Musical Shenanigans with a Festive Sheen.
(Instruments for the People we Love)
Welcome! The Dread time of Santa is upon us! Appease his mighty bulk with offerings of chocolate and ham!
It’s Christmas! Almost. Huzzah!.
Enough of my nonsense, let’s get ourselves down to business. You're here because someone you know, and probably love also, would really, really like to become a penniless musician, I mean, Rockstar, absolute Rockstar. The choices of where to begin can be fairly confounding if this is your first foray. I am here to help. It may not seem like that now, but truly, I am. So let’s break this down into sections, see what suits you best and, as they say in the business, get rockening. Wait, Rocking. Get Rocking.
Under 300 - Keeping it Simple
There is indeed, something for everyone and musical journeys can begin without massive budgets and whole rooms lost to gigantic equipment.
As burgeoning guitar players it’s rather simple. Why not start with Fender Limited Edition Bullet Strat Pack, which includes everything needed to dive headlong into your new musical career. Here we have a very tidy electric guitar from Fender (Truly one of the guitar giants), a practice amplifier and all the requisite leads, straps, plectrums and bits so you can start rocking immediately.
Maybe you have some secret desire to sound and feel like Slash from Guns and Roses. Or Jimmy Page? Or someone more modern probably…. Well look no further than the Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack. All the stylings of the classic Les Paul, all the equipment you need and a handy set of free online lessons. Perfect.
Or are there, perhaps, more acoustic leanings within your household? Dulcet tones, considered musicality and earnest conversation? Then maybe the Epiphone Starling Pack is the place to begin. A beautiful Spruce and Mahogany acoustic guitar, bundled with strap, picks and tuner, is everything you need to start busking. Or playing protest songs at rallies. Maybe even just practicing at home. This gorgeous guitar is also available in Pink, for the less conventional among us.
Now, Everyone should probably play the piano. That’s just a fact.
Stuck for space? Wanna stroll over to your buddies and have a jam because they just got a guitar pack for Christmas? For something very simple and inexpensive, you could try the Carry-On series of portable keyboards. Portable and easy to pack away, these have built in speakers and metronome so you can practice absolutely anywhere. I need something better, I hear you say? Look no further. How about a Casio Portable keyboard, the S100 or the S300? These are revamped versions of classic keyboards that have been teaching people the subtle arts of the piano for the last 40 years. Grab some HD9 headphones also for uninterrupted fun. Perhaps a Music Stand to hold your practice material.
You’re a musician now.
Under 400 - The Journey Continues
Back to the guitars and let us level up a little. The Fender Squier Affinity pack is a beautiful bundle guaranteed to tickle your wobblies. A gorgeous guitar in Lake Placid Blue (Just sounds classy…) emanating from a 15 watt amplifier of pure Fender tone. You know this is gonna be good.
Now we can get into some drums and let’s start easy, and quiet, ish. Electric kits have the bonus of being a direct to headphone drumming experience so the whole endeavour (and shared experience) is quietened considerably. The Alesis Turbo Kit is the perfect place to start, boasting mesh heads that respond similarly to real drumheads, plus 15 different drum sets to keep one's mind and body occupied. This is the ideal home practice tool. Register online and you’re on your way to some free drum lessons to boot.
Let’s get sorta, semi serious and get into digital pianos. A quality product from the mighty Roland is the GO:61P Digital Piano, a powerhouse for beginners and intermediate players alike. Battery power, Bluetooth and access to the Piano Partner 2 App, this unassuming machine does it all, and sounds exceedingly nice doing it. Or perhaps you would like the Alesis Prestige 88 Key Hammer Action for a close-to-real piano experience, with a heap of included educational software.
Under 600 - Boss Moves
Let’s get real with some electronic drums, from Roland, the biggest name in the industry and trailblazer in the world of V-Drums. This is indeed the TD-1K Electronic Drum Set. This unique, space saving design is perfect for those of us without huge amounts of space and this great little kit has Roland’s unparalleled sounds at a very affordable price. The pads have been designed to be extra quiet also, which is, let’s be honest, why we’re interested.
Maybe it’s truly time to consider some acoustic drums because sometimes (always really), acoustic drums are just, well, better. It’s the feel difference between a keyboard and a piano, almost a different instrument. Consider it. True, it is going to be louder for a while until subtlety is discovered, but it’s where all the real beauty lies. The Mapex Tornado kit is a rock solid (see what I did there) place to start. Manufactured by Mapex themselves and featuring a complete kit package, drums, stand and cymbals, these bad boys will bring the Christmas thunder! I mean, gentle, relaxing drum sounds. It’s gonna be okay. Grab a set of the Vater’s Acoustick while you’re at it, and the volume is severely reduced.
Now we’ve got some serious piano action. The Roland GO:88 is a full size 88 key keyboard with classic Roland sounds, bluetooth connectivity and battery powered portability. It’s pretty and it’s light. It wants to go home with you.
But really, if you want to get really real, really, there’s truly (really) no substitute for the Korg B2-BK Digital Piano. Specifically designed for new players who are looking to graduate to a real piano, or for those who are taking lessons on a real piano and need something that will properly mimic the feel to practice on, this awesome instrument is almost impossible to beat. Classic piano sounds, and a software bundle to assist in tuition, this is ‘serious about music’ territory.
And still! There are loads of other options at varying levels of price and style and size. Maybe the drummers just need a practice pad and a set of 5A drumsticks. Maybe the guitarists just want a simple 4/4 size classical guitar to get started on.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for some violin.