BY CRAIG CHEE
Finding stocking stuffers for an ukulele player can be a bit tricky. There are only so many different ways you can personalize your instrument without excess bloat, weight, or attachments that could potentially harm your instrument. The common gifts at a low price point will always include tuners, strings, CDs, and stickers, but let’s take a look at some other options that focus on the player!
1. Ukulele Hanger for Microphone Stands (and Desks!)
By far our most recommended item on this list is the ukulele hanger by Gator Frameworks (pictured above). These fantastic hooks can be used on mic stands for gigs and rehearsals, flipped 90 degrees to be installed on a desk, grouped to create an “ukulele tree” and even hold a glass of your favorite beverage! It’s extremely versatile and will be used heavily from aspiring ukulele players to professionals.
2. Good Nail Clippers
As you progress in your ukulele journey, you’ll soon realize how much the length and shape of your nails can affect your tone and feel. Sarah and I have multiple copies of these Green Bell nail clippers in our cases and travel kits to ensure we can maintain consistency in our sound. These clippers are super sharp and have a fantastic built-in buffer. For those who want to dive into the deep end of nail care, a buffer kit is perfect!
3. Cleaning Cloth
Not only can a cleaning cloth help with drizzle, spilled drinks, and other accidents, a well-packed cloth can also help a musician deal with humid situations causing sweat build up on the back of the neck and body of the ukulele. Most all brands will work—I like these microfiber cleaning cloths.
4. Headphone Hook/Holder
Whether you’re on the computer joining online workshops, retreats, or lessons, having a handy place for your headphones is a welcomed quality-of-life bonus and will help with cable management at your workstation. This one by Apphome is our favorite as it can fold up when not in use.
5. Ukulele Strap
For those that prefer to use a strap, there are many wonderful options available. They are a great accessory and can give a nice burst of color, or a place for your ukulele lover to put pins/badges they have collected from different events they have attended. If you choose this as a gift, make sure to purchase the correct kind of strap. For example, not all instruments will have a strap button, so if you’re not sure make sure to find one that will work without one (such as one that uses a hook in the sound hole, or a Hug Strap).
6. Online Lessons
This is an amazing gift that keeps giving and can definitely fit into a stocking! Some out there may already be familiar with Sarah and my online ukulele school with ArtistWorks, but we aren’t the only ones giving online lessons. There are many other great schools, including Ukulele Underground, Ukulele Corner, and many more. You can also get a set of lessons from an individual instructor—try to drop hints and who their favorite ukulele players and teachers are so you can choose the right one for them.
7. Strings (with a Note of Advice)
First, I want to say that strings are very subjective, so make sure that you know the correct brand/type to get your ukulele friend. If they don’t have a string preference, however, you could get them an assortment to try. There are many different brands that include varying materials and widths. If you are doing this, make sure to get the correct length (Soprano, Concert, etc.) and tuning (High-G, Low-G, Baritone, etc.) to ensure that they will use them.
Any of these would make a wonderful gift for the ukulele lover in your life. Have a wonderful holiday season!