50 Holiday Presents Under $50 For Those Who Care About Music

TThe holiday season is just around the corner, and we are slowly and happily diving into the deep of its madness. With only a week left till Xmas, I assume you’ve already bought (or ordered) presents for your family and close friends; but if you are still looking for cool and not expensive gifts for the music-loving fellows – you will love this ultimate Holiday Gift Guide from Dotted Music!

The list is based on my personal preferences, all items have been hand-picked. And, as you guessed, each of them costs less than $50 (without shipping)!


  • The list includes some affiliate links. While I might be able to earn few bucks from them, I hope you understand that this isn’t the aim of the article.
  • Yes, I love Etsy.
  • I used these great blogs while working on the list: Coolest Gadgets, Fashionably Geek, Oh! Gizmo.

Enough of introduction, the Holidays are near and you’ve got lots of presents to order! I’ve divided the goodies into groups to help you.


    1. All You Need To Know About The Music Business, 7th Edition
      The latest edition of what they call “a music industry bible,” written by Donald Passman. Not recommended as a gift to your client if you are a music attorney or a label representative.
    2. Confessions Of A Record Producer, 10th Anniversary Edition
      Another reissued classic, which I’m currently reading. This work of Moses Avalon is also packed with a CD full of videos.
    3. Friction Is Fiction
      The most recent collection of Gerd Leonhard’s essays. If you don’t know who Gerd is, visit his Media Futurist blog and seriously consider checking out his books and presentations (moreover that most of them are available online for free). The book is sold as a $60 full color dead-tree version, the same b&w version (offered to you here) and a $7.50 PDF file. More info.
    4. Remix: Making Art And Commerce Thrive In The Hybrid Economy
      Wired columnist Lawrence Lessig ranting on the copyright law applied to the online world.

Donald Passman

  1. Fans, Friends And Followers
    The title, “Building An Audience And A Creative Career In The Digital Age,” is pretty self-explanatory. A great guide on building online fan base. Read a recent Hypebot interview with the author, Scott Kirsner.
  2. Hit Hard: A Story Of Hitting Rock Bottom At The Top
    I received a copy few months ago, when we promoted the book’s release on UG. This is a very sincere story of Joey Kramer: a man, a real person with difficult childhood and broken life, who happens to be a drummer of one of the biggest rock bands in history. I’d recommend sending this to your nephew, dreaming of a rock & roll life (especially if he is a fan of Aerosmith).
  3. Why AC/DC Matters
    As stated by the author, Anthony Bozza, this book is not just for the AC/DC fans, but for “the rest of you” as well. Interesting and easy read.
  4. Kill Audio Comic Book
    A comic book series co-written by Coheed & Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez and his wife Chondra Echert. The comic revolves around the title character, an immortal and unsuspecting hero who must save the world with his music. Sounds like fun!
  5. Six-String Heroes
    A beautiful showcase of 150 of the greatest guitar players in history by rock photographer Neil Zlozower. Steven Rosen wrote the text. This music journalist, who is in the business for more than 30 years, now constantly writes for UG.

Clothes / Bags

    1. Starwars Yoda DJ Men’s T-shirt
      What would this list be without the mightiest Star Wars character?
    2. Classic Cassette Tote
      An old-school geeky cassette tape tote.
    3. “I Listen” T-Shirt
      Red tee, headphones, and the “I Listen” sign in Japanese. Aesthetically good.
    4. Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious Retro Punk T-Shirt
      For real punks other there.
    5. I Heart Guitars Baby Shirt
      Don’t forget about the babies! They can love guitars, too.

I Want To Be A Crock Star tee

  1. “I Want To Be A Crock Star” T-Shirt
    Didn’t you just have a feeling that you know at least 10 people whom you’d present this tee?
  2. “Girl Talk I Am Not A DJ” T-Shirt
    Another cool tee for all the superstar djs around you.
  3. Joan Jett ‘Born To Be Bad’ Tee
    This is replica of a shirt Joan Jett wore in 1978 by Worn Free.
  4. Michael Jackson Dancing “This Is It Tour” T-Shirt
    Might be a good gift for the fellow MJ fans.
  5. Rock On, Rock Off T-Shirt
    Loved this description at FashionablyGeek: “It’s hard to imagine the type of music that would warrant the simultaneous use both a flaming Bic and the sign of the horns, but if you know of any, this shirt will provide them both when the lights go out.”
  6. Turntables Hoodie
    Spread some love for turntables!
  7. Womens Turntables Tee
    I said love? Don’t forget about women, your close ones might adore vinyl & turntables too.


    1. Technics Wallet
      An official product by Technics DMC.

Guitar Hero Cufflinks

  1. Rolling Stones 1975 Tour Belt
    If the Rolling Stones rocked your pants off in 1979, here’s a commemorative belt to help keep you clothed. (c)
  2. Guitar Sunglasses
    One of the most insipid things I’ve ever seen, but I couldn’t resist from posting it here. Makes sense to order few dozens at once to make your co-workers look equally cheerful (and stupid).
  3. Guitar Pick Earrings
    Accessories for the true rock-chicks.
  4. Guitar Hero Cufflinks
    If your friend is more into Guitar Hero than real guitars, this is a must-buy-and-send-as-a-present thing.
  5. Black Grand Piano Cufflinks
    A pianists’ version.

Guitar Stuff

    1. Sterling Silver Guitar Pick
      A silver pick with “Play On” hand stamped onto it.
    2. The Beatles Guitar Picks
      Picks with Fab Four’s printed faces.
    3. Steve Clayton Custom Picks
      If the above two options didn’t work for you, check this out. At this site you can design everything from the shape and gauge to the text/design and material of your picks.


  1. Handmade Adjustable Guitar Strap
    A nice “Whimsical Floral” handmade guitar strap for female guitarists. Other patterns are available.
  2. Strap Graphics
    $59.00 (yes, I know I exceed the limit a bit)
    Want something totally unique? Head over to this site, upload your own design and select specs like the strap width, leather color, and stitching.
  3. Batt-O-Meter
    Simple and irreplaceable tool for reading voltage and hours of use on most active basses, guitars, and effects pedals that use a 9 volt battery. Essential for gigging.
  4. Outlet Tester
    Taking the time to use the outlet tester a few minutes before a show can save your friend’s precious amp.
  5. Dunlop Pyrex Glass Flare Slide
    The Dunlop Pyrex Glass Flare Slide can deliver you a warm, middle-harmonics tone. For fans of Joe Walsh, Jack White, or Billy Gibbons.


MIXA USB cassette

  1. MIXA
    A “USB cassette” for the digital stuff. Design your own version before ordering right on the site.
  2. USB Rocking Teddy
    Your little sister / daughter will love it.
  3. Mobile FM Transmitter Handsfree
    This digital FM Transmitter lets you listen to mobile phones’ music on car stereo (has a built-in hands-free function). Might be useful for people spending half of their lives in cars.

iPod / iPhone Accessories

  1. BudFits By Innovelis
    A nice little thing for music & sport lovers. BudFits help iPod and iPhone earbuds not fall out and maximize your comfort by eliminating the need to wedge earbuds into the ear canal to keep the earbuds in place.
  2. Handmade iPhone/iPod Case
    A handmade Apple range cover for protecting your iPod Touch/iPhone, with the soft inner suede and a cool cassette Artwork.

Online Services / Stores


  1. Soundcloud
    An ideal gift for any musician, in my opinion. Consider the better Premium packs as well.
  2. iTunes Gift Cards & Gift Certificates
    Even if you put your own records on iTunes, it isn’t a reason to abandon buying music at it, right? Same applies to your friends.
  3. Rhapsody Music Gifts: Rhapsody Unlimited
    $29.99 (for 3 months)
  4. Amazon
    Amazon is good at such kind of things. You can choose a desired type of your gift card and load it with as much money as you want.
  5. ShockHound $50 Gift Card
    A good place with lots of music and accessories.

Random Stuff

    1. Michael Jackson Lap Tray
      Another souvenir for hardcore Michael Jackson fans.
    2. The Gripp Hand Trainer
      This cheap hand/forearm strengthener is aimed to help musicians playing for a longer period of time. Can be taken anywhere (unlike a guitar).
The Gripp Hand Trainer

The Gripp Hand Trainer

  1. The Beatles Pint Set
    Beatles & beer, what a combination! 4 pint glasses featuring cover images from Rubber Soul, Revolver, Let It Be and With The Beatles on each one.
  2. STS9 Merchandise Pack
    Free, if you are lucky
    You don’t have to pay anything for it, just subscribe to Dotted Music! The prize won’t be delivered earlier than in January, so consider this as a nice present to yourself.
  3. Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 LP
    Free, if you are lucky
    Another sweepstakes now running on Dotted Music. If you are a fan either of Leonard Cohen or vinyl records, enter the giveaway by subscribing to our friendly RSS feed!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ordered / tried any of the listed products, or think that this gift guide is a garbage – hey, I’m open to any feedback!

But if you found the post useful, don’t forget to save the link in Delicious to get back to it when another holiday season strikes.