Okay, we have to admit that not all of these gift suggestions will fit in a stocking. But they’re all sure to put a smile on the face of the musician or music lover in your life this holiday season, and since they’re all priced at under $500, they may well put a smile on your face too.
“I think acoustic guitar is a great way to start learning,” says world-renowned recording artist and four-time GRAMMY® winner Keith Urban, “because you can play it anywhere.” There’s no better way to begin that journey than with the URBAN Guitar by Yamaha.
Designed with beginners in mind, the URBAN Guitar by Yamaha includes everything needed to start playing right away. The guitar is a finely crafted instrument featuring a concert cutaway body and a thin, short-scale neck that makes it easy to play. It sports a beautiful spruce top with a tobacco brown sunburst finish and a tortoise-shell pickguard, plus it comes with a custom guitar strap and picks. The accompanying interactive lesson app provides step-by-step instruction from Keith Urban himself, as well as his teaching partner JUNO. Together, they offer inspiration and encouragement, along with cutting-edge features that will keep budding guitar heroes engaged and looking forward to their next lesson.
Anyone who regularly attends online meetings — as well as every podcaster, gamer, teacher, social media content creator and musician — will be thrilled to discover a Yamaha AG03 or AG06 compact multi-purpose mixer in their holiday stocking. Both models have built-in USB interfaces, making them ideal for live streaming applications of all types, including interactive video gaming, online instruction and podcasting, as well as music production and mobile recording.
The AG03 offers three microphone/instrument inputs and a dedicated headphone output, making it easy to mix your voice with background music, while the AG06 doubles the inputs for more advanced productions. Both come with Steinberg WaveLab Cast and Cubase AI software, which provide a wide range of simple-to-use recording, editing and distribution tools and enable high-resolution 24-bit/192 kHz two-track recording and playback. And even though it provides professional quality audio, you don’t have to be a pro to use the AG06/AG03: Simple operation and a handy 1-TOUCH control allows the user to instantly add compression, EQ and onboard effects like reverb and guitar amp simulation with the turn of a single knob.
There’s no better way of encouraging a love of music than by giving someone a portable keyboard, and the Yamaha PSR-E373 is ideal for both beginners and hobbyists. It offers hundreds of built-in sounds, dozens of studio-quality effects and an expressive touch-sensitive keyboard. In addition, auto-accompaniment “Styles” provide a virtual backing band that can jam along in a variety of musical genres from around the world, such as jazz, R&B, and Latin, and a “Smart Chord” function allows the player to add great-sounding chords with just a few fingers.
Even when there’s no piano teacher available, onboard lesson functions help beginners learn how to play complete songs and improve their playing skills, and they can also download a song book that includes the complete scores and provides tips for mastering the lessons. In addition, a special Duo mode allows two students to do duets and practice together. The PSR-E373 makes learning and practicing fun … and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Who wouldn’t like to find a set of earbuds in their holiday stocking? Yamaha TW-E3B true wireless earbuds are small in size yet detailed in sound. Ergonomically shaped for all-day comfort, they come with four eartip sizes for a custom fit and non-slip coating for improved hold. They also provide up to 24 hours of battery life, with an enhanced charging case that features easy-to-read indicators
TW-E3B earbuds are Bluetooth 5®-compatible, with aptX™ technology for stable wireless connectivity and superior sound. They’re water- and sweat-resistant, so they can be worn outdoors and during exercise, with easy controls for taking phone calls, adjusting music playback and Siri®/Google Assistant activation, plus Listening Care intelligent equalization for full-range sound at lower listening volumes. In short, TW-E3B earbuds offer everything the on-the-go streamer needs, and at an extremely affordable price too.
At first glance, you might take this for a toy, but the Yamaha Pianica is actually a serious instrument. This small, portable keyboard is breath-powered — all the player has to do is simply blow air into it while pressing down the keys. While the sound it makes is similar to an accordion or a harmonica, the Pianica uses the same familiar black-and-white keys as a piano, so anyone can begin playing music right away.
There are several different Pianica models available. The P32D offers 32 keys, while the P37E model (shown below) has an extended keyboard with 37 keys for a full 3-octave range. It also comes in three different colors — red, brown and black — with the red model actually having a slightly brighter tonality than the other two, allowing the player to choose his or her individual sound as well as making a fashion statement. Whether you’re buying a gift for a friend or relative hoping to discover the joy of making music, or you’re a parent who wants to introduce your child to music for the very first time, the Pianica is an easy and fun way to get started.
The family of Yamaha THR-II compact desktop amplifiers provide guitarists of every level with a perfect combination of professional-quality tones and stylish good looks — whether they are practicing, recording or playing along with their favorite music.
The THR10II and THR10II Wireless models provide 20 watts of power and 15 different amp tones as well as modeled microphone sounds, stompbox-style modulation effects and studio-quality reverb and delay. There’s a USB port for recording and playback, plus Bluetooth® support that allows wireless audio playback through the built-in stereo speakers; there’s even a free mobile editor for remote control from a smartphone. The THR10II Wireless model adds convenient wireless operation — no guitar cable required!
Drummers are always looking for creative ways to expand their kits, and what better way than with a new cymbal stand? The Yamaha CS-865 double braced boom stand features an infinite adjustment tilter that allows virtually any angle adjustment, so cymbals can be placed right where the drummer wants them. The hinged tilter clamp grips the boom securely, with a memory lock that adds extra security to keep cymbals precisely positioned. Large rubber feet keep the stand from moving around, and plastic plugs in the vertical tubes prevent them from rattling — an annoyance that can be picked up by microphones in the recording studio. In addition, the boom arm stores inside the main arm, so the CS-865 can be used as a straight stand too — a “hideaway” feature that also means it takes up less space when stored … or even when it’s hiding under a tree.
Guitarists can always use accessories, and the Yamaha AXE PACK provides all the essentials to maximize their playing time and enjoyment. This comprehensive kit includes an A-frame stand to hold electric and acoustic guitars — even ukuleles — along with a nylon strap, a string winder, a Yamaha GCT-1 clip-on tuner for guitar and bass (ukulele too), a polishing cloth, plus a supply of picks.
Think a small sound bar means small sound? Think again. The Yamaha SR-C20A compact sound bar makes no compromises when it comes to audio fidelity, plus it’s packed with features such as virtual surround sound and a built-in dialog enhancer — there’s even a built-in subwoofer for those all-important rumbles that make movies and games come to life.
The SR-C20A has built-in Bluetooth too, so in addition to adding great sound to any TV or computer, it can also be used for streaming audio such as music and podcasts. And with the use of a free app, it can be turned on or off from a smartphone or tablet — the user can even switch content or change sound modes. Best of all, at just 23″ in length, the SR-C20A can fit anywhere, from entertainment cabinets to bedroom dressers to gaming stations to dorm room desks — it even includes rear keyholes for easy wall-mounting.
An extra pair of quality headphones always comes in handy. The Yamaha MPH-MT5 high-grade monitor headphones deliver a balanced sound that is always faithful to the source, making them perfect for home recording, where accuracy is a must. They’re lightweight and comfortable, and employ an over-ear closed back design for excellent isolation, with an extended frequency range that allows you to hear the entire sound, from the lowest lows to the highest highs. Moveable earcups enable single-ear monitoring, and thick, durable ABS housing and folding arm make the MPH-MT5 ideal for travel and use in even the toughest working environments. Carrying bag and 1/4″ adapter included too!
Digital pianos provide full-sized 88-note keyboards that have the same feel as those of acoustic pianos. The Yamaha P-45, geared toward players at all levels — from beginners to professionals — provides precisely that, in an affordable package.
Its keyboard boasts a weighted action that has a heavier touch in the low end and a lighter touch in the high end, just like the hammers inside an acoustic piano. And not only does the P-45 sound just like an acoustic piano, it can also emulate the tonality of an electric piano, harpsichord, organ or vibraphone — even a complete string section! It comes with its own built-in sound system, and four varieties of onboard reverb allow the player to choose just the right kind of ambience, plus a headphone output allows private practice any time of the day or night without disturbing friends, family or neighbors. And unlike an acoustic piano, the P-45 is portable and lightweight — just 25 pounds — so it can be easily moved anywhere in your home or used for performance in other venues.
The trailblazer in your family is sure to appreciate Venova. It’s a completely new type of wind instrument — Yamaha calls it a “casual” wind instrument — that is easy to learn and fun to play. With simple recorder-like fingerings (the same kind taught in elementary schools everywhere) and a sound like a saxophone, anyone can be playing music in no time!
There are three models of Venova to choose from: The YVS-100 uses a real soprano sax mouthpiece and reed; the larger YVS-120 uses an alto mouthpiece to produce a lower and more mellow sound; and the YVS-140 uses a tenor saxophone mouthpiece and reed that make it easy for anyone — even beginners — to produce a rich, low sound. All three models are are water-washable, durable, lightweight and extremely portable — simply stick a Venova in a backpack and take it to the park or to a barbeque, or toss it in a suitcase and take it along on a business trip or on vacation. And there are no add-ons to buy: Everything needed to start making music is provided, including mouthpiece, ligature, synthetic reed, mouthpiece cap and a durable carrying case with strap.
For more information about these and other great Yamaha music products, click here.