Don’t be shocked to learn that the spending doesn’t stop just because you have bought your child their first ukulele, as unless you went for a complete package deal you need to snag a bunch of accessories to enhance their learning and playing experience. In short these are: strings, a tuner, picks, a stand, a strap, a songbook, and a hard case.
To be fair not everything mentioned here is absolutely essential, (though anything that actually is a must will be clearly marked as such), but they are all useful and worth buying if your budget allows. Below we look at each of these items in more detail.
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Ukulele Musical Instruments
If you only plan to buy one thing then this is it! Tuning ukes is a tricky business but a task that needs to be done regularly because the stretchy strings tend to slip a lot more than say the strings of a guitar. The whole process is made much easier with a clip-on tuner, but do check the display s big enough and easy to read. Expect to pay around $10-12 for one.
A hard case
This may seem unnecessary if the uke comes with its own carry bag, but a hard case is more practical (and safer) if you travel with the ukulele a lot, as well as helping to protect it when it is in your home.
Do make sure you buy the right size for your uke. You can expect to pay around $80 for a decent hard carry case. (A cheaper option at around $30 is the sturdy ‘gig style’ bag with shoulder straps. This is probably a better bet for a cheaper ukulele.)
A ukulele songbook
A splurge buy at around $25-35, but good for children who like to sing or play tunes as some are dedicated to songs they are familiar with.
This is another non-essential but it provides a safe place to store the uke, rather than have it on the floor where it could easily be damaged. Prices range from around $13-40.
Good quality strings
Many ukes come with cheaper strings, and switching them up for something better is a good way to avoid poor performance and sound. Aquilas strings are under ten dollars a pack, and as always, make sure you buy the right size for your child’s uke.
Yes you can strum your fingers, but picks add an extra element of interest as well as a different sound, and felt picks – available in plain and brightly colored options, are a fun add-on that only costs a few dollars.
Investing in a strap is a really good idea as they make it easier for a child to hold the uke in the right position, and avoid issues from dropped instruments. There are various styles and patterns around, so choosing just one may be a little tricky.
Now you should have a good idea of what you should get your child if they begin getting into laying music. The ukulele is a fantastic instrument and can form a great base of musical understanding for them so don’t be afraid to push them to towards it.
Find ukuleles that would work for any kid by having a read on Sound Chime.