With the holidays just around the corner, give the percussionists in your life these incredible gifts for drummers.
The intensive shopping season is edging closer. And with the holidays, this question keeps coming back for some: “My friend plays the drums, what the hell?” Then you start thinking of giving him something that would make him so happy that he won't go and sell it on a classifieds site two weeks later. Don't panic, that's what we're here for!
In this article, you'll find a list of amazing gifts for drummers with the budget ranging from the low to the high. Our explanations are intended to be accessible to non-musicians so that you can think like a drummer to find the best possible gifts. Good luck!
Gifts for Drummers (All Budgets)
Try some of these gifts for drummers – perfect for every budget:
1. Hand percussion shakers (budget: between $5 and $30)
A shaker is one of the most basic forms of percussion, which you can build yourself by enclosing sand or small pebbles in a pack of yogurt.
In stores, shakers are most often found in the form of plastic eggs and depending on the brand, have a higher or lower sound, hence the advantage of having several!
It is easily transported. And even behind a huge kit, a shaker will be perfect to spice up an acoustic intro before using the wood.
Example: Meinl Egg Shaker Pack
2. Drumsticks (budget: between $7 and $20)
It may seem obvious or even silly, but a drummer needs chopsticks. There are of course the chopsticks he uses daily, those with which he feels at home with and which he needs because they are not eternal (they break too often, especially if he frequently uses them). But there are also other mallets, which have different shapes.
The end that hits the skin are made in different woods and will allow your dear drummer to change the sound of his kit, and maybe even find a new preference.
3. A bag for holding drumsticks (budget: between $10 and $50)
To transport all these chopsticks, you need a bag! And no backpack is ever at the end of the format (apart from a backpack designed by a brand of chopsticks!).
A drummer without a chopstick bag is condemned to carry his tools in a plastic bag or by hand, which is arguably the best way to lose them.
The different chopstick bags range from the simple bag with a fabric pocket to multi-pocket leather bags, for all uses and all budgets.
Example: YMC DSB10-BK Drum Stick Bag
4. A Kalimba (budget: between $20 and $200)
The kalimba, also known under the names of Sanza, Mbira, or even “thumb piano”, is a wooden box adorned with metal strips that you snap with your fingers to obtain very specific sounds.
These are notes with a resonance close to bells. They have a lot of harmonics and not necessarily in tune with our western notes. We find the kalimba in traditional
African music but also in the hands of adventurous groups like Genesis, Wilco, King Crimson, and Nine Inch Nails.
The models available vary in size and the number of blades they offer. But even the smallest models are a great way to expand the sonic palette of your drummer.
Example: Newlam 17 Keys Kalimba Thumb Piano
5. A bell (budget: between $5 and $70)
Yes, the good old bell that hangs around the neck of the charming cows of our greener pastures! They can become a sound treasure in the hands of a drummer who knows what he is doing.
It is an essential element for any salsa, mambo, or cha cha cha percussion kit. But it is enough to listen to “Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones or “We're An American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad to convince yourself of the use of a bell in a rock context.
The biggest brands offer several sizes, which sound different depending on the musical context in which they will be used.
Example: Stagg CB304BK Cowbell
6. A glockenspiel (budget: between $30 and $200)
Glockenspiel is a set of bells. In other words, it is a carillon. It is played with mallets or sticks, hence its affiliation with the drums, and its tessitura generally only extends over two octaves, which allows even the most recalcitrant drummers to achieve beautiful harmony and melodies.
The carillon gives a light, metallic and airy sound that evokes the naivety of a music box. And it is a sound that is very fashionable in current music.
No need to make very many notes: listen to the very sober accompaniment of the intro to Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix to see a good example.
Example: Mr. Power Foldable Glockenspiel
7. A metronome (budget: between $30 to $150)
It is well known: the characteristic of a good drummer is the rhythm he makes! And for that, nothing can replace the good old metronome.
This simple little box sets the rhythm according to a given tempo. And the most advanced ones can act as a mini-drum machine. For a drummer, a metronome is both a tool for working at home but also a very good way to listen to the tempo of a song before giving the count in concert or rehearsal.
The other musicians of the group will appreciate this stability which is characteristic of the real pros.
Example: Korg KDM2
8. An electronic pad (budget: between $70 and $700)
Having a good drumkit is great. But the sounds that can be released from a few drums remain limited. Many drummers, therefore, add a pad to their arsenal to multiply the sounds available to them.
Depending on the model, it can be simple percussion sounds (like the Alesis Percupad), or very varied samples and even sequences programmed by the drummer himself to enrich a composition of the group. The benchmark of the genre is the Roland SPD-SX, but considering its price, it will be better to look for a cheaper option!
Example: Alesis Sample Pad
9. A Cajon (budget: between $50 and $300)
It all started in Peru, where traditional music made extensive use of this wooden cube. And the story continues to current stages all over the world, where the Cajon is a simple and effective way to bring the rhythmic element to a band without the hassle of a complicated kit.
Modern cajons usually have a timbre, which allows them to have the metallic grain of a snare drum. And drummers usually play them sitting on the box (which eliminates the need to have an extra seat!. The fashion is such that there are now cajons decorated in all colors. It's an essential tool for today's pros.
Hear the cajon in action here:
10. A snare drum (budget: between $60 and $2000)
The snare is the master element of a drum kit, the one that forms the essential duet with the bass drum. It usually marks the backbeat (2 and 4), and its characteristics can vary enormously depending on its brand, its material (metals and wood), and its tuning. Just as a guitarist can never have enough guitars, a drummer can never have enough snares.
He can even change it depending on the song, or in any case, choose the model best suited to the style of the group with which he is playing and the place where the concert is taking place. The good news is that even an inexpensive snare will have a personality that can be interesting for a particular song. You will choose it for the look, he will keep it for the sound.
Example: Mendini Snare Drum Set
Other inexpensive gifts for drummers worth mentioning
If these don't fit your budget or needs, check out these other gifts for drummers as well:
1. RLRRLRLL®, the drummer's clothing brand
Open any drum magazine and you'll see a drummer wearing an RLRRLRLL® T-shirt. The idea is excellent (RLRRLRLL® is the name of a rudiment) and it comes wonderfully well in clothes! They make clothes for men, women, and children.
Deirdre O'Callaghan is an Irish photographer who stepped into the rehearsal spaces of a bunch of drummers to give birth to the photo book “The Drum Thing”. From the professional studio to the local in a garage via the small bedroom, she has captured magnificent instants of the drummer.
3. A recording microphone
One of the best ways a drummer can progress on the drums is to record and listen to himself. Unfortunately, before you get to the studio it can be complicated and expensive, but there are affordable mics available for easy recording:
- The Zoom H2N: A pearl, super easy to use and excellent sound quality, perfect for recording a drum set or an entire band.
- Zoom iQ7: The Zoom iQ7 can be connected directly to an iPhone. Super handy for recording videos, and it couldn't be easier to use. Just plug it into an iPhone.
- The Yamaha EAD10: This is a premium gift. We are not on the same budget but this product is just fantastic. Not only will it allow you to record a complete kit with incredible sound quality. But it also allows you to add effects, manage loops, add triggers, etc.
Check out this page for our guide to buying condense microphones
4. Drum Damper Gel Pads
This is a small object which attaches to the strapping of a drum. It's super practical for muffling the harmonics of a snare drum when you don't have time to tune it (shared rehearsal room for example) or to look for new sounds. If you know a drummer who often goes to the rehearsal studio or who plays on several kits, this is a weapon he will be happy to have!
It is about a skin that one puts on a drum and which makes the sound duller. Perfect for finding new tones or having a very fat sound!
A short guide to getting original gifts for drummers
Passionate drummers love music and spend most of their time behind their drum set. Original gifts for drummers, as we have seen, can be equipment, personalized drum sticks, or care products for the drums. With a cool drum gimmick, drummers can show their passion for playing the drums even when they are not at the drums.
Gift ideas for drums – beginners
Beginners on the drums are still busy learning the instrument. Books, video courses, or a voucher for the first few hours in the music school are great gifts to support this process. Also, notebooks or Trivia get along well, because they broaden the knowledge around the drums.
If a drum kit is not yet available, a starter set gives new drummers the basis for a successful music career. Equipped with drumsticks and the likes, you can start immediately. A metronome helps beginners in particular to keep the beat.
Drums are significantly louder than many other instruments. Drum damper pads are a sensible gift idea. Or how about a high-quality drum stool that a drummer can sit comfortably on with the drums?
For the music school (or to the first gig), a stick bag is ideal. In it, several mallets can be easily transported and also make a chic impression.
Gifts for experienced drummers
Drummers who already have some experience with drum kits want to add additional percussion instruments to their kit. In addition to the drums and cymbals, smaller gifts such as a cowbell, additional sticks, or a jazz broom are also suitable here. Not to be forgotten are hearing protections because if you don't use electronic drums, you should protect your ears with suitable hearing protection.
Ringo Starr or Dave Grohl, the most famous drummers have one thing in common: they use high-quality drums and have the necessary accessories to operate the drum kit. But the best drums can only sound good if they are well cared for and all parts from the ride cymbal to the bass drum function perfectly. Suitable care products for the drums are therefore a sensible gift idea for experienced drummers.
Practicing and playing the drums for hours can be very sweaty and make you thirsty. With a practical cup holder to attach to the drum kit, refreshment is only an arm's length away.
Over to you
Giving a gift to a drummer is tricky: we all have styles and preferences, and a jazz drummer won't be thrilled by a double pedal! Would you like to give a gift to a passionate drummer who loves and adores his drums? We've seen 15 interesting and relevant gifts for drummers.
So have fun browsing, buying, and giving gifts!