PDA

View Full Version : What will the ukulele of the future be?



turtledrum
04-19-2015, 02:08 PM
Would love to hear your ideas about what ukuleles will break into the market down the line. Anyone hear anything about instruments soon to come? New materials, shapes, sizes? Thanks!

timmit65
04-19-2015, 02:26 PM
So would the manufactures! ;)

As they build new types or styles, the good sellers will be copied and become popular. For example, the bass uke is all around now, but was unheard of 5 or 6 years ago.

If you have a good product idea, patent it and call Kala!

stevepetergal
04-19-2015, 04:07 PM
In the not too distant future, wooden ukuleles will be a thing of the past. Like ivory piano keytops, they will become more and more rare, due to high cost and regulation. Eventually it will be unreasonable. This is why I think Blackbird is on the cutting edge. The future holds more development of alternate materials.

I think Guitars will eventually see the same fate.

igorthebarbarian
04-19-2015, 04:26 PM
Using your home's 3-D printer to print your own at home!

Mik
04-19-2015, 04:48 PM
My prediction would be more eco-friendly, renewable material types just like how cars (hybrid, etc.), and "green" buildings are emerging more and more now.

Sylvan
04-19-2015, 05:11 PM
I think we will see more ukes like the Fluke and Flea. By that I mean ukes made of a combination of synthetic materials and wood. They may have the ability to place digital images on the face or back to allow people to personalize their instruments.

RAB11
04-19-2015, 08:45 PM
Touch screen fretboards and frickin laser beams for strings.

Luke El U
04-19-2015, 09:39 PM
The "Hololele". A fully playable hologram of any uke you chose with the sound modeling to boot. Enter a number and, poof, you're playing a vintage Martin soprano or solid koa KoAloha tenor with Aquila reds. Press another number and you're jamming with Daniel HoloHo. Complete with a Holohula girls for your viewing pleasure.

Tootler
04-19-2015, 09:41 PM
They won't change fundamentally. Part of the appeal of the ukulele is its simplicity and the fact it's made of natural materials.

Hippie Dribble
04-19-2015, 09:43 PM
The "Hololele". A fully playable hologram of any uke you chose with the sound modeling to boot. Enter a number and, poof, you're playing a vintage Martin soprano or solid koa KoAloha tenor with Aquila reds. Press another number and you're jamming with Daniel HoloHo. Complete with a Holohula girls for your viewing pleasure.

^ Best thing on the internet today. :worship:

DownUpDave
04-20-2015, 12:13 AM
They won't change fundamentally. Part of the appeal of the ukulele is its simplicity and the fact it's made of natural materials.

I agree with this train of thought. Be it ukuleles, guitars, violins, cellos etc. wood plays and important role in the tactile experience . No doubt more instruments might be made out of composite types of materials.

I have read interesting articles about using alternate wood types that are local and sustainable. Mya Moe is a big proponent of using myrtle, port orford cedar, maple and walnut, all locally grown trees.

Pirate Jim
04-20-2015, 12:41 AM
Touch screen fretboards and frickin laser beams for strings.

Sharks optional! :D

Phluffy the Destroyer
04-20-2015, 01:49 AM
My prediction would be more eco-friendly, renewable material types just like how cars (hybrid, etc.), and "green" buildings are emerging more and more now.

Wood is about as "green" as you can get. It literally grows on trees...

But I think you have a point, and I'll take it one step further:

I think the future of ukulele is hemp. I predict that hemp-friendly states will start manufacturing "Weedulele's". Soprano and concert ukulele's will be known as "nickle" and "dime" ukes among the more trendy players. None of the nicknames for tenors and baritones will ever catch on, but the Ubass will be know as the "Maui Wowie". However, about a week after it goes public, Weedulele will start tracking a high level of return merchandise with the sound holes burned out to such an enlarged state that the ukes are no longer playable. Some genius in R&D will notice that they appear to have been smoked, and in the second week after Weedulele goes public they will introduce the first commercially made, playable ukulele bong.

The most popular song themes for Weedulele song writers will be odes to Mr. Hand, and emotional ballads about ill-fated trips to 7-11 for munchies. Players will no longer make references about intonation or sustain, and people will simply begin to refer to the quality of a ukulele at "righteous" or "harsh". President Obama's high school choom gang will reunite and put out an album, but Michelle will not let Barack to play because Weeduleles encourage people to eat junk food. MSNBC will not carry the story, and Fox News will begin referring to all ukuleles as gateway instruments.

stevepetergal
04-20-2015, 02:30 AM
I think it will add two more strings and be linearly-tuned lower.

And a bit bigger. Perhaps like this super-baritone:

78642

(Hmm... I guess we're already there) Welcome to the future!! (love those Aquila Reds)

hollisdwyer
04-20-2015, 02:55 AM
Wood is about as "green" as you can get. It literally grows on trees...

But I think you have a point, and I'll take it one step further:

I think the future of ukulele is hemp. I predict that hemp-friendly states will start manufacturing "Weedulele's". Soprano and concert ukulele's will be known as "nickle" and "dime" ukes among the more trendy players. None of the nicknames for tenors and baritones will ever catch on, but the Ubass will be know as the "Maui Wowie". However, about a week after it goes public, Weedulele will start tracking a high level of return merchandise with the sound holes burned out to such an enlarged state that the ukes are no longer playable. Some genius in R&D will notice that they appear to have been smoked, and in the second week after Weedulele goes public they will introduce the first commercially made, playable ukulele bong.

The most popular song themes for Weedulele song writers will be odes to Mr. Hand, and emotional ballads about ill-fated trips to 7-11 for munchies. Players will no longer make references about intonation or sustain, and people will simply begin to refer to the quality of a ukulele at "righteous" or "harsh". President Obama's high school choom gang will reunite and put out an album, but Michelle will not let Barack to play because Weeduleles encourage people to eat junk food. MSNBC will not carry the story, and Fox News will begin referring to all ukuleles as gateway instruments.

Did I meet you at the first Woodstock? All seriousness aside, the value assigned to well made wooden instrument over the past three or more centuries indicates that well made instruments will be always remain desirable.

chuck in ny
04-20-2015, 03:01 AM
hopefully things stay wood. there's room for composites. some of the carbon fiber violins are outstanding and relatively reasonable.
bear in mind the composite people haven't had the decades to improve and tweak things. there is a small chance that they will be able to be improved. at that point all bets are off. i don't think anyone has tried carbon fiber with a solid wood top or any other zany scheme.

Rllink
04-20-2015, 03:43 AM
It will have six strings, it will be tuned linear, will be made of plastic or composite, and it will be shaped something like a mandolin. :cool:

Brenda Wong
04-20-2015, 04:00 AM
In the not too distant future, wooden ukuleles will be a thing of the past. Like ivory piano keytops, they will become more and more rare, due to high cost and regulation. Eventually it will be unreasonable. This is why I think Blackbird is on the cutting edge. The future holds more development of alternate materials.

I think Guitars will eventually see the same fate.

Does it mean we should all hold on tight to our rare wood instrument? It may worth something 50 years from now.

SteveZ
04-20-2015, 04:02 AM
It will have six strings, it will be tuned linear, will be made of plastic or composite, and it will be shaped something like a mandolin. :cool:

This may be more true than folk know....

Part of the popularity of the ukulele over the last couple decades has been the progression to be more "guitar-like" in size (they have gotten bigger) and function (acoustic-electric, solid-electric, steel-strings, etc.). This has increased the ukulele's versatility, resulting in an increase in customer base. While there will always be a "soprano traditionalist" market, the concert-tenor-baritone-AE/SE market now comprises a sizeable chunk of the ukulele industry's output. An interesting group on Facebook is the "Tenor Guitar and Baritone Ukulele Group," which shows how close the line between these two instruments is. Banjoleles come up now and then as discussion items on the primo banjo forums, and there is apparent acceptance there of the banjolele as a banjo "breed."

The ukulele's future will be determined by how adaptable the instrument can be to the genres popular among today's 25-45 age demographic. The industry will respond with instrument hybrids (size, shape, function and materials) to satisfy the musical tastes of that demographic, because as they define the music future they also define the supportive industrial trend. Also, as this demographic get progressively older, the more disposable income they have to purchase the industry's wares.

As a non-"soprano traditionalist" whose genre preferences go from "Gulf and Western," straight rock (e.g., Dire Straits, Moody Blues, etc.) and some crossover folk (Crosby, Stills; John Denver, James Taylor, etc.), the classic Koa Soprano often falls musically short, but the larger, more tonal ukulele evolutions do well. What got me to first try ukulele was not "soprano-traditional," but the larger sizes as being adaptable to my genre preferences similar to how the tenor guitar has adapted. I must not be alone, as the ukulele industry seems to have broadened their marketing into targeting the "rock" generations who normally become (or are) guitar-centric. Please excuse my ramblings, but an understanding of what the future brings is helped by seeing what led to today's market.

Guitar sales are many times greater than ukulele sales, and ukuleles today are mirroring guitars in many ways (sizes, shapes, function, materials). Watching how guitars evolve should indicate how the ukulele industry will probably take tomorrow's ukulele(s). Also, just listen to today's "Top 40" radio stations. Many of those tunes will be "golden oldies" in two-four decades that future "older folk" will want to perform themselves singularly or in fun groups, and they will demand instruments which can support this musical market. It's a reasonable bet that the ukulele industry will respond accordingly.

stevepetergal
04-20-2015, 04:04 AM
I think we will see more ukes ... made of a combination of synthetic materials and wood...

Yes, I'm sure you're right. But, this too is just an evolutionary step. The Flea-like ukes (wood and plastic) will eventually go the way of the Dodo, as well.

kkimura
04-20-2015, 04:12 AM
I'm hoping Martin will come out with a HPL tenor ala OXK.

spookelele
04-20-2015, 04:16 AM
I think it will be 3d printed ukes using something like the eCoa stuff.
They already have a wood resin for 3d printers that apparently is somewhat wood like.
I would think that the technology behind the 3d materials will just get better.

What if chuck moore designed one uke, and then it could be cloned everywhere by anyone?

I think something like that is the future. The only thing holding 3d printing back right now is the cost. But what if kinko's (now fedex?) installed affordable large scale 3d printers?

Some of the stuff people have already printed... is amazing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TCGbdwpxXY

Rllink
04-20-2015, 04:18 AM
This may be more true than folk know....

Part of the popularity of the ukulele over the last couple decades has been the progression to be more "guitar-like" in size (they have gotten bigger) and function (acoustic-electric, solid-electric, steel-strings, etc.). This has increased the ukulele's versatility, resulting in an increase in customer base. While there will always be a "soprano traditionalist" market, the concert-tenor-baritone-AE/SE market now comprises a sizeable chunk of the ukulele industry's output. An interesting group on Facebook is the "Tenor Guitar and Baritone Ukulele Group," which shows how close the line between these two instruments is. Banjoleles come up now and then as discussion items on the primo banjo forums, and there is apparent acceptance there of the banjolele as a banjo "breed."

The ukulele's future will be determined by how adaptable the instrument can be to the genres popular among today's 25-45 age demographic. The industry will respond with instrument hybrids (size, shape, function and materials) to satisfy the musical tastes of that demographic, because as they define the music future they also define the supportive industrial trend. Also, as this demographic get progressively older, the more disposable income they have to purchase the industry's wares.

As a non-"soprano traditionalist" whose genre preferences go from "Gulf and Western," straight rock (e.g., Dire Straits, Moody Blues, etc.) and some crossover folk (Crosby, Stills; John Denver, James Taylor, etc.), the classic Koa Soprano often falls musically short, but the larger, more tonal ukulele evolutions do well. What got me to first try ukulele was not "soprano-traditional," but the larger sizes as being adaptable to my genre preferences similar to how the tenor guitar has adapted. I must not be alone, as the ukulele industry seems to have broadened their marketing into targeting the "rock" generations who normally become (or are) guitar-centric. Please excuse my ramblings, but an understanding of what the future brings is helped by seeing what led to today's market.

Guitar sales are many times greater than ukulele sales, and ukuleles today are mirroring guitars in many ways (sizes, shapes, function, materials). Watching how guitars evolve should indicate how the ukulele industry will probably take tomorrow's ukulele(s). Also, just listen to today's "Top 40" radio stations. Many of those tunes will be "golden oldies" in two-four decades that future "older folk" will want to perform themselves singularly or in fun groups, and they will demand instruments which can support this musical market. It's a reasonable bet that the ukulele industry will respond accordingly.I was only half joking when I posted it.

Down Up Dick
04-20-2015, 05:24 AM
In the not too distant future, wooden ukuleles will be a thing of the past. Like ivory piano keytops, they will become more and more rare, due to high cost and regulation. Eventually it will be unreasonable. This is why I think Blackbird is on the cutting edge. The future holds more development of alternate materials.

I think Guitars will eventually see the same fate.

I couldn't agree more. Instruments have always changed and improved over the years, but now computers have sped everything up. One can "build" an instrument and try it and tweak it without even lifting a wrench or a hammer. The tree huggers will eventually interfere and pass so many laws that wooden instruments will become too expensive for home plunkers to afford.

Brass instruments had three valves for years and years, but, now, lots of them have four and even five. And, ribald colored, plastic brass instruments are common now. And so are all kinds of plastic and electronic stringed instruments. Even drum sets are electronic! They don't even have skin heads--weird! Wood winds are plastic now too and wildly colored.

Now, some of you may say that the new instruments don't sound as beautiful as wood. However, if accepted, no one will care for their beautiful sound. Ever hear loud, raucous rock and roll? Beautiful? Anyway, if a Uke is electronic, folks can make it as loud and weird as they want it to sound. The beautiful, wooden Uke players will sound like Tiny Tim.

Nowadays, those who admire beautiful wooden things, built with loving care, had better step aside. Here comes plastic! Anybody remember "The Graduate"? The business man's watchword was . . . "Plastics!"

Only the musicians care what the music sounds like. The audience is just glad that they're in with the in crowd. :old:

CeeJay
04-20-2015, 06:53 AM
Using your home's 3-D printer to print your own at home!

Sorry ...I had to do a double take here ...I thought it read " Using your home's 3-D printer to print your own home! " Which would be quite something ......


I think there has already been a uke printed ....

Cheers

spookelele
04-20-2015, 07:41 AM
Sorry ...I had to do a double take here ...I thought it read " Using your home's 3-D printer to print your own home! " Which would be quite something ......

They can do that too...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFNbbVTNTl0

Inksplosive AL
04-20-2015, 02:01 PM
I think the future of music will see less and less use of traditional instruments and more use of controllers like the AlphaSphere. If they were only a little more approachable in cost I would have to have one.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZdgr6sLQ1Q

Inksplosive AL
04-20-2015, 02:02 PM
Or the Reactable which is even older.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rxLqj-Lbtg

Nickie
04-20-2015, 02:19 PM
Ha ha love the humor here. A friend and I were talking about a "Yogalele" that can be played while doing yoga, we were joking around, too. Maybe we'll compose ukulele music for yoga....
I see more and more materials besides koa, mahogany, and rosewood being used. Sideways 8 Ukuleles in Brooksville FL uses native woods. We already have the option of bamboo, which is a grass, not a tree. So it's really a grassalele...like a hempelele....LOL.
I'm sure that someday a Classical artist will play ukulele with a symphony, like guitarists have done for decades.
I'm a treehugger, myself, a former professional environmentalist, Golf Course Superintendent, and Certified Arborist. I bet I've planted as many as or more trees than just about anyone here. And I heartily approve of wooden ukes being built by luthiers who use earth friendly techniques. I do take exception to us treehuggers being blamed for legislation that takes the fun out of things.
Anyway, maybe someday we'll be able to use a replicator like the one onboard the USS Enterprise in Star Trek, or maybe we'll be so mentally advanced we'll be able to materialize one out of thin air by "wishing it so".

CeeJay
04-20-2015, 02:28 PM
Line 6 might wake up to Ukes and make a Vari...er ...Ook ( like Variax )modelling uke with various on board sounds like Tenor ,Sop ,Concert ,Bari,Banjo Uke,Tipple, bra...ca ....va Machete....thingy ...what have you ......?

jer
04-20-2015, 02:30 PM
Probably more of this:
http://www.artiphon.com/
That thing is multiple instruments in one. I think it's pretty cool.
That said, there is something special about holding, seeing, smelling, and of course playing a wooden instrument.

Brian W
04-20-2015, 02:40 PM
I think it will add two more strings and be linearly-tuned lower.

LOL !!! So the next step in its evolution will be to resemble a miniature guitar. ;)

Brian W
04-20-2015, 02:45 PM
Using your home's 3-D printer to print your own at home!

Now that would do wonders for controlling my UAS; just design an make my own ukulele at home. In all seriousness, this may not be too far-fetched of an idea in the near future.

CeeJay
04-20-2015, 02:53 PM
Ha ha love the humor here. A friend and I were talking about a "Yogalele" that can be played while doing yoga, we were joking around, too. Maybe we'll compose ukulele music for yoga....
I see more and more materials besides koa, mahogany, and rosewood being used. Sideways 8 Ukuleles in Brooksville FL uses native woods. We already have the option of bamboo, which is a grass, not a tree. So it's really a grassalele...like a hempelele....LOL.
I'm sure that someday a Classical artist will play ukulele with a symphony, like guitarists have done for decades.
I'm a treehugger, myself, a former professional environmentalist, Golf Course Superintendent, and Certified Arborist. I bet I've planted as many as or more trees than just about anyone here. And I heartily approve of wooden ukes being built by luthiers who use earth friendly techniques. I do take exception to us treehuggers being blamed for legislation that takes the fun out of things.
Anyway, maybe someday we'll be able to use a replicator like the one onboard the USS Enterprise in Star Trek, or maybe we'll be so mentally advanced we'll be able to materialize one out of thin air by "wishing it so".

Nickie . Have yo' bin smokin' some of them natchoorally grown products again ? Like da hempelele or da grassalele , ya knoo gerrl ? :shaka::biglaugh:

Jeffelele
04-20-2015, 10:21 PM
With increasing quality of computer-aided building China or another Asian country will be able to mass-produce solid wood ukuleles to tighter tolerances and will begin to spec out quality luthier builds.

Jeff

mama207
04-20-2015, 11:50 PM
The "Hololele". A fully playable hologram of any uke you chose with the sound modeling to boot. Enter a number and, poof, you're playing a vintage Martin soprano or solid koa KoAloha tenor with Aquila reds. Press another number and you're jamming with Daniel HoloHo. ...
.

I LOVE this. Yes, please.

As the "target market" mentioned, I think the new materials like carbon fiber sound intriguing too, and look cool on the pics. Hmm, maybe carbon fiber with titanium tuners? Yes I used to be a biker.

Rllink
04-21-2015, 03:29 AM
LOL !!! So the next step in its evolution will be to resemble a miniature guitar. ;)
There are a lot of people who would rather play a miniature guitar.

stevepetergal
04-21-2015, 03:17 PM
Is that a super baritone or a small canoe?

Double-duty. It's both. It's a floor cleaner and a delicious dessert topping.

stevepetergal
04-25-2015, 03:17 AM
I wrote:
In the not too distant future, wooden ukuleles will be a thing of the past. Like ivory piano keytops, they will become more and more rare, due to high cost and regulation. Eventually it will be unreasonable. This is why I think Blackbird is on the cutting edge. The future holds more development of alternate materials.


Does it mean we should all hold on tight to our rare wood instrument? It may worth something 50 years from now.

I don't think so. Consider all those harpsichords.

Tootler
04-25-2015, 08:56 AM
With increasing quality of computer-aided building China or another Asian country will be able to mass-produce solid wood ukuleles to tighter tolerances and will begin to spec out quality luthier builds.

Jeff

The biggest impact here is likely to be on entry level and mid priced ukes with better quality control ensuring better set up out of the box and fewer intonation issues meaning newcomers will be less likely to be disappointed and therefore more satisfied players.

There will still be something special about a quality hand built instrument from a top quality Luthier.