The Best Ukulele Accessories

While you don’t need much when getting started on the ukulele, there are a few items that can make life a little easier for you and your uke. Here are my recommendations for the best ukuleles accessories.

Overview

This is a list of all the products covered in this article. I talk about each one in more detail below.

Clip-On Tuner

If you buy only one accessory for your ukulele, get a clip-on tuner!

Tuning a ukulele (and keeping it in tune) can be tricky even for advanced players. Ukes have really stretchy strings, which means they’re more prone to slipping out of tune than most other stringed instruments. A good clip-on tuner will save tons of time and frustration.

I mainly use Snark clip-on tuners and have always been really happy with them. Snark tuners grab the note quickly and don’t waver around like many other clip-on tuners I’ve used. They also have a bright, colorful display that’s easy to read regardless of lighting.

Both the SN6X and the ST-8 “Super Tight” models are great tuners, but the ST-8 is a bit faster and more responsive.

Why not just use an app?

It’s true that you can just use a free tuning app on your phone, but I prefer clip-on tuners because I think they’re usually quicker and more accurate. I also like that I can leave a clip-on tuner attached to my uke’s headstock so that if a note slips out of tune it just takes a few seconds to get it back up to pitch.

Some descriptions of the SN6X refer to it as a “guitar tuner.” This is a little misleading–it’s really a chromatic tuner, which means it will work on any stringed instrument.

Hard Case

A ukulele case isn’t necessary for everybody, but it’s good idea if you for travel or carrying your uke around town. If you live in a house with pets, kids, or roommates, a hard case is a great way to protect your instrument from accidents.

It’s important to make sure you order the right size case for your uke. The three most common ukulele sizes are soprano, concert, and tenor. You can usually determine a uke’s size by measuring the total length:

  • Soprano: 21″
  • Concert: 23″
  • Tenor: 26″
Ukulele hard case sizing can vary a bit depending on the manufacturer. For example, one company’s concert case might be slightly bigger or smaller than a concert case from another company.

Gig Bag

A good gig bag will fend off most dents, dings, and scratches but is lighter and easier to carry than a hard case.

Gig bags also usually come with one or two shoulder straps, which makes it easy to sling across your back for bike rides or long treks through an airport.

I usually recommend a hard case for high-end ukuleles, but if you have a basic entry-level uke it’s definitely worth considering a gig bag.

The Daily Ukulele Songbook

There are hundreds of ukulele songbooks with tunes from Disney movies, The Beatles, and even AD/DC, but players seeking a great all-around songbook can’t go wrong with The Daily Ukulele and its sequel, The Daily Ukulele: Leap Year Edition.

These book has songs ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate, and with 365 arrangements there are plenty of tunes to fit any player’s taste.

The Daily Ukulele books features a number of old jazz standards and show tunes, but it also has a great selection of oldies, Christmas songs, and more. They’re both sure-fire books for any player hoping to broaden their horizons and grow their song list.

Ukulele Stand

A ukulele stand might not seem all that important at first, but you’ll quickly learn how convenient it is to have a safe, sturdy place to store their uke when it’s not in use.

Using a stand is much safer than leaning your uke against the wall or laying it on the couch, floor, or bed. It’s easier than you think forget about your uke and sit or step on your beloved instrument!

My personal top choice for a ukulele stand is the ​Ingles SA-20. The SA-20 is sold as a violin stand but I’ve found it works great for ukulele. It’s nice and heavy, and the locking neck yoke ensures your uke won’t fall out if brushed by kids or pets.

Wall-Mounted Hanger

A wall-mounted uke hanger is a great way to store your uke off the floor and away from activity. It can also be fun to display your uke (or collection of ukes) on the wall as a way to access them easily and show them off.

Aquila Nylgut Ukulele Strings

Aquila strings have a warm, rich, sweet tone that I feel can really help improve the tone of most ukuleles.

If you’ve never tried Aquilas, it’s worth a few bucks to give them a shot. If you don’t like them for some reason you can always go back to another brand.

And if your ukulele already has Aquilas, it never hurts to have an extra set of strings on hand. It’s no fun when you break a string and have to run out and buy a new set or wait for one to arrive in the mail.

Each ukulele size requires a different string set, so make sure you get strings that are right for your instrument. The most common ukulele sizes are soprano, concert, and tenor.

Felt Ukulele Picks

Most people strum a ukulele with their fingers, but it can be fun to experiment with picks. A ukulele pick provides extra precision and will offer a different sound than your fingertips.

In my opinion, the best ukulele picks are made of felt. Felt picks are much softer than traditional plastic picks, so they produce a sweeter, more mellow tone.

A ukulele pick isn’t a must-have accessory, but it’s a neat way to mix things up. BoloPick makes the popular 6-pack of felt ukulele picks pictures above.