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View Full Version : How many ukes do you own and how often does each get played?



mikelz777
06-26-2017, 02:30 AM
I know that there are a lot of people here who own multiple ukes if not a collection of them. I was just curious about multiple uke owners:

How many do you own? Size doesn't matter, if it's a uke, include it in the total.

How often do each get played? Let's define regularly as weekly or 2-3 times a month. Monthly? Quarterly? Annually?

I was kind of wondering where the tipping point is in the total number of ukes when some start becoming more part of a collection than a player.

Down Up Dick
06-26-2017, 03:03 AM
I've thought about your question a lot too, mikelz777. I have 5 ukes and a coupla wall hangers. I don't play mine much anymore because I mostly play my banjos or other instruments, but I also have trouble giving all them a play too. Just dusting and examining them all takes a lot of time.

I also have some trouble adjusting to the different sizes and string widths and tunings too, but I'm an old geezer and not as quick or agile as I usta be. I really think I'd be better off with just two or three instruments these days.

I don't see how one with 10 or 15 ukes can get much enjoyment out of all of them, especially if they're stored away in humidified, closed up cases.

But, I guess we're all marching to our own strums . . . :old:

banditcosmo
06-26-2017, 03:11 AM
[QUOTE=mikelz777;1976066]

How many do you own? I just started playing a little while ago and I already own 6 but two are my wife's though (currently) she doesn't play them much at all.

How often do each get played? I play 3 of mine all the time. Yesterday I played all three of them. One is a low G, one a high G and my other is an Outdoor Uke which I just leaving sitting around on the couch or chair and I'll pick it up sometimes just walking by it. My first tenor uke mostly just sits in the case as it doesn't sound as good as my other 2 uke's.

Joe King
06-26-2017, 03:18 AM
My only uke is a concert Flea made by The Magic Fluke Company. I have no desire for more ukes.

UAS is not in my genes. If it were lost, stolen or damaged, I'd replace it with an identical concert Flea uke.

I play it as often as possible, 'life permitting' of course - sometimes an hour per day, every day, and sometimes work and life gets in a the way and I simply have no time and it goes unplayed for a few days, and during that time I miss it.

I have not had a vacation in a very long time (it's simply a luxury I cannot afford now) , so I've not had to consider the choice of 'traveling with it' or 'leaving it behind', but likely I would take it with me, as I do have a hard foam case for it.

vinceherman
06-26-2017, 03:25 AM
My wife and I have 5 between us.
My 'travel' uke is an inexpensive Cordoba plywood. It goes in the camper each time we go. I probably play every other day while camping.
At home I play one of my vintage Oscar-Schmidt about once a week unless I find a new song I want to learn, then it is every day till I am comfortable with it.

robinboyd
06-26-2017, 03:53 AM
My wife and I have 3 ukes between us. I play 2 of them every couple of days. Rarely touch the third, but my wife will pick that one up once a week or so.

janeray1940
06-26-2017, 04:17 AM
I'm up to the most I've ever had at one time in 8+ years of playing: five, which I think may be one too many for me. They actually all get played - I'd estimate two of them daily, two of them every other day, and one seems to be mostly neglected at present but I expect that to change; if it doesn't, it will end up being re-homed.

UkerDanno
06-26-2017, 04:31 AM
I have 7 including my U-bass...the U-bass gets played weekly at a jam. My main player is my Kanile'a concert, which gets played usually twice a week at jams. I also sometimes take my old Martin to jams. Very Occasionally, I'll take my banjolele. My Islander, sometimes I grab off the wall to strum a quick tune or 2. The other 2, are mostly wall decorations, my first uke and the Fender Piha`ea rarely get played.
101181

Croaky Keith
06-26-2017, 04:37 AM
Well, I've got a few, & they get played when I feel it's the right one for the tune or song. :)

Actually, harmonicas have taken over my spare time just lately, (& I've got a few of them too ;) ), so my ukes aren't getting played as often as they used to, (I was a fairly regular poster in the Seasons thread).

Presently, my most played are my Ohana solid mahogany long necks. :cool:

(P.S. I also still have my starter ukes, but I'm aiming to pass them along to some organisation that can make good use of them.)

Ukulele Eddie
06-26-2017, 05:06 AM
I have nine at the moment with three more on the way. Four concerts (three standard and one 16"), four tenors, and one baritone. The three incoming are tenors (one is 19"). In terms of tuning, the concerts are all re-entrant C except the 16" Rieck which is linear Bb. The tenors are all linear Bb except the Collings which is re-entrant Bb. And the Baritone is linear G (sometimes A).

I keep three on wall hangers in my playing area, with usually another in a floor stand and sometimes a fifth one in a case near my playing chair. The others are in the closet. I rotate which ones are out periodically. The only "rule" is I always have both linear and re-entrant ukes in rotation, never solely one or the other.

So, I regularly play 3-4 but which 3-4 I play depends on the songs I'm working on and the rotation. And while I may not play all four each time I play (pretty much daily), I more often than not play at least two of them.

I have owned more than 50 ukes and as many as 13 at one time. It has been fun to experience so many different builders/woods/sizes. I don't like having things I don't use. Sometimes I think I should pare down to 4-5 or so. I've been very fortunate to own some pretty special (to me) ukes and it is getting more and more challenging to let go any of the ones I now have. It's always easiest to imagine parting with ones not in rotation, but then I get them out and play them and the decision becomes almost impossible again. But I have re-homed some special ukes and when it goes to somebody who truly cherishes the uke, it provides another type of joy which makes it a lot easier.

Chopped Liver
06-26-2017, 05:08 AM
I have four - an Eleuke, a Makala shark, a Kala concert, and a Pono soprano. I play very rarely right now. I have to work on making a routine this summer so that I can play them daily. I keep them where they aren't very accessible - which is part of the problem. I am working to change that.

bratsche
06-26-2017, 05:49 AM
I have two, a Pono baritone and tenor, both acquired this year (first-time uke ownership), so the novelty has not worn off. I play each one for a while every evening and/or at night. The baritone is in its case right next to my computer chair. I'm still in the process of learning, mostly intuitively, what to do with my right hand/fingers. My objective is to be able to play both ukes just as fluently as I play mandola, pretty much transferring my repertoire (largely J.S. Bach) to a fingerpicked mode from a flatpicked one. My progress is satisfying, by and large, but sometimes I get impatient with myself. I love the sound of the instruments, and of giving yet another new voice to old familiar pieces.

bratsche

Uk3player78
06-26-2017, 06:02 AM
I'm in soprano heaven right now. Although I've been a one uke guy for years, I started the uke in 2011 as a guitarist since my teens. Now the guitar comes out once or twice a year. I amass ukes between trades then condense to one.

But... after getting my Timms and still enjoying my Martin it got.. complicated. I also have a Wunderkammer Ike soprano building for Christmas AND I re bought an Ohana SK35G as I had it when I stared the uke.

So... that'll be 4. Do I play the two regular. They are small sopranos so I lay the two on the sofa and swap about with the Timms staying out after as it's the main. I guess I'll do the same with 4. If for whatever reason I end up with a dormant uke it would go and be replaced.

I doubt I'll ever find anything to beat the Timms TBH.

If you did a google search of my brain for the uke sound I have as a dream the Timms would start playing.

UkingViking
06-26-2017, 06:42 AM
I have 5 ukes.

One concert I play 2-4 times a week
One tenor I probably 1-2 times a week on average.
And then a tenor, a concert and a soprano that can all easily lie for a month without playing.

I wouldn't say that the three spare ukes are collectors items. One got upgraded, one turned out to be a bit small for my fingers etc...
Perhaps I should sell some of them when I find the time, but they are not worth a whole lot.

Old Boy
06-26-2017, 07:04 AM
I have 9 ukes, bought in only 7 month ... and just mounted 18 wall mounts ... you never know :cool:

I play 3-4 hours per day and of cause all my babies one after an other, to compare the different sound of them.
And, what shall i say ... i love them all :)

Pueo
06-26-2017, 07:27 AM
I have 10.
My first ukulele, a Lanikai, now collects autographs and does not get played. It also has some intonation issues.
My Gecko lives in my desk drawer at work and does get some play time.
My Kala lives in my car and gets played quite a lot,
it is also a spare, and has even been used as a loaner for impromptu jams or lessons.
My Pono and my Kamoa I would say are my daily players, and what I use for performing. My six-string custom is primarily for kanikapila. That leaves my Les Paul, which gets played every now and then just for fun, my Milo concert, which comes out whenever I need that sound, my baritone which gets played when I am looking for that sound, and lastly my all Koa mini concert, which I dearly love, but has a scary bridge issue right now so is sitting in it's case with slackened strings. I have taken it to some luthier friends but no one wants to touch it. I will get it fixed though!

kohanmike
06-26-2017, 08:08 AM
I've been a member of a seniors uke group for about four years that meets twice a week, I joined specifically because I retired and wanted to fill my time. In the first year I went through sixteen ukes, then culled them down to four, all tenor cutaways that included electronics or I added it. I played 3-4 times a week. Since then I've added three, see my signature.

Then I started playing bass uke with the group, and in about 2 1/2 years I'm up to fifteen. Because of that, I play my ukes about once a week or two, the basses I play three to four times a week as I create the bass lines for the charts we do.

I guess I fall into the collector group.

hawaii 50
06-26-2017, 08:12 AM
I have 10.
My first ukulele, a Lanikai, now collects autographs and does not get played. It also has some intonation issues.
My Gecko lives in my desk drawer at work and does get some play time.
My Kala lives in my car and gets played quite a lot,
it is also a spare, and has even been used as a loaner for impromptu jams or lessons.
My Pono and my Kamoa I would say are my daily players, and what I use for performing. My six-string custom is primarily for kanikapila. That leaves my Les Paul, which gets played every now and then just for fun, my Milo concert, which comes out whenever I need that sound, my baritone which gets played when I am looking for that sound, and lastly my all Koa mini concert, which I dearly love, but has a scary bridge issue right now so is sitting in it's case with slackened strings. I have taken it to some luthier friends but no one wants to touch it. I will get it fixed though!


Hi Damon...take the uke with the bridge problems to Kilin Reese in Kailua..he busy but can do the work for you....go visit his shop and you can see some pretty old Martins and Kamakas there....he does work for many of the musicians in Hawaii....see you at the festival?

DownUpDave
06-26-2017, 08:13 AM
I am down to 12 ukes in house and 3 that I have lent out and don't expect to see again. That is ok because it is spreading the ukulele-love.

I have 6 tenors that are all low G except for one. There are three baritones in house and the LfdM baritone is in the process of being built. A Kamaka super concert is my main reentrant instrument but I am a huge linear tuning fan so that sees limited play.

As Eddie said I play certain instruments more than others depending on the songs I am working on. I play in a group and while preparing for a performance I will decide on the uke to use then practice with that exclusively. But all these ukes of mine get played at least once a week, some get a lot of play time during the week.

I really enjoy hearing the different tones each of my ukes possesses. It is like a sonic buffet, sampling one flavor then the next, then the next.

Croaky Keith
06-26-2017, 08:34 AM
I'm seeing that most of those that have multiple ukes, are like myself, we appreciate that each has its own character & tone, & will suit different tunes/songs - &, yes, it is good to have that choice. :)

JesterBlod
06-26-2017, 09:08 AM
I have 7 Ukes - Tenor (Bari tuned), Concert bodied Tenor, Concert x 2, Soprano x 2, Sopranino.

I play all of them regularly - at least 2-3 times a week, I love that they all have their own "personality", and some sound better than others when I play certain songs... well sound better to me anyway :-)

WifeOnFourStrings
06-26-2017, 10:10 AM
I currently have three and all three are played daily. :D

bellgamin
06-26-2017, 10:28 AM
I have 14. The only ones I play nowadays are my 2 tenor 8 stringers & my bari 8 stringer.

dsummers
06-26-2017, 11:01 AM
I probably have 40+. I usually rotate every couple of months. About when I think of thinning the herd I play the ones I consider and then I decide to hold on to them for awhile longer. I have traded some here and there on UU, but I can't seem to make myself sale any. I guess I have a hoarder mentality and it is hard for me not to find certain qualities I like in most of them.

mmfitzsimons
06-26-2017, 01:49 PM
I have six or seven counting plastics; really four solid wood. I only play two of them, truth be told; my longneck tenor at home, and my standard-scale tenor on the road.

So why not sell the other two? Sentimental reasons. I learned to play on them, met my girlfriend while playing them... I don't feel guilty about the lack of playing those ukes get; I like playing the other ukes more, it would be silly of me to deny it. (And if the unplayed ukes are sad about anything, I suspect it's that they are no longer trees... ;) )

Things are going to get a little more complicated next month, when my custom Little River longneck tenor will be ready.... but having to decide which uke to play is about the best problem anyone can have. :)

acmespaceship
06-26-2017, 01:54 PM
I never set out to be a collector but I've been playing for 30+ years and stuff accumulates. I have five ukes in constant rotation. Last week I played:


Firefly banjo soprano at two uke club meetings. Strums on the Firefly (Aquila nylguts) are loud and percussive, good for keeping a group together when you're leading a song.


Fluke concert around the house and especially on the back porch. Not too loud and I'm not worried if the cats knock it over. I'm loving the Oasis warm strings, although they are too mellow for leading a group.


Blackbird Clara playing out with a small group. Aquila reds give it some punch and the dynamic range is glorious. When I wish I could sound like a pro, this is the uke.


Cheap Kala bari on the back porch when I was in the mood to play blues. I don't play it every week, but several times a month for sure and sometimes at uke club for variety.


Flea soprano in my home office where it gets played every day while I'm learning songs, making arrangements, or just waiting for software to boot.

I could move the Fluke upstairs and sell the Flea, but technically the Flea belongs to my son. When he headed to college he "temporarily" traded it for my 1960's Werco banjo uke. The Werco is a big hit in the Music Therapy department for leading singalongs at senior centers. So I guess that makes 6 ukes in frequent use between the two of us.

Arguably I wouldn't need the Fluke if I'd bought the Clara first, but that's not how it went down. With careful string selection, they sound quite different and it's easy to justify keeping both (which is a moot point because after 17 years of faithful service my Fluke ain't going nowhere and they'll pry it from my cold, dead hands).

My orphan is a Recording King metal-body resonator. It's fun and shiny but I need to tweak the intonation and figure out how to put a strap on it. And learn how to play slide. It doesn't get played much but I have good intentions.

Jim Hanks
06-26-2017, 03:14 PM
I have 7 (oops, 8) and they are mostly in different tunings. The only truly redundant one at the moment is the Ohana laminate tenor which still has the experimental cuatro strings. I haven't played it in quite awhile especially since I got the Covered Bridge dedicated to that tuning. I also have two reentrant Bb tenors but one is solid body so not really a duplicate. But there's two chances to do something different without getting more ukes. I have no plans right now to get any more (but I've been buying NAFs like crazy.)

As far as playing time, mine is very limited due to RSI issues, so the ukes get pulled out based on the project I'm working on.

drjond56
06-26-2017, 04:45 PM
I have 3 ukes. One tenor in low G, one tenor in high G, and a baritone. In order of play: Low G 80%, High G 15%, and baritone 5%.

Ukecaster
06-26-2017, 05:20 PM
I love all the folks who have lost count. I have sopranos: Kamaka gold label, Famous FS-5, Bruko #6, Kala longneck, Outdoor v1. Pono mango tenor and Ohana TK-35 (both for sale). Green Outdoor tenor (just sold, but still here). Fluke concert and Ohana cedar/rosewood SK-50 incoming. Now I'm cornfused how many I have! :rolleyes:

bonesigh
06-26-2017, 05:32 PM
Gosh, I've got a mess of 'em. Looking around this room only, I count....15. There are many in the front room that don't get played much at all but, all are loved. A few are waiting to be tinkered with down in my 'shop'. They are like pieces of art to me (:

actadh
06-26-2017, 07:35 PM
Mine are in my signature, plus a couple of wall hangers.

I play the Opio, OXK, and Brueko all the time, and the Outdoor Ukulele is always in my car. I love the Mainland tenor sound, but play it for specific songs. So, if I were to keep 5, those would be the ones.

Some I am keeping for grandkids when they get bigger & some are going to be rehomed - likely to the ukulele choir I joined this year.

Pueo
06-26-2017, 11:01 PM
Hi Damon...take the uke with the bridge problems to Kilin Reese in Kailua..he busy but can do the work for you....go visit his shop and you can see some pretty old Martins and Kamakas there....he does work for many of the musicians in Hawaii....see you at the festival?

Mahalo Len!
Yeah, I took it to an Ukulele Guild of Hawaii meeting and they said it was pretty much Aloha No...
I think maybe just squirt some more glue in there and clamp it for a week :D
It seems stable but I don't want it to break.
The builder's phone # is in the sound hole but no answer.

See you in a couple weeks, if not before!

MickeyD
06-28-2017, 05:16 AM
Let's see - I go back and forth between focusing on guitar to ukulele, so changes a lot.

KoAloha Tenor - just got so gets daily play right now
Cocobolo Tenor - couple times a week
Kala Cedar Tenor, Mainland Cedar Tenor - played at length a couple times a month, gets tinkered with every few days when doing humidity checks.
Kala long neck mahogany soprano - sits out in house, gets played daily. Also travel uke so gets all my time when out and about
Cordoba 15CM - mostly hangs on the wall - neck snapped off and re-attached but doesn't play awesome past the fifth fret
DIY kit - unplayable (neck is a roller coaster) wall hanger.
Teton Solid body tenor - serious neglect now that I've moved out of an apt to a house
Rubin sopranino - once a month?
Caramel concert - every work day (stays in office)
Cordoba Mini - couple times a month

cua94
06-28-2017, 10:33 AM
I have 5 now but 2 are starter ukes that I don't play much anymore. My concert is played about once a week or two, I have it strung in low G. My travel uke is at work and gets played about every other day (not on weekends). My ohana tenor gets played the most but I am still undecided about which size I like best. It was tenor for about a year, now I am liking soprano quite a bit. (travel uke). My starter ukes sit in their cases because the intonation issues bug me now. My plan is to visit the islands in the next couple of years and get a K but I want to be sure about the size first so I think I am done buying until then.

Rakelele
06-29-2017, 06:48 AM
My wife and I share twenty something uke-ish instruments, including things like a U-Bass, Guitaleles, and Tenor Guitars. So really it's just about 10 each... :o

We play almost every night, and we try to rotate through our collection, so most of them get some play time. We play our tenors and baritones more often than our concerts and sopranos. And we tend to neglect our earliest purchases; not because they wouldn't sound nice, but because we have to justify the more expensive ones we bought since. Plus, there is no denying that a nice instrument is more motivating to be played.

I don't think that playing and collecting have to be exclusive to each other. We just enjoy playing as well as owning and comparing different models, sizes, woods, etc. It's like two totally different aspects of the same dear hobby.

Croaky Keith
06-29-2017, 08:37 AM
...My concert....strung in low G. My travel uke ....... My ohana tenor ....... It was tenor for about a year, now I am liking soprano quite a bit........ My plan is to visit the islands in the next couple of years and get a K but I want to be sure about the size first so I think I am done buying until then.

I think you should maybe try a couple of 'long necks' before deciding, concert scale soprano body, tenor scale concert body, or even tenor scale soprano body - it's where I've ended up after having tried many ukes. :D

Patchenu
06-29-2017, 09:00 AM
I currently have 14 with 6 on the way. 5 are on wall hangers of which my first (concert sized Lanikai) is there and my daily player. The others are in cases and get played depending on mood. I do play each one at least once a week as I need to check the temp and humidity in the case (and if the humidifier needs water) but in that case I only play one song (usually the same song) on each one and try to rank them from best to worst. That ranking changes every time as I have lots of different builders, using with different woods and designs so they all sound different (some very different) even though the majority of them are tenor sized. (I only have three concerts). At some point I will start to sell off a few so I can get to a more manageable number of 10-ish.

mikelz777
06-29-2017, 09:48 AM
I asked the original question so I suppose I should answer it as well. I currently have 2 concert ukes (noted in my signature) and both get played regularly. If they aren't played weekly, then each are played several times a month. I used to have a tenor making my total 3 which usually left one of my concerts neglected. Weeks might pass between sessions but wasn't totally unplayed. Once the newness and novelty of the tenor started wearing off, I found myself always reaching for my concerts and eventually came to the conclusion that I was a concert guy. My tenor went unplayed for months and I had little desire to play it so I ended up selling it because I knew I'd never give it the attention it deserved since I'd rarely play it if at all.

One of the reasons I asked the question is because my very happy and manageable 2 ukes will soon become 3 ukes again. I scratched that new uke itch and bought another concert which is currently on its way to me. I think that 3 ukes is the tipping point for me. I started neglecting one of my ukes when I had only 3. I can't imagine what I'd do if I had 4 or more. For me, I think that's just too much choice and it wouldn't be worth it to me to own neglected instruments. I think my current plan is to string one with a low G to learn/practice fingerpicking and the other two will be re-entrant tuned and I will switch back and forth between the two. My plan B if I find I'm slipping back into the pattern of a neglected uke is to hopefully recruit someone into the world of ukulele and pass along my starter uke.

MCmoist
06-29-2017, 12:08 PM
Hi there!

I believe 9 ukuleles is what I have (used to be 10 but I stepped on one).

1 random soprano
1 random cigar box ukulele (My Father Flor de las Antillas for those who know cigars)
1 random tenor
1 Kala tenor
1 KoAloha soprano
1 KoAloha concert
1 Kamaka soprano
1 Kamaka tenor
1 Kamaka baritone (100th anniversary)

I only play the tenors and the baritone.
Woohoo

dinghy
06-29-2017, 03:32 PM
Hello

Mele Koa Pineapple soprano, my best ukulele

Outdoor soprano, the kick around ukulele

Spruce House soprano S-0 number 0024 made in 2006, most played love this one bought used on ebay

Fluke Flea soprano, just because i had to have one

Ohana pineapple soprano, keep at work

am a soprano guy

two concert ukuleles one cheap, one mid priced are gathering dust

yours truly
Mac near Detroit

wickedwahine11
06-29-2017, 04:33 PM
I have three...I play the two Moore Bettahs pretty equally (about 45% of the time each), and the KoAloha slimline the other 10 percent. I don't play as much as I used to, but have been playing daily as I am practicing two songs now..."How Far I'll Go" to play at my niece's Girl Scout luau (also teaching the kids a hula there), and the theme to "Game of Thrones" to get excited for the new season starting in two weeks.

Nickie
06-29-2017, 05:57 PM
3 now, "officially"....
My Cocobolo concert, gets played 6 out of 7 days. My Kala concert (lo G) hardly ever, I pick up my wife's Tiny Tenor instead, for lo G stuff. Duke banjouke, gets played about once a week, for performances of certain folk and Irish songs only. a 4th uke hangs on the wall due to a neck as crooked as a dog's leg.