Still struggling to decide what Christmas gift to buy the drummer in your life?
Here are some ideas:
Evans RealFeel Practice Pad
The 12 inch pad is my personal favourite as it fits on a standard snare drum stand (if they have a drum kit, they'll have one of these already). If you think they might prefer something a little more portable the 6 inch variation is a good shout.
Evans RealFeel Folding Bass Pedal Practice Pad
If they already have a normal practice pad, they might like Evans' Folding Bass Pedal Practice Pad for working out the feet. They'll need their own bass drum pedal to go with this, but if they have a drum kit they'll already have one of those. This pad makes working on foot technique easy for those times when practicing on a real kit isn't possible.
ACS Pacato Hearing Protectors
Musicians are notoriously bad at looking after their ears, with many forgetting that they only get one set which will have to last them a lifetime! With that in mind, and though not the most exciting gift, a pair of earplugs that are designed for musicians make the perfect stocking filler. Also a gentle reminder that they should protect their hearing!
ACS Custom Moulds
Hearing protection but for the more serious musician! ACS Custom Moulds are (as the name suggests) moulded to the ears, providing far better protection whilst preserving the quality of sound. I use ACS Pro17s, which are excellent.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Studio Monitor Professional Headphones
The Audio-Techica MX50 headphones are a little on the expensive side but well worth the price tag! I use these when practicing on my electric kit or when playing to music on my acoustic kit. They're very versatile and the sound quality is very, very good.
Vic Firth Drumsticks
Every drummer has his or her favourite type and brand of drumstick. If they've been playing for a while, this might be a tricky one. A safe bet are Vic Firth 5A American Hickory Wood Tips, these are super versatile and even if they're not the preferred stick of the drummer in your life, they'd be a useful addition to their stick bag. Personally though, I use Vic Firth 55A American Hickory Wood Tips. These are very similar to the 5As, but a tad thicker. I'm surprised more drummers haven't tried them as they are great drumsticks!
Vic Firth Brushes
A set of a brushes is a must have for any drummer and the Vic Firth Steve Gadd Signature Wire Brush are a great choice. If they're good enough for Steve Gadd, they're good enough for anyone! Brushes are primarily used in jazz but also great for playing quieter songs and gigs.
Meinl MSB1 Stick Bag
I'm always surprised by how many drummers don't have a stick bag! Save them from a lifetime of misery (and looking thoroughly unprofessional!) as they endlessly search through their rucksack for the right drumstick or their earplugs and grab them a quality stick bag.
Dixon Speed Wrench Drum Key
Most drummers will already have a standard drum key... or like me, hundreds of them scattered between various jacket pockets. But I doubt many have one of these Speed Wrench Drum Keys. They'll be thanking you the next time they need to change a drum skin!
I'm a firm believer that you can never have too many books. This is as true for drummers as it is for normal humans! I've already written a post on this so won't repeat them all here, but here are a handful of favourites. Jost Nickel's Groove Book's is fantastic, some of the ideas are a little advanced so this isn't really suitable for beginners. Stick Control is a must have for all drummers of all abilities, it's a classic. The Language Of Drumming is a great all rounder for all abilities. Exploring Your Creativity On The Drumset is another more advanced book, but a great choice for drummers looking for ways to push their drumming to the next level.
Benny Greb's The Art and Science of GROOVE is hands down the best education drum DVD. Benny is a master educator and drummer. I doubt it's even possible to make a better educational drumming DVD. For the more advanced drummer, Jojo Mayer's Secret Weapons For The Modern Drummer is also very good.
Hopefully that's enough to keep your drummer entertained and busy for the next year or so. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. If you're a drummer and have your own suggestions, please do the same!