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---

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Here on the mainland USA we usually say "you" ku-lay-lee. The correct pronunciation is "oo" ku-lay-lee--so it's also "ook" not "uke". So that, at least, explains the name of the blog.

I started playing uke about a year ago, after struggling with classical guitar in college, teaching myself sax at 30, and trying to teach myself electric bass. A friend started on uke and the local community college offered a course, so I thought I'd give it a try. Also, they're fairly cheap. I got my first from a local music store for about $75. It was fine, but there is a little thing called Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome, that must be inoculated into every instrument and I was infected right away. After my year of playing, I've donated the first one and "acquired" five others.

I hope to ramble about my experiences with my ukes and, occasionally, rant or expound on various other topics of interest which may include Buddhism, astronomy and books in general.