There’s been a lot of cool gadgets on my radar this year. With the holidays coming up I thought I’d make a roundup of the ones that would make great gifts for the ‘ukulele players in your life.
Planet Waves NS Mini Headstock Tuner: $15 – This little guy has been riding around on the headstock of my ‘ukulele for the past year or so – gigs and all. The only downside to having a tuner this sized is that you CAN leave it on your ‘ukulele all the time and you don’t use your ear as much. But it sure is nice to not have to take out the tuner, put it on, tune, take it off, put it away…
The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten: $11 – One of the most enlightening books about music I’ve ever read. Follow the crazy story and advice of Michael and his student as they go where few have gone before – to the heart and soul of music herself.
Mogami Gold 10′ Instrument Cable: $43– The past year of steady gigging has made me appreciate the value of a good instrument cable. Mogami makes good cables. This one is only 10 feet long, but if you are playing shows with DI boxes on stage it is the perfect length. It is quiet and feels like it will last for many, many years. I’ve always been skeptical of expensive cables, but this one has me believing that playing for the quality is well worth it.
Tell U What by Brittni Paiva: $15 – From the albums I’ve heard, Brittni takes the prize for one of the best ‘ukulele records of the year. Tell U What is a killer sounding album with a great mix of Jazz, Rock, Blues, and even Reggae. Read the review>
Apple iPad: $400-600 (depending on model/features) – Maybe this is more appropriate in an electronics gift guide, but nothing has altered the way I organize my life more than than the iPad 2 that showed up in my life this year. From checking email to keeping track of commitments on the calendar to recording on Garage Band to tuning your ‘ukulele to making charts for your favorite jams the iPad can really do just about anything with the right collection of apps. It really is like technology that you would see in Star Wars.
Glass Nail Files by 95 and Sunny: $10-22 – For all of the fingernail-pickers, keeping the the ‘ol natural plectrums in top shape is super important. I’ve found that glass files do the best job of keeping a clean edge on your fingernails – plus, they never wear out.
Etymotic Research ER20 Earplugs: $10 – Yellow construction earplugs don’t cut for playing music – trust me, I was foolish enough to try it. Specialized earplugs that don’t dampen the highs too much are necessary for hearing the details of the music when you are on a loud stage or concert. Short of having custom ear molds made, I’ve found that the ER20s get the job done pretty well for a much smaller price-tag.