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NYDCLA
01-31-2016, 07:13 PM
24 days after I received my very first ukulele (a worthy solid acacia Kala), I found myself in a position to buy this sweet instrument. It was made in Sept 2015, and came with Worth clears. Immediately, I am blown away by the sound and the beauty of Koa. I am a newbie, and I feel a little unworthy of this Kamaka. On the other hand, even with my untrained strumming I can be expressive with this instrument. It really encourages me to be become a better player. :)

I am lucky to own this Kamaka so early in my ukulele journey! :music:

Now I need to get serious about taking care of this baby. So other than storing in the hard case with an Oasis humidifier, what else should I do? Microfiber cloth after each playing? Wash my hands before I touch it? Should I condition the fret board with each string change? How often should I change strings? Sorry, I am a newbie :confused:

sam13
02-01-2016, 01:40 AM
Congratulations on the purchase. It looks lovely.

I think you did the right thing buying a great Uke to start with as it helps excite and make you want to pick it up all the time.

For a new Uke, I find:

- cuddling
- selfies
- learning new music are excellent.

Lol. Just kidding. Not much more to do. Have fun.

Astein2006
02-01-2016, 03:49 AM
I bought a Kamaka HF-1 standard in December as my first and only ukulele. I am completely in love. As I've read on many threads here in UU, starting out with a quality instrument, especially if you are a beginner, is very important. If I never got another ukulele for the rest of my life I would not feel like I was missing something. Kamaka is that good. The sound, the feel and the smell:)...enjoy it!!!

natchez
02-01-2016, 03:58 AM
Lovely ukulele, enjoy it! My first decent instrument was a pre-owned 1961 Martin nylon strung 00-16c bought in a pawn shop in 1971 for $65, with a crack in the back, but a sweet sound. We still have it; now my wife plays it. Nothing wrong with a nice instrument to start, plus the resale value will always be there.

Here is my 2 cents on your questions: If you live in a dry climate and/or heat the house in winter, or AC in summer, without humidification, you may wish to use a case humidifier. Depending upon where you are in California and what your relative humidity is in the house you can determine your needs.

Fret board oil every so often, when you can see it has dried out. Depending upon your conditions, for me in dry Nevada, I do the fret boards every six months to a year or so. I change my strings about three months of regular playing on the same set, but since I try different strings a lot it rarely makes it to that long. Many folks go until the they can hear a difference- IMO a bit too long.

I keep an old, worn 100% cotton tee shirt around and wipe my instruments down after playing (when I remember) Again, depends on how oily your hands are. Most well-made instrument are hardier than you might think. Just relax and have fun. I would not wash your hand first until your calluses build up on your fretting hand, after that personal preference.

Ukejenny
02-01-2016, 04:14 AM
Lovely Uke!!!

Camsuke
02-01-2016, 09:48 AM
Congratulations NYDCLA!

janeray1940
02-01-2016, 10:14 AM
Now I need to get serious about taking care of this baby. So other than storing in the hard case with an Oasis humidifier, what else should I do? Microfiber cloth after each playing? Wash my hands before I touch it? Should I condition the fret board with each string change? How often should I change strings? Sorry, I am a newbie :confused:

Congratulations! Nice choice. I had to look up what the "plus" meant - Gotoh UPTs? Which I guess makes my HF-1L an HF-1L+ as well, I had no idea. At any rate, it's my favorite uke.

That being said - like my other two Kamakas, my longneck is a player, and as such is not going to remain pristine. Honestly I don't do most of the above - I store my Kamakas in hard cases, but no humidifier (I'm told that at the beach and without central HVAC it's not necessary). I don't intentionally wash my hands before touching my ukes (but I'm a compulsive hand-washer so I'm probably covered there). I've never used a microfiber cloth or conditioned the fretboard. My oldest uke is from 2008, and I don't think my lack of attention to these things has done it any harm, but YMMV.

As for string changes - the two ukes I play daily (1-3 hours, usually somewhere in between) get new strings every three months. My third, which doesn't get as much play time, maybe two or three times a year.

Welcome to the Kamaka family!

NYDCLA
02-01-2016, 05:48 PM
Congratulations! Nice choice. I had to look up what the "plus" meant - Gotoh UPTs? Which I guess makes my HF-1L an HF-1L+ as well, I had no idea. At any rate, it's my favorite uke.

Welcome to the Kamaka family!

Thanks everyone and special thanks to natchez, janeray1940, and tanman for giving me tips on the care of the instrument.

This Kamaka is definitely being played and not just admired at. A telltale is that I am already developing callous on my fretting fingers in the 3 days that I've had it. But it hurts so good, LOL!

Janeray1940, what strings do you use on your HF-1L+? The "plus," according to the Ukulele site where this Kamaka came from, is an upgrade to Gotoh UPTs. But I think it's now standard so I probably should remove it. ;-) Also, thanks for the recommendation re: ukulele lessons on my new member intro thread. I've been learning on my own but will sign up for the next beginner's class as recommended.

janeray1940
02-01-2016, 07:54 PM
Janeray1940, what strings do you use on your HF-1L+? The "plus," according to the Ukulele site where this Kamaka came from, is an upgrade to Gotoh UPTs. But I think it's now standard so I probably should remove it. ;-) Also, thanks for the recommendation re: ukulele lessons on my new member intro thread. I've been learning on my own but will sign up for the next beginner's class as recommended.

I use Martin Fluorocarbons on mine - they're sold as soprano/concert so it kind of takes the mystery out of what size to buy for a longneck - plus, they sound great. I've also used Aquila Nylguts and while I liked the sound, they tended to buzz. I think those are all I've tried on my longneck, but I've tried a ton of others on my other two Kamakas and always keep coming back to the Martins.

I think you're right - the Gotohs have been standard for a couple years now.

And that's great that you want to take the class! Keep checking the McCabe's website for the next round - probably a few months from now.

Snargle
02-02-2016, 02:27 AM
Beautiful instrument. Congratulations and best wishes for many happy hours of music making.


I would not wash your hand first until your calluses build up on your fretting hand, after that personal preference.I'm not sure I understand what this means. Don't wash your hand until calluses build up? That could get a little nasty after a week or two. :confused:

wayfarer75
02-02-2016, 02:48 AM
Great choice on a gorgeous uke. Yours is really lovely! I hope you enjoy it for many years.

I've had my Kamaka since October 2014 (bought new) and haven't had to oil up the fretboard yet. Mine came from HMS/Ukulele Site. I do wipe my fingerprints off when I can remember to, but I don't wash my hands beforehand unless they're particularly dirty.

It's fun to try different strings on a new uke; what you like might surprise you. I haven't really "settled" on the best ones for mine. Next up to try are Fremont Blackline mediums. But I have a regular soprano, the longnecks are a slightly different animal.