ukestuff

Ukulele "Stuff": Education, Technology, Play Alongs, Reviews, Accessories, and More!

Ukulele Rule #2: No more than $75 for your first ukulele

This may not be a very popular rule, but in general, I don’t think you should spend more than $75 (US) on your first ukulele. If you have been borrowing someone else’s ukulele this rule does not apply to you; and if you played ukulele some years ago and want to come back to it, it also does not apply to you.

However, to the many people who decide to buy a ukulele and learn it for the first time, in my opinion, you shouldn’t spend more than $75 on your ukulele. Now, if you have the money to spend, and want to spend more…go ahead. That said, the ukulele is like any other instrument, and it is not uncommon for a person to try an instrument for a while and just decide that it isn’t for them.

As a music educator, I taught all of my middle school students, and now my fifth grade students, ukulele. I didn’t (don’t) expect every student to love playing the instrument, but I want them to have the experience of learning how to play the ukulele, and to learn some basic chords and techniques. But I always tell them that it is possible that if don’t play ukulele after my class, someday they may be at a music store or garage sale, see a ukulele, and decide to come back to the instrument.

One of the things I have seen is individuals who tell people to buy the most expensive ukulele they can afford. That’s ridiculous, because instruments depreciate (figure 30% immediately) and not everyone falls in love with the instrument. If you buy a $1300 Kamaka, and don’t love it, you’re guaranteed to lose a minimum of $300 if you decide to sell it. I think the people that tell people to buy the most expensive instrument they can are really hoping that they’ll quit so that they can buy the instrument from the new player at a massive discount.

Some people will dislike this “rule” because they fear that people will buy their ukulele from Amazon, taking business away from local music stores and ukulele internet dealers–and end up with a ukulele that isn’t set-up and hard to play. As for the issue with where you buy it, as you learn ukulele on a less-than-$75 instrument, you’ll learn more about it, so that you know what your next ukulele will be (after 30 days…see rule #1). And that next instrument will be more than $75, and you can order it from your local music store or use one of the specialist ukulele shops. And to be honest, those internet stores all set up ukuleles, and lose money (when time is factored in) on entry-level ukuleles. Saving those vendors for your second (and beyond) ukulele purchase is actually better for their bottom line, too.

There are a number of instruments in the sub $75 range that are great instruments (not just for starters) that come well set-up, straight from Amazon. As of March 2020, these are the models that I can recommend based on personal experience:

  • Flight TUS or TUSL travel ukulele (The TUSL has a longer neck)
  • Enya KUC-20 Concert Ukulele Kit (the 20 series may be discontinued in the future, but Enya will continue to offer a series in this price point)
  • Aklot AKC-23 Kit

There are other brands that I have seen or have heard about, but have not seen enough examples to be able to recommend them with confidence. I have seen multiples of the instruments above. Please note: these instruments are mentioned without affiliate links.

Ukulele Rule #1: 30 Day Waiting Period

I have been thinking a lot about “rules” when it comes to the ukulele, and while there are no “official” rules, I think there are some guidelines that make it easier to play ukulele. I’m going to be sharing these from time to time…generally as I realize that I have tripped upon a new rule.

As you can see from the title of this post, Rule #1 is this: “30 Day Waiting Period.” While the terminology is similar, I am not referring to gun control. I am also not talking about a thirty day waiting period to buy your first ukulele. I’m talking about a thirty day waiting period to buy your SECOND ukulele.

Ukuleles can be pretty inexpensive, and you can get into a great starter ukulele for under $60. In the world of musical instruments, that isn’t very much at all. It is very common for someone to buy a cheap ukulele (sometimes not even a “good” starter instrument), find joy in it, and then buy a second, third, and fourth instrument…staying below an initial investment of $250 for all of them.

I find the learning curve of ukulele to be pretty steep/fast. It doesn’t take long for a interested player to learn some chords and start strumming. At the same time, they’re reading everything they can find out about the ukulele. In those first weeks, they’re bound to come across the discussion of scale length/instrument sizes, laminate vs. solid wood, K Brands, and most importantly action/string height. And it doesn’t matter how much you try to learn before you buy that first ukulele (I know, I tried), there is always so much more to learn.

I suggest a thirty day waiting period before you buy ukulele #2 (and subsequent numbers) so that you can take time learning how to play the instrument and learning more about the instrument before that second purchase. Then, as you reach day thirty, if you want to buy that second ukulele, go ahead and do so from a more educated point of view.

If you’re looking for that first ukulele, I have another rule about that which I’ll write about soon.

Flight Uke Tip: Strings (Part 1)

Photo from Flight Ukuleles

Some ukulele players obsess about strings, while others don’t give them much thought. String choice has a big impact on the sound of your instrument. There are many brands and types of ukulele strings, which are made around the world. The place to begin a discussion about strings is to discuss the strings that came with your Flight ukulele.

Many Flight ukuleles come with Aquila Super Nylgut strings, which are made in Italy. In the not so distant past, ukuleles were sold with poor quality strings. Aquila introduced strings that were high quality, long lasting, affordable, and worked well on all ukuleles. It wasn’t long until a ukulele with Aquilla Nylgut strings was considered to be a quality ukulele. Super Nylgut strings remain the “standard” string of the ukulele industry.

Flight uses other kinds of strings on some ukuleles. The Elise Ecklund Sunset Travel Ukulele comes with Aquila Sugar strings, which are also made in Italy. Sugar strings sound brighter than Aquila Super Nylgut strings and have excellent sustain. The Flight Royal series uses D’Addario Titanium Strings, which have a warm and bright tone and are made in the United States. The Flight Princess series features Worth Brown strings, which have a mild and mellow tone and come from Japan. The Flight Victoria comes with Flight’s own fluorocarbon strings, which have a tone that is clear and projects well, and are also made in Japan.

It is good to know the type of strings that came with your ukulele. If you like those strings, you know what to replace them with. If you want to try other strings, you can determine what to try next, and if you ever want to go back to the strings that came with your ukulele, you know what strings to go back to.

Next month’s Flight Uke Tip will offer suggestions of other strings you could can try on your ukulele. If you want to try other strings now, the strings mentioned above are a good place to start! 

Questions about a Ukulele Program/Unit

This question recently popped up on a Facebook forum from Nadia Armsworth. I asked if I could respond at greater length on my blog, and was given permission to do so. Facebook threads are just not a great way to answer longer questions, and I wanted to make my responses available to anyone that is interested. So, the question:

Hello everyone, I have many ukulele questions for you–BLESS YOU if you answer all the questions:

I need a bit of help. I am not a string person at all. I bought 15 ukuleles for my classroom. I am just barely ahead of my students and I don’t have strong enough skills to do anything crazy except a simple up down strumming pattern. We learned “a-minor” chord and sang “Oh My No More Pie”, then next lesson we learned “C-Major” and “F-Major” and are working on “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. I showed the kids the relationship between a-minor chord and F-Major chord just so they knew that they only needed to add one finger to make the difference between the chords. I’m teaching all this to 5th grade because I wasn’t sure how young I could take these instruments down to, so I started with them. I see my students on an 8 day rotation and I planned about 4-5–maybe 6 lessons with the ukuleles. So here’s my questions:. 

1. What would you do next if you didn’t have a curriculum? (I’m just winging it at the moment–i haven’t found anything I really want to do other than get the kids loving the instrument and singing while they play). 

2. Would you add chords–maybe G-Major? What songs would you do? 

3. I’m stronger in Orff, but I’m also CS [Feierabend Conversational Solfége) trained, I am not super creative–so how would you combine these instruments into that? Do you do any Orff lessons that include these? I was thinking maybe another echo song with “I” and “IV” and just not play when you would naturally have a “V” chord? Thoughts?

4. My biggest class has 26 kids, so the 5th graders are really enjoying it, but don’t love having to share with a partner–so it does take longer to teach. Any suggestions about how one teacher can speed up the learning of where fingers go? I have a smart board and use it to show enlarged images of the chords in TAB form. What I’m discovering is kids functionally can’t read a map and that’s what a TAB chart really is. They don’t know how to do coordinates. I almost feel like we need to have a game of battleship before we introduce the instruments so they comprehend which string, which fret, which finger. It’s a real brain twist for my kiddos?

5. What prep work did you do to get kids ready to play ukuleles? How young did you start this instrument–i was hoping to go all the way down to 3rd grade. What skills did you build into your students to prep? Again, I am jumping in with gusto and no experience and we are having a blast, but it’s tough!

6. And lastly, the question everyone probably deals with–storage! What do you do? I blew through all my funds to get these, so I’ve kept the original cardboard boxes, but those will not last–I need to address this by next year–what do you love/hate about your storage?

Thank you all for tips tricks or lesson plans. I am excited to keep doing more with this instrument!

Okay…so let’s start with my answers. Before we do, please note that my thoughts are my own, and there are educators who would disagree with me.

1. What would you do next if you didn’t have a curriculum?

So, in context of the question, the teacher is teaching ukulele to 5th grade. I know teachers who are eager to get them into the hands of kindergarten students, but I will say that 5th grade is a great time to get into ukulele–at least the way that I teach it–because the more I read online, the more I see 5th Grade listed as a “hot spot” for trouble in many schools. In my particular school, most 5th grade students are in band, choir, or orchestra in addition to general music, so they are getting exposure to many musical skills that don’t need to be reinforced in music class. That isn’t to say that you cannot support those skills–but you are not solely responsible for them at that point. This gives you freedom to do other things with 5th grade, such as music technology or ukulele. My advice: keep 5th grade relaxed and happy, which does not mean to to challenge them, but showing them what you can do with music for the rest of your life versus the details of music. One way or another, a large percentage of your students will no longer be in performance classes by the time they reach high school (some by middle school) so 5th grade is the perfect time to expose them to the idea of music for life.

That’s not going to be a very popular opinion with some teachers–but I taught high school choir for 16 years and middle school music for 6, and every year I was teaching basics of music to those levels, too. I’m not sure where the knowledge goes, but it disappears…which makes me really appreciate John Feierabend’s First Steps method that focuses on helping students become tuneful, beatful, and artful (TBA). Quite honestly, if all students came to middle school or high school TBA, it would be amazing to see what those secondary ensembles could achieve.

So, in terms of curriculum, I tried to teach ukulele as a “real” instrument. That approach completely failed, for two reasons. First, the instrument was created as harmonic support–not as a virtuoso instrument. There are virtuosos, such as Jake Shimabukuro and Taimaine Gardner. But they are stretching the instrument to new heights. The instrument was created and continues to provide harmonic support for any kind of music that you want to throw at it (Even Billie Eilish mentioned this in her recent Carpool Karaoke). Second, kids watch YouTube. They have watched videos of other children playing instead of playing themselves. When it comes to ukulele, they have watched other young adults, teens, and pre-teens playing and singing covers and their own songs on YouTube. That’s what they want to do. When you start off ukulele having them pluck out individual notes and melody lines–you’re in for a battle.

Furthermore, we spend five years (K-4) hammering students with melodic and single-line activities (singing, boom whackers, Orff instruments, recorders, hand bells, band instruments, orchestra instruments, and piano). How much have you focused on harmony? Why not let the ukulele function in its first and foremost function, and focus on the harmonic aspects of the ukulele?

Listen–I had to massively fail with my students and try other things before I realized all of this. Learn from my mistakes.

Ultimately, I learned about the work of Dr. Jill Reese (and others) who was (were) making ukulele play along videos out of lyric videos on YouTube. I tried some of these videos (not all of them are 100% school appropriate), and they were a hit. I also found out that students were singing along (sometimes they’ll stop playing and just sing!) even though they weren’t the main source of the music. So I bought in and started making videos. I’ve made videos for over 450 songs at this point in all kinds of styles and genres.

I then added other video tasks (e.g. skill drills and “how to” tutorials, and eventually came up with my own method–which just is an organization of the many resources that are already available on the Internet. You can learn more about what I do at the “Video Ukulele Method” link on the top of this page. I have intentionally kept it very inexpensive so that cost it isn’t a barrier for any teacher. I’m not aggressively marketing it–but I do want to let people know it is there.

There are some really good resources out there…but I needed something different that appealed to students and kept their interest. And it worked.

2. Would you add chords–maybe G-Major? What songs would you do? 

As the method is the only way that I make any income from this work (the play along videos cannot be monetized, and my other channel–at the time of writing–is not yet eligible for monetization), all I can say is that my method is completely based on introducing chords in the order of how they are most frequently used, and then using skill drills and actual songs using the chords they know to reinforce the learning.

3. I’m stronger in Orff, but I’m also CS [Feierabend Conversational Solfége) trained, I am not super creative–so how would you combine these instruments into that? Do you do any Orff lessons that include these? I was thinking maybe another echo song with “I” and “IV” and just not play when you would naturally have a “V” chord? Thoughts?

I’m not Orff, Kodály, or Dalcroze certified, nor am I FAME certified. I had required exposure to the first three, and FAME is relatively new to me. I know there are teachers that keep everything going, and by fifth grade, students are holding concerts where some students are playing percussion instruments, others are playing Orff instruments, others are playing recorder, and some are playing guitar and ukulele. I’m not that person.

I’m okay with just letting ukulele be ukulele for a while; not worrying too much about defining chord function (I know some adult groups where the leader starts teaching the Nashville Chord Numbers to brand new players because they have to be able to play in every key–and no, I’m not a fan of that approach, but I understand his passion). Help kids learn the chords, in the context of music, and get to pop music as soon as you can. Help them realize that making music is for them and that the ukulele can be used for their own music.

4. My biggest class has 26 kids, so the 5th graders are really enjoying it, but don’t love having to share with a partner–so it does take longer to teach. Any suggestions about how one teacher can speed up the learning of where fingers go? I have a smart board and use it to show enlarged images of the chords in TAB form. What I’m discovering is kids functionally can’t read a map and that’s what a TAB chart really is. They don’t know how to do coordinates. I almost feel like we need to have a game of battleship before we introduce the instruments so they comprehend which string, which fret, which finger. It’s a real brain twist for my kiddos?

There is a lot in this question. First, there are 15 ukuleles available. You need 15 more. The best, most affordable option that I recommend is the brand new Flight TUSL-35 (The other recommendations are the Enya Nova and the Outdoor Ukulele Soprano or Tenor…both which cost more). I simply don’t think it is good for any school to have ukuleles with a wooden fretboard. Either we all live in climates that get too cold, or it gets too humid–and our buildings are not climate controlled very well. The Flights are about $55 each…so I would get a principal’s permission and ask families straight out to consider buying one and donating it…or perhaps even buying two ukuleles, where their child keeps one (permanently) and the other is donated to the school. You could also ask your Parent/Teacher/School Organization. That’s less than $1000, very well spent.

I know some people will argue for their ukuleles (Makala Dolphins, Kala KA-15, etc.) but if you have a wooden fretboard, you’re going to have issues. If you go with a plastic ukulele (and I cannot endorse Waterman models, sorry…too many problems with string action) such as those listed above, you’ll be happy…heavy duty, great sound, and ideal action.

And action is worth mentioning…if the space between the first fret and the bottom of the string is more than 0.5mm, it is going to make it very hard to play that ukulele. Most school instruments are not set up by anyone, as they should be…and as a result, kids have a much harder time playing than they need to.

Second, I STRONGLY encourage the use of KIDS strings by Aquila. You can buy them in bulk from Aquila directly, but it color codes the strings. G is Green, C is Red, E is Yellow, and A is Blue. I know a lot of people teach with colored stickers…and I get that (I know of at least 4 different colored dot systems). The Aquila KIDS strings eliminate the need for those dots, because kids can think “Blue string, 3rd box/fret” but to say “1st String, 3rd Box/Fret” causes their brains to melt. There are also color chord fonts ukefarm.com that work with those colors.

As for TAB…my advice is…just don’t. Not yet. There is a place for tab and individual line reading–particularly if you are trying to make a “ukulele orchestra.” But otherwise, wait to introduce TAB until you have taught at least the first 10 chords…and then only dive into TAB occasionally. I personally think that it is best to start with chord melody after the first fifteen chords are learned (including the first barre chords…although I teach barre chords from day 1 in a very non-threatening way), because playing single line notes on a ukulele by itself is boring.

5. What prep work did you do to get kids ready to play ukuleles? How young did you start this instrument–i was hoping to go all the way down to 3rd grade. What skills did you build into your students to prep? Again, I am jumping in with gusto and no experience and we are having a blast, but it’s tough!

There are two answers to this…first, if you have students who are TBA, that’s really all they need. While I teach music literacy and I support music literacy and I want every student to be able to decode real music–when it comes to real life, they don’t need to be able to read or write music to participate in music–they just might not do so at a concert hall. However, knowledge is never bad. Second, the way I approach ukulele, it’s a different skill–harmony based–and it’s a complete reset in class…and I find that students really enjoy that massive change in pace.

6. And lastly, the question everyone probably deals with–storage! What do you do? I blew through all my funds to get these, so I’ve kept the original cardboard boxes, but those will not last–I need to address this by next year–what do you love/hate about your storage?

The best solution for school instruments is hanging, if you have space, for a couple of reasons. First, it keeps them up and out of the way, but always accessible. Second, it is super-easy to keep them organized. Third, it makes tuning them easier (and if you don’t have a Jowoon Smart Tuner T2…buy one as soon as you can. See Amazon or links on my pages above). And finally, it is an advertising tool. You will have students in K-4 begging to play them. And as much as I want to make them happy, it is great to have things that they can see in their future and to look forward to. For example, I have 2nd grade using Boom whackers. Third and Fourth use recorders. And fifth gets ukulele. They are super-charged to get to all of those places.

If you don’t have wall space, I have seen rolling racks (bought or made by custodians or by/with spouses) and I have also seen large plastic tubs used by teachers, but hanging is easiest. All you need are 2x4s mounted to the wall, and then “U” tool hooks from your local hardware store (usually $1 each). You don’t need fancy instrument hangers, although if you have budget you can buy them if you want.

There are a ton of other topics that can be discussed, and even these questions deserve more time–but hopefully this is enough feedback to help with future choices. Again, I’m speaking from my perspective and my own experience–and what I’ve come to believe about the ukulele and how it should be taught in a group. I don’t think it is my way or the highway…but I do know that what I’ve been doing works, and students are able to show that they have learned the skills that I have been asking them to learn. Six lessons isn’t really enough to make much progress on ukulele. The first day will be spent on issues of care, holding, basic strumming, and the C chord…and if there is time, the F Chord. The second lesson is review and more work on C and F (perhaps introducing F). The third session reviews the previous day and then introduces G (in my approach) and that becomes a focus for the next couple of days. That’s already 5 of the 6 days. Ukulele can be a full year unit if you wish to do it–moving to other concepts such as chord melody and composition throughout the year (once a “critical mass” of chords are used.

I’m so very glad that you found ukulele–I’m so very glad that I found ukulele–and I am so very happy you are bringing it to your students. As a classically trained tubist and vocalist, I practiced when I had to, and always had to do so in a special location. Performances were always linked to other instruments or ensembles. The ukulele is truly amazing…relatively inexpensive (even the most expensive ukuleles cost less than my tuba–or even the cheapest bassoons), completely portable, and capable of being an instrument that provides harmonic support, rhythmic support, and eventually melody (and all of those combined). I find myself practicing ukulele all the time because it is fun, I can do so anywhere, I can play whatever kind of music that I want to play, and it really doesn’t bother anyone–in fact, it usually makes them smile (unlike what happens if I sing a Mozart tenor aria or play a solo work on my tuba).

Illinois Music Education Conference 2020

I had the privilege to present a couple of sessions at the Illinois Music Education Conference on Friday, one of them a ukulele session. I’d like to thank the ILMEA for making it very affordable for presenters (they offered a $50 rate for the convention). Conventions “headliners” are paid for their work–however, most presenters (unless sponsored) pay for themselves to travel to and attend a convention.

Just a few thoughts following the presentation…

First, the automatic tuner I like to use is the Jowoom Smart Tuner T2. If you want to buy one, consider using this referral code (same price, but the purchase through the link sends a small commission my way): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G8J1XQ3/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=techinmusiedu-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G8J1XQ3&linkId=6bfe6e440ec892757a1942dd56265dd4

Second, my method, based on the videos and using Google Slides, is available at www.buymeacoffee.com/UkeStuff. If you go to “store” you will find the very affordable priced method.

Third, I was playing my Enya Nova Concert Ukulele…highly recommended.

And finally…thank you for coming and learning about the ukulele! You can find the session notes below.

Enya Nova AcousticPlus Travel Ukulele

My reviews and resources for the Enya Nova AcousticPlus Travel Ukulele are out now!

Michigan Music Conference Session Notes

Thank you to everyone who attended the sessions I presented at the 2020 (Hawaiian D7) Michigan Music Conference! I wanted to make sure the session notes were available here as well:

Flight Uke Tips: Humidity and Ukuleles

I have started a continuing series of Ukulele Tips for Flight Ukuleles. This article appeared in their social media on January 14, 2020.  The tips are meant to fit in a single Instagram Post. Many thanks to Flight Ukulele for making this possible. The photo is from the Oasis website.

Show care for your ukulele by maintaining its level of humidity.  We refer to humidity in terms of “relative humidity (RH),” which is the amount of water that the air can hold based on the ambient temperature.  Ukuleles prefer conditions between 40% to 60% RH.  If you don’t know the RH level, you can buy an indoor weather station or a hygrometer, and some household thermostats show humidity levels.

It is uncommon to over-humidify a ukulele, but it is easy to under-humidify one.  If you live in a dry area or where indoor heat is used, indoor conditions are likely below 40% RH.  While laminate ukuleles are able to handle more extreme conditions than solid wood ukuleles, they still have wooden fretboards and can benefit from attention to humidity levels.  

A lack of humidity causes wood to shrink, resulting in sharp fret ends and cracks.  Sharp fret ends are easily fixed and are a sign that you should do a better job of humidifying your instrument; cracks require the skill of a luthier to repair and are a problem that is best avoided.  If you feel sharp fret ends, put the ukulele in a bathroom with a shower (not IN the shower), letting the room get nice and steamy.  Allow the ukulele to absorb the water vapor in the air and repeat this process a couple of times over a day or two.  Afterwards, check the fret ends to see if they still need to be filed down.

How do you keep a ukulele humidified?  First, store it in a bag or case.  Cases do a better job of “locking in” humidity, but gig bags work, too.  Next, purchase a humidifier such as the D’Addario Humidipak or the Oasis OH-18 or OH-32.  Finally, soak or fill the humidifier with distilled water and store it inside (or next to) your ukulele while it is in its bag or case.  The humidifier will release water vapor into the air inside the case (or gig bag).  You can also make your own humidifiers with sponges or water beads, and you can buy hygrometers that can be stored in the case with your ukulele.

It is easier to care for a ukulele than to repair one—so store your ukulele between 40% to 60% RH.

Flight Uke Tips: Changing Strings

I have started what I hope will be a series of Ukulele Tips for Flight Ukuleles. This article appeared in their social media on December 8, 2019.  The photo above was used by Flight Ukuleles. The tips are meant to fit in a single Instagram Post (This one exceeded a single post, but future versions will be shorter to allow for this). Many thanks to Flight Ukulele for making this possible.


If you are a ukulele player, you should learn how to change your own ukulele strings. String maintenance is a basic part of ukulele care, and strings are one of the few things you can change or replace on your ukulele. In addition, music stores charge a surpising amount to change strings so you will save money by learning how to change your own strings.

The more you play your ukulele, the more frequently you will need to change your strings. It is common to change strings at least twice a year. A string change is needed if a ukulele starts to sound less lively or if new intonation issues develop with an instrument. If your strings have been on your ukulele for a while, check the underside of your strings. Frets will dent or eat away at the underside of a string—something that you cannot tell simply by looking at or playing a ukulele— and those dents impact the vibration of the string.

When you change strings, have a string winder (with a string clipper) on hand, as well as a tool to tighten screws and nuts on the tuning heads (see the Music Nomad Octopus), some fretboard oil (for wooden fretboards and bridges), and a tuner. You should also have a soft towel or an instrument mat on which you can lay your ukulele while you work on it.

There are four different types of ukulele bridges: slotted bridges (see the Flight TUS 35), tie bar bridges (see the Flight DUC380), pin bridges (see the Flight DUS445) and pull through bridges (see the Flight Voyager). There are two different types of headstocks: solid headtocks and slotted headstocks. Most Flight ukuleles have geared tuners, but there are ukuleles like the Flight MUS-2 that have friction tuners, and there are still other ukuleles that have planetary tuners. Regardless of the combination of bridge and headstock of your ukulele, there is a YouTube video that will show you how to restring your ukulele—just search for it!

When you change your strings, they will keep going out of tune until they have stretched and settled. You can physically stretch the strings after they are attached, or you can tune (and keep tuning) the strings a little sharp until they begin to settle, and then play (and keep tuning) that ukulele until it starts holding its tuning—generally about 30 minutes of playing.

Your new ukulele strings will continue to stretch over time, so be ready to tune them whenever necessary. Then, at some point, those strings will reach the end of their lifespan. Your ukulele may sound “less lively,” there may be new intonation issues, or you may feel some bumps under the strings. When that happens, it will be time to change your strings again.