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Black Friday music deals 2021: what to expect

Black Friday music deals 2021: what to expect
(Image credit: Future)

The Black Friday music deals 2021 are almost upon us. The day itself doesn't kick off until Friday 26 November - the day after Thanksgiving - but you can bet your bottom dollar there will be musician-friendly deals well in advance of that date. This is the place to find them.

Black Friday is an event where the biggest music shops and brands on the planet get busy dropping fantastic deals and discounts on music gear. Whether you're a guitarist, producer, DJ, drummer or podcaster, this is the time to invest in your rig. Last year the deals were super strong; we're hoping for a repeat in 2021.

The sheer volume of Black Friday musical instrument deals can be overwhelming, so we're on hand to help arm you with all the latest info you need to get your hands on a dream electric guitar, invest in a new electronic drum set, score yourself a new laptop for music production or pick up some plugins to supercharge your next musical project.

Can't wait for the Black Friday music deals to drop? There are some cool sales taking place right now, including up to 20% of home recording gear until 22 September at Guitar Center and big discounts on mastering plugins at Waves.

Black Friday music deals: Latest deals

The official Black Friday music deals may be a way off yet, but there are still some music gear bargains to be had right now:

When will the Black Friday music deals land?

For 2021, the Black Friday music deals will officially arrive on Friday November 26 - the day after Thanksgiving and less than a month before Christmas Day, making it the ideal event to pick up Christmas pressies for the music makers in your life. As usual, the deals will extend across that weekend (also know as Cyber Weekend), before finishing with a final flurry of Cyber Monday music deals on Monday 29 November.

Previous experience tells us that the deals aren't isolated to this concentrated four day period though. Many of the best Black Friday music deals will emerge in the weeks leading up to the big day, some as early as mid-October. And many deals stick around well after the event and into December.

Deals are launched at all sorts of random times – sometimes in the middle of the night – so savvy shoppers will need to keep a close eye on their favourite retailers to ensure they grab the bargains they're after. Some Black Friday music deals may stick around for the whole of Cyber Weekend, while others may only be live for a matter of hours, or could be stock-limited. So, if you're looking for a bargain, you need to be ready to pull the trigger.

What Black Friday music deals should I expect?

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the big music retailers throughout October and November. Based on last year's evidence, the Guitar Center Black Friday sales, Sweetwater Black Friday sales and Musician's Friend Black Friday sales will be the places for acoustic and electric guitars, amps, home recording gear and electronic drum sets.

When it comes to laptops for music production, this time of year is a great opportunity to pick up a Black Friday laptop deal for the home studio. Last year we spotted discounts on the newly-launched M1 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs - mostly via Amazon - plus significant money off Dell laptops and older model MacBooks. Keep an eye on our MacBook Pro M1 deals page for the latest big ticket discounts. We're confident this year will be the ideal time to grab a top deal on your next laptop. 

If you're a sucker for software, we're excited to see what the likes of Waves Audio and Plugin Boutique deliver across the event. Last year, some of the biggest offers included a crazy €750 off IK Multimedia Total Studio 2 Max and 94% off 9 killer iZotope plugins, including Trash 2, Exponential Audio R2 and Exponential Audio Phoenix Verb. We'll be sharing all the latest offers on our Black Friday plugin deals page. 

For drummers itching to pick up one of the best electronic drum sets around, we’re looking forward to seeing price-slashing on some of the year's most popular models, including the new Roland TD-07 range and potentially Yamaha's new DTX series drums. Yamaha doesn't often do e-kit discounts through, so this may be wishful thinking. The Alesis Nitro Mesh e-kit has been a big winner when it comes to Black Friday drum deals, with the beginner electronic drum set seeing discounts of up to $50, plus bundle packages available over the last couple of years.

The Amazon and Walmart Black Friday sales will be massive as always, too. Here you'll be able to pick up everything from cheap wireless headphones and Amazon Echo devices, to top music gear – we’ll be bringing you the best deals we can find across these events.

We've been covering the Black Friday music deals for years now, so you can rest assured our teams will be hunting down the best offers before anyone else and sharing them with you first.

Black Friday music deals: Discounts and coupons

The Black Friday music deals aren't all about individual product discounts. Some retailers prefer to offer discounts overall on a range of product categories. Usually this comes in the form of a code that you enter at checkout to redeem your discount. 

To give you an example, last year Sweetwater was offering up to 80% off a range of guitars, drums, recording gear, software, headphones and so much more from the big brands. Elsewhere, Guitar Center and Musician's Friend were both offering 15% off select products. 

This is a great way to shop and can end up saving you more when you have multiple items you're looking to purchase.

How to prepare for the Black Friday music sales

If you really want to win big when the Black Friday music deals start flowing, our biggest tip would be to get your research done early, so you know exactly what you're looking for once it's time to strike. 

The good news is that we can help you with that...

To help you create your dream shopping list, take the time to explore our expert and up-to-date buying guides and reviews. These will arm you with everything you need to know about buying the best audio interface, acoustic guitar strings, guitar tuners and so much more.

What else can I buy during Black Friday 2021?

That's a pretty huge question. It would be far easier to list the things you can't buy on Black Friday. You’ll find loads of bargains on great tech like noise-cancelling headphones, iPads and Amazon Echos – and you can even pick up groceries, pet food and dishwasher tablets – but it’s the Black Friday music deals we’ll be looking out for.

Black Friday music deals: what happened last year?

Last year's Black Friday music deals were off the chain, but we're hoping to see even bigger offers this year. In terms of last year's highlights, laptops and iPads - and in particular MacBook Pros - were available with silly discounts. 

For guitarists, the biggest hitters last year were $100 off the stunning Fender Player Strat in Surf Pearl at Guitar Center, while the shred-ready Schecter C-1 Platinum FR-Sustaniac was a mighty $170 off at Musician's Friend.

The Casio Privia PX-770 is one of our favourite digital pianos for beginners, so seeing it discounted by $50 at Sweetwater was one of the standouts last year. In fact there were plenty of great Black Friday keyboard and piano deals to check out. 

For drummers, particularly new players, the best offer was $200 off the price of an Alesis Nitro Mesh kit bundle at Amazon, that included headphones and sticks.

Here's a few more offers from last year to give you a flavour of what you can expect from the 2021 Black Friday music deals. 

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage buyer's guides on the site and help musicians find the right gear and the best prices. I'm a guitarist and a drummer and I've worked in the music gear industry for 16 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with brands including Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal. In my spare time you'll either find me up a mountain on my bike, or in the ocean on my surfboard.