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Hippie Dribble
07-24-2015, 07:42 PM
Hey gang,

we talk about UAS a lot don't we, but it's not something I suffer from. No, really. My affliction is UBASS:

Ukulele Buy And Sell Syndrome.

As I took a virtual trip down memory lane for awhile this morning, and looked over some old uke videos I'd recorded since starting to play around this time in 2006, what struck me most was not the evolution of my playing, but that every darn video seemed to feature a different uke! Aaarrrgggh. And so I've just spent half an hour engaging the old grey matter to try and piece together the number of ukes I've actually bought and sold in the past 9 years. The results are truly scary and beyond shameful. The list reads like an NFL table and looks something like this. Oh dear.

Mya Moe: 12
Black Bear: 11
Collings; Brueko: 8
Mahalo: 7
Pohaku; Regal: 6
Ono; LoPrinzi: 4
Covered Bridge; Barron River; Kamaka; Rodriguez: 3
Beansprout; Kala; Tiwi; National; Big Rusty; Hollywood; Gerard Guasch; Ohana: 2
Jazz Box; Timms; Beltona and a gazillion others: 1

More than 100 and worse still? I'm certain there are more but these are what I can remember. I suspect there are a few of us around who suffer from UBASS. I daresay I would have kept many more of these were it not for financial constraints which generally means I can't keep more than 4 or 5 at the same time. I think this affliction is much more of a curse than UAS because - for me at least - I can never relax enough to enjoy and play what I have, and am instead always lurking the marketplace looking for the next one to quench a thirst which is ultimately insatiable.

I worked professionally as a muso for 15 years with one...yes ONE guitar and never had the urge to even contemplate buying another one.

So what is it with these ukulele things? Why are we like Steve Earle and never satisfied?

Which ones do I regret letting go the most? The Collings UC2's. A Black Bear soprano. Several Mya Moe's. One I hand painted and gave away. An Ono, a Barron River and yep, many others.

I think I've finally reached the end of my tether with it though. (You believe me, right?) Losing money on every transaction to find the appetite never diminishes anyway. Truth be told, I could be happy with one Mahalo. A uke is a uke to me, irrespective of cost. But clearly I'm not; I look at this list and am appalled at myself. Now, on to Parlor Guitars...

Feel free to use this thread like an AA meeting. If you can relate to this post, spill your guts without fear of judgment, in the presence of those who can offer sympathy and a shoulder to cry on.

:p

katysax
07-24-2015, 10:13 PM
Oh yes. I can so relate. I think it's better that you buy and sell than that you be a hoarder like I am. I do buy and sell but I keep too many that I know I need to sell because I don't play them. At fits and starts I sell a few. I even gave away several last year to the Children's Music Fund, and I felt incredibly relieved to have gotten rid of them. Only to slowly buy more.

For me some of it is that I enjoy the hunt for the next one. I want to have something to shop for. I like to do research. When I'm working on an interesting and challenging case in which I am absorbed I have no interest in shopping for ukuleles or anything else.

I do think it is a fundamental aspect of modern life that we try to fill the holes of meaning that we have in our souls with material goods. But I also think its not all "bad". There is also a strong element of curiosity in want to try the next ukulele and to have it for a while and get to know it.

At the moment I have no interest in buying more ukuleles and i am happy with the ones that I have. I am even on the brink of selling a bunch more. But the syndrome doesn't go away. I've been shopping basses. The funny thing is that I've played bass for years with no bass acquisition syndrome, just like I played ukulele for years with no UAS. I go through these things in cycles.

No point in judging yourself. Jon you have brought an incredible amount of yourself and of good to the ukulele community. Many of us have thoroughly enjoyed your many wonderful videos on YouTube, have enjoyed your ukulele reviews, have enjoyed your adventures in acquisition vicariously and very much appreciated your contribution to this web site. The constant churning is just part of who you are. Your contributions to this community are immeasurable. You have probably touched thousands of people who are lurking out there. I suspect you don't begin to know how much good you have done.

Hippie Dribble
07-24-2015, 10:35 PM
Oh yes. I can so relate. I think it's better that you buy and sell than that you be a hoarder like I am. I do buy and sell but I keep too many that I know I need to sell because I don't play them. At fits and starts I sell a few. I even gave away several last year to the Children's Music Fund, and I felt incredibly relieved to have gotten rid of them. Only to slowly buy more.

For me some of it is that I enjoy the hunt for the next one. I want to have something to shop for. I like to do research. When I'm working on an interesting and challenging case in which I am absorbed I have no interest in shopping for ukuleles or anything else.

I do think it is a fundamental aspect of modern life that we try to fill the holes of meaning that we have in our souls with material goods. But I also think its not all "bad". There is also a strong element of curiosity in want to try the next ukulele and to have it for a while and get to know it.

At the moment I have no interest in buying more ukuleles and i am happy with the ones that I have. I am even on the brink of selling a bunch more. But the syndrome doesn't go away. I've been shopping basses. The funny thing is that I've played bass for years with no bass acquisition syndrome, just like I played ukulele for years with no UAS. I go through these things in cycles.

No point in judging yourself. Jon you have brought an incredible amount of yourself and of good to the ukulele community. Many of us have thoroughly enjoyed your many wonderful videos on YouTube, have enjoyed your ukulele reviews, have enjoyed your adventures in acquisition vicariously and very much appreciated your contribution to this web site. The constant churning is just part of who you are. Your contributions to this community are immeasurable. You have probably touched thousands of people who are lurking out there. I suspect you don't begin to know how much good you have done.

Thanks for this post Sherry. So rational and considered.

And likewise, I relate very closely to much of what you're saying here. Your comments about our need to fill the holes of meaning in our lives hit me right between the eyes. I think this is a big part of it for me (I also suffer from bipolar and chronic anxiety) and I know when the spirals occur - either up or down - by the way I approach uke buying and selling. But by the same token I agree about the curiosity aspect, also a large factor.

Yes, it goes in swings doesn't it. In the past 18 months I've taken to writing poetry with an almost manic devotion. Being so occupied in this way has eased the regularity of the UBASS "syndrome" but when the emptiness comes creeping, I can go from contentment to abject bereavement in the space of a day and feel this need to rid myself of all things that bring me joy - of which ukuleles are undoubtedly #1. Self punishment. Then, once the decks are cleared and the sadness dissipates, I'm back on the merry-go-round again.

And thanks for saying those things mate. So sweet of you. Cheers. :)

k0k0peli
07-25-2015, 03:36 AM
I've not been into 'ukes long enough to go full-cycle but the same dynamic applied to my lens-trading. My database tells the story: over about a 5-year period I bought over 360 lenses and sold 120 of them for (with eBay fees) 95% profit. That leaves me with over 240, of which I use less than a dozen regularly. Time to lighten my load.

But the buying and selling is so exciting! Pour through zillions of listings for good deals. Keep the keepers, shoot and present the discards so they'll attract bids, over and over. And forget about leisure time. One is enslaved to the eBay schedule -- gotta stay home for a couple weeks after each auction, just in case...

I broke from that cycle. Instruments follow a different path. I've slowly accumulated instruments (until the last few months when they flooded in). I see definite limits on my guitar and mando acquisitions. But 'ukes... there are just so many configuration options, so much *need* for 4- and 6- and 8-string tenors (and concerts) (and sopranos) (and...) in linear and re-entrant and slack and fifths stringings. I'm not really bothered that one 4-string tenor might sound a little better or worse than another from a different maker. I focus more on the vast changes induced by varied tunings.

So there's a possible end to buying (or building) ukes. At some point, enough will be enough. Until I go mad for charangos and balalaikas and zithers and lutes and... But I don't feel a need to deal instruments. I don't churn. I've turned-over a dozen string instruments in the last half-century, not counting the dulcimers I built and sold. I now possess 3/4 of the axes I've ever owned. I tend to keep them. And at some point, there will be space for no more. Unless we expand the house. ;)

But there are still never enough. Still more avenues to explore. Still more frets to finger. I feel a need to build as well as buy, because much of what I want to explore is otherwise out of reach. Think of combinations of 'ukes, dulcitars, resonators, banjo heads, gourds, multi-necks, cigar boxes, and various architectural perversions. Fun fun fun.

That I do not possess a certain instrument does not fill me with emptiness. I fill empty time with music on whatever is at hand. We own a number of big Acoma ollas, thin-walled Native American pottery that rings when tapped. I play them like chimes. When we walk through shops of ceramics and glassware and metalwork, I play everything. Everything is music. Everything is alive.

Hippie Dribble
07-25-2015, 03:48 AM
I've not been into 'ukes long enough to go full-cycle but the same dynamic applied to my lens-trading. My database tells the story: over about a 5-year period I bought over 360 lenses and sold 120 of them for (with eBay fees) 95% profit. That leaves me with over 240, of which I use less than a dozen regularly. Time to lighten my load.

But the buying and selling is so exciting! Pour through zillions of listings for good deals. Keep the keepers, shoot and present the discards so they'll attract bids, over and over. And forget about leisure time. One is enslaved to the eBay schedule -- gotta stay home for a couple weeks after each auction, just in case...

I broke from that cycle. Instruments follow a different path. I've slowly accumulated instruments (until the last few months when they flooded in). I see definite limits on my guitar and mando acquisitions. But 'ukes... there are just so many configuration options, so much *need* for 4- and 6- and 8-string tenors (and concerts) (and sopranos) (and...) in linear and re-entrant and slack and fifths stringings. I'm not really bothered that one 4-string tenor might sound a little better or worse than another from a different maker. I focus more on the vast changes induced by varied tunings.

So there's a possible end to buying (or building) ukes. At some point, enough will be enough. Until I go mad for charangos and balalaikas and zithers and lutes and... But I don't feel a need to deal instruments. I don't churn. I've turned-over a dozen string instruments in the last half-century, not counting the dulcimers I built and sold. I now possess 3/4 of the axes I've ever owned. I tend to keep them. And at some point, there will be space for no more. Unless we expand the house. ;)

But there are still never enough. Still more avenues to explore. Still more frets to finger. I feel a need to build as well as buy, because much of what I want to explore is otherwise out of reach. Think of combinations of 'ukes, dulcitars, resonators, banjo heads, gourds, multi-necks, cigar boxes, and various architectural perversions. Fun fun fun.

That I do not possess a certain instrument does not fill me with emptiness. I fill empty time with music on whatever is at hand. We own a number of big Acoma ollas, thin-walled Native American pottery that rings when tapped. I play them like chimes. When we walk through shops of ceramics and glassware and metalwork, I play everything. Everything is music. Everything is alive.

Fabulous post brother. Wise and interesting words.

Everything is music. Everything is alive.

Amen to that. You sure got a witness here! Music is my all. I hear, feel and make music in and with everything.

I'd love to see some pictures of the dulcimers you've built if you have any and are willing to share them. I have an Appalachian Dulcimer and it gives me a lot of joy.

Thanks for the comments mate.

Doc_J
07-25-2015, 04:32 AM
Jon and Sherry, you know I can relate. Is exploring a new uke any different than a mountain climber ready to ascend the next mountain? I'm not sure, but I love the excitement and thrill of playing a new ukulele and finding out its sound, feel, and beauty.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Sure, I've bought and sold about a 100 ukes (yes, really, I've kept a list), and still own a few too many (is there really such a thing?). And while this hasn't made me more financially successful, it's had its own rewards. I've met many good people and learned a lot about great ukes (and how to pack and ship them). No regrets. There are certainly worse ways to spend time and money. If exploring a new uke every so often keeps your passion going what's the harm?

Hippie Dribble
07-25-2015, 05:47 AM
Jon and Sherry, you know I can relate. Is exploring a new uke any different than a mountain climber ready to ascend the next mountain? I'm not sure, but I love the excitement and thrill of playing a new ukulele and finding out its sound, feel, and beauty.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Sure, I've bought and sold about a 100 ukes (yes, really, I've kept a list), and still own a few too many (is there really such a thing?). And while this hasn't made me more financially successful, it's had its own rewards. I've met many good people and learned a lot about great ukes (and how to pack and ship them). No regrets. There are certainly worse ways to spend time and money. If exploring a new uke every so often keeps your passion going what's the harm?
Whew...exhausted from watching the excitement of the Alp d'Huez stage of Le Tour just now.

Thanks for putting the positive spin on it Doc. I know I need to remind myself of these things sometimes mate. Especially the learning aspect of it. So true. I've learnt much also brother. Certainly in terms of what sounds I've come to appreciate and what sort of feel I like in a uke. And yeah, I could still be doing lots of unhealthier things. I've seen first hand your knowledge and skills grow Hodge, and the depth and quality of your own reviews and assessments which we've all benefited from. Thanks mate.

k0k0peli
07-25-2015, 06:59 AM
I'd love to see some pictures of the dulcimers you've built if you have any and are willing to share them. I have an Appalachian Dulcimer and it gives me a lot of joy. Ah, those are long gone, built and sold over 40 years ago to denizens of the Finger Lakes. My current fantasy is to revive my workshop. Must clear it out first. Whew.

Booli
07-25-2015, 09:36 AM
So, Jon, your passion has made you a 'Uke-Flipper' :)

Maybe instead of being burdened by lament, you could embrace your inner 'Flipper' and rejoice, basking in the cherished experiences of all of those instruments, which many here on UU will not have the good fortune to ever touch, see, or play, never mind own.

I've always loved your videos, and don't recall ever seeing the same uke twice, other than that ebony Kala, which showed up in a few late-night-setting videos...

If binge and purge is your way, more power to you (just be happy that your binge-and-purge is with ukes and not with food ala anorexia/bulemia - yuck!)

'Uke-Flipper' would make a great tv show (or webcast series):

The camera follows you all over the world as you hunt, buy, play and later sell all different kinds of ukes...while you tell your viewers your motivation for wanting each instrument, once you get it and tell what you love about it, and once you're tired of it and want to flip it and are dreaming about the next uke to hunt for...all the while with some of your magick mojo uke playing and singing mixed in...

I'd watch it for sure!

Maybe it's time for a Kickstarter for "Jon Duncan (aka Hippie Dribble): The Uke Flipper" (the video series)

katysax
07-25-2015, 12:07 PM
"Uke Flipper" - what a great idea. That would have a real following. I love the idea. Jon could meet with uke enthusiasts along the way. Attend festivals and concerts. Attend various ukulele groups. I'd watch every episode.

Booli
07-25-2015, 12:18 PM
"Uke Flipper" - what a great idea. That would have a real following. I love the idea. Jon could meet with uke enthusiasts along the way. Attend festivals and concerts. Attend various ukulele groups. I'd watch every episode.


YES YES OH YES, I Love it! LOL. :shaka:

Hippie Dribble
07-25-2015, 05:55 PM
Haha. Cheers Deano. love you guys. :)

Hippie Dribble
07-25-2015, 06:19 PM
81835

* * * * * * *

Booli
07-25-2015, 06:24 PM
81835

* * * * * * *

YES! - that IS, FLIPPER...the dolphin. Jon, you're on a roll tonight!

I loved that show as a child, :) 'memories'

Booli
07-25-2015, 06:26 PM
Haha. Cheers Deano. love you guys. :)

back at ya, brother!:shaka:

bonesigh
07-25-2015, 07:05 PM
LOL, Loved reading this thread. Jon, we should endeavor to do what makes us happy. I said to my hubby just today "This ukulele stuff is taking over my life and I can't get anything done!", (I was really making an excuse for doing nothing but sitting around playing today and loving every minute) he said, rephrasing a bit here, "I know it makes you happy, it's like your career now". God I love this guy!!! BTW Jon...I own a Kamoa Soprano that used to be yours (:

Booli
07-26-2015, 02:18 AM
... Jon, we should endeavor to do what makes us happy. I said to my hubby just today "This ukulele stuff is taking over my life and I can't get anything done!", (I was really making an excuse for doing nothing but sitting around playing today and loving every minute) he said, rephrasing a bit here, "I know it makes you happy, it's like your career now"...

Yes, I agree, good one Janet.

I kinda wish that MORE days would be like that, AND that I would not feel guilty for having them afterward (or made to feel guilty by others that are DOING something ''outside'', what is ''outside''? ha ha)

Jim Hanks
07-26-2015, 02:50 AM
Well, I have to say I do not suffer from UBASS as I have only sold two ukes ever and one was a Brueko soprano I never intended to keep anyway. Also, watching Jon and Hodge over the past two years has pretty much cured my UAS. I can live vicariously through them and not get caught up myself. :p Seriously, many of the ukes they've posted I would never spend that much on one, and then to see them rotate in and out so frequently makes me realize that there is no "satisfaction" on that path.

I'm not trying to come down on y'all. It's your time and money and if makes you happy, more power to you. But for me, I think my collection is complete. (Well, almost. I'm still on Ono's list if he is able to resume building at some point. )

Hippie Dribble
07-26-2015, 02:59 AM
In another thread I suggested that every proper ukulele festival should have a well run collectors corners, which is not a car boot sale or a junk sale, rather it is a venue for swapping, rehoming, talking and learning about the collecting aspects of ukulele recreation. Maybe the OP is a great CV for Australian festival organisers to look at for someone to try setting up a few collectors corners at some Australian festivals?
I actually have enough room in the house so I don't have to sell the instruments. I just leave them around and play with them, and even actually play them sometimes. There is no way I will get a profit by selling them, and I have enough to keep me happy, so my days of buying more ukuleles are close to ending.
Sign me up, Bill!

Good to have reached that place of satisfaction and enjoyment with your uke collection mate. I feel like I'm almost there. But then, it's like the horizon. It seems to keep receding on me... :)

ukegirl
07-26-2015, 03:05 AM
I am both happy and sad to see I am not alone in this affliction!

Hippie Dribble
07-26-2015, 03:20 AM
LOL, Loved reading this thread. Jon, we should endeavor to do what makes us happy. I said to my hubby just today "This ukulele stuff is taking over my life and I can't get anything done!", (I was really making an excuse for doing nothing but sitting around playing today and loving every minute) he said, rephrasing a bit here, "I know it makes you happy, it's like your career now". God I love this guy!!! BTW Jon...I own a Kamoa Soprano that used to be yours (:

Oh that makes me smile. That's so nice Janet. He loves you, man.

Aaah yeah, the Kamoas. Three of those buggers. Two yellow ones and a red one. :p

Hippie Dribble
07-26-2015, 03:24 AM
Well, I have to say I do not suffer from UBASS as I have only sold two ukes ever and one was a Brueko soprano I never intended to keep anyway. Also, watching Jon and Hodge over the past two years has pretty much cured my UAS. I can live vicariously through them and not get caught up myself. :p Seriously, many of the ukes they've posted I would never spend that much on one, and then to see them rotate in and out so frequently makes me realize that there is no "satisfaction" on that path.

I'm not trying to come down on y'all. It's your time and money and if makes you happy, more power to you. But for me, I think my collection is complete. (Well, almost. I'm still on Ono's list if he is able to resume building at some point. )
Glad to be of community service, brother. LOL

I spoke to David a little while back and yes, his hand is healing slowly but he is certainly planning to begin again ASAP. He just doesn't want to take any chances and prolong the issue unnecessarily. A full recovery will hopefully equip him to be able to work long term rather than go back too early and risk it breaking down again. Cheers mate.

Hippie Dribble
07-26-2015, 03:30 AM
I am both happy and sad to see I am not alone in this affliction!

Most excellent! ( I think) :)

Jim Hanks
07-26-2015, 04:18 AM
Well, I have to say I do not suffer from UBASS as I have only sold two ukes ever
I should've read my own signature. The count is actually four. Hmm, maybe the early warning signs of UBASS after all. :eek:



I spoke to David a little while back and yes, his hand is healing slowly but he is certainly planning to begin again ASAP.
Good to hear. I last touched base first of the year. I haven't since as I didn't want to seem like I was prying or pressuring. I have no pressing need for the uke and wish him all the best. I must be a jinx on luthiers. Iriguchi had carpal tunnel surgery soon after starting my build. Maybe I better stick to factory from here out. ;)

we tigers
07-26-2015, 05:45 AM
I can relate a little. The last couple of years I went though a series of awesome basses only to realize that a Precision bass is all I need. And then I got three of those... Because, you know, I need them ;) . A couple of weeks ago I got a custom built for me in which every part is the absolute top of the line, so there's no room left for improvement. That one should settle the bass hunt (I hope).
My ukulele buying and selling is a lot slower. Maybe it's because there isn't a good second hand market here in Europe. If I would live in the US, I would probably have went through a lot of them. I do plan on selling a couple and save up for a Pohaku, but that should be it. But I have to say that no list as big as yours, Jon. You had a bunch of beautiful instruments, Jon. Some of those I consider dream ukes and I remember seeing your ukes for sale that I just can't understand ever to sell anything like that.
I hope you find your ukulele version of a really good Precision bass and somehow find a way to settle a little.

Doc_J
07-26-2015, 06:17 AM
I've got some great ukes that I swear I will never part with (Moore Bettah, Pegasus, Grimes, Beau Hannam, Kinnard,......). But, I do enjoy discovery and learning about other ukes and their makers. It's not about finding the ultimate uke (I have those). It's curiosity.

Glad to see some folks enjoy this journey with me. It's not a problem, any more than a bird watcher seeking out birds they haven't seen before.

Hippie Dribble
07-26-2015, 06:45 AM
I've got some great ukes that I swear I will never part with (Moore Bettah, Pegasus, Grimes, Beau Hannam, Kinnard,......). But, I do enjoy discovery and learning about other ukes and their makers. It's not about finding the ultimate uke (I have those). It's curiosity.

Glad to see some folks enjoy this journey with me. It's not a problem, any more than a bird watcher seeking out birds they haven't seen before.
Which ones get the most play time Doc? Top 3, say? Or which one do you gravitate to the most?

Doc_J
07-26-2015, 08:16 AM
Which ones get the most play time Doc? Top 3, say? Or which one do you gravitate to the most?

I do cycle through playing all them. Right now, the 3 low g tenors that I find myself playing most frequently are a koa Moore Bettah, a redwood/BRW Hannam, and a maple Grimes. A koa Pegasus is my favorite reentrant. Although, my new Blue Spruce/Ziricote Anakoneke has gotten a fair amount of recent play time, too.

k0k0peli
07-26-2015, 04:55 PM
I don't have enough 'ukes in the same configuration to compare tonal qualities. That is, I can't put a few 4-string tenors or whatever together and say one beats the others. My four sopranos are in vastly different tunings. My four tenors have different numbers of strings, with octave/unison complexities. I'm not trying to get a 'best' soprano or concert or tenor or whatever, only axes in varied stringings and voices.

It's easier with mandos. One has a rich voice; one is very thin (and will get sold); the others are decent or distinctive. These needn't be augmented. (Except I'll want a better mandola or a CBOM.) It's also easier with acoustic guitars. (Except I'll want a tenor and/or parlor guitar to round-out my stable.)

But there are so many stringing possibilities with 'ukes... I haven't yet tried GceA (Venezuelan cuatro) or GcEa (high re-entrant) or some modal stringings. A concert strung in 5ths (GDAE) might be more comfortable than a mandolin, and one strung in straight 4ths (GCFBb) will nicely complement the Puerto Rican cuatro (BEADG), while one strung as a chromatic dulcimer should be almost as much fun as a balalaika, and cheaper. (And no pointy corners.) And a charango will eventually cross my path...

Not churning. Not recycling 'ukes. Not looking for perfection. Just exploring. That's my story. Believe it or don't.

Mivo
07-28-2015, 12:45 AM
I can't imagine going through the re-shipping of so many ukes! But, Jon, exposure on that level makes you a valuable expert to those of us who don't have the opportunity to experience such a large number of different instruments. Just look at it as a community service, not an affliction. :)