The 2016 Ukulele Christmas Gift Guide
As christmas gets closer and closer, it can be common to struggle for ideas for the ukulele player in your life. Fear not though! I’ve put together a simple Ukulele Christmas gift ideas list with cheaper and more expensive Christmas gift ideas for Ukulele players. If you know someone who loves the ukulele (including yourself) then maybe one of these gifts would make their Christmas.
A Ukulele can be a great gift at christmas, especially for a kid. Although you can find some for as little as $10, it’s worth spending a tiny bit more and getting something which is actually good. However, for as little as $35 you can find a good beginners ukulele. If you want an extensive guide to beginners Ukuleles, check out this guide. Here is a cheaper and a more expensive ukulele for christmas.
Kala starter Kit
Kala make good starter Ukuleles and this starter kit is no exception. It comes with a Mahogany soprano Ukulele and also includes a bag and an introductory lesson book and CD. If you don’t know what ukulele to go for, I’d suggest giving this kala ukulele a serious look.
Kala 3KOA Concert Ukulele
One of the classic types of wood for a Ukulele is Koa, its common to Hawaii and it looks fantastic. It sounds a little brighter than mahogany wood but it is still rich.
This 3KOA series Kala Ukulele is part of their elite range, made in Hawaii . It looks great, and sounds great too. It also comes in tenor and Soprano sizes but I’m biased so I Included the Concert.
Every year I make a Ukulele themed Tshirt design and put it up for sale in a teespring campaign. This year is no different. Check out the different options here [in my opinion it’s the best yet]
Clip on tuner
Playing on an out of tune ukulele is no fun, especially with other people. Although you can get nice tuner apps (some for free with ads) and even use websites to tune, I really like having a clip on tuner. It stays with my Uke and I can use it anywhere (even if it is noisy).
I recommend checking out the D’Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner or possibly this Three in one tuner, metronome and tone generator as it has a metronome as well (but I’ve never personally used it so I can’t speak for its quality).
You might think a metronome is a bit pointless, but click this link to find out 11 reasons every Ukulele player should have a metronome. Metronomes are great for helping you improve so apart from getting the clip on tuner I just mentioned or an app, you might want to check out the Neewer Lightweight & Portable Mini Digital Beat Tempo Metronome
Some people will tell you that you should never use a strap on the Ukulele because “real” Ukulele players don’t. Frankly that is just their opinion. You can choose to listen to that or not. If you like using a strap, then I’m going to suggest two, if not. Cool. No one’s hurt.
Kala classical Ukulele strap. This strap will work on any size ukulele and doesn’t require a strap button (the thing at the bottom of the ukulele to put a guitar style strap in). It’s a nice basic strap but you can find really nice leather versions of these straps too. (This is a UK alternative )
If your ukulele has a strap button at its base, then you might want to look at a strap like the Kala K-STP-BK Black Ukulele Strap. It holds a ukulele more securely and in a different position to that of a classical strap.
Every now and again, replacing your Ukulele strings is a good idea. What’s more, you can switch over to having a low G instead of a High G (if you have a concert or tenor ukulele.) There are lots of different types of strings out there and it really is a personal choice when it comes to strings. However, there are a couple of types of strings I’ve used and like.
There are tones of Ukulele song books out there. If you like a certain style or band, you may well be able to find a book that suits the style you like. However, I am going to recommend two really good books (especially if you are starting out).
Daily Ukulele (Chord book)
The Daily Ukulele is a song book with 365 songs. That means you’ve got one for each day of the week. In fact it even includes the Beatles song “7 Days a week” (tenuous link I know but still worth a try) as well as a host of other contemporary and classic songs. It’s a great book for a beginner looking to learn some new chords, and play songs they’ve heard before. All the songs are on the easier side of things and the book comes in a really nice layout which makes it easier to turn pages, photocopy and hide pages thanks to it’s ring binder.
How to play Blues Ukulele
How to play Blues Ukulele is a great book for beginners as it covers some chords as well as soloing techniques with in the blues genre. This means you’ll cover both chords and melody improving both of your skills. It’s by the guy behind Ukulele Hunt and he has some other great songbooks too that you might want to check out.
A case can help you get your ukulele around, whether that be to your band practice or into another country. You might have different needs though depending on which situation you are in. Apart from that, you need to make sure you get a case in the right size. After all a soprano case won’t fit a baritone. Here is a soft case and hard case option for a soprano ukulele.
Soft case (Lanikai soprano gig bag)
Lanikai make some great ukuleles but also make this nice soft case gig bag. Just be warned, this won’t offer much protection to your ukulele but will help you take it from place to place.
Hard case (Lanikai Soprano Hardshell )
Personally, I much prefer the security of having a Hard shell case. This was especially true when I moved to Poland and took my ukulele with me…in the hold section of the aircraft (I wouldn’t recommend it in hindsight) having a hardshell case will offer extra security but even in these situations, it’s better to take it with you into the cabin. This lanikai hard case will offer you enough protection from most situation
A subscription to a good ukulele magazine can be a great gift to receive as it will turn up multiple times a year, so it’s not just a one time gift . Luckily there are two good ones out there.
This is a US based magazine which has been around for quite some time now. An annual subscription cost only $24 for interviews, tabs, reviews and more. Plus it comes in digital and paper versions
The Uke magazine from World of Ukuleles is a UK based magazine but it has international appeal as well. It is more recent with only 8 issues so far but it has been great quality so far. In fact, the guy behind it sold me my second ukulele so…that’s something. You can subscribe for £18 a year.
What are Your ideas?
There you have it, quite a few Ukulele based gift ideas in time for christmas, but I’d love to know if you’ve had any other gift ideas. I might pass them on to my wife! Leave a comment with your ideas below (or what you’re hoping santa brings you.)