Ukulele beginners - what's in my uke gig bag?

4 Mar 2011

Ukulele beginners - what's in my uke gig bag?

If you have bought a ukulele, then hopefully you have fallen in love with it.  If that has happened, you will find that you want to take your ukulele with you everywhere - to work, on holiday, to the shops (!).  You may also be thinking about gigging your uke.

If that is the case, then what should you carry with you along with your uke - what is the essential gear list that no uke should be without?  Listed below are the items that always go with my uke if I am gigging, or taking it away from home for extended periods.

  • Case - Kind of obvious, but if you are travelling with a uke, or taking it to gigs you REALLY SHOULD invest in a good case.  My views on ukulele cases.
  • Spare strings - even if I have just put a new set on the ukulele before I leave the house, I always keep a spare set of strings in my case.  You never know when you might get a break, and even those new strings could run into trouble.
  • Tuner - I carry two tuners at all times.  I carry a clip on tuner (I use a Snark Ukulele tuner. ).  I also carry a cheap pitchpipe tuner in my case for the unlikely eventuality my clip on tuner breaks or the more likely chance that the battery dies.
  • Small screwdriver - for tightening tuning pegs
  • Soft polishing cloth - I always carry a soft cloth and get myself in the habit of wiping down the instrument after a session.  Cleaning the strings in particular will lengthen their life.
  • Uke Leash -  Just because its brilliant
  • Songbook - I print my ukulele lyrics and chords on to A4 paper and keep them inside clear plastic wallets bound in a  4 ring binder.  The plastic wallets stop them getting dog eared or drenched by spilled beer!  I keep an extensive ukulele chord chart in the back of the binder in case I am challenged by an obscure chord I don't have committed to memory.  Good for beginner playing friends also for reference.
It's not a lot to take along - the uke is a simple instrument and you don't want to be bogged down with gear.  The above should, however, ensure you never get into a tight spot!


  1. Also a travel music stand would be a good thing to have with you.


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