• Paraic's Favourite Musical Christmas Gifts for 2019

    My Favourite Musical Gift Ideas for Christmas 2019

    I started selling bodhráns in 1979, 40 years ago this year. Since then the business has grown to include anglo concertinas, Irish flutes, whistles, banjos, accordions and so much more! 

    To help you choose the perfect traditional Irish musical gift I’ve compiled my list of top gifts for the coming festive season, from musical stocking fillers and Secret Santa ideas to beautifully crafted Irish instruments and that something extra special for the person who already has it all!

    If you don’t see what you’re looking for get in touch and I’ll do my best to help.


    Musical Stocking Fillers


    Flute Maintenance Kit

    My Flute Maintenance Kit is a best seller for Irish flute and wooden flute players

    – a best-seller, we sell at least one practically every day, being a flute player myself I find that this is an invaluable kit designed to keep your wooden flute in tip-top condition.

    Conal Ó Grada An Fheadóg Mhór

    – Conal’s guide to learning the flute also includes a CD and if you’ve ever had any doubts about learning an instrument from a book this fantastic tutorial package will put paid to them.

    Duo-Head Low D Flute & Whistle (TB022) by Tony Dixon – An excellent low D whistle and flute combo by Tony, you get two great instruments for the price of one with its dual-head accessory. It’s great for learners.

    Duo-Head Low D Flute & Whistle by Tony Dixon


    Drum Diddly Bodhrán CreamThe best bodhrán conditioning cream for your Irish bodhrán

    Ah, now this is my best-selling premium bodhrán conditioning cream, so good you can use it on your own hands, because you’re worth it! It also resurrects the goatskin to a startling degree and really enhances the tone.

    Quick Draw Capo

    -My best-selling Capo, slide it on and never take it off. Perfect for nearly all stringed instruments.

    This bodhrán mic is the handiest I've ever tried plus it is surprisingly affordable

    Bodhrán Mic – This five-star rated bodhrán mic has astounded bodhrán players thanks to its ability to capture that beautiful bass tone plus the price ain’t bad at all!


    Helicore Violin Strings – These steel-core violin strings are perfect for fiddle and violin players looking for a bright and powerful sound, a great gift for the trad fiddle player in your life.

    The FZONE Chromatic Violin Clip-On Tuner

    -I use tuners all the time and this one is a top seller garnering great reviews plus it’s handy. Just attach it to the violin neck and tune up.

    Premium Carbon Fibre Violin Bow – my coffee brown violin bow with snakewood frog weighs only 65 grams and gets a gorgeous rich tone from the strings.


    Oak Tin whistle

    – if someone is looking for a basic yet good traditional tin whistle I always steer them towards Oak, perfect for beginners it also produces a lovely tone.

    The Buzzy Band in Fairyland

    – this is a colourful introduction for any child to the world of music and features a top class Clarke flute (one of the earliest penny whistles produced).

    Secret Santa Under €50


    The brand new McNeela Music Screenprinted T-Shirt

    The McNeela Musical T-Shirt

    Everyone who wears this comes back raving about the quality of the material and the comfortable fit. It also gets great feedback at sessions. Better still, it has been screen printed using cutting edge water based inks by local Dublin lads. Oh and the answer is on the back!

    Books & CDs

    Bodhrán Basics book with CD by Steafán Hannigan – this is my top-selling bodhrán tutorial book and has been in print since 1991, a perfect gift for a bodhrán beginner

    The Irish Flute by Fintan Vallely – I still consult my Vallely Irish flute book for everything from practice tips to flute maintenance, very comprehensive and full of interesting information all presented in Vallely’s unique style.

    Foinn Seisiún

    The Foinn Seisiún Series by Comhaltas is a great gift for the traditional Irish music lover

    The Foinn Seisiún Series starts with the Foinn Seisiún 1 book and is a must-buy for those of you interested in getting to grips with Irish session tune sets. You can also buy the accompanying CD to play along with, magic.

    The Top of Coom CDConal Ó Gráda is one of Ireland’s leading flute players and this album is considered a seminal piece of work in the world of the traditional Irish flute.


    The McNeela DIY Bodhrán Kitmake your own bodhrán for under €50! This is another best seller here and I’ve had emails from customers over the years showing me their finished & customised versions. Such a great and original gift for the crafty percussionist.

    Pub Prop it – Don’t drop it, pub prop it. I love this gadget, it’s perfect for pub sessions and keeping your instrument safe from floor damage and the rest!

    Irish Flute Box – Another best-selling item and one of my top selling cases. It’s foam-lined, shock-proof and has a section for whistles. This is a must-have for the flute player in your life.

    Gifts For Children

    McNeela 14 inch Bodhrán – this bodhrán is a perfect size for ages 7 and up, it has all the features of a professional bodhrán, including the rich & warm McNeela signature bass, but in a child-friendly size

    The Wren Concertina – This beginner concertina has been a best-seller of mine for years with good reason; it’s a great child-friendly size, it features large white buttons for easy finger placement, a clean bright sound and it comes with free beginner lessons with Caitlín Nic Gabhann.

    The McNeela Student Violin Set 

    This fantastic McNeela Student Violin Set is perfect for beginners

    If you’re looking for a great beginner violin this student violin set is a no-brainer. It comes with a high-quality carbon fibre bow, handmade violin strings by Dominant, sturdy shoulder rest and premium rosin all packaged in a super violin case.

    Irish Music Gifts for Under the Tree

    Under €100 ($)

    Premium bodhrán Gig Bag – we designed this bag to be sturdy yet lightweight and with plenty of cushioning for your bodhrán. I also added a handy beater pocket at the front plus rubber floor protectors. It looks fantastic in a striking black and carmine colourway.

    14” Non-Tunable bodhrán

    – one of my best sellers, this comes with taped goatskin to get that signature luscious bass sound. A joy to play it’s perfect for young or petite players and a great travel size too.

    Under €250 ($$)

    Cocuswood Flute – the McNeela Cocuswood flute is a particular favourite of mine. It produces an exceptional tone thanks to the density of the cocuswood and a great low D – a perfect flute for traditional Irish music

    Setanta Low Whistle in D – John O’Brien has come up with something extra special here and I’ve been privileged to partner up with him on his range of superb low whistles. The critical feedback has been phenomenal. This is a serious whistle, grab one before they sell out (again!).

    The Setanta Low Whistles are also available in a Full Set of E, Eb & D

    Setanta Soprano Whistle

    Setanta Soprano Whistles are fast becoming the most popular Irish whistles on the marketIf you only buy one whistle for traditional Irish music make it a Setanta Whistle.

    Fast becoming a must-have whistle in traditional Irish music circles, the Setanta Soprano range includes the keys of

    D: most popular,

    Eb: great for trad sessions and

    C: rated as the best C whistle on the market. 

    The McNeela Beginner Performance Bodhrán Set The McNeela Beginner Bodhrán Set with hand-tuners

    This is such a lovely gift for the beginner bodhrán player that I’m not surprised it flies out of the workshop!

    The size is very manageable for young players and petite beginners plus it comes fitted with my cutting edge hand tuners – so the beginner gets the best of all worlds.

    Not only that but you’ll also get access to Rónán Ó Snodaigh‘s complete Beginner to Master Online Bodhrán Course FREE – that includes over 20 exclusive bodhrán lessons plus bonus session classes!

    Under €500 ($$$)

    Wren Concertina

    The Wren Concertina is the best beginner concertina on the market

    This magical music machine is my best-selling concertina and just perfect for the beginner concertina player. The reviews are consistently excellent and it’s a lovely gift for any aspiring musician, plus you get superb online video beginner lessons absolutely free when you buy.

    McNeela African Blackwood Flute – I’m very proud of this flute as it represents a culmination of many years of playing and research. It’s a powerful instrument thanks to the density of the blackwood, I’ve ensured that the low D is strong, and the sound has just the right amount of chiff for a great Irish trad sound.

    The McNeela Celt Banjo

    How to Hold and Tune your McNeela Celt Banjo

    Seasoned traditional Irish musicians tell me they’ve had fellow session musicians asking them where they got this banjo.

    Its stand out feature is its whacking g-string – a must for any players of traditional Irish banjo music.

    Rosewood Performance Deep Rim 15” Tunable Bodhrán The McNeela Rosewood bodhrán is on e of the most beautiful bodhráns on sale today plus it produces a lush bass that will stir the soul

    I think the addition of tuners to bodhráns was a major leap forward for this great Irish drum; hand tuners are very convenient for uninterrupted playing all night long.

    The deep Rosewood rim adds a beautiful aesthetic, this is one you’ll want to hang on your wall when you’re not obsessively playing it!

    Oh, and how can I forget you also receive a comprehensive online introduction and beginner lesson to the bodhrán by yours truly – free with all purchases of McNeela tuneable bodhráns PLUS 8 bonus bodhrán lessons with bodhrán playing legend, Rónán Ó Snodaigh.

    Under €1000 ($$$$)

    Arie de Keyser Keyless Flute

    I currently have a small number of these stunning African Blackwood flutes ready to ship. Arie is famous for crafting beautiful wooden flutes for the traditional Irish market. His African Blackwood Irish flute would be a market leader. Hurry, if you want one as stock is very limited.

    Swan Premium Beginner Concertina

    – this is a very good looking concertina and happily its looks showcase a superb instrument featuring terrific action, a great sound and sublime ease of play.

    Perfect for beginners and improvers who want something a little more premium from their concertina; it’s also a favourite with pros. Plus it comes with free lessons by Caitlín Nic Gabhann exclusive to McNeela Instruments!

    Under €2000 ($$$$$)

    Phoenix Concertina

    – my best selling intermediate concertina is a game changer for the market. Superb sound, fast riveted action, ease of play second to none and the finish is a study in subtle elegance, you may never need another concertina.

    Sam Murray Keyed Blackwood Flute – Sam is a special flute maker and needs little introduction in the world of trad Irish flutes.

    His list of admirers is endless and includes myself so I’m deeply honoured to be an exclusive stockist of Sam’s work – his keyed African blackwood is a superstar among Irish flutes, there aren’t enough superlatives really.

    Celeste Farroti Vintage Violin Copy from 1924 – When Liam O’Connor recently popped in he brought this stunner with him, a copy of famed luthier Celeste Farroti’s signature violin. When he played it, I melted! This would make a very, very special gift for a violin or fiddle player.

    Money No Object

    For the man, woman or child who already has everything, we have some very special antique concertinas. Each one is unique, displaying the ultimate in craftsmanship and musicality and most importantly has been hand selected with superb playability in mind and that inimitable quality of vintage warmth and all the stories the instrument has to tell.

    We can’t think of a more special way to wish someone all the joys of the Christmas season. This is truly a gift for life.

    Choose from antique Jeffries, Wheatstone & Lachenal concertinas and vintage violins bows.

    Please get in touch with me for any extra details you may require or to just experience the legendary McNeela customer service.

    Contact: service@mcneelamusic.com or call me on +353 1 8322432

    Posted by McNeela

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