Either you’ve just picked up a ukulele and need the basic accessories to help you learn, or you’re somewhere between a novice and a pro and want to up your game!
Either way, I’m going to walk you through the world of ukulele accessories: starting with the essentials, to the must-haves for pros.
Everything you need to know is right here in this blog!
Three Essential Ukulele Accessories for Beginners
If you’re completely new to the world of ukuleles and need to figure out where to start on the accessory front, here’s everything you need to know. There are three essential ukulele accessories that you need when you’re getting started!
A tuner is the most important accessory ukulele players own. If you want to start on the right note (pardon the pun) then you should make sure you’ve got one in your kit.
Here are my favorites:
2. Ukulele Pick
If you want to get the best sound out of your ukulele (and protect your fingers) you should get yourself a pick. Luckily, they’re inexpensive so you can pick one up (there I go again with the puns) without breaking the bank.
Bear in mind, different picks can give you completely different sounds! Leather picks offer a much warmer, richer, and less “plinky” sound whereas plastic picks will give you more volume but can sound a little bit too bright and, well, “plasticy” on the strings of the ukulele.
Here are the best options:
Lohanu Leather Picks (Set of Three) – Best Leather Ukulele Picks
Alice Picks (Pack of 24) – Best Plastic Picks
3. Ukulele Capo
Now, some may argue that a capo is not an essential accessory for beginners but I beg to differ (I sounded like the queen there didn’t I?).
Using a capo changes the key in which you play. It might not be a must-have for soprano ukulele players, but for concert, tenor, and especially baritone ukulele players capos are an absolute necessity.
There’s nothing worse than having the urge to learn a certain song, only to find out it needs to be played with a capo! Plus, you probably can’t play bar-chords yet (don’t worry, it will come), so using a capo will help you play more difficult tunes without all the cramp.
You should still learn your bar chords though kids!
Here are the most popular capos for ukulele players:
3 Cool Ukulele Accessories for Your Wish List
Okay, you’ve got the basics but there are still a few more cool ukulele accessories that you’ll need at some point. You don’t need to splash the cash on these extras now, but they should be on your wish list. Start from the basics and work your way up!
1. Ukulele Case
If you need to travel with your uke then having a case is an absolute must. The only reason I don’t think a case is an essential accessory is that you can easily store your ukulele in whatever box it came in. The majority of beginners buy laminate wood ukuleles to start with.
They don’t require much (if any) maintenance so a basic case will do the job! On the other hand, solid wood ukes need way more care so if you’ve got yourself a fancy model, you should invest in a quality case!
Here are the best soft ukulele cases:
- Best Soprano Soft Case: Hola! Music Heavy Duty Soprano Ukulele Gig Bag
- Best Concert Soft Case: Hola! Music Heavy Duty Concert Ukulele Case
- Best Tenor Soft Case: Gator Cases Transit Series Tenor Ukulele Gig Bag
- Best Baritone Soft Case: Music First Country Style Baritone Ukulele Case
These are the best hard cases for ukuleles:
- Best Soprano Hard Case: Roaring Iron Soprano Ukulele 21″ Hard Case
- Best Concert Hard Case: Crossrock Concert Ukulele Hard-Shell Case
- Best Tenor Hard Case: Crossrock Tenor Ukulele Hard-Shell Case
- Best Baritone Hard Case: Kmise Hardshell Baritone Ukulele Gig Bag
2. Spare Ukulele Strings
I didn’t put spare strings in the “essentials” section because you can learn to play with what you’ve got. Depending on how often you play your ukulele, you’ll need to replace your strings every four to six months.
However, there may come a day when one of those wee guys snap and you’re gonna need to replace it. If you spend quite a lot of time playing, you should probably have a spare set of strings on standby!
3. Ukulele Straps
Using a strap when you play your ukulele will make your life so much easier. Even if you don’t play standing up, using a strap just gives you a bit of extra security. It allows you to focus on what you’re playing rather than trying to hold your instrument up.
Plus, if you splashed the cash on a high-end ukulele, you’re gonna want to keep that bad boy safe! I know it’s not all about looks, but it is nice to add your own flair to your uke, you know. You pice things up with a patterned strap, or keep things simple with a sleek black number!
Here are some snazzy (yet secure) options:
- Best Option for my Fellow Hippies: Cloudmusic Hawaiian Vintage Ukulele Strap
- A Lovely Colorful Number: Music First Rainbow Ukulele Strap
- The “Plane Jane” Option (I’m kidding, it’s practical): Rinastore Ukulele Strap
4. Ukulele Stands
If you play your ukulele a lot, a stand will come in handy. You can just pick up and play, no unzipping or clipping involved! You’ll love having your uke on display (I do anyway) and, if you’ve got more than one ukulele, having them on stands makes moving between them that much easier!
Here are some amazing ukulele stands:
- Best Wooden Stand: Zither Wooden Ukulele or Mandolin Stand
- Best Wall Mount Stand: String Swing Ukulele Wall Mount Stand
- Best Budget Option: WOGOD Portable Folding Ukulele Stand
Must-have Ukulele Accessories for Pro Players
If you’re here because you want to up your game, I’ve got you covered. Even the most advanced ukulele players can improve with a few accessories. Whether you’re looking for better sound quality or just want experiment, these must-have accessories for pros will help you out.
1. Thumb Pick
If you’re a fan of fingerstyle, you need a thumb pick in your life. It makes finger-picking so much easier and allows you to pluck the lower strings without disturbing your hand positioning. I used to think thumb picks weren’t really necessary for ukulele players (I only had one for my banjo) but, once I started using one, I never went back.
I wouldn’t recommend using hard picks for the ukulele, otherwise, the sound from your thumb will be too bright compared to the rest of your fingers. I use a light pick but medium works just fine too.
Here are my favorite thumb picks for the ukulele:
- Best Light Thumb Pick: Frienda Medium Thumb Picks
- Best Medium Thumb Pick: Fred Kelly Light Guitar Pick
2. Ukulele Pickup
Let’s face it, electric ukuleles are great for volume but, unless you want an electronic sound, they’re not always the best option. A ukulele microphone or pickup is essential for professional players. You never know when you might be pulled up on stage last-minute!
Passive and active pickups both work perfectly for ukuleles so it all comes down to personal preference. I tend to avoid active pickups because I don’t fancy drilling a hole in my uke!
Here are the best passive pickups for ukulele:
- Best Overall: Fishman Matrix Infinity Pickup & Preamp System
- Best Under $100: Kremona Piezo Pickup
- Best Budget Option: TraderPlus Piezo Contact Microphone Pickup
Now that you’ve got an amazing pickup, you’re going to need a great amp! If you do travel, make sure you buy a travel-friendly amp. The last thing you want is to splash the cash on an amplifier that you can barely move!
There are so many amps on the market ( I’ve tried quite a few) so it’s difficult to find one that suits your uke.
These are a few of the most popular amps for ukuleles:
- Best Overall: Yamaha THR5A ACOUSTIC
- Best Budget Option: Kala AMP-TWD-5U Mini tweed 5W Amplifier
- Best for Traveling: Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
Reward Yourself With Ukulele Accessories
Whether you’re a complete beginner ukulele player or an advanced ukulele player, I hope I’ve helped you find some great accessories.
There are so many ukulele accessories out there you’re probably thinking your new instrument’s going to break the bank!
Don’t worry, just start with the essentials and work your way up from there. Write your wish list, then as you progress you can reward yourself with an accessory.
It worked for me!
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Fiona is a musician and writer. When she’s not working, she’s either playing the ukulele or finding another instrument to add to her collection.