Ukulele Christmas List

I used to be pretty easy to buy for. A CD or anything ukulele related would serve. Spotify has completely killed off the first and I have more ukulele stuff than anyone of limited abilities can make use of. So here’s a list for those of you dying to send me over-priced junk for Christmas (or my birthday – 9th Decemeber, make a note – for that matter). Feel free to add yours to the comments – Santa reads the blog.

1) RISA LP: This year’s wishlist contains just one uke. And a decidedly non-standard uke at that. I have no intention of laying down the uke, but I am starting to feel a bit restricted and I’m eager to try out some new sounds – perhaps why so much of the stuff I want is a bit gimmicky.

2) Effects Pedals: I do like my nasty, lo-fi sounds. I’ve ordered myself a WMD Geiger Counter and I like sound of many of Subdecay’s pedals – not least the Prometheus. All of which I intend to use to play songs like this.

3) Zoom Q3HD: Most of the handheld cameras out there are a good picture rather than decent audio. But Zoom come at it from the other direction. They’ve long been churning out very handy portable audio recorders and the new video camera is very impressive. Here’s a useful sound comparison video.

4) An Electric Autoharp: Maybe I’ve just got a thing for folk instruments that get dismissed but are capable of creating wonderful music. Cory McAbee’s use of it has also got me curious.

5. Books: My two favourite reads of this year have been And Did Those Feet and The Big Short. So I’m looking to get my hands on Charlie Connelly’s new one and anything else by Michael Lewis. On a more decorative note, the Wainwright box-set.

6. A Flat with an Office/Music Room

7. Caterpillar Vinson boots in black: I have a pair of these in brown and they are the best thing I have ever put my feet in.

View Comments


  1. Armelle December 3rd, 2010 6:20 pm

    Welcome back, Al!

    One extra item you need to add to your list in case Santa definitely reads the blog : an AC adapter for the Zoom Q3 HD. Otherwise you’re going to need a wagonload of batteries.

  2. Emily December 3rd, 2010 7:13 pm

    I, too, am intrigued by folk instruments. Autoharp is definitely on my list of things to learn to play. But I still have an English Concertina stuck away in a closet somewhere. SO. MANY. BUTTONS.

  3. Marie December 3rd, 2010 8:00 pm

    woooowhooo! I love my electric autoharp!(Chroma Harp) Found at a yard sale this spring… I’ve decided it’s like the original “guitar hero” game, I press a button and strum and it makes music!!!

    We’ve had a large number of eleukes show up at the jam lately (due to a member’s shop carrying them, and another winning their contest). I have to admit the Eleuke is awfully cute, how does it compare sound-wise to the risa?

  4. karl December 3rd, 2010 10:01 pm

    Aha, a fellow sagittarius!

  5. Woodshed December 3rd, 2010 10:33 pm

    Armelle: Yeah, definitely. I have an adaptor for the Zoom H3. Hopefully that’ll do it.

    Emily: I quite fancy the concertina too. I can’t stand my EleUke. My RISA is vastly superior.

    karl: You, me, Hendrix and Beethoven. I’m am the exact opposite of the Sagittarius traits.

  6. Dane Mehl December 4th, 2010 7:44 am

    I would love to get these things for you, but I too have a fairly large and unreasonable ukulele wish list. It’s not really a Christmas list, just a list of things to get eventually… in order of importance.

    1. KoAloha D-VI
    2. H4n or a Q3 or Q3HD
    3. Vintage tube-amp for my guitar (provided the mi-si of my uke works well on it too.
    4. Bass-Uke, with frets
    5. Risa tenor Electric, lipstick red, or the LP sunburst
    6. Solid Sprucetop or Cedar tenor
    7. tenor Resonator
    8. Boat Paddle tenor, these things are sweet.
    9. I dunno, another pickup and some silver strap buttons? Or new geared tuners, I have a rattle in one that is bothering me.

    I hope Santa brings me everything =)

  7. sanford(andsong) December 4th, 2010 4:02 pm

    You certainly have great taste in footwear.

  8. milko December 4th, 2010 4:07 pm

    On the subject of autoharps, have you seen Polly Jean Harvey serenading Gordon Brown with one? (kinda)

    So incongruous! And cool.

  9. Ukulele Bartt December 4th, 2010 6:59 pm

    Hey, Al –
    Glad you found Siuta playing with his teeth! I just came back from playing two ukefests in New Zealand, and he was at one of them. In Auckland there were 8,000 people attending, and Hawkes Bay was also great.

    I’ll be posting lots of video from NZ, but for now there’s some stuff on YouTube of me and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain jamming for a couple thousand kids at Trusts Stadium. At the other NZ shows, Azo Bell (Australia) was playing, and a band you’ll love: the Nukes (New Zealand).

    So you gonna make it to the next Ukefest of Great Britain in June? If you go, I’ll buy you a bubble and squeak, AND a toad in the hole!

  10. Woodshed December 5th, 2010 5:03 pm

    Dane: Good call on the bass uke. I’ve been thinking about one of those myself. Hope you’ve been a good boy this year.

    sanford: They feel even better than they look.

    milko: Thanks, I hadn’t seen that. Erm, interesting performance. Not my favourite PJ moment.

    Bartt: Yeah, I saw those videos. Very different from the usual UOGB gig. I’m sworn off ukulele festivals, I’m afraid.

  11. Steve December 5th, 2010 8:27 pm

    my birthday is 9th december too!

  12. Ron Hale December 6th, 2010 2:31 am

    Partial to the hurdy gurdy myself, Al, especially as
    played by medieval/pagan folk bands such as Faun,
    Omnia and Triskilian. The Swiss folk metal band,
    Eluveitie use hurdy, too. In loud shows, of course, it’s electric and amped.

    Referring to these sorts of instruments as “dismissed” is correct in the world at
    large, but incorrect in terms of fans/players.
    These people are passionate about these instruments, even if most other people aren’t.
    Also, part of the problem is that people simply haven’t heard these instruments played either at all, or played well. Sometimes hearing them played solo is difficult for new listeners, and hearing them in a band with other instruments can be a better introduction to them. When this happens, the instruments gain new fans, as they should.

    As for new instruments, I just picked up a 3/4 sized Luna acoustic guitar, which costs less than
    a standard Flea.

  13. Woodshed December 7th, 2010 7:25 pm

    Steve: Many happy returns for Thursday.

    Ron: I agree. I love the sound of th hurdy gurdy. Can’t see myself playing one though.

Got something to say?