You found the perfect ukulele, and you’ve started practicing. But there are a few more things you’ll need. Ukulele accessories help you sound better, and they make playing more enjoyable. They’re also great gifts for other ukulele players, not to mention a nice way to treat yourself!
Top Picks Explained
Without a tuner, it’s impossible to sound good! There are quite a few options out there so it’s easy to find one that works well for you. Let’s take a look at two of the best ukulele tuners:
Clip-on ukulele tuners
A clip-on tuner is attached to your ukulele’s headstock. These tuners are fantastic since you can watch the display while you tune. They’re extremely accurate, allowing you to play with confidence no matter what the situation.
Ukulele sound hole tuners
Looking for a discreet option? Like the name suggests, this type of tuner fits right on your ukulele’s sound hole. A sound hold tuner is small enough to leave in place at all times and when it’s time to tune, you can watch the display without having to reach for a separate device.
Ukulele tuning apps
There are lots of ukulele tuning apps to try, and they can be convenient for getting a reasonably good sound when an actual ukulele tuner isn’t available.
There’s one big reason to choose a real tuner instead of using an app, though: tuning apps simply aren’t as precise. If you’re planning to play along with others or if you’re using backing tracks, you’ll want to spend a few bucks and get yourself a good tuner.
Your ukulele came with strings attached, but you’ll want to pick up at least one spare set just in case, and replace that set with a new one as soon as you use it. You never know when you’re going to break a string!
There are quite a few good brands available, and all of them are affordable. Most players try a couple of different options before settling on a favorite, which is an approach you might want to consider.
You can have your ukulele strings changed professionally, but knowing how to string a ukulele is one of those skills worth learning at some point. Whatever you do, be sure to change all the strings at the same time instead of just replacing the broken one!
Why do ukuleles crack? In most cases, it’s because they haven’t been maintained at the proper humidity. Ukulele humidifiers are easy to pop right in the case with your ukulele, and avoid common problems like cracking, splitting, and cracked finishes.
Ukulele humidifiers start at prices under ten dollars. They’re easily the cheapest form of “insurance” you can buy to keep your uke in great condition and enjoy playing it for years to come.
If your ukulele came with a case, you’re in luck! Unfortunately, many instruments are sold without cases, or they’re packaged in thin fabric bags that basically amount to nothing more than dust covers. Ukulele cases protect your instrument from dings and dents. Protect your ukulele when it’s not being used and it’ll be there for you next time you’re ready to play!
Padded gig bags
A padded gig bag is great for transporting your ukulele and if you’ve got an inexpensive instrument, you might feel like this offers enough protection.
Hard-sided ukulele cases
If you saved up for the ukulele of your dreams, protect it well! Hard-sided ukulele cases can save your instrument from hard knocks. If you’ve got kids, an excited dog, excited friends, or a habit of transporting your ukulele in a packed vehicle, you absolutely need a hard-sided ukulele case.
Whatever you decide, make sure that you choose a ukulele case designed to fit your ukulele’s shape and size! If in doubt, get a case that’s a little larger than your ukulele and wrap your instrument in additional padding. Trying to force a ukulele into a case that’s too small is a recipe for disaster.
There’s no doubt that the internet is one of the best things that ever happened for the ukulele. You can watch tutorials and take ukulele lessons online, but what about those times when you simply want to play without hitting the search button first?
Ukulele books are the answer. Pick up one or two to start your collection and add to it as you learn more. You’ll never be without information when your phone or tablet loses its charge, or if you find yourself in an area where the internet connection isn’t quite up to speed.
Bonus: More Ukulele Accessories Worth Considering
Here are a few more things to consider grabbing next time you want to treat yourself or a friend to a ukulele themed gift.
Lots of people play ukulele without a strap, and that’s perfectly fine! A ukulele strap gives you a few advantages like having your hands free, not having to look for a safe place to set your ukulele down, and feeling less fatigued when you’re a new player. Be sure to pick a ukulele strap that fits your ukulele. Some types require a strap button, which you can have added at your local music shop.
Want to play to a larger audience or stop playing into a microphone? You might think you need to purchase a new electric ukulele but there’s an alternative. Add a ukulele pickup! Make sure that you choose a pickup that is designed and engineered specifically for the ukulele, not one that’s meant for a guitar.