Check the How-to-Buy guides if you’re interested in gifting drums, keyboards, a guitar or bass.

#1: Gifts Under $100

What can you get for less than $30?  How about a professional musical instrument that is played by the likes of Bob Dylan and John Popper?

There are thousands of harmonicas out there, some cheap, some expensive, but none better than the Hohner Special 20 as a gift for a nascent Neil or Alanis.  There are at least 45 different version of the Special 20 — you want to buy the model 560 in the key of C.

In addition to pleasing professionals, this model is perfect for beginners.  The plastic comb won’t swell, shrink or crack and is comfortable to play.  The reeds are recessed to protect your lips, and the key of C works best with most instruction books and CDs.  Just breathe!

Hohner 560 Special 20 Harmonica C
Hohner 560 Special 20 Harmonica C

by David D'Agostino

Slider Didgideroo – $76 (includes shipping)

Let’s be honest.  As wonderful as it is, playing the same tone on a didgeridoo thirty minutes a day, day after day, can become monotonous.  Sure it may treat your sleep apnea, cure snoring, and provide the perfect C drone for your partner’s harmonica improvisations, but after a while you’ll want more.  And the Slider Didgeridoo delivers, in spades.

The Slider can be adjusted to play in all of the popular didgeridoo keys: A, B, C, D, E, and F.  But wait, there’s more.  The Slider doubles as a work of art, which you can proudly hang on your wall when not in use.

AmpliTube iRig – $39.99

If the lucky gift recipient-to-be already owns an iPhone or iPad and a guitar or bass, then this is the perfect present.  The iRig provides a full array of stompbox, amp, cabinet, and mic effects through your iThing, and lets you output the sound through headphones for quiet practice, or to an amp, mixer, or powered speakers.
IK Multimedia iRig - Audio Interface Adapater for iPhone, iPod, iPad
IK Multimedia iRig – Audio Interface Adapater for iPhone, iPod, iPad

Kala Soprano Ukulele – $62.99

Here’s another fun instrument at an affordable price.  And this is not your father’s ukulele.  (Well, maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean you have to play “Tiny Bubbles.”)

Check out Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magic Ukulele and prepare to get your uke on.

The Beatles – Complete Scores – $54

There are plenty of books available in this price range, but few would make a better gift for a serious Beatles Fan than the Complete Scores.

Packaged in a protective box, this hardcover edition has over 1,100 pages featuring painstaking transcriptions of 210 songs, with lyrics and a full discography.  The guitar and bass parts are presented in both standard notation and tab.