Saturday, August 28, 2010


After reading several posts about experimenting with strings, I decided to try it.  I've been buying Mahalos on Amazon and have given away 2 so far in my goal to be the Johnny Appleseed of ukes.  I put Aquilas on them which really helps the sound.

I also have a new banjo uke--an aNueNue.  It's got a nice antiqued look and pretty good sound.  The uke came with Orca strings, which are black flourocarbon and nice and bright in tone.  I put a set of Orcas on my Bushman Jenny concert (replacing Aquilas) and think they help liven that uke, too.

My Pono tenor came with some unknown black strings that are very thin, which gave it a nice, but not very rich tone. Since Pono is made by Ko'olau, I thought their strings might work, so I put on a set of low G (wound 4th) Ko'olau Golds on it and really like the difference.  The tone is much warmer and it is much easier to put out the volume.  The low G is nice on the tenor, too.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back to the Pono

I have been neglecting my lovely Pono tenor for a while.  Last night, I pulled it out of the case and plugged it in to a new set of headphones.  I hadn't been able to get much sound out of it to my ears, but it was completely different through the amp and 'phones and I was really happy with the ringing tone and nuance with changing volume in strums.  Made me remember to play all of my ukes as often as possible!
I bought this uke at the Windy City Uke Fest in 2008 up in Chicago.  Kimo Hussey gave a seminar and played THIS uke at one of the evening events, so I knew it would do wonderful things in the right hands.  Kimo told me it was a uke that I could grow into and I now have an idea of what he was talking about. Thanks, Kimo.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Public Domain Songs

A post at Gospel Ukulele listed some public domain hymns, so I checked out the reference.  They sell copies of old songs, but have several lists that are said to be in the public domain, so OK to perform without paying royalties.  Here's their link. The site has a lot of disclaimers and indicates it only applies to US, so caveat emptor!

Whole Earth Nuclear Uklele Orchestra

The KDHX fundraiser with WENUO seemed to be a success to me.  I estimated over 100 people were there mid-evening.  They had some issues with the sound at first, 'cause it appeared that the sound guy wasn't used to working with ukes and didn't realize that they don't produce the same volume as a guitar.  The musicians kept asking for increased levels on each mike or input.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time playing or listening. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Whole Earth Nuclear Ukulele Orchestra

KDHX radio, the only, independent radio station in St. Louis is having a fund-raiser on Wednesday, February 17 at 7 pm. The great significance of the event is the appearance of the Whole Earth Nuclear Ukulele Orchestra giving its first, and maybe only, performance of songs of the Grateful Dead. The WENUO features members of several well-known St. Louis area bands. Here's a clip on YouTube of Russian Lullaby by two of the players.

The concert will be at the 2720 Club, 2720 Cherokee, in St. Louis City. The suggested entry donation is $8.00.

KDHX really deserves our support for its presentation of every type of music imaginable. The volunteer DJs program their own shows. Check them out on the net if you are not in the StL area.

New and Old Ukes

After a long delay, I'll try to keep up with this blog, since I have ONE follower. Thanks, by the way.

I follow many, many blogs daily and find a lot that is repeated, but still enjoy everyone's opinions and efforts.

I recently sold two ukes--a Gold Tone Banjolele and a Flea--and gave away one of my first acquisitions--an Oscar Schmidt concert--to a friend who had expressed an interest in playing. She's a nun, so I am insisting on her posting Dominique on YouTube when she's ready!

You're age is showing if you remember the Singing Nun.

Anyway, having lightened the uke load I, of course, had to get some more...Our uke group leader, Karl Markl of St. Louis, MO, has been modifying the Gold Tone banjo ukes. He put steel strings on a baritone, tuned it to GCEA and added an arm rest. I like it a little better than the old GT since it sounds more like a banjo, which is the point, anyway.

The other acquisition is a concert Eleuke--unfortunately on back order, since I wanted the mahogany rather than the red or blue. I am fascinated by all of the videos and the range of effects possible from these ukes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stormy Sunday and UAS

The rain started early Sunday morning. Nothing like in Houston, but it still LOOKS like a tropical storm with the winds whipping the trees and the rain coming down in sheets. It should blow through by the afternoon, though, so we're really pretty lucky.

A little more about Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome. After playing my $75 soprano size uke for a while, I decided to try out a larger one and see how the sound was different, so I searched Ebay. Found an Oscar Schmidt unfinished spruce top which I got for about $25. It was quite a change from the first one. The wood was much thinner and it had geared tuners rather than the pegs, which allows for more precise tuning. I read somewhere that the original ukes in Hawaii weren't covered in lacquer but were rubbed with coconut oil. We happened to have a jar of that in the kitchen (don't ask) and I tried it. I was really afraid that the thing would smell like coconuts and that it might go rancid and smell even worse, but neither has happened. The oil rubbed right in and left a nice sheen. While the Oscar isn't a great uke, it has a good sustained tone and did feel like a step up from the first one.

Being a concert size, the neck is longer and wider than the soprano, so I think it is a little easier on my fingers, too.

Next, the search continues---