Christmas-Stockings-TennisIt’s that special time of year again! Whether you like to get all of your Christmas shopping out of the way early, or whether you tend to do all your present buying at the very last minute, the opportunity to buy your musical child/relative/friend the perfect gift is always here. So what can you buy for the keyboard player who doesn’t want or need anything else in life other than their keyboard? There are always socks and toiletries… but maybe this year is the year to surprise them with something they’ll really want. Here are some of my top stocking-filler suggestions for your keyboard playing loved ones.

Pedals: A passionate keyboard player can easily get through a number of damper/sustain pedals over years of playing. After all, a pedal is basically something that you stomp on regularly with your foot. Why not consider a superior fancy pedal to sustain their joy on Christmas morning?

One of the main problems with many non-fixed pedals is that they can easily slip away from the foot – especially on hard smooth floors. This can be a real pain for the muso trying to perform a beautiful sonata, only to find themselves slipping further and further under the keyboard, in an attempt to rescue the pedal with their foot.

Enter the Roland DP10 Damper Pedal:

This high quality pedal comes with a non-slip rubber plate that extends towards you, so the player can keep the pedal firmly in place on the ground with their heel as they play. Sounds almost too simple, doesn’t it?

If this feature isn’t that important to you, then maybe consider the heavy duty Yamaha FC7 – a pedal with an adjustable angle, “fortissimo function” to allow you to make certain parts of your performance stand out, and a tough-as-nails construction.

As most, if not all keyboards you can buy use the same ¼” jack connection for external pedals, then either of the above pedals will work with any keyboard. You can always speak to staff at Normans if you want to double check, however ¼” jacks are the norm for connecting pedals with keyboards.

Keyboard covers: These protect your keyboard from dust, wear and tear, and some amount of accidental damage (such as spilt liquids!). They also make the practice area look much neater and tidier once the player has finished. There are many types of keyboard cover out there, but my personal favourites are the Gator stretch keyboard covers. These are made from quality stretchy lycra/spandex, and with their adjustable shock-cord design, will fit over almost any keyboard. These are available for 61/76 and 88 note keyboards.

Metronome: The best way to practice playing in time. A player can set the tempo from the metronome, and then play along to the beat, forcing them to play with perfect timing. This is great for any kind of musician, but pianos and metronomes seem to go together like Thelma and Louise.
We sell a large range of metronomes – however, for an impressive gift, I would definitely recommend one of the great looking traditional pyramid style metronomes sold by Normans.

2586_1_Here is one in black, but for those who love to express themselves with colour, this is also available in transparent pink, blue, and purple. All of these are available to buy from Normans.co.uk for under £20!

For young children (and maybe adults): If you want to get your young child started with a keyboard, why not consider the Casio SA-46 32 Note Mini Keyboard? This cute and tiny instrument is packed with sounds – including 100 orchestral and synth tones (besides the piano and organ sounds), and 50 accompaniment rhythms. This doesn’t even have to be for kids – even the advanced player may appreciate a mini keyboard, either for the unique sounds, for tuning other instruments, or just for a plain old bit of fun.

Music Stand Lights: Believe it or not, some pianists do spend time playing in the dark. Either because they enjoy the atmosphere, because they’re learning to play without looking at the keyboard, or simply because they started practicing during daylight and carried on until after sunset! The Mighty Bright Stand Lights are designed to clip on to music stands, so sheet music can be seen in low light. While they are most commonly used with bands, they are great for piano and keyboard stands too. They don’t even need to be clipped on to anything – they have a free standing design enabling them to be simply placed on top of a piano, for example. At only £11.84 from Normans.co.uk, this would make a great stocking filler for anyone who dedicates a lot of time to practicing and/or performing.

So that’s my list of the perfect accessories for piano and keyboard players; accessories that the player will be able to use, appreciate, and may not necessarily buy for themselves. Sure beats a singing tie, don’t you think?

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