Friday, November 11, 2011

My Latest Adoption: Vintage Lanai Model #50

I confess to having U.A.S. (Ukulele Aquisition Syndrome) There's a few spots on the web where I'll hunt for ukes on a regular basis. Most of the time I get outbid-not to mention I think the bid gets to be way more than the particular uke is worth. Every now & again,I luck out & win a uke at opening bid. That's what happened with my Lanai. For a mere $17.50 & a shipping fee of $8.00,this little gem was now mine. It arrived yesterday and I have already named this little uke "Waldorf". Everyone take a gander at Waldorf!
Now there's a few pointers I'd like to make here on shopping vintage ukes online. I don't regret winning this one,but I will say had there been close up photos and had I been more rested when I was looking at this listing,I would've passed it up. Here's why: There was only one photo in the online listing and it was taken at a distance with no zoom features. While the seller mentioned it looked to have been repaired,they never mentioned it was indeed a sloppy repair job at the bridge. Here's a look at the bridge repair:
I wouldn't be caught dead doing that sloppy of a glue job,and what this grey stuff is I haven't a clue. I'll be more certain in a few days when the new strings stretch out,but there seems to be an intonation problem tho the overall sound of Waldorf is very full and sweet. I have a feeling I'll need to remove the bridge and put it on right.
Hint #2 in the listing which my mind didn't catch. Needs new strings,the listing said and plays great. OK,my mind just believed that tho it's illogical. If the uke has no strings,and is filthy from being in the garage or wherever,how would they know it plays great?? It's scary what the mind will blindly believe when you read something and you want to believe it. Had I been more rested,I would've asked the seller how they knew it played great when there's no strings on it? (I have done that on other listings & never got a response,which meant in those cases I never bid)
The reason I'm sharing my little errors in judgement is I want to save you,dear readers,from making these mistakes. All to often a super cheap price will make us jump and bid before we analyze the description of the uke.
Do I regret buying Waldorf? No. I'm wanting to learn more about uke restoration and repair,and if indeed I need to remove the bridge and replace it,at least it's on an inexpensive to me model.
Waldorf is a great take along to work or any other place ukulele when you want an instrument that you won't get worried about when someone just picks it up & starts plunking or leaving in the car trunk when you're rambling about. This uke was played a lot by someone as the back of the neck is smooth as butter and the feel is wonderful. Only issue with the uke is the bridge.
So when you're shopping online,remember this: if there's only one photo at a distance,ask the seller for more close up shots. If they ignore you,do not bid.
If the uke has no strings on it & the seller states it plays & sounds great,write them & ask how do they know that when there's no strings on it? A lot of dirt & grime on the uke is also a tell tale sign of not being played in a long,long,time. Again,if you don't hear from the seller just pass that listing up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank You,Egyptian Uke Players!

What an unexpected and wonderful surprise. I originally went to check this blog for comments (and had to remove a rude one-from now on all comments will be moderated!) After fixing that,I decided to check out my stats,then hit a tab called "audience" I was shown a map of the world with one nation in a very dark green meaning most of my readers at present are there. I have had over 100 page views in one day...all coming from Egypt! Seems my first baritone uke post for carols was a huge success. Which makes me a happy camper.
While I enjoy soprano & tenor uke very much,I feel my main thing is to get baritone uke more into the ukulele mainstream. It often gets treated like the "unwanted step-child" of the ukulele family. This needs to be corrected. To those readers in Egypt,please follow this blog if you haven't yet. And you all have my most heartfelt thanks. Let me know what sort of ukulele posts you'd be interested in seeing. I'll give you a preview of what's coming up: eye candy. I won a vintage Lanai soprano uke at opening bid (which was low!) I'm waiting for it to arrive to clean it up and re-string it,and then I write about it here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Deck The Halls For Baritone Ukulele

Hep Kitten strikes again with another Yuletide carol just for you baritone ukulele players,so here is her version of "Deck the Halls". Enjoy!

Deck The Halls/Baritone uke -

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hep Kitten Shows You Some Yuletide Carols for Baritone Uke

   There is a ton of Yuletide carols arranged for soprano uke but none for baritone (that I know of) So-in order to remedy this malady,I've tabbed out two carols...."O Come O Come Emmanuel",which dates back to the 9th century,and "I Saw Three Ships",which is another happy and old piece. There are chords so others can follow along & strum. I've tried to make these as simple as possible but also rich sounding. If some of the string pinches throw you & you use a plectrum,try using a thumbpick and you'll be fine.Remember to enjoy yourself in learning them!

O Come Emmanuel/I saw 3 Ships Arranged for Baritone Ukulele Sherrie Hoyer -

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review on Kamuke Magazine

I received my first issue of Kamuke today in the mail-and I have to say I think this is one fine magazine. It's been rather frustrating-in the past I've subscribed to guitar magazines,I get Fiddler magazine on a regular basis,but nothing for ukulele. I know there are some fine e-zines out there for ukulele,but as much as I love computers & the internet,there's nothing like curling up in a favorite chair with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and leisurely turning the page,reading articles and drooling over the lovely photos. Call it a generational thing but that's the way it is. (For me,anyway!)
   First thing I really like is the size-much smaller than your standard American magazine,it's a great take along with you read,measuring about 6" wide & 8 1/2" high. It covers current popular players in addition to those who were hot in the past-ukulele makers,and it even sports a centerfold of sorts-a Martin taropatch with info on this vintage beauty. 
   There's a review section covering books,DVD's,and CD's. A photo spotlight for uke players round the globe. The overall quality of the magazine is excellent-from the quality of the paper to the rich photographs. 
   I see room for even more growth should Kamuke add columns-perhaps one for baritone and tenor uke in the DGAE tuning. A repair column for those who are aspiring to become well versed in the restoration & repair of ukuleles. A world of possibilities exist in this petite but powerful publication. I'll be ordering my next issue soon!