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View Full Version : Jake Shimabukuro's Tenor?



commandercup
03-04-2009, 03:44 PM
I know that Jake Shimabukuro uses a custom Tenor... but is it a larger size than most?

I have in my possession a Kala KA-TG which looks quite a bit smaller than Jake's instrument even though its also advertised as a tenor... Are there slight variations between tenors with size as well? I'd like a larger instrument... although not with a baritone's tunings.

Thanks!

Rubbertoe
03-04-2009, 04:07 PM
Usually tenors are about the same size give or take 1/2 and inch or so. I believe Jake might have an elongated neck (someone correct me if I'm wrong) but his uke is so tricked out that it can only be called a Jake-tenor.

You can buy a baritone and string it with gCEA strings (Aquila makes bari strings in this tuning) or you can buy the standard tuning along with the gCEA strings and swap the two g strings to get GCEA tuning.

commandercup
03-04-2009, 04:12 PM
Is the tone/sound/intonation effected by stringing a baritone with GCEA? Is there any reason why they don't normally string them like the other ukes?

Rubbertoe
03-04-2009, 04:27 PM
I'm not sure. I think when the baritone was invented it was simply strung differently and much later, Aquila found that there was a demand for traditional C tuning for baris.

commandercup
03-04-2009, 04:31 PM
ahh ok thanks, sounds like a good alternative then, I'll probably try it out sometime when I get some funds

upskydowncloud
03-04-2009, 11:06 PM
I know that Jake Shimabukuro uses a custom Tenor... but is it a larger size than most?

I have in my possession a Kala KA-TG which looks quite a bit smaller than Jake's instrument even though its also advertised as a tenor... Are there slight variations between tenors with size as well? I'd like a larger instrument... although not with a baritone's tunings.

Thanks!

As far as I'm aware the name tenor refers to the scale length (the area from the nut to the bridge), which means that you could have two instruments with the same number of frets but different sized bodies although they are referred to as tenors.

Jakes uke is fully custom so it's unlikely to be anything like your Kala, it looks a similar shape to my Kamaka but it could be larger. It's hard to tell on a youtube video which is all I have to go by!

I know Aldrine has played the Jake signature model and has probably played Jake's uke so I'm sure he's the best person to let us know.

I also forgot to say that I tried a Lanikai tenor in the shop before I eventually got my Kamaka and they were completely different sizes, in body and neck size but were advertised as tenors.

commandercup
03-05-2009, 01:36 AM
pah, so there are larger bodied tenors? and production ukes with elongated necks?

deach
03-05-2009, 01:39 AM
pah, so there are larger bodied tenors? and production ukes with elongated necks?

Yes and yes.

commandercup
03-05-2009, 01:43 AM
what are the reputable uke sites to purchase from? I don't have any local stores... except a guitar center and thus I've ordered from musicguymic (MGM) and have been browsing through the forums.

oh and what are the chances of getting a uke signed by Jake at a concert? I just noticed that he's coming to Alexandria!

deach
03-05-2009, 01:50 AM
what are the reputable uke sites to purchase from? I don't have any local stores... except a guitar center and thus I've ordered from musicguymic (MGM) and have been browsing through the forums.

oh and what are the chances of getting a uke signed by Jake at a concert? I just noticed that he's coming to Alexandria!

The Birchmere is pretty small. I'd say your chances are good.

Besides MGM, visit the UU sponsors also ukulelefriend.com - I've bought 4 from Shawn and he's great to work with.

commandercup
03-05-2009, 01:54 AM
ok sweet, thanks so much! I guess I'll just browse/ask around on those sites/ebay for some larger tenors with longer necks

oh and I hope I'll be able to get a uke signed! I guess I'll take mine... :P

GX9901
03-05-2009, 04:47 AM
I think Jake's tenor is a normal tenor scaled ukulele and the body doesn't look to me to be significantly bigger than normal tenors. It might look bigger than your tenor because Jake is a really small guy. There really aren't many long scale tenors in existance at all. The longest scale production tenor I know of is about 17.25", which is only 0.25" longer than a standard tenor. For a truly long scale tenor (say 18" or longer), you pretty much would have to order a custom built one.

Jake usually greets the audience after the concert, so you should definitely bring your uke to get signed by him. It's a pretty cool experience.

Kanaka916
03-05-2009, 05:32 AM
Here's a thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=558) about Jake's Uke and also an article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin . . . and this was back in late 06 and all the ukes were gone by Jan 07.



Lottery is on for Jake ukes

Today is the first day to enter a lottery to purchase a limited-edition Jake Shimabukuro Signature Model Ukulele made exclusively by Kamaka Ukulele. Only 100 of these ukuleles will be made and will only be available for purchase through this lottery. The retail price is $5,500.

Due to hundreds of inquiries about purchasing the Jake Signature Model even before the design was finalized, the musician and Kamaka Hawaii have coordinated the lottery to determine purchase eligibility and to promote fairness. No preferences will be given to any lottery entries.

The tenor four-string, designed by luthier Casey Kamaka to Shimabukuro's specifications, will be individually hand-numbered and autographed, and personally inspected by Shimabukuro to ensure quality.

The Jake Signature model features premium curly koa, ebony fingerboard and bridge with Jake's new logo inlayed in mother of pearl with an abalone heart rosette. Other features include rosewood top and back binding, flat-top-style headstock found only on Jake's personal ukes, gold Schaller keys with ebony buttons, a Fishman Acoustic Matrix pickup and a custom case.

"I have been practicing the ukulele for over 25 years, and nothing inspires me more than playing a Kamaka four-string tenor," Shimabukuro said. "I am so proud to be associated with the Kamaka family, and it's such an honor to be working with them in releasing my first signature model."

deach
03-05-2009, 05:43 AM
...There really aren't many long scale tenors in existance at all. The longest scale production tenor I know of is about 17.25", which is only 0.25" longer than a standard tenor. For a truly long scale tenor (say 18" or longer), you pretty much would have to order a custom built one.

....

Doesn't Kanilea have a long-scale tenor?

My Ogata is an 18.25" tenor.

upskydowncloud
03-05-2009, 05:58 AM
Yeah you'll be able to get it signed if the venue is small, I know a member on here (Davoomac) got his ukes signed a few times when Jake went to Guam, I think he had his picture taken with him too which is really cool!

Fred Miu
03-05-2009, 06:06 AM
Doesn't Kanilea have a long-scale tenor?

yep they do. or at least when i played them they felt just a little longer than most uke i play.

GX9901
03-05-2009, 06:50 AM
Doesn't Kanilea have a long-scale tenor?

My Ogata is an 18.25" tenor.

If you're thinking of the Kanile'a "super tenor", it's 17" scale with a big body. Kelii tenor is 17.25". Your Ogata is pretty much a custom instrument, no? Ogata and Pahu Kani (I'm sure there are others too) makes 18"+ long scale tenors, but I think of them as custom instruments.

deach
03-05-2009, 06:52 AM
If you're thinking of the Kanile'a "super tenor", it's 17" scale with a big body. Kelii tenor is 17.25". Your Ogata is pretty much a custom instrument, no? Ogata and Pahu Kani (I'm sure there are others too) makes 18"+ long scale tenors, but I think of them as custom instruments.

I guess you'd put them in a custom category although he made 7 of my model.

commandercup
03-05-2009, 07:50 AM
heh well thanks for the tips, I guess I'll go to the show with a tenor and see if he can hold it up to his 0_0... I can do a size comparison in person :P

NukeDOC
03-05-2009, 07:56 AM
Jake usually greets the audience after the concert, so you should definitely bring your uke to get signed by him. It's a pretty cool experience.

it was funny how we thought he was at least 5'8" while on stage. when i finally got to meet and greet, i was looking down to speak to him and i was about 2ft away from him. im only 5'6"... in the morning.

commandercup
03-05-2009, 08:03 AM
it was funny how we thought he was at least 5'8" while on stage. when i finally got to meet and greet, i was looking down to speak to him and i was about 2ft away from him. im only 5'6"... in the morning.


0_0, that might be why the tenor's look so large on him... I'm 5'8''..

thejumpingflea
03-05-2009, 09:15 AM
I get looks all the time when I play sopranos.

I am a 6'3'' guy... haha

I am going to guess that Jake's Tenor is pretty standard in size. He is a small dude.

Pippin
03-05-2009, 10:27 AM
I will be meeting with Jake on Saturday (for Ukulele Player Magazine). I guess I will know then just how tall he is and if the tenor is custom-sized, but, I doubt that they changed the body dimensions.

commandercup
03-05-2009, 10:32 AM
I will be meeting with Jake on Saturday (for Ukulele Player Magazine). I guess I will know then just how tall he is and if the tenor is custom-sized, but, I doubt that they changed the body dimensions.

sweet! guess that's good news for me xD I'll check the site for the update!

are there any print magazines about ukes? lol

Pippin
03-05-2009, 12:02 PM
sweet! guess that's good news for me xD I'll check the site for the update!

are there any print magazines about ukes? lol

"Frets" did a feature on Jake a few years ago. Acoustic Magazine, in UK did an issue on ukulele... Samwise, a member here wrote a lot of the material in that issue.

geoffsuke
03-05-2009, 12:22 PM
this got me onto looking at how much a custom uke would cost. i was really surprised at how cheap (compared to what i thought) it was. though the prices i was looking at came from a limited list of features. so we could say it was semi custom.

but hey, worth taking a look

nikolo727
03-05-2009, 02:10 PM
im 6"4 but also 320 pounds. just picture how a sopranino looks on me. and yes i can play one even though people mistake my fingers for sausages.

Kaneohe til the end
03-05-2009, 09:36 PM
Here's a thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=558) about Jake's Uke and also an article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin . . . and this was back in late 06 and all the ukes were gone by Jan 07.

if i remember correctly, (too lazy to check) the jake model and jake's actual uke are two very different things. the jake model doesnt have a slotted headstock or jake's $200 tuning pegs (of doom).

Kanaka916
03-06-2009, 04:42 AM
You're absolutely correct, Jake's uke is custom and the JS signature instrument is somewhat a custom and built without the accessories Jake has i.e. radiused fretboard, tuning pegs, slot head etc. but I do believe the slot head was an option (?).

upskydowncloud
03-06-2009, 06:26 AM
You're absolutely correct, Jake's uke is custom and the JS signature instrument is somewhat a custom and built without the accessories Jake has i.e. radiused fretboard, tuning pegs, slot head etc. but I do believe the slot head was an option (?).

Hey as far as I'm aware the Jake model had a set specification so you couldn't get a slotted headstock. There's a photo of Aldrine with a version of it and all the other photos I've seen are the usual headstock but with a flat top.

Kamaka only offer the slotted headstock on their custom ukes as I asked them about it when I was looking into the 'special' Kamakas. The last I heard (in December) they still aren't taking custom orders. I'm sure that would change if you offered them a blank cheque, or you happen to be The Rock or Adam Sandler.

liquid_wind
05-11-2009, 11:08 AM
What's a radiused fretboard, and what tuning pegs are worth $200?

GX9901
05-11-2009, 11:32 AM
What's a radiused fretboard, and what tuning pegs are worth $200?

A radiused fingerboard has a curved contour that theoretically makes it easier to do bar chords. Here's a picture that shows a radius of 16"-18":

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_hMJKe0Vprf4/SfIxao-jJaI/AAAAAAAAAso/Sha-3nLz-W8/s640/DSC02586.JPG

The "$200 tuners" are Gilbert tuners (http://www.specialtytuners.com/ukelele.html). They are classical guitar tuners but can be used on a uke. Here are a couple of closeup shots of them on a uke:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_hMJKe0Vprf4/Sei7C7t7ASI/AAAAAAAAApc/PZKylnceo70/s640/DSC02581.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_hMJKe0Vprf4/Sei7JbccgzI/AAAAAAAAApk/-buDI6N-ybc/s640/DSC02578.JPG

wearymicrobe
05-11-2009, 01:57 PM
What's a radiused fretboard, and what tuning pegs are worth $200?

I have waverly's on my 8 and I think they were ~400$ or so with the MOP. They turn smoother and look better then the grovers but they both keep my instruments in tune. No better no worse.

As for the extended neck, I have never seen a extended neck tenor kanile'a. I have seen it in a concert and soprano. The bigger body stuff like the S.Tenors they make and I have seen a few others try but never in a long length neck.

My old Ogata had a 18.25 length neck off the top of my head, stretched out. I like it reminds me of my 24.5 Gretsch's EE.

I would love to see one of the Kamaka J.S. builds but never been able to locate a owner. Lot so people on the list, but no owners yet that I am aware of. I can think of a dozen builders off the top of my head who I personally would send my money to before Kamaka.