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Fleacia
07-26-2015, 11:16 AM
Back-story:
I have enough trouble making time for a concert uke and an acoustic guitar. I have a tenor that's going through some stuff and trying to choose a tuning. When that comes together, I'll be finding time for that one as well.

The question is, how do you manage to play all your ukes and/or other instruments regularly? And what do you consider "regular play"?

I guess my ideal is daily, and I feel bad that even with this small number of instruments, I don't pull that off. I've half a mind to make a seating chart: you sit here and this is your time, etc. But I don't work like that. Problem is, I don't know how I *do* work either. :o

Ideas, feedback and good-natured ramblings welcome!
Thanks!

Recstar24
07-26-2015, 11:22 AM
I've got a different uke in my family room, living room, and little office space in the house. Basically, whenever the spirit moves me, I just grab whatever happens to be by me. In this case, I've got a mya moe, stansell, and mainland that all get decent radio play. Based on strum marks though, you can tell my stansell gets the most play by far.

The more I think about it, I think two is honestly plenty, one hi g and one low g. Three for me is definitely pushing it, I would say my playing ratio is 80-10-10 with the stansell being the winner. Maybe it's like Star Wars Sith Lords, there can only be two, and more than two just leads to infighting.

katysax
07-26-2015, 11:31 AM
I don't worry about treating them fairly. I play what I feel like depending upon how my hands feel and what music I am playing. If I see that a uke is sitting and not getting played for several months eventually I sell it.

Mattyukaholic
07-26-2015, 11:50 AM
Don't forget this is all meant to be fun. Don't make it a chore. Play them when you feel like it and if you don't, then don't worry about it. And that's coming from an ukulele tutor. Enjoy it!

Nickie
07-26-2015, 12:26 PM
I only have one I don't play, I have it set up wrong. I'll probably sell it. I don't feel sorry for it. I used it for work, but since hospice made me quit, it's been my "experimentation" uke...
The other two get played about equally, depending on where I am and what songs I am doing. They each get way more play than my piano.
My didgeridoo is gonna get some play, I'm learning circular breathing....whew, you can get a headache doing those lessons too long!

Freeda
07-26-2015, 12:50 PM
You do not have a duty to your instruments.

If I were a mechanic, I wouldn't feel the need to use each wrench in turn. I would use the right one in the right moment.

kohanmike
07-26-2015, 01:03 PM
I've been through sixteen ukes in the last two years, now down to four. I was pretty diligent about rotating them daily at any time, and for the twice a week hour sessions with my uke group. With four, I was able to play each much more regularly, but I've been playing u-bass so much more now, that I've been neglecting the ukes. Made a point of picking up the ukes this week to practice "Sway" and duet with my harmonica friend. The Kala is my go-to for gigs, volume and sustain, the custom gypsy for making an impression visually, the Uku and custom mandolele for fun.

Booli
07-26-2015, 01:29 PM
I have 6 ukes in rotation at a time, all hanging at arms length behind me when I sit at my desk, and with them an Ami nylon cedar parlor guitar.

I used to be able to get in 90 mins of play per day, now it's more like 30-45 mins, and typically right after dinner, that I retreat into my own little musical world. That seems to have become my 'music time'.

Aside from that, since they are all so near to me, I pick one up whenever the mood strikes, and play until I feel satisfied (maybe like 20 mins or so, a few times per day).

The reason for the ONLY 6 ukes at a time, and not the other 10 (or 11, or 12, I lose count ha ha) is because I do not have space to keep them all out at once. The other 10 are in cases with home-made humidifiers (foam sponge in pill-bottle full-o-holes), so far it's been an average 2-week rotation, with two that never get put away (the Koa tenor Fluke and Sojing tenor electric 'silent' uke), so I guess these are the 'keepers'.

However, there have been stretches of 2-3 days when I can not play due to time constraints with 'real life' (Oh The Blasphemy!!!) and during those times I get very anxious and suffer withdrawal, and I tend to get arthritis pain in my hands, which does NOT occur at ALL when I am playing every day. So the playing is also a form of physical therapy for my hands - as they say, "Use it or lose it!" :)

Fleacia
07-26-2015, 01:43 PM
You do not have a duty to your instruments.

If I were a mechanic, I wouldn't feel the need to use each wrench in turn. I would use the right one in the right moment.

Great points about not having a duty/obligation to them and using the right tools for the job. But, this must be my mama talkin', if you have 'em, you'd better use 'em, otherwise get rid of them. May the uke police not come snatch my Mainland because I already know it will be more guitar than uke this week. :o

I think one uke, one guitar must be my max. That's not a bad thing, but it comes as a surprise. I love the sound and experience of playing different ukes. But "mine" I guess is just one. Oh here's an idea, a uke library! Check one out and return it when the card says, or renew it!

Camsuke
07-26-2015, 01:45 PM
I think Booli makes a very good point here. The key is access, get setup so you are able to grab a ukulele or guitar without any hassles at all. Once you are organised in this way it will be far more enjoyable and productive.

Fleacia
07-26-2015, 01:46 PM
I only have one I don't play, I have it set up wrong. I'll probably sell it. I don't feel sorry for it. I used it for work, but since hospice made me quit, it's been my "experimentation" uke...
The other two get played about equally, depending on where I am and what songs I am doing. They each get way more play than my piano.
My didgeridoo is gonna get some play, I'm learning circular breathing....whew, you can get a headache doing those lessons too long!

LOL Nickie, that reminds me I have a keyboard I never play. And I mean never. But for some reason that doesn't bother me. If I bump it on my way past, I think of selling it. But my son does play it sometimes, so it stays. Maybe I see the uke and guitar differently because they're portable = less excuse not to play.

Booli
07-26-2015, 02:42 PM
I think Booli makes a very good point here. The key is access, get setup so you are able to grab a ukulele or guitar without any hassles at all. Once you are organised in this way it will be far more enjoyable and productive.

From my desk chair (my desk is opposite the ukes where they are hanging up, with them behind me when I sit at the computer), I just have to slide back, and grab one from it's hook when I want to play.

wickedwahine11
07-26-2015, 03:13 PM
I only have two ukes, so it is not too hard for me. I play one of them more often at home than the other (75% of the time), but I rotate between the two of them week to week at my ukulele class.

janeray1940
07-26-2015, 03:26 PM
The question is, how do you manage to play all your ukes and/or other instruments regularly? And what do you consider "regular play"?


I have three ukuleles. I play two of them every single day (one low G, one reentrant). Both are concert scale, and I like the consistency of playing the same scale length.

The third one, a soprano, sadly, gets neglected these days :( It's a great uke and of a lot of sentimental value, so I keep it for those reasons and in case one of my other two winds up in the shop.

I like your seating chart idea but I don't think it's how I would work either. "Regular play" for me means, at minimum, I run through a specific set of songs on each uke every day (or almost every day - I tend to have one day a week when I forfeit uke time for getting-outdoors time).

But yeah - I hear ya. I've never accumulated many ukes but I did have five at one time, and I knew that two of them would just never get any attention from me. That made me super sad, so I had to re-home them and now all's well :)

k0k0peli
07-26-2015, 03:29 PM
My 34 stringed instruments are not on an equal-time rotation. I haven't touched the electrics lately. Haven't done much with the mountain dulcimers or Cumbus o'uds lately either, nor the 5-string banjo. But the guitars, mandos, 'ukes, cuatros etc are RIGHT HERE; I grab one or more as a mood strikes.

The soprano 'ukes tuned in fifths and the banjolin and banjo-uke get less airplay than the 4- and 6- and 8-string tenors and the tiple. I'm mostly grabbing a mando or the Harmonia concert 'uke now. I plan to get a (better) baritone and mount Venezuelan cuatro strings (low G and A) so it will probably see a lot of upcoming action. On my next sojourn I may take only the Harmonia 10-string Puerto Rican cuatro (tuned BEADG) and beat the hell out of it. Yeah, it's all a matter of mood.

DownUpDave
07-26-2015, 05:04 PM
I play what I feel like, when I feel like. While working on a new song I will determine which sounds better then stick with that one for a week or so. I rotate between ukes as the mood strikes me. They are never jealous and always happy to come out and play.

Hippie Dribble
07-26-2015, 05:54 PM
You do not have a duty to your instruments.

If I were a mechanic, I wouldn't feel the need to use each wrench in turn. I would use the right one in the right moment.

81876
* * * * * * *

Rllink
07-27-2015, 03:43 AM
I have two uke, for now anyway. One is my first one, and it is in a closet. It seldom gets played. For me, it really doesn't matter which one I play though. I mean, playing a re-entrant tuned concert ukulele is playing a re-entrant tuned concert ukulele. So there is nothing to gain from playing one over the other, except that one sounds better. But one day I found an old harmonica that my dad used to have. So I got on the internet and started learning to play the harmonica. I realized after a couple of days that I was ignoring my uke in order to play the harmonica, and after a week of trying to balance the two, I gave up on the harmonica. My progress on the uke was suffering from it, and I decided that I wanted to use my time to become a better ukulele player, not to learn another instrument.

So it was pretty easy for me to make that decision, but if I were a musician, and if I was into exploring different types of instruments, it would be hard. I can see where that balancing act would be difficult. Lucky for me, I just want to be a guy who plays the ukulele, and that is enough for me.

Xtradust
07-27-2015, 05:09 AM
No one needs more than one uke. Having more than one is a luxury. When I started playing I used to go to the LMS and play every uke in one long line with a big smile on my face. Now, I have a bunch of ukes hanging in my office and when I need a pick me up, I do the same thing. I play one and then the next and think how lucky I am to have an office full of ukes.

But, I'm always surprised how my appreciation of their sound changes. Sometimes I love a banjo uke, sometimes it's grating to my ears. Sometimes I love a new factory uke and sometimes I don't like the sound and play a old vintage soprano for a week or two.

One thing I love about having a lot of ukes hanging around is when I'm tuning one and find the right note, they all chime in!

k0k0peli
07-27-2015, 08:13 AM
... I got on the internet and started learning to play the harmonica. I realized after a couple of days that I was ignoring my uke in order to play the harmonica, and after a week of trying to balance the two, I gave up on the harmonica. My progress on the uke was suffering from it, and I decided that I wanted to use my time to become a better ukulele player, not to learn another instrument. Mouth organs are great when you don't have space for an 'uke. Harps are always in my day bag. (I'll master RHAPSODY IN BLUE on a C chromatic eventually.) But I'll solve the portability issue -- I'll (probably) order a folding soprano ukulele kit (http://www.instructables.com/id/Constructing-the-Laser-cut-folding-ukulele/) that collapses down to a lump around 9x5x2 inches. Then I can carry an 'uke everywhere! But if I'm riding a noisy ferry across the Golden Gate, I'd probably prefer to practice harmonica.


No one needs more than one uke. Having more than one is a luxury. Owning only one 'uke is a luxury. Owning more than one is a necessity. Besides the 6- and 8- and 10- and 12-string tenors, we need 'ukes strung for gCEa and gCEg etc, and GCEA, GcEA, GceA -- that's four different string sets for just the common tunings! And I have sopranos strung GDAE (Aquila Fifths) and a#FCg (strung backwards and tweaked to 5ths). And of course one needs banjo- and reso-ukes, and a waterproof 'uke, and the folding 'uke I mentioned above, and... and the end is not in sight. Yow.

misterpk
07-27-2015, 09:10 AM
Owning only one 'uke is a luxury. Owning more than one is a necessity. Besides the 6- and 8- and 10- and 12-string tenors, we need 'ukes strung for gCEa and gCEg etc, and GCEA, GcEA, GceA -- that's four different string sets for just the common tunings! And I have sopranos strung GDAE (Aquila Fifths) and a#FCg (strung backwards and tweaked to 5ths). And of course one needs banjo- and reso-ukes, and a waterproof 'uke, and the folding 'uke I mentioned above, and... and the end is not in sight. Yow.

I have nothing useful to add. I just wanted to say that this quote totally cracked me up. I get it my friend!

Rllink
07-27-2015, 09:35 AM
Mouth organs are great when you don't have space for an 'uke. Harps are always in my day bag. (I'll master RHAPSODY IN BLUE on a C chromatic eventually.) But I'll solve the portability issue -- I'll (probably) order a folding soprano ukulele kit (http://www.instructables.com/id/Constructing-the-Laser-cut-folding-ukulele/) that collapses down to a lump around 9x5x2 inches. Then I can carry an 'uke everywhere! But if I'm riding a noisy ferry across the Golden Gate, I'd probably prefer to practice harmonica.
.Interesting commentary. If I were the type that might burst forth into music at any time, learning to play the harmonica and having one with me might be handy, but I just don't see me doing that, so I'll skip the harmonica, at least for now, and stick to playing the uke out on the deck in the afternoons. But my Dad was on a troop ship during WWII, and they gave them harmonicas to have something to do, other than thinking about taking beaches, as they worked their way from island to island toward Japan. My Dad played one for as long as I remember, but I just never picked it up. But your comment about the ferry ride made me think of that. I'll bet my Dad would have pulled out his harmonica and played away if he was on a ferry, just out of habit.

Fleacia
07-27-2015, 09:46 AM
I love music, but I'm not one to burst into song. Can both those things be true? My real problem is, I think too much, and that's why I started this thread. Glad I did though, I'm enjoying the responses! :D

I admire those of you who can keep rotating instruments, for the organization as much as the Aloha spirit of "hey, you're all great!" My uke and guitar are cased when not in my hands. I wish I could leave them out, but that wouldn't be good for any of us - people tramping around, etc. Reading the replies has helped me realize I play more than I think I do. It's not regimented (the way part of me thinks it should be), but I play, practice and compose, and just have fun with both. Often it's one week for uke, and guitar the next. It's not both every day, but maybe it doesn't have to be.

Thanks everyone for sharing - keep it up!

Fleacia
07-27-2015, 09:57 AM
Snip...

No one needs more than one uke. Having more than one is a luxury.
...
But, I'm always surprised how my appreciation of their sound changes. Sometimes I love a banjo uke, sometimes it's grating to my ears. Sometimes I love a new factory uke and sometimes I don't like the sound and play a old vintage soprano for a week or two.

Not sure if this will make sense, but I'll try. There are different tools for different jobs, and different people who do different things. When it's ukes or guitars though, you can only play one at a time. If I have more than one, what I'm not playing just sits there. And it will keep sitting there until I pick it up. I don't know any people who would be that patient! If I have an instrument, it's meant to be played. Otherwise there's little point in having them.

People can go off and do other things. They can leave you when they finish a job, and it's fine. People can exist and fulfill their purpose on their own. Ukes can't do that. If they were animate I'd say they need to be played in order to do their job, and they can't do that without people.

kkimura
07-28-2015, 03:14 AM
I'm basically a two uke guy. (recently sold my TK-38 to a local uke club member) One uke for Winter and the other for Summer.

Mivo
07-28-2015, 03:50 AM
I'm actively working on only having two ukuleles, a soprano and a tenor, though the way I do this right now is pretty backwards: I buy more ukuleles! ;)

Seriously, though, I just got the Barron River tenor (which completely stilled my UAS for that size), and I also snatched up a vintage soprano for little money, and I hope that these two will be my only two ukuleles. I do have another soprano and a tenor, both modern and "generic", which I plan to either sell or gift (my elderly neighbor showed interest, so I may give her the acacia tenor; I think it would do her some good as her stress level is fairly high due to her Alzheimer's suffering husband who needs constant care). I have a Stagg concert as well that I pretty much never play on.

The reason why I'd prefer just having two is because for a while now I've been feeling somewhat minimalist, so hoarding stuff isn't really what I want to do. Besides, I don't have a lot of space anyway. I like instruments that are a little different or that have stories, hence the custom tenor and the vintage soprano rather than just being satisfied with the off-the-shelf ukes I already had. Tenor and soprano are sufficiently different sizes so that they don't feel the same to me. Two is also all I feel I can regularly play on, and any more would just sit around and rarely get played.

k0k0peli
07-28-2015, 04:23 AM
There are different tools for different jobs, and different people who do different things. Quite. And we don't use all our tools at the same time, and people don't do everything possible at the same time. Ah, time... if it wasn't for time, everything would happen all at once. But I digress.


When it's ukes or guitars though, you can only play one at a time. If I have more than one, what I'm not playing just sits there. And it will keep sitting there until I pick it up. I don't know any people who would be that patient! If I have an instrument, it's meant to be played. Otherwise there's little point in having them. Among other things, an instrument is a tool for making music. I play variously-configured guitars, mandos, 'ukes, banjos, dulcimers, mouth organs, fipple flutes, etc. No, I cannot play more than one at a time, not unless I'm fingering an axe whilst blowing harmonica and maybe kazoo on a neck rack. But each is a *different* tool for making *different* music. Much of my music only sounds *right* on a specific instrument and tuning.

A parallel to your thesis: Kitchen utensils are tools for preparing and consuming food. At any one time we can only hold two utensils, one in each hand. Any other utensil just sits there unused -- might as well discard it. After all, it'll just get lonely, right? ;) But while people may be tools (some anyway) tools ain't people. Tools don't have emotions and expectations. Does my big wok feel distraught because it's only pressed into service occasionally? Hmmm, maybe I can convert it into a banjo...

pulelehua
07-28-2015, 05:18 AM
Just to throw a spanner in the works. Several years ago, Jake Shimabukuro gave an interview where he talked about the virtues of being a one instrument guy.

The basic philosophy is this:

If the instrument doesn't sound good, you don't know how to coax the best sound out if it. Any instrument will have a sort of temperament, a way it likes to be played. It will have strengths and weaknesses. Learning those is a long process, and playing too many instruments will tend to even out your playing.

I have 2 ukuleles, a Mike Pereira and a Mya-Moe. I really know how to play the MP, but the Mya-Moe and I have never really discovered the same kind of magic. But I still play the Mya-Moe almost exclusively because I am searching. It's a journey.

That being said, I've been playing more lately, and wondering about getting another.

The issue there is I decided about 5 years ago that when I get 3 ukuleles, I give one away. Suddenly, that is a very expensive proposition!

Fleacia
07-28-2015, 05:23 AM
pulelehua, I've seen that interview somewhere, thanks for the reminder. I'm not one who says if it's good enough for Jake, it's good enough for me, but I agree with where he's coming from there.

BTW I know someone who gave away a Mya-Moe. Not saying you should do that, but it happens. The giver was happy to get rid of it - not his cup of tea, and the receiver was, well pleased is an understatement. :D

Fleacia
07-28-2015, 05:29 AM
Quite. And we don't use all our tools at the same time, and people don't do everything possible at the same time. Ah, time... if it wasn't for time, everything would happen all at once. But I digress.

Among other things, an instrument is a tool for making music. I play variously-configured guitars, mandos, 'ukes, banjos, dulcimers, mouth organs, fipple flutes, etc. No, I cannot play more than one at a time, not unless I'm fingering an axe whilst blowing harmonica and maybe kazoo on a neck rack. But each is a *different* tool for making *different* music. Much of my music only sounds *right* on a specific instrument and tuning.

A parallel to your thesis: Kitchen utensils are tools for preparing and consuming food. At any one time we can only hold two utensils, one in each hand. Any other utensil just sits there unused -- might as well discard it. After all, it'll just get lonely, right? ;) But while people may be tools (some anyway) tools ain't people. Tools don't have emotions and expectations. Does my big wok feel distraught because it's only pressed into service occasionally? Hmmm, maybe I can convert it into a banjo...

What I said above it not a philosophy, a dictatorship, or some kind of Holy Grail. No, we don't use all our tools all the time. But presumably (maybe not?) one feels a stronger connection with a musical instrument than a kitchen utensil. If it doesn't apply to you, that's great - you have less to concern yourself with and more time to enjoy your tools!

And no, they don't feel emotions - which is probably better for them. But they still exist for a reason, and that is to be played.

As for the wok, big reso bari uke! :D

k0k0peli
07-28-2015, 05:59 AM
Just to throw a spanner in the works. Several years ago, Jake Shimabukuro gave an interview where he talked about the virtues of being a one instrument guy. And some top photographers are noted for using only a single lens and/or camera. But they're a tiny minority. Even Henri Cartier-Bresson changed lenses. (And Gerry Uelsmann cheated.)


But presumably (maybe not?) one feels a stronger connection with a musical instrument than a kitchen utensil. If it doesn't apply to you, that's great - you have less to concern yourself with and more time to enjoy your tools! Well, there *is* one serving spoon that's always been special to me... ;) But no, I don't have spiritual attachments to my instruments. That doesn't mean I'd give them up arbitrarily, not the banjo-mandolin I inherited from Grandpa, nor the Kala KA6 my wife gave me, nor the Ovation 12-string guitar I lusted after for so long. Yes, I love the way they feel and sound -- most of them anyway. But one guy's brag-list .sig line is "expensive kindling with strings" and that's really what we're dealing with here. We hoo-mans make the music. The instruments are our means to do so. If they all went away, I'd still clap my hands and sing.


And no, they don't feel emotions - which is probably better for them. But they still exist for a reason, and that is to be played. A weapon exists to be used. Doesn't mean it always *should* be.


As for the wok, big reso bari uke! :D I had something like that in mind. Maybe tuned GceA like a Venezuelan cuatro. See, it's *good* to have more instruments!

DownUpDave
07-28-2015, 06:30 AM
A "Master" at anything never blames his tools. They can get the very best out of whatever they have at hand. The rest of us are panning for gold.............maybe that is why I have more than 1 uke.......way more than 1 uke. :pThe journey is the fun part for me.

pulelehua
07-29-2015, 06:44 AM
A "Master" at anything never blames his tools. They can get the very best out of whatever they have at hand. The rest of us are panning for gold.............maybe that is why I have more than 1 uke.......way more than 1 uke. :pThe journey is the fun part for me.

I really like this analogy. Just make sure you're spending enough time to find the nuggets. ;)

pulelehua
07-29-2015, 06:45 AM
pulelehua, I've seen that interview somewhere, thanks for the reminder. I'm not one who says if it's good enough for Jake, it's good enough for me, but I agree with where he's coming from there.

BTW I know someone who gave away a Mya-Moe. Not saying you should do that, but it happens. The giver was happy to get rid of it - not his cup of tea, and the receiver was, well pleased is an understatement. :D

I have a student who LOVES my Mike Pereira. He's got one year left of school. We'll see...........

Fleacia
07-29-2015, 06:56 AM
A "Master" at anything never blames his tools. They can get the very best out of whatever they have at hand. The rest of us are panning for gold.............maybe that is why I have more than 1 uke.......way more than 1 uke. :pThe journey is the fun part for me.


I really like this analogy. Just make sure you're spending enough time to find the nuggets. ;)

Love these! And agree about both the journey and the nuggets - both are important and we (I for sure!) would be wise to keep both in sight. Thanks!

k0k0peli
07-29-2015, 09:04 PM
This was one of those days. (Avoiding the outside heat contributed.) I played them all! Every 'uke-like object in the air-conditioned house got some serious attention, all except the two sopranos tuned in fifths. Almost mandos, right?

I compared the voices of the standard-tuned 4-strings, the Kohala soprano and Harmonia concert (rapidly becoming a favorite) and my wife's Alvarez tenorm various levels of brightness and depth. I moved on. The clear Oscar Schmidt 8-string tenor and the soft Harmonia baritone played most like guitars, but very different. The oddly-balanced Kala 6-string tenor (strung g-cC-E-Aa) strums like a mellow 'uke but fingers like nothing else. The old Martin tiple -- wow, that's industrial-strength! But steel-strung gG-cCc-eEe-aa it's almost the opposite of the Kala. Both demand unique fretting and picking techniques. The concert-size Mexican cuatro-menor (steel-strung GGG-CCC-EEE-ggg) just shimmers. And I whacked at the old Varsity soprano banjo-uke a bit, its high-g ringing demoniacally.

All such different configurations, such different voices. I can't wait to add a charango to the mix! And more 'ukes strung variously. Am I, like Jake, trying to get the *best* sound from each? I don't know if that's my goal -- i mostly just want to elicit sounds I like. (That involves much tuning and retuning, praise Snark!) Yes, each instrument demands its own handling. That's part of the joy, the feeling of each axe's distinctive character and individuality. None is much like any of the others. I like that.

They're all educational. (Oh no, not *another* learning experience!) Each teaches me something new. They teach me that arrangements that work perfectly well on some are grotesque or impossible on others. They teach me to vary my posture and tenseness and attitude. The sopranos tuned in fifths sound best if I'm drinking hot chocolate (with a splash of orange extract) while the banjo-uke really deserves a shot of something strong; rum usually suffices. And they teach me that they all need constant attention. Yes, it's time to re-tune again. And again.

None of these 'ukes are anywhere near high-end. The tiple has a certain collectible cachet but it's still a factory piece. The dirt-cheap Kohala and Ohana sopranos are bottom-of-the line but serviceable. I don't care. They all sound okay to me, mahalo. Some sound sweeter at times, or darker, or whatever. They're all still magic to me.

Christon Abike
07-29-2015, 10:58 PM
Y'all got too many ukes; an embarrassment of riches! Haha!

I'm a one uke dude, but I've played it to oblivion. I'll get another higher end one to replace it when I hand it down to my daughter. Having one instrument didn't do Willie Nelson any harm, or Brian May for that matter. I think there's a lot to be said for the bond you can forge between yourself and an instrument when it's your sole uke. You develop a relationship that you couldn't have with loads of other ukes I'm your quiver. It's like a co-dependence!

Man who chases 2 horses catches neither.

Of course, this doesn't account for those collectors amongst you who have more than one uke for reasons other than playing them, which I understand but and too poor and space restricted to indulge in!

k0k0peli
07-30-2015, 08:15 AM
Having one instrument didn't do Willie Nelson any harm, or Brian May for that matter. I bet they have more at home. ;)

Christon Abike
07-30-2015, 08:23 AM
Not sure about Willie, but May does play more than one guitar/instrument. He plays his Dad's banjo uke for a start off!

k0k0peli
07-30-2015, 10:32 AM
Y'all got too many ukes; an embarrassment of riches! Haha! This comment agitated my retired software engineer (burnt-out codemonkey) mind. So I setup a spreadsheet page of prices paid for my stringed instruments. Some of that data is lost in time (I don't remember what the 5-string banjo cost in 1983) but I was able to assemble a list of my small lutes. I have 7 mandos (including a mandola) and 11 'uke-like objects (including a tiple and cuatro-menor). The mandos cost a total of US$935. And so did the 'ukes! One 'uke cost $330; two were $25 each; most hovered around $70. One mando cost almost $700; another was free, an inheritance; the others hovered around $45.

They look to me like an embarrasment of cheap riches, the kind I can afford. ;)


Of course, this doesn't account for those collectors amongst you who have more than one uke for reasons other than playing them, which I understand but and too poor and space restricted to indulge in! You should develop LBA (lens-buying addiction). Many lenses are very reasonable and they're mostly much smaller and lighter than 'ukes. Why, I could pack an entire Pentax K110 SLR camera and lens system inside one sopranino!

One of my projects assembled a lens kit (for a full-frame dSLR) of 100mm (Enna), 50mm (Zeiss), 35mm (Enna), 18mm fisheye (Takumar), and macro (close-up) setup, the whole weighing under one pound / 450g (just a bit more than a soprano 'uke), fitting into a belt pouch, and costing about US$200. (I got lucky with the fisheye.) One enjoying / suffering LBA has a world of bargain options available. Costly ones too, of course.

Some shoot with one camera and lens, some with hundreds. Some play one 'instrument, some play many. And some spend much more time and effort collecting, dealing, discussing, and otherwise not using their goodies. Whatever.

k0k0peli
07-30-2015, 11:45 AM
If I may continue this rant, drawing parallels between photography and music: The camera forums have many of the same discussions as here. Where to start? What are the bargains? What's the best? Why is X better than Y? How should I upgrade?

Many seek the 'best' lenses, glass costing in the same range as upper-end mandos (much more than 'ukes!), and sometimess they're justified. A specialized lens really DOES cost a mint and nothing else CAN perform quite like. But that's sort of in the league with a harp guitar. One can get the effect of a zoom lens by shifting position, and we can get the effect of a harp guitar with a guitarist and a harpist! No, other lenses cannot replace a fisheye, and other instruments can't replace a bass banjo. They're special tools.

But they're tools, and the distinction between the BEST and the almost-as-good may not be noticeable to any but pixel-peepers and audiologists. I *think* I notice special flavors among my fifty 50mm-range lenses, but I could be fooling myself. I *do* know that my 50/1.2 ultrafast, 50/4 macro, 51/4.5 enlarger, and 55/1.4 and 58/2 portrait lenses, will all deliver different qualities at their extremes. But stopped-down to f/8 and focused alike, their results look very very similar.

If I play a bunch of tenor 'ukes strung alike, how much would they *really* differ? How much of that difference is noticeable from ten feet / three meters away?

The photographer's basic tools are still brain and eyes, just as the musician's are brain and ears. Crap shot with US$100k worth of photo gear is still crap. Noise played on a Strad is still noise. Skilled toggers can produce memorable images with crap cameras. Skilled players can produce mesmerizing music on Little Mermaid plastic 'ukes. Masters do not blame their tools. They may select the best tools available, or just anything suitable, depending on situations.

A photo adage: Amateurs discuss lenses. Professionals discuss money. Artists discuss light. Would anyone care to rewrite this to cover 'ukuleles?