Tools of the Trade

I regularly get people asking what I use in my playing and in putting together the site. To answer those I did a post back in 2010. Things have changed a bit since then (most notably it makes no mention of apps). So here’s what I’m using these days.

I’d be interested to know what you use: to record audio, make videos and, of course, what your favourite ukulele is. So do leave a comment.


What size/make ukulele do you play?

This hasn’t changed much in the last four years. I play mostly tenors. With my favourites being the KoAloha Sceptre and Ohana TK-35G. I use those almost exclusively in videos. And I play the Ohana slightly more practicing even though it picked up a giant crack when I moved house.

When the situation demands I use: Soprano Kala KA-ASLAS, tenor aNueNue Lani II (which I have strung in low-G), aNueNue Harp Ukulele and Ohana baritone.


Tuner: Sometimes my ears and sometimes a Snark Tuner.

Strings: Worth.

Capo: Shubb mandolin capo (take note: it doesn’t work on smaller necked ukes).

Stands: Tanglewood Ultralite ukulele stand.

Tabs and Chords

Tabs: Guitar Pro 6. I’ve been using Guitar Pro 6 since I started the blog nearly seven years ago. I wrote a review of it here (tl;dr: I like it). Although this year it has at least got some worthy competition in the shape of Tabular.

Chords: I make the chord diagrams in Sibelius (I don’t recommend buying Sibelius though – I only bought it because I had to – but it does make attractive chord diagrams). Then I write up the chords in Pages.

Slow Downer: For slowing down songs to make them easier to tab. I use Capo (Capo 2 which I think isn’t available anymore). It does claim it can automatically generate chords and show you the notes being played. I’ve found those to be pretty much useless. But it does what I need it to do well.


These are all for iPhone there are some Android alternatives here.

Metronome: Visual Metronome.

Tempo Finder: Tap/Tempo.

Tuner: Cleartune (although I don’t have cause to use it often).

Tabs: I have all my tabs in PDFs on DropBox. Usually I just open them there. But if I want to do more with it or I’m going to be using it a lot then I import it from Dropbox into forScore.


Mic: sE Electronics USB2200a.

Software: GarageBand.

Camera: A Logitech that I hate so much I’m not even going to link to. If any has any suggestions for this let me know.

Blogging and Site

Software: WordPress.

Hosting: WiredTree. Highly recommend them.

Domains: is still on GoDaddy. Which I highly advise against you using. It’s a nightmare buying domains and they make it hard to do anything once you’ve bought them. These days I keep my sanity and buy new ones on Hover.

Site Design: The site and logo were designed by Ben Lew. Who is fantastic.

eBook Selling: eJunkie. Easy, cheap and I’ve never had a major problem with them in the six years I’ve been using them.


Things that no one has asked about and don’t have an obvious effect on the site but without them the site would suck, be hacked or possibly not exist.

Online Storage: DropBox This is even more essential now. It used to be a pain keeping files in sync across computers. Now it’s impossible to keep them in sync across computers, phones, tablets, glasses, watches… without Dropbox. And it’s free (up to a point).

Password Manager: 1password.

Music: My favourite place to buy music is Bandcamp. Only partly because they put me on their front page. You can find my collection here.


I reread these regularly to make sure I never do something stupid like getting a job.

Seth Godin The Dip
Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance
Anneli Rufus Party of One
Steve Pavlina 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job


Beardsley shampoo and conditioner
Honest Amish Beard Balm

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