Doing some last-minute holiday shopping but running short on both time and ideas? Fear not. Here are a dozen great stocking stuffers perfect for the musician, music student or music-lover in your life — all priced at less than $100. Some of them are even free!
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 ukeleles — along with a nylon strap, a string winder, a Yamaha GCT-1 clip-on tuner for guitar and bass (ukelele too), a polishing cloth, plus a supply of picks.
Wind players always appreciate a new mouthpiece, particularly if it’s one that provides extended range and volume, good tone quality and improved “feel.” Yamaha offers a wide variety of mouthpieces for both woodwind (clarinet, saxophone) and brass instruments (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, french horn, alto horn, baritone, trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba), all carefully crafted and designed for optimum tonality and playability.
People tend to think of audio mixers as being large, bulky, expensive units. But in fact they come in all sizes and price points, and there are times when there’s simply no need to haul out (or rent) one of the big boys when a small, portable mixer will do. The Yamaha MG06 delivers sound and features that go well beyond its compact footprint, offering six inputs (two mic and four line-level) and dual balanced outputs that allow connection to professional recording and PA equipment. The MG06 incorporates some of the same technologies developed by Yamaha for use in high-end professional consoles, such as studio-quality preamps and a rugged, reliable construction. This is one product that allows musicians to shape their sound with confidence!
As every musician knows, getting the band together — or even practicing on their own — isn’t always easy. Conflicting schedules, space restrictions, and not bothering family and neighbors are just a few of the factors that can hijack even the best-laid plans. Enter the Yamaha SessionCake SC-01, which provides an affordable, ultra-portable, and flexible solution for aspiring musicians who don’t have the time, the money, or an appropriate space to really cut loose when they want to practice alone or rehearse with others. The SC-01 enables the connection of an iOS smartphone or tablet so that musicians can add effects and/or play along with their favorite tunes. What’s more, up to eight units can be linked together for a full-blown jam session with friends or bandmates. No amp needed, no cabinet, no pedals — just a guitar or bass and some headphones, and the SC-01 does the rest.
Recorders are a tried and true way of introducing even the youngest budding artiste to the wonders of music. These three inexpensive yet rich-sounding Yamaha instruments play effortlessly and achieve a mellow, centered tone similar to that of wood recorders … yet they are made of plant-based, environmentally friendly “Ecodear” plastic. Both the YRS-402B soprano model (center) and YRA-402B alto model (right) offer an arched windway and use the standard Baroque fingering method. For those who prefer the German method, Yamaha offers the YRS-401 soprano model, shown on the left. Included are all necessary accessories: a cotton case, recorder cream, a cleaning rod and a fingering chart.
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!
Drummers know there’s nothing like the feel of an acoustic drum set, yet sometimes the sound of a “real” drum can stand a little beefing up. That’s where DT-50S drum triggers come in handy. Compatible with a variety of Yamaha electronic drum modules (including the DTX900M, DTX700, DTX502, EAD10 and DTXM12), they attach easily to any drum and provide accurate triggering of samples while maintaining the natural feel and sustain of acoustic drums. They offer a professional look, too, with a sleek chrome finish and durable die-cast solid metal body. In addition, a dual snare trigger facilitates complete isolation between head and rim for two-zone triggering.
PSS-A50 portable keyboard
The Yamaha PSS-A50 mini keyboard offers great sound, touch sensitivity and a wealth of features in a compact, affordable package. It comes with a built-in speaker and a headphone jack for private practice, along with 42 Voices (instruments) and 138 arpeggio types that allow the user to create phrases and rhythms at the touch of a key, plus it has the ability to loop and play back recorded phrases. The PSS-A50 can run on either AC power (using the included USB cable) or on four AA batteries, making it easy to take on road trips or to jam sessions. And it can be connected to any computer so the user can experiment with their choice of virtual instruments and music production software. The possibilities are limitless!
Drummers can never have too much hardware! So if there’s a keeper of the beat on your holiday list, you can’t go wrong with the gift of a new drum throne, stand, pedal, holder or clamp. Yamaha offers a variety of high-quality yet affordable drum hardware products perfect for the beginning drummer or drum student.
The compact Yamaha UD-BT01 allows any keyboardist to establish a wireless connection between their digital instrument and a Mac computer or iOS smartphone/tablet, adding all the freedom that wireless technology brings. Simply plug it into the keyboard’s USB port for instant access to a wide variety of MIDI-based interactive music apps — from those that add a wide variety of sounds not available in the instrument itself to those that allow the keyboardist to record daily practice sessions with ease, then play them back in order to analyze difficult passages. The UD-BT01 even charges the connected iOS device while in use — no more worries about batteries running out in the middle of a live performance!
Have you ever tried to figure out what the chords are to your favorite songs? We have an app for that. The Yamaha Chord Tracker does the hard work for you, and much more. Completely free and compatible with iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® devices, this groundbreaking app helps keyboard players and guitar players learn how to play their favorite music by analyzing the song and then displaying its chord symbols or guitar tabs. Advanced features include a melody suppressor to facilitate playing along, as well as Style select and wireless connection functions for select Yamaha keyboards. The tempo and key of the analyzed song can be changed as desired, and you can even edit the chords to make your own arrangement by choosing from two recommended chords or selecting the chord root and chord type.
Wondering how to gift a free iOS app? It’s easy. From your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, go to the App Store and browse to the app you want to gift, then touch the More Options icon (“…” inside a circle) to the right of the “GET” button and tap the button labeled “Share App…” Enter the recipient’s email address, or, if you prefer, you can send them the link to the app as a text. All the recipient has to then do is click on the link and install the app on their device … and you’ll be able to cross off one of the names on your shopping list!
Last but not least, here’s another free app that works with 80% of current Yamaha AV products — even though you may not even know you need it! MusicCast is an exclusive technology incorporated into many Yamaha AV receivers, wireless speakers and sound bars. It enables the user to build a wireless multiroom audio system perfectly tailored to their home and lifestyle, with the ability to add components in up to 9 rooms without the need for any cabling whatsoever — all under the control of a single app.
Available for iOS and Android™ devices, along with Alexa support for voice command control via Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap and Show, the MusicCast Controller remote control app allows you to play the same or different music in each room from streaming services such as Pandora®, Napster, TIDAL, Deezer, Spotify®, SiriusXM® Internet Radio, and others. You can also stream your internal music library or external content such as audio from your computer, TV, CD player, Blu-Ray Disc™ player or USB source — Bluetooth® devices too. There’s even support for high-resolution audio!
For more information about these and other great Yamaha music products, click here.