Do you need to finish your shopping in a hurry? Prefer to avoid the chaos of the malls after Thanksgiving? Did you put off shopping for the saxophonist in your life until the very last minute? Whatever your excuse may be, we’ve got you covered. Whether the saxophonist in your life is your best friend, your child, or a distant relative, this gift guide is chock full of stocking stuffer ideas that are useful and easy to find. From chapstick to cork grease, here are a few gift ideas for the saxophonist in your life. Better yet? Most of these items can be found on Music & Arts, meaning you won’t even have to leave this website to purchase the perfect gift.
Cleaning and maintaining an instrument not only keeps it looking great, but it also helps keep it in prime playing condition, which is why purchasing your saxophonist some spare cleaning supplies is such a good idea. Whether you purchase them an entire maintenance kit or choose to purchase individual products on their own, here are a few essential cleaning supplies every saxophonist should have on hand at all times: neck brush, chamois swab, a pad saver, mouthpiece brush, and polishing cloths. Although there are specialty cleansers available on the market, in most cases water will do just fine. If you still aren’t sure what to buy, head to a Music & Arts store and speak with a representative, or contact a family member of your saxophonist who may have some idea of their preferences.
Think about it- playing the saxophone requires that a saxophonist keep their lips in tip-top shape, otherwise their dry and cracked lips will make it difficult for them to play with proper form. When selecting chapstick for your saxophonist, avoid products that are too slippery or waxy. Whatever you do, don’t purchase them lip gloss! Products like these will take away all sensitivity, making it more difficult to play, and can also leave a gross residue on their saxophone that’s difficult to remove. If possible, stuff your saxophonist’s stocking with a lip scrub and moisturizer combo. The lip scrub will gently remove dead skin cells from the outer layers of their lips, while the moisturizer will prevent their lips from drying out in the first place.
A Box of Their Favorite Reeds
Since saxophonists can be quite particular about the type and brand of reeds they use, this is another instance where you may need to speak with their parents for more information about their preferences. Reeds are a great gift for saxophone players, as saxophonists can never have enough reeds- seriously! In some instances, saxophonists go through a box of reeds a month, so a box of extras would be a welcome gift. If you do decide to purchase a box of saxophone reeds without any background information about their preferred brand or type, make sure the store you purchase from offers returns and exchanges. The last thing you want to do is purchase them a gift that’ll collect dust instead of being put to good use. Always keep the receipt, no matter what you buy!
Cork grease is essential for the longevity of the neck’s cork. Without it, your saxophonist risks accidentally tearing off some cork while forcing the mouthpiece on and off the neck. When it comes to choosing cork grease, there isn’t much variation between brands, and your saxophonist’s parents should be able to recommend a brand they like. Cork grease is easy to find, and typically very inexpensive. If you’re on a strict budget, this is the most affordable item on the list. Although it’s typically sold in tubes that resemble lip balm or chapstick, it isn’t intended for human consumption- whatever you do, don’t accidentally give it to someone else! As mentioned before, there isn’t a whole lot of variation between brands, so any choice you make should be suitable.
Most, if not all, of your saxophonists practicing should be done with a metronome, making this a perfect gift, especially for brand new saxophonists who may not have purchased one on their own yet. A metronome will help them keep time by generating a regular click and whatever tempo they set it to, and some of the more state-of-the-art metronomes even include tuners. Referred to as an all-in-one metronome or a metronome/tuner combo, this is a very useful item for saxophonists, as they can throw one product into their gig bag instead of worrying about purchasing a metronome and tuner separately.
So, you’ve read through this list and still don’t know what to get? You can never go wrong with purchasing your saxophonist a gift certificate to their favorite store- may we suggest a gift certificate from Music & Arts? With a massive online store and convenient brick-and-mortar stores across the country, they’re sure to find just what they’re looking for. To help you determine the appropriate amount, here are the average prices of various saxophone accessories that you can use as a baseline: a standard music stand averages $20, cork grease is a few bucks, and saxophone reeds range in price from $5 to $40. What are you waiting for? Head to your local Music & Arts store today and purchase them a gift certificate, or what we like to call the gift that keeps on giving.
Need more ideas? Check out our list of Essential Saxophone Accessories.
photo via Daniel Go, CC