Christmas Gift Guide – music making

Stuff picks some kit to help you make sweet Christmas music

Christmas is the sound of a million irritating toys, rubbish festive records and smoke alarms. Drown it all out with your own sweet music…

Gibson Robot Explorer


If you've just missed out on the pre-orders for the limited-edition Gibson Firebird X, you'll be pleased to know you can still get your strumming hand on the robotic version of the angular Explorer. With the press of a button, the machineheads magically tension its strings to the correct tuning. When they invent a self-righting microphone, you'll no longer need a roadie.




Er, it's like a weird cross between a Stylophone, a guitar, bagpipes and the Chain Chomps from the Mario games. Didn't help? Okay, you slide your fingers along the neck (actually more like a tail) while squeezing the body (or head) so it's mouth opens for a vibrato effect on its weird electronic squeals. Big in Japan – go figure.


Alesis DM7 USB Kit


Are you the next Ringo Starr, John Bonham, Animal from The Muppets? This electronic drum kit features 8 velocity-sensitive pads replicating more than 400 drum, cymbal and percussion instruments in 80 kit combos.


DJ Hero 2

£40 (Xbox 360, PS3), £35 (Wii)

Guitar Hero paved the way for this deck-spinning tour de force, which replaces the plastic axe with a plastic turntable, and some wiki-wiki-waa action instead of dah-na-na. Not real music-making, but close enough.


Korg Monotron


Take Rolf Harris's bonkers Stylophone – well, don't actually take his; that'd be stealing – and combine it with the twiddly-knobbed versatility of a Korg synth. Create weird and wonderful electronica to your heart's content.


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