View Full Version : Writing / YouTubing a Ukulele Review

Southern Marylander
03-24-2017, 03:27 PM
I have a ukulele that doesn't seem to have much information about it online and I thought I'd put together a review, though I've never done anything of the sort before. What kind of information or demonstrations do folks find helpful?

I'm thinking closeup pictures of the construction, recording the different sounds for different strums, plucks, and percussion. Anything else?

Jim Hanks
03-24-2017, 04:45 PM
Definitely, if you can accurately capture the looks and the sound, that is the main thing to convey. Then any comments you want to make about playability, dealing with the maker/vendor, whatever else sticks out to you as being noteworthy.

03-24-2017, 04:55 PM
I would watch a couple of other reviews (my first ukulele reviews were on the Caramel laminate concerts and tenors--and I did those early in my experience, before I was a member here. I was shocked to find my video in the Caramel thread after I had joined, and also got over comments that either contrasted my thoughts or were more negative).

Barry Maz's Got a Ukulele, Mim's Ukulele videos, and Vic's recent review videos both do a good job.

One of the things I like about Barry and Mim's videos is that they ALWAYS plays the same riffs, so you can get a good idea of what a ukulele sounds like versus other instruments. I'm not sure what set-ups they use for recording.

The Ukulele Site has tremendous videos, but the performers always play something different, so you really can't compare apples to apples from ukulele to ukulele.

So..some thoughts about things to comment on:

1) Cost
2) Availability
3) Comparable models in price range
4) Quality of construction; quality of instrument; woods used; laminate/solid; etc.
5) Appearance (subjective)
6) Tone (strummed and picked)
7) Other factors--warranty, customer service, accessories
8) Playing tests. I would recommend something that will be used for every test you do.

03-24-2017, 05:51 PM
Most of the reviews I see have a lot of talk and very little playing. Playing softly while you describe the Uke and then trying more definitive playing makes the sound of the Uke the focus of the review. It will also give you time to play in several keys further exploring the capabilities of the Uke. Playing a few minor keys as well gives the viewer some extra insight to the Uke. Playing with a plectrum (pick) can give a lot of insight to the single note capabilities of the Uke too.

03-24-2017, 08:31 PM
If you do a YouTube demonstration, please also mention the recording equipment that was used (especially the microphone). Few reviewers include that information, but I find it helpful. Type of strings too, if you know what's on it.

03-24-2017, 10:36 PM
And don't forget to check out the "review Sticky" http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?15735-Ukulele-Review-Guidelines

03-25-2017, 12:59 AM
I've done a few YouTube reviews including a ukulele review which I have since removed because I considered that it was out of date. My reviews certainly weren't perfect, but my experience from doing a few reviews is, write a script. Practice it, edit it, practice it.

Keep is simple, short as you can and don't ramble. Having a script that you have edited and practiced is the best way to prevent you from rambling. I've spent time reviewing my audience statistics and retention data and believe me. your audience retention data falls off, VERY fast. You have to hold your audience from the very first seconds or you will lose them. No time for a long preamble.


This is one of my reviews. I'm not claiming its perfect yet I did write a partial script for this. My review of the Bruceweiart ukuleles has been removed because it was out of date.


03-25-2017, 03:05 AM
I'll be contrary to DownUpDave...as a person who presents sessions to other teachers, something that you need to get used to is people leaving your session. There are a million reasons people leave--and if that throws you off, you can be in trouble. The same goes for teaching in general--it is more a captive audience there--but you can't possibly meet every learner's needs and expectations. Contrary to educational gurus who believe that you should be every thing for every person (ideally at a salary far below what people make in other fields with similar educational backgrounds). In truth, you can only do what you can do--and if you do your best, it has to be enough.

When you make a review, your purpose is to share information with others, but really, you are doing it for you. You are sharing the information, and you are stretching yourself in a new direction. So: have fun, give it a shot, and turn off comments and ratings on the video. There are LOTS of mean, vindictive people out there who enjoy making others feel bad behind the curtain of technology (if they could live in secret in the real world, they would do the same things). Then you force people to be like DownUpDave, who, if not quickly captured by your video, they will simply move on. Moving on isn't bad. Someone telling you that you are an idiot and have no reason to live (this is tame) can be life-changing.

I love the review guidelines...but keep in mind those are to "officially" post a review here on UU, not for a post you would write on your own blog or a video that you host on YouTube.

P.S. Not saying DownUpDave is mean and vindictive on the internet...simply address the fact that people that walk away is something to expect and something to be aware of. You cannot possibly make everyone happy. That's an impossible task.

03-25-2017, 11:56 AM
To be honest here. The Original Poster asked for advice, so it was given. If the OP didn't really care about what people would think of his future review, then he wouldn't have asked.

My advice is the same. YouTube viewers have the attention span of a gnat. Keep it as short as you can, write it, edit it, practice it and don't ramble.


Southern Marylander
03-26-2017, 05:54 AM
I appreciate all of the different points of view and will try to find the way that helps others understand the instrument.

03-26-2017, 09:10 PM
Further down this forum is a section for ukulele reviews. There's a sticky at the top of the section with a set of guidelines for reviews. That tells you the sort of thing that you need to include in a review.