Generally speaking, if you own a ukulele, you have everything you need for playing it. The instrument itself and a bit of a practice are enough. When it comes to an instrument, it’s pretty much self-contained.
With that being said, there are various accessories for ukulele that can make your playing experience much easier. Provide you with some extra options for music making. Some of these useful accessories are things like ukulele stands, tuners, cases, and other similar items.
If you plan on taking your ukulele anywhere or you just want it to be safe when you are not using it, you are going to need a case. It’s one of the most useful pieces of accessories you can get. There are two basic types of cases. There are soft cases and hard cases.
HARD CASES for ukulele provide the better protection and if you intend to travel far, these are the better choice. Of course, the hard cases are more expensive but not too much. If you have a very valuable ukulele it is definitely a good idea that you buy a hard case. (Most of the valuable instruments actually come with a hard case.)
These are a bit heavier than the soft ones but the weight is usually not a problem. They are relatively small and they most certainly can’t be as heavy as some hard guitar cases.
SOFT CASES (gig bags) are cheaper and they are available in many different styles. Some of the gig bags even come with straps which mean that you can carry them on your back like a backpack. This is quite convenient, especially if you commute using a bicycle or a motorcycle.
Basically, soft cases are padded bags and they will protect your uke against the scratches and some light knocks, but beware that the protection level of soft cases is limited and you should be more careful not to damage your instrument.
Both of these types of cases come with a few compartments for your picks, straps, tuners, and other accessories.
Another nifty accessory that can be quite handy is a capo. It is especially useful if you didn’t master playing uke in all keys.
A capo is a very simple little device that you can attach to your uke’s fretboard to hold down all of the strings at the fret you wish. You can say it’s a movable nut that allows you to change keys in a matter of seconds.
Capos for ukulele are much smaller than those for the guitar, but you can use the guitar capo if you don’t mind having a bit large piece of metal on your uke’s neck. Ukulele capos can also be utilized for mandolins, banjos, and all the similarly sized instruments.
Now, there are a few different types of ukulele capos, but all of them do the same thing. The cheapest capos are just a solid bar with an elastic band that you can stretch around the neck of your ukulele and secure it at the other end of the solid bar.
These are, as you can see, really simple to use and they do the job perfectly. Although you need to stop playing to add or remove them, so for some of the musicians, they are not the best option.
There are also capos that feature trigger release mechanisms and springs that allow you to remove them in a part of a second without disruption of your playing.
Some of the capos are clamped around the neck of the instrument and held by adjustable screws.
The best capo is the one that you prefer. It is all a matter of personal preference, but you should look for the ones that have a proper padding in the contact areas. Also, it is not a bad idea to look for the capos that have no protruding parts can get in your way while you play.
Of course, the capo should be able to apply a proper amount of the pressure on the strings so they don’t buzz. However, not too much of a pressure, because that can cause your instrument to go out of tune.
In most cases, the ukulele is played by fingers, but you can use the pick as well. Now, conventional guitar picks are made of the steel strings and it is best not to use these on your ukulele. Ukulele has strings made of nylon or some other soft material and plastic guitar picks can damage them.
What you want to look for are the felt picks. These picks are covered in soft felt and they give much softer and nicer tone when you use them on nylon strings. These also come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Just like the conventional picks. Of, course, most of the picks are triangular.
The felt picks also have a different hardness level and the materials may vary so they produce a different tone. You can experiment a bit until you find the ones that you want to use.
The next useful thing you might want to get is a strap. If you play sitting down, the strap is not necessary, but if you want to play standing up, you will probably need a strap. Most of the players will agree that because of the size, the ukulele is a bit awkward to hold. Strap was invented to stabilize players hold and make it much easier to handle.
Now, electric guitars come with the buttons for attaching the strap, but this is not the case with the ukuleles. This means that guitar straps can’t really be used for your uke, but luckily, there are ukulele straps that can be attached to a sound hole of your instrument and with a loop that goes around the neck.
This type of strap is sometimes even used for acoustic guitars.
A tuner is a very useful gadget that will help you keep your instrument in tune even if you don’t have a piano or some other instrument for a reference note.
There are tuning forks and pitch pipes, which are the simplest options and they are not prone to breaking and they don’t need any batteries to work. These are the low-tech solutions.
However, most of the musicians prefer electronic tuners because they are very accurate and very simple to use. Electronic tuners in some cases even have a built-in metronome which is incredibly useful because it can help you hold the tempo while you practice.
The electronic tuners usually have a microphone that picks up the sound of your instrument and then they display what they read and tell to what degree your uke is out of tune. There are also more modern clip-on ukulele tuners which you clamp to your uke’s headstock.
These tuners pick up the vibrations directly and are more accurate because they don’t pick up the sounds from your surrounding that can interfere with it.
You can get the tuner specially designed for the ukulele and this tuner will be sensitive to the frequencies in the range of ukulele. The other option is a general chromatic tuner that you can utilize on any instrument.
No matter which tuner you choose, always tune your uke before you start playing. This is important because if you play the uke that is slightly out of tune can be very unpleasant. Players with a good ear can hear if instrument is out of tune. Untuned instrument also affect your own pitch perception and you don’t want that.
Hangers and Stands
If you don’t want to keep your uke in a case when you are not playing it, you can always keep it on a hanger or stand. Leaving the instrument leaned against the wall is not really a good option because it can fall and damage. Stands and Hangers are safe and they are not expensive at all.
Stands are in most cases most useful accessories, they are foldable and portable and they will keep your uke safe. There is an option of general purpose stands that can hold any stringed instrument, but in our opinion, dedicated ukulele stands are much better option.
These stands will hold your instrument closer to the floor and it will be much safer. Just make sure that you store it somewhere where you won’t trip over it.
If you have a limited floor space, you can always get the ukulele hanger. These are mounted to a wall usually with two screws and your uke will be nicely displayed when you are not playing it. Furthermore, if hanging on the wall, your instrument is safe and out of the reach of your pets and children and it is much less likely that it will get knocked over.
The ukulele accessories are not essential for playing but they do make your life much easier. After all, these are usually very affordable and in our opinion, it is always better to have them somewhere in case you need them, then to need then and don’t have them.
Most of accessories are small or foldable and they don’t require too much of a storage space. It’s such a great feeling to see your favorite instrument with a nice strap. Standing on a classy stand or hanging on a wall, makes you proud of your investment.
There’s so many offers to choose from, you will find something for your price range and your soul.