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CactusWren
09-07-2015, 05:08 AM
Googling the ukulele great, I was directed to this extremely helpful page:

http://www.vipfaq.com/Eddie%20Kamae.html

I was looking to find out what his instrument is? Baritone? Tenor guitar?


http://www.trbimg.com/img-5171c41d/turbine/la-la-tr-0421-eddie-9-jpg-20130419/600/600x400

southcoastukes
09-07-2015, 05:30 PM
Hello Miguel,

I see you're soaking up the Ukulele Heritage! There's another page on Eddie Kamae, not nearly as informative as yours :p but the same instrument is shown:

http://www.ukulele.org/?Inductees:2000-2001:Eddie_Kamae

Byron Yasui, is also shown on that page, and actually accepted the HOF award for Eddie whose health didn't allow him to attend. I have asked Byron about that instrument, and he wasn't sure, only saying it was his understanding it was a custom "Tenor Guitar" of sorts.

He was sure Eddie didn't tune it in 5ths, but unsure about whether it was steel strung or nylon, linear or reentrant. You photo allows a little better view, and though I can't be certain, I'd say it was (surprise, surprise!) a classical strung reentrant set-up.

CactusWren
09-07-2015, 05:42 PM
Dirk,
thanks for chiming in--if anyone would be able to guess, it would be you.

I am a big Eddie Kamae fan, especially the Heart of the Ukulele album. Really amazing playing and I think people here on UU would love it. Tip of the hat to Dagan whose blog turned me on to it. Actually, I should ask Dagan, he probably knows what that thing is!

https://daganb.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/heart-of-the-ukulele-part-1/

CactusWren
09-09-2015, 08:48 AM
Just came across this picture on the Beamer slack key method, published 1973.

83252

southcoastukes
09-09-2015, 03:16 PM
Just came across this picture on the Beamer slack key method, published 1973.


Certainly looks like the same maker. Maybe some of the Islanders will chime in and I.D. the builder.

I was able to find just one video where Eddie is playing that instrument alone (click "Watch this Video on YouTube").

He's tuning with the Ukulele reentrant form - classical strings - Key of F.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws0kHKjsjdg

geetee
09-09-2015, 04:42 PM
The instrument appears to be a product of the Guitar and Lute Workshop which was active in the early 70s in Honolulu. Keola and Kapono Beamer worked there. And here is their Wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_and_Lute_Workshop, a fascinating read. A footnote at the bottom provides a link to the Hana Lima 'Ia site http://www.hanalima.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1109282651/0 where Bart Potter, one of the apprentice luthiers at GLW, says the maker of Eddie Kamae's ukulele was Brian Ikehara.

southcoastukes
09-09-2015, 06:08 PM
The instrument appears to be a product of the Guitar and Lute Workshop which was active in the early 70s in Honolulu. Keola and Kapono Beamer worked there. And here is their Wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_and_Lute_Workshop, a fascinating read. A footnote at the bottom provides a link to the Hana Lima 'Ia site http://www.hanalima.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1109282651/0 where Bart Potter, one of the apprentice luthiers at GLW, says the maker of Eddie Kamae's ukulele was Brian Ikehara.

geetee, thanks so much!

GLW sounds like it must have been a fabulous place. And the top distortion on the double puas they mentioned wouldn't have been a problem with only 4 strings and the reentrant tuning Eddie used; on the contrary, it would have likely made for an ideally braced soundboard for that kind of set-up.

Very cool!

CactusWren
09-09-2015, 06:17 PM
You know, I have a friend who I think worked there. I am going to drop him a line.

Here is what Dagan Bernstein (writes a blog on Hawaiian music, is a good uke player) said about the instrument:

Yes this is a custom built four string baritone sized ukulele
strung as a tenor. This has been Eddie's preferred ukulele in his
later years. Very proud to say I had one lone opportunity to perform
with Uncle Eddie here in Waimea one night (here's a little bit about
that meeting https://daganb.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/eddie-kamae/) and
he used this instrument. It has a full sound reminiscent of a spanish
guitar, amazing!

Kekani
09-09-2015, 06:17 PM
I read somewhere one of the instruments that he plays, he made himself.

Current faq - Eddie comes down to Nico's Pier 38 on occasion, when he knows Ramon Camarillo is there. He doesn't perform anymore, or we'd call him up for sure.

I will say this, he seems to very much enjoy when we play his songs, or songs that he's done. You gotta see him sing along to Hale Ani Ani, that smile lets you know how happy he is. The man simply enjoys music, and there are no words to describe when he comes up to you afterwards, shakes your hand and smiles, "You guys do good."

southcoastukes
09-09-2015, 06:28 PM
You know, I have a friend who I think worked there. I am going to drop him a line.

Here is what Dagan Bernstein (writes a blog on Hawaiian music, is a good uke player) said about the instrument:

Yes this is a custom built four string baritone sized ukulele
strung as a tenor. This has been Eddie's preferred ukulele in his
later years. Very proud to say I had one lone opportunity to perform
with Uncle Eddie here in Waimea one night (here's a little bit about
that meeting https://daganb.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/eddie-kamae/) and
he used this instrument. It has a full sound reminiscent of a spanish
guitar, amazing!

Hello Miguel,

I think Mr. Bernstein is using a bit of artistic license in that description. The body is bigger than any Baritone. Look at the picture of Beamer's 6-string guitar - same size as Eddie's. Maybe you could do like Pono does and call it a "Baritone Nui", (here we go with those names again), but we like to call something with a body that big and a neck that long (over 23" scale?) a (Classical) Tenor Guitar.

As for "strung as a Tenor", who knows what he meant there; maybe simply "reentrant"? But Tenor Ukuleles these days are strung with two forms, and the pitch is also clearly below anything used on a reentrant Ukulele. The F note on the video sounds clear to me.

CactusWren
09-09-2015, 06:42 PM
Tenor guitar seems a good name for Eddie's instrument. I confess that I have never played one; in fact, have never seen one until recently, online.