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The West Music Blog presents articles, press releases and other information of interest to our local and worldwide customers.

The West Music Blog

Is Your Ukulele Ready for the Summer? Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Out of Thi
By Kyle Ware
6/2/2011 3:16:00 PM

Ahh, summertime! All you need to beat the heat is some shorts, flip-flops, and the ukulele. But is your little four-string friend ready? Here is a handy accessory checklist to make sure you won’t skip a beat this summer.

This is a must have! It’s never fun when a string breaks in the middle of a song, but worst is when there isn’t a spare handy. We carry the top 3 brands of Ukulele Strings to fit your style: Aquila, D’Addario, and Martin. Here is a friendly reminder: remember the size of ukulele you have (Soprano, Concert, Tenor, or Baritone). Although some brands treat certain sizes the same, most strings will not transfer over to the different sizes. Stick with Soprano strings for Soprano ukuleles and etc.

Aquila AQ Ukulele Strings
Available for Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone Ukuleles

  • Quickly becoming the choice of ukulele players worldwide
  • Transform your instrument into a tonal powerhouse
  • Highly polished to a smooth surface

 $6.00 - $6.90


D’Addario J71 Clear Nylon Tenor Ukulele Strings
Inspired and guided by D'Addario artist Jake Shimabukuro

  • Consists of an all-nylon string set
  • Made from an assortment of Pro Arte' classical guitar string gauges
  • Sorted by a sophisticated, computer-controlled, laser machine, which performs diameter/tension measurements and quality checks, ensuring that each set is well-matched, true-sounding and precisely intonated.



Martin M630 Baritone Ukulele Strings
High quality strings for daily use

    • Core and wrap wires meet strict requirements in order to make the grade
    • Wound to precise specifications
    • Designed and manufactured specifically for the baritone ukulele
    • Deliver bright, consistent tone for the entire life of the string


      Just in case you have never changed strings before, here is a great video from Kala that shows you how it is done! Watch the Kala re-stringing demonstration

      Here is another video from Kala that demonstrates how to stretch out your strings to help them stay in tune longer. Watch the Kala string stretching demonstration

      There is a good chance that you and your ukulele will never part this summer. So why not make sure it is protected from accidental falls, bumps, and bruises? There are 3 types of cases available: gig bag, hard foam case, and hardshell cases. Gig bags are perfect for anybody that might not have the money to spend on the hard cases or wants something on the lighter side. The Kala DUB and Lanikai HSS cases will offer excellent protection.

      If you gig or travel often though, we recommend investing in a hard foam or hardshell case. Note: If you travel by air frequently, it is not recommended to check your uke with the rest of your luggage. They are the perfect size for a carry on and if you get stuck on the tarmac, you can lift everybody’s spirits with some songs! Here some of the popular cases we carry:


      Lanikai Ukulele Gig Bags
      A perfect addition to your Lanikai ukulele

      • Feature a tough Cordura exterior and heavy-duty padding to keep your uke safe and secure
      • Designed to fit Lanikai Ukuleles

      $13.99 - $14.99


      Lanikai Ukulele Poly Foam Cases
      Protect your ukulele with Lanikai's polyfoam case

      • The best of both worlds the protection of a hard case with the versatility of a gigbag
      • Inside storage and large outside pocket are perfect for accessories
      • Shoulder strap included
      • Designed to fit Lanikai Ukuleles



      Kala Deluxe Heavy Padded Ukulele Bag
      Offers major protection for your ukulele

      • Heavy weight material with 20mm padding, reinforced interior, large accessory pocket, and heavy duty zippers
      • Includes adjustable shoulder strap
      • Designed to fit Kala Ukuleles

      $23.00 - $26.00


      Kala Ukulele Hard Foam Case
      Perfect for protecting your ukulele

      • Features a large accessory compartment and 2 backpack-style straps
      • A great way to protect your investment
      • Designed to fit Kala Ukuleles

      $35.75 - $38.35

      Most uke players will use their fingers to strum, but if you need some rest for your digits, try a felt pick. Felt picks won’t abuse your strings as much as a hard pick can and will give a much more pleasant sound. Try this pick on for size:


      Dunlop 8012 Hard Felt Ukulele Picks

      • Package of 12
      • Sold in sets only


      Unfortunately, most ukuleles do not have strap pegs, so using a regular guitar-style strap will be difficult. Unless you take your uke to a nearby luthier to add a peg or two, the options for using a strap becomes limited. However, there is a good option available: a soundhole strap. The downside to this strap is you will have to keep a hand on the uke at all times or else your ukulele will see its life flash before its eyes as it falls to the ground.


      Kala K-STP-BK Ukulele Strap, Black
      For ukuleles with strap buttons

      • Ability to quickly change instruments on the fly - great for gigs!
      • Color: Black



      D'Andrea 1200 Classical Guitar Strap
      For ukuleles without strap buttons

      • Ability to quickly change instruments on the fly - great for gigs!
      • Color: Black


      All of the accessories above won’t mean much if your uke isn’t properly in tune! Although Kala and Lanikai both have electronic tuners, in all reality they are the same tuner, so either one will work fine for you. But if you want to go au natural, why not try a pitch pipe? It’s very affordable and free of batteries! Just remember that the Kala pitch pipe will only work for G-C-E-A tuning (Soprano, Concert and Tenor tuning).


      Lanikai CO-UT Clip-on Ukulele Tuner
      Built by ukulele players, for ukulele players

      • Accuracy you won't believe
      • Incredible stability
      • Complete instructions sheet included



      Kala KC02 Chromatic Clip-On Tuner
      Multi-mode tuner at a great price!

      • Extremely simple to use
      • Choose between chromatic, ukulele C, and ukulele D modes
      • Backlit screen indicates quickly and clearly when instrument is accurately tuned
      • Comes with battery and instruction manual.


      If you have all of these, then you are ready to start playing! Why not check out our selection of ukulele music to learn this summer:

      Ready for a ukulele upgrade? We have an excellent collection of ukuleles that will fit your style and budget! Check out our selection and if you have any questions, we have a ukulele expert on staff!



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      Tags: ukulele, ukulele accessories, summer, ukulele strings, ukulele bags, ukulele cases, ukulele picks, ukulele straps
      Categories: Guitars & Folk
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