Top 10 Gifts for ‘Ukulele Players

December is here! The prepared gift givers have already wrapped their Christmas goodies and you… Well, if you’re like me you need a few ideas to get you started.

Here are the things I feel most ‘ukulele players would be excited to get their hands on this holiday season. Some are new releases, some are tried and true accessories that stand the test of time. Share your own ideas in the comments!

Some of these items are linked to Amazon via affiliate links.

Arpeggio Meditations For Ukulele Book

By Daniel Ward

One of the coolest new books on the block, Arpeggio Meditations For Ukulele is a collection of 16 ingenious studies to build hand coordination, strength, and musicianship. Daniel has done a fabulous job covering a wide range of skill levels, moods, chord changes, picking patterns and more in this 30-page book.


Uke Stand

When you need to put an ‘ukulele down for a second, laying it on a bed or couch works in a pinch, but probably isn’t as safe as a dedicated stand.

I had a Kala stand at one point and really liked it for a smaller uke on a tabletop.

For bigger ukes, I like a guitar stand or even a wall mount stand for storage and display.

Planet Waves NS Micro Tuner

Tiny, accurate tuning that’s bright enough to see in the daylight. Pick from two versions that can live on a headstock or in a soundhole. The headstock version also includes a built-in metronome and reference pitch shift (430-450hz).


‘Ukulele Strap

mobius strapA strap helps support the uke while playing. There are several types that help hold the instrument in various ways.

I’m a big fan of the non-invasive Mobius Strap design. Read more about it here.

If the uke in question has strap buttons, any guitar strap will work. Ernie Ball makes a classic, cheap, and light one that comes in many color options. There are also high-end leather straps and hand knitted versions you can find on Etsy. The sky is the limit.


‘Ukulele Chord Shapes Book

By Brad Bordessa

My own contribution to this list. In ‘Ukulele Chord Shapes I explore a seldom-discussed method of approaching the fretboard. Included are more shapes, easy-to-understand theory, and chord knowledge than you can shake an ‘ukulele at!

$12.99 – PDF Download
$19.99 – Physical book

Lessons – The Gift That Keeps Giving

‘Ukulele lessons are a hard thing to justify spending money on when you have access to free content on the internet. But the structure and discipline that a good teacher can give to a player’s musical journey can be very important.

The best lessons are in-person. The physical learning space is, without a doubt, the most beneficial environment for acquiring new skills. Teachers often work in 4-week chunks of time – a great gift certificate timeframe, depending on cost. Be sure to get referrals and solicit recommendations before you commit.

If you can’t find a local teacher, Matt Dahlberg, Aaron Crowell, Phil Doleman, Bryan Tolentino, and others all do lessons via Skype/Facetime.

There are also several ‘ukulele courses you can join for a modest access fee. This is mostly unpersonalized, but also much more affordable. Each has its focus and unique presentation.

  • I work for James Hill as an admin for The Ukulele Way, which I feel is one of the best courses available – though I’m probably pretty biased. There’s a community page and great support from myself and the crew (including James) for any of the lesson content or technical troubles you might have.
  • The guys at Ukulele Underground have probably been doing video courses the longest and have a large collection. Probably the most “hip” operation you’ll find with lot of popular songs and flashy techniques.
  • The new kid on the block is Artistworks, in which Craig Chee & Sarah Maisel are the instructors. It has opportunities for video feedback as part of the curriculum.

‘Ukulele Capo

Ukulele CapoInstantly change the key of chords you already know. Great for singers and playing with other instruments. It can also help with the understanding of transposing and keys.

I use a Kyser banjo capo, but there are some slick ‘ukulele options these days like this one from Planet Waves.


New Strings

People get bent out of shape looking for the perfect strings, but only a very stubborn person isn’t going to appreciate the chance to try a new set. And you never know, it might be their next favorite thing!

I recommend brands like: Worth, Southcoast, Aquila, D’addario, and Savarez, to name a few. Each has their own flavor. Make sure to get a set that will fit the player’s ‘ukulele.


Anytune Slow-Downer/Pitch Shift App

I’m pretty low-tech when it comes to music, but I find myself using Anytune quite often these days when learning songs. It’s fabulous for slowing down the tempo of a recording or even changing the pitch (invaluable for singing the song in “your key”).

The free version does all that, but Anytune Pro also gives you advanced EQ options and REFRAME which allows you to isolate instruments based on their place in the mix (how does listening to just the uke without the band sound?).


A New ‘Ukulele

If you really want to go all-out this year, the folks at your local music store would love to send you home with a new uke for your loved one.

Should accessing a brick and mortar store prove to be a challenge, The Ukulele Site and Mim’s Ukes are highly recommended for ordering online. Though they might be backlogged past Christmas!

ukulele strings

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that human connection is the most important thing about the holiday season. It’s a privilege to express affection with gifts.

Consider writing a song. Consider hosting a sing-along. Consider cooking dinner for the less fortunate. Always remember to appreciate the little things. And have a very merry Christmas, Hanukkkah, Winter Solstice, or whatever you and yours celebrate. Let’s celebrate!