Many musicians love the freedom of the nomadic lifestyle that goes with being a travelling performer, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, that doesn’t mean that being a travelling musician doesn’t come with its share of trials!
When you’re looking to find the perfect gift for a travelling musician, then you’ll want to strike an ideal balance between thoughtfulness and practicality. The last thing a traveller wants is to get bogged down by a bunch of unnecessary gear when they could enjoy a more lightweight, portable alternative instead.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out these 7 great gifts that are sure to show any travelling musician that you care about them and support their ideal lifestyle!
An Excellent Gear Bag
It might seem obvious when you think about it, but one of the most important things to consider while shopping for a travelling musician is the critical importance of making things easy to carry! This makes a highly durable gear bag a wonderful gift for any travelling musician, as it affords them the ability to easily store accoutrements, tools, and spare parts in one tote that’s easy to grab and go.
While shopping for the ideal travel bag, you’ll want to search for one that’s adjustable according to whether the musician prefers to carry it like a shoulder bag or wear it as a backpack. You’ll also want to consider what types of gear and tools are commonly used with their particular instrument so that you can make sure the bag can accommodate all their essentials! Check out this guitar bag and this instrument bag on Amazon.
Also check out this post on Guitar Fella for the best travel guitar cases.
Compact Repair and Cleaning Kit
Accidents are bound to happen eventually and cleaning is an important part of any musician’s maintenance routine, so a combination “cleaning + emergency repair kit” makes a great gift for any musician on the road. Cleaning supplies should include a microfiber cloth for clearing away debris and dust, along with the appropriate cleaning solution and polish for their instrument.
For quick fixes, look into a compact repair kit that’s specific to their particular instrument so that they aren’t lugging around any “one-size-fits-all” tools that they’ll never actually use. For a versatile option, include a multitool that features pliers and screwdriver heads that can perform a multitude of tasks. Remember: Keeping things compact is key when travelling.
Alongside tackling the “in case of emergency” aspect of travelling as a musician, the ability to clean instruments on the go can provide a necessary diversion during long rides from one destination to the next. Sometimes a musician is simply too caught up in thinking about their next gig to be able to sleep, and would much rather spend their travel time ensuring that their instrument is in peak condition!
Transformers and Cables
If the musician you’re shopping for plays an instrument that requires power, such as a travel electric guitar or keyboard, then this gift will undeniably come in handy. Even if they’re performing with other instruments or amps than their own, they’ll have constant backup access to power and connectivity when they need it.
Cable and transformers are useful for other purposes as well, such as charging cell phones, tablets, and other rechargeable gadgets. Plenty of travelling musicians utilize apps as much as possible for tasks like tuning guitars and storing or reading sheet music. Ensuring that they’ll always be able to access their apps will show that you understand the value of keeping things lightweight and mobile!
Along with transformers and cables, there’s a plethora of other little gadgets that travelling musicians can make use of. In order to get a few ideas for the best types of gear to include for guitarists in particular, check out some other articles at Musician Authority to cover all the bases.
Sometimes when a musician is travelling by bus or train, all they want to do is be able to shut out the noise and listen to some of the music that inspired them in the first place. This is where noise-cancelling headphones come in. A nomadic musician can simply plug their headset into their phone or tablet and create the exact ambience they need in order to recharge.
Have you ever been in a situation where all you wanted was a bit of quiet — but that seemed completely out of reach? After long hours of managing everything to do with sound, a travelling musician sometimes needs an oasis of simple peace and quiet in order to unwind and avoid overstimulation. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones can block out surrounding clamour and provide much-needed quiet for sleeping or relaxation.
Make sure you consider which types of devices your musician prefers since this will affect the ability to plug in a set of headphones with ease. If you want to give them the option of versatility or simply can’t recall which devices they use, then package the headphones with a universal adapter.
The best noise cancelling headphones for travel are likely Bose Quietcontrol Earbuds which you can pick up on Amazon.
SD Cards and USB Thumb Drives
While data storage is a commodity often taken for granted or overlooked, it can be an absolute lifesaver for anyone looking to travel light — including (or especially) musicians! Maybe a musician has a specific tracklist that they play to test the sound system in a venue and get in the zone before each gig, or maybe they’re interested in leaving a lasting impression by transferring someone a copy of their album via USB.
Providing a travelling musician with ample backup storage doesn’t just serve the practical purpose of making sure they have their best samples, software, or other data backed up. Digital storage can strike a sentimental note as well by providing them with a place to back up the photos and memories they accumulate on the road as well. Lexar is a great brand of SD Cards.
One of the most travel-friendly instruments in the whole world is the ukulele. The reason is because it’s extremely small and highly portable. But more importantly, it is wildly popular due to songs such as “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World.” Some of the top countries where the ukulele is hot, include Hawaii, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
As a travelling musician, sometimes just taking a break from our main instrument and just jamming to the uke is a nice balance to have. Since the uke is easy to travel with and lightweight, it’s rather simple to bring along on a trip overseas or on a camping trip across states. Some brands to look out for include Kala and Lanikai. If you need some ideas on the first songs to play then have a look at this list of easy ukulele songs.
An Audible Subscription
Sometimes, no matter how passionate a musician is about their craft, they simply need a break from music entirely in order to avoid burning out! Audiobooks can provide a refreshing change in mental scenery and can help a musician unwind with a break from the music-related thoughts that run through their minds all day.
Conversely, if you’re shopping for a true music fanatic who can’t get enough of anything and everything music-related, then there are plenty of audiobooks available on musical theory, famous musicians, and practical philosophies on music and travel. No matter what your travelling musician’s interested in, they’re sure to appreciate having something to spice up any long rides that they don’t spend getting some much-needed rest! Click Here to check out Audible.
If you’ve hit a wall while trying to think of the perfect gift to give a travelling musician, consider the kinds of difficulties they’ll encounter on the road and look for gifts that will provide solutions to those problems.
Common issues on the road can include struggling to keep everything contained safely while moving from one bus to the next, as well as losing key components such as power converters and cables, so a great gear bag and backups of easily-misplaced pieces of equipment might just save the day.
Many other commonly overlooked issues arise between gigs rather than during actual performances. These include long bus, plane, or train rides that require audio books or some peace and quiet in order to get through with one’s sanity intact!
Additionally, remember that sometimes travel comes down to basic needs such as where to eat, sleep, and shower — so, if you’re out of ideas or want to include a little something extra, gift cards can be a great way to show that you care.
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