On a totally unrelated note, I just took a bath and took my Makala Waterman with me. I didn't submerge it, but it did get wet and its tone wasn't any worse than otherwise. It is an odd little soprano. To my ears it is making sour notes, but the tuner says everything is in tune. I have to just resign myself to its idiosyncratic voice, I suppose.
My kamaka was, on the other hand, quite nice to play. I didn't really do much with it. It was more of a session of getting used to it and its size (two inches shorter than a baritone). I just played around with some chords to see what the kamaka liked to play. Then for some reason I started playing an F mixolydian with its first interval diminished. It made very gypsy-ish music.
I recently made a really big leap for me and my music. I finally saw how to use modes. I always practiced them because, like a good nazi, I just do what I'm supposed to do. I never questioned the value of it although I never had a sincere understanding of it. I could have probably written a fine essay that mouthed all the right things but now I can actually see the big picture.
What I do is noodle around in a mode for a while and then intellectually erase the shape I'm working with, superimpose another shape, and start noodling in another mode. It is probably something that others do naturally, but I am not natural so it is a quantum leap for me.