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View Full Version : Need your opinions, please! (Christmas gift idea)



NatalieS
12-10-2010, 07:58 AM
Hey everyone :)

So, my 30 year old brother is very difficult to shop for. I'd like to buy him his first uke for Christmas. Every time we visit each other, he picks up one of my ukes and tries strumming it for a few minutes. He bought a mandolin back in the day but always remarked that the strings were too tough on his fingers, and he never really got into it.

My worry is, my brother loves music but has never played an instrument, and I think it will be a pretty big challenge for him. Also, he might be moving across the world in the next few months, and I don't want to get him something that won't travel well. I'd appreciate any suggestions on a < $75 travel-worthy uke, or really, let me know if this even seems like a good gift for someone who doesn't even play yet. I wonder if he'll think I bought the gift more for my benefit than his. He knows I'm a huge uke-lover and it might be perceived that I'm pressuring him to play, even though I'm totally not.

ukelly
12-12-2010, 12:57 PM
If you don't know if he will like it, perhaps get something like a Lanikai to get in the price range? Even if he doesn't know music, he could always get a book or read tabs. There are a lot of YouTube videos that help teach simple songs too. I wouldn't think that a cheap uke would seem like you are trying to get a gift for yourself as you don't need one and it isn't a real nice one.

NatalieS
12-12-2010, 01:13 PM
I wouldn't think that a cheap uke would seem like you are trying to get a gift for yourself as you don't need one and it isn't a real nice one.

Thanks for your help. :) I guess what I meant by that is, my brother knows I'm crazy about uke, and I don't want him to feel like I'm pressuring him to play by buying him one. I don't want him to feel like I have any expectations for him to be as interested in it as I am.

Chris Tarman
12-12-2010, 01:20 PM
I suppose you could TELL him that. It might still seem like it, but you could tell him that you just thought he might enjoy it, with no pressure.

peterp
12-12-2010, 01:24 PM
I have a $50 Lanikai soprano which was a Xmas gift last year. You're welcome to it... If you pay for shipping. I've loaned it to a friend, but he just bought a Kala, so I need a little time to track it down.

Tudorp
12-12-2010, 01:26 PM
Lanikai LU-21 is right in that price range, can even be found for less, and a very nice starter uke. Best in it's price range IMHO.

SuzukHammer
12-12-2010, 02:14 PM
If I was to pick the perfect starter uke for a beginner, a dude, I'd want a concert Fluke. If not that, then modify a Makala - juice it up with loud stings and put a personal touch on it so he knows he can blemish it up for fun (like an AC/DC sticker)

OldePhart
12-12-2010, 02:19 PM
1) If every time he visits you he picks up a uke - he's interested.

2) If he's about to move halfway across the world, a uke might well evoke memories of you and family and familiar surroundings.

3) Since he's a beginner, get him something you know that he'll be able to play. It doesn't have to be expensive. A Lanikai LU-21 or even an LU-11 set up by MGM or one of the other pros around here is perfectly suitable for a beginner - and since it's not real expensive he shouldn't feel like you're pressuring him to play.

4) Include a little card that indicates you gave him the uke because you've noticed he likes yours and you want him to have something that reminds him of your home if he moves.

Just my $0.02 - but I'm not really a people person... LOL

John

itsme
12-12-2010, 03:23 PM
1) If every time he visits you he picks up a uke - he's interested.

2) If he's about to move halfway across the world, a uke might well evoke memories of you and family and familiar surroundings.

3) Since he's a beginner, get him something you know that he'll be able to play. It doesn't have to be expensive. A Lanikai LU-21 or even an LU-11 set up by MGM or one of the other pros around here is perfectly suitable for a beginner - and since it's not real expensive he shouldn't feel like you're pressuring him to play.

4) Include a little card that indicates you gave him the uke because you've noticed he likes yours and you want him to have something that reminds him of your home if he moves.
Ya know, everything you said makes perfect sense. :)

OP, a nice accompaniment to show you wanted it to be personal to him would be a custom book. Print out some chord reference sheets and the tabs to a bunch of his favorite songs, make a nifty cover page and a table of contents, take it to someplace like Kinko's and they'll do a nice comb binding with clear plastic over the cover page and a cardstock back for a couple bucks.

Pikachuplaystheukulele
12-12-2010, 05:53 PM
Makala Dolphin or an Ohana Ukulele

NatalieS
12-13-2010, 01:55 AM
These are wonderful ideas, guys. Thank you. :) I especially like the idea of the custom songbook.

peterp I might be interested in that Lanikai if it's still in good shape. Otherwise I think I'll pick out something from MGM.

Jnobianchi
12-13-2010, 08:02 AM
Lanikai LU-21 is right in that price range, can even be found for less, and a very nice starter uke. Best in it's price range IMHO.

I'm with Tudorp. It's a great uke for the price and it won't be any problem to carry it anywhere.

peterp
12-13-2010, 05:55 PM
NatalieS, I'll check on the whereabouts/condition of the uke, and let you know. I'd like to give it a good home.

peterp
12-16-2010, 07:23 PM
NatalieS, PM sent.