Christmas Gifts for Ukulele Players: Stocking Fillers

A quick guide to what little gift to get your uke obsessed love one for Christmas. (Or what you might like to get for yourself because everyone else is getting you socks).

Ukulele Strings

A good set of strings is the fastest and cheapest way to improve the sound of any ukulele. But if you’re buying them for someone else, be careful. Type in ‘ukulele strings’ on eBay and you’ll get a dizzying variety.

One particular problem is buying the right size. If the person you’re buying them for has a number of ukuleles, you don’t need to worry – they’ll probably have one of each size. If they’re a relatively new player, your best bet is to buy strings for a soprano ukulele.

The most popular brands of uke strings are Worth and Aquila. If you’re lucky enough to come across some KoAloha pink strings, get them and send them to me.

Ukulele Tuner: Intelli IMT-500 Tuner

Intelli IMT-500 Tuner“Ever tried tuning in a room with lots of noise or in the dark?” asks musicguymic.

I can’t say that tuning my ukulele in the dark is a big problem for me. Tuning in a noisy environment, however, is. The Intelli tuner clips on to the end of the uke and picks up the pitch by vibration of the uke itself – avoiding any confusion with ambient sound.

It’s a chromatic tuner i.e. you can tune to any pitch you want. This means that, as well as ukes, it can be used to tune guitars, mandolins, banjos etc.

The cheapest I’ve seen these advertised is musicguymic on eBay.

The perfect present for: those who torture you with out of tune playing, ukulele group members, regular live players, buskers, multi-instrumentalists, those with noisy kids/housemates, those who play the uke while potholing.

Humidifier

One for the serious uke player, this. Because they’re made of wood, ukuleles can warp and crack over time as they dry out. Humidifiers stop this happening.

Someone who’s getting their first, cheap ukulele doesn’t need a humidifier. But if you know someone lucky enough to be getting a good quality uke (particularly a vintage one), I’m sure they’d be very pleased to get a wax and humidifer set to go along with it.

The perfect present for: a uke collector, someone’s who’s getting an expensive uke for xmas.

Metronome

I’m very guilty of speeding up as I play (and generally wandering out of time) and so are many players. I know I should use a metronome but I don’t. It’s probably because I’ve only got a nasty little, electronic metronome that emits a sharp ‘bip’. If I had a nice vintage metronome, I might use it as often as I should.

Baldwin tempo-maticThe sexiest metronomes on eBay at the moment:

Cadenzia Palmer Pocket Metronome

Baldwin Tempo-Matic Metronome (yes, it’s electronic – but it’s gorgeous).

Ukulele Felt Picks

Guitar picks are death to ukuleles. They sound too harsh. Felt picks are made for the uke’s more delicate disposition. Besides, they’re a cheap stocking filler.

Perfect for: recovering guitarists.

More Christmas gifts for ukulele players.

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6 Comments

  1. Marko JazzUkes Occhionero December 4th, 2007 7:07 pm

    wow musicguymike has some good deals but ….the Intelli IMT-500 Tuner is really the best price ever! and these are really great tuners gang. highly recommended…

  2. Woodshed December 4th, 2007 8:30 pm

    It really is a good price. It’s cheaper for me to buy one shipped from Hawaii to the UK than it is to get one here.

  3. Minamin December 5th, 2007 2:42 am

    I just ordered one of these honeys from musicguymic:

    http://tinyurl.com/33jmkz

    Seems like a fantastic deal for a one-of-eight uke, I couldn’t resist its charm!

  4. Woodshed December 5th, 2007 8:52 pm

    I just mentioned these Kalas in a post. It looks cool. Let us know what it’s like when you get your hands on it.

  5. Minamin December 9th, 2007 10:38 pm

    It came in the mail yesterday- a lot faster than I expected shipping from Hawaii to New Jersey.

    It’s a nice looking uke, which is of course the main draw. It’s a lot heavier than my 1950s Airline soprano, but lighter than my cheapie Brownsville concert. It has a nice tone, mellow and warm, very subdued. My girlfriend likes the sound of it better than the Airline, which I greatly prefer. Overall, I’m glad I bought it, but it won’t be replacing my main player.

    The strings I don’t like so much. They make a nice sound, but feel really cheap. My Airline has nylguts, and I prefer their feel. I know you have a set of pink KoAlohas, what do you think of those? I’m thinking about getting a green set to match.

    I also got the Intelli tuner, which is just about the greatest thing ever made for a semi-tone-deaf guy like myself. I wish I’d gotten one sooner.

  6. Woodshed December 9th, 2007 10:46 pm

    Thanks for the info, Minamin.

    The KoAlohas have been replaced but I liked them. They’re quite similar to Worths. And there’s the bonus of them looking cool.

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