Santa’s Music Box

It’s now well into the festive season, but there’s still plenty of time to choose a gift for the musician in your life (even if that happens to be yourself). If you are in need of some suggestions, however, then look no further…

Some Uke It Hot

The ukulele has grown massively in popularity over the past few years, and it’s not hard to see why – it’s possibly the most inclusive musical instrument ever devised (beyond the realm of pure percussion, at least). As a starter instrument for children, it’s ideal – you can pick one up extremely cheaply, they are small and portable, there are only four soft strings, it’s easy to learn and naturally lends itself to group play.

But the ukulele isn’t just for kids – or maybe part of its appeal for adults is that it allows you to behave like a kid when playing one. A good starting point for picking up a few uke tabs is the Ukulele Hunt site, and if you want to avail of some online Uke ordering, try these Podcomplex-supporting links below:


Aquila strings are generally recommended; ukuleles come in a variety of sizes, but for beginners (or children) it’s usually best to start with the smallest – which is the soprano ukulele. If you have particularly large fingers though, you might want to move up to a concert uke…

More Music Technology – From Moog to Ableton Live

Far be it for me to encourage a bout of Xmas-inspired gear acquisition syndrome, but there are plenty of other musical devices that might be very welcome in many bedroom studios this yule-tide.

Electronic gear can get pretty pricey, but if you have the funds, there are a few tasty offerings one could pick up in honor of the late Bob Moog. The Phatty series boasts some retro designs with a modern twist, and output a fearsome array of powerful sounds to boot. If you’re on a tighter budget, a Moogerfooger or even a Monotron might get you through the small hours of St. Stephen’s Day.


If you’re just making your first forays out into the wilds of computer music creation, you could do worse than investing in an Ableton Push + Live 9 Intro bundle – particularly if you’re interested in taking your creations out into a live performance setting. An alternative to Push would be the Akai APC20 controller, which is cheaper than its big brother the APC40, but still boasts a fine array of control options, including sliders for those who don’t take to pot twiddling…


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