an option).
10. Alpine MusicSafe Pro Ear Plugs
Considering the safe audible pressure level for our ears is 80dB and the average drum kit played at full velocity can kick out around 120dB, it’s no wonder that musicians who gig or play at loud volumes regularly will eventually suffer some form of noise induced hearing loss. Tinnitus is a debilitating condition that can really affect the way you enjoy music and is quite common amongst musicians who don’t look after their hearing. Of course, the stigma around earplugs is that they destroy all the good parts of the music – leaving you with a muffled mess to listen to. Well, with the Alpine MusicSafe Pro Ear Plugs this is NOT the case.
The Alpine MusicSafe Pro Ear Plugs let your hearing breathe and prevent that ‘blocked in’ feeling that most earplugs will cause, allowing the full frequency range of the music to get through, just at a lower and safer volume. They’re also the winners of the Red Dot awards for innovative ability – so you’re in good hand, or ears! A great gift that will help reduce the risk of noise induced hearing loss for the musician in your life.
View our complete range of keyboards and pianos plus their accessories for more gift ideas over at the Dawsons website.
Jon is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for inspiring others to get involved in making music. After spending many years playing venues here, there and – pretty much – everywhere, he joined the Dawsons’ Music Web Team before progressing into his current role managing the Dawsons Blog.