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View Full Version : Ukulele shops in Hawaii (Big Island)?



kiduke310
07-12-2009, 05:05 PM
I'm going to the Island of Hawaii in August, and I was planning on buying a moderately priced concert uke anyways, but what better place to buy one than in Hawaii? Anybody know any good stores with decent prices and a pretty wide selection? Or some unknown amazing brand of ukes? Feedback is much appreciated!

wickedwahine11
07-12-2009, 05:09 PM
I haven't been, but I've heard good things about Hilo Guitars and Ukuleles. 56 Ponahawai Street Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Phone: (808) 935-4282

http://www.hiloguitars.com/Ukuleles.html

Have fun on your trip...

kiduke310
07-12-2009, 05:53 PM
thanks! its like two hours from mahaiula bay where i'm staying so its gonna be interesting trying to convince my parents to drive so i can spend hundreds on a new uke. LOL

Ahnko Honu
07-12-2009, 07:52 PM
http://www.konaweb.com/ukegallery/

uluapoundr
07-13-2009, 12:47 AM
Kiduke,
What's your price range? Is there a particular brand you were looking for? Why a concert? I'm in Hilo and can keep an eye out for ukes. Hilo Guitars is a great place to check out. Music Exchange in Hilo, Waimea, and Kona has some ukes also. When are you on the island? Aloha!

Brad Bordessa
07-13-2009, 05:54 AM
Hilo Guitars will blow you away. You've probably never seen so many 'ukuleles at one time.
Music Exchange is a nice store (especially Waimea).
Soundwave in Kona carries some mid way instruments.
I think Just Ukes up the hill in in Kealakekua (west side) has Kalas and Lanikais (Lanikais for sure).
Sam Rosen's shop (link above) is full of handmade instruments, but probably out of your price range.

PS: Go jam with Konabob and Jack, you will have a gas. http://bigislandonthecheap.com/2009/03/17/mele-%E2%80%98ohana-wednesdays/ (bring the blue He Mele Aloha book if you have it)

HaleKai
07-13-2009, 08:04 AM
I bought a uke from the Music Exchange in Kona last April. Their prices are competitive with the internet retailers. Be sure to look up Kona Bob. Super nice guy! The kanikapila book is available at Costco.

Don

kiduke310
07-13-2009, 05:55 PM
Kiduke,
What's your price range? Is there a particular brand you were looking for? Why a concert? I'm in Hilo and can keep an eye out for ukes. Hilo Guitars is a great place to check out. Music Exchange in Hilo, Waimea, and Kona has some ukes also. When are you on the island? Aloha!

my price range is $200 and under. I have a Soprano Pineapple of Mahogany from Kala (I love it so much) but I am finding that i'm going to want to play concert size atleast as the songs get harder (more fret boards, different sound, etc) and I'm planning to start a Ukulele Club at my school this coming year, so I can lend my uke (Sophie) to whoever doesn't have the money. Hopefully kids will be serious about this though. I was debating on getting a new one because i've only been playing for under three months, but i play every day for atleast two hours. so i think its kinda justified. plus i'm not exactly going back to hawaii again soon. I'll be on the island from August 19th-26th i believe. I'm staying on the west side of the island at the Aston Waikoloa (about 2 hours from Hilo) but my parents wanna cover the whole island anyways.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-13-2009, 06:16 PM
Here's another vote for Hilo Guitars. Simply the best selection on the island. Just Ukes in Kainalu (west end, just south of Kona) has a pretty good selection but the staff at Hilo Guitars really knows their stuff. Your folks are going to want to want to get away from the vog and the sunshine anyway and see Hilo, the Hilo farmers market, the Volcano and the pretty side of the island. ;) I recommend taking the drive around the entire island. It'll take you all day with stops but well worthwhile.
Aloha and have fun.

Ahnko Honu
07-13-2009, 06:20 PM
No pressure to buy, you can always get a great Ohana or Kala 'ukulele online from MGM for a great price, and already set up.
http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room__W0QQ_armrsZ1
Best bang for the buck concert 'ukulele
http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-KA-SC-solid-sprucetop-Concert-Ukulele-w-case-SETUP_W0QQitemZ370229280499QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item5633627ef3&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262&_trkparms=|293%3A1|294%3A30

uluapoundr
07-14-2009, 01:37 AM
Kiduke,
When you drop in to Hilo Guitars, you'll get a chance to play some great ukes like Moore Bettah, Kanilea, Kamaka, Island Traditions, Pegasus, to name a few. Purchase the best one you can afford, you won't regret it! At the very minimum, take time to check out what makes the above ukes mentioned so special.

I agree with Chuck, tour the island and enjoy the beauty! Waikoloa is a great hotel...but Hawaii has a lot more to offer than a nice hotel. Stop by the volcano, check out the beautiful waterfalls, eat some local foods, stop by the farmers market, pick up some CDs of local musicians, etc.

Aloha!

kiduke310
07-14-2009, 06:42 AM
No pressure to buy, you can always get a great Ohana or Kala 'ukulele online from MGM for a great price, and already set up.
http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room__W0QQ_armrsZ1
Best bang for the buck concert 'ukulele
http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-KA-SC-solid-sprucetop-Concert-Ukulele-w-case-SETUP_W0QQitemZ370229280499QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item5633627ef3&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262&_trkparms=|293%3A1|294%3A30

yeah i was looking at that spruce top. some lady who stops by the surf shop in town wants to sell her used one, but i mean she bought it for $170 ish and has sweet Kala Reds on them, but its kinda scratched and there are a few dings as well as watermarks. plus its used! its not the same feeling, but if she sold it for like 80, (very improbable) i might just wanna buy it as a take everywhere uke. what do you think?

kiduke310
07-14-2009, 06:52 AM
Kiduke,
When you drop in to Hilo Guitars, you'll get a chance to play some great ukes like Moore Bettah, Kanilea, Kamaka, Island Traditions, Pegasus, to name a few. Purchase the best one you can afford, you won't regret it! At the very minimum, take time to check out what makes the above ukes mentioned so special.

I agree with Chuck, tour the island and enjoy the beauty! Waikoloa is a great hotel...but Hawaii has a lot more to offer than a nice hotel. Stop by the volcano, check out the beautiful waterfalls, eat some local foods, stop by the farmers market, pick up some CDs of local musicians, etc.

Aloha!

yeah! i also heard there's some zip lining somewhere on the island. i'm so stoaked for that. and know any good restaurants on the island?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-14-2009, 07:59 AM
Oh, and if you call Uluapnder and tell him it's your birthday he'll cook you up some ono grinds!!! :shaka:

kiduke310
07-14-2009, 09:54 AM
ahhh only if i went in january.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-14-2009, 10:36 AM
No really, it's OK. He never asks for identification!

kiduke310
07-14-2009, 10:59 AM
alright! maybe i'll hit him up if he wants to chill.

anyone know if they make concert sized pineapple ukes?

because that would make my world.

uluapoundr
07-14-2009, 01:35 PM
Oh, and if you call Uluapnder and tell him it's your birthday he'll cook you up some ono grinds!!! :shaka:

Haha! Eating is definitely a hobby here in Hawaii. Let me see, what should I feed Kiduke first? Fish eyes, raw sea cucumber, poi.....course there's always McDonalds.

Kiduke,
I'm a bit biased towards ukes that costs a bit more then $200. Not sure if you'll be able to find a decent "made in Hawaii" uke for under $200. For $200, I play a concert Fluke, although not very traditional, it makes a great beach uke and sounds better than many traditional shaped ukes. If I'm free when you're in town, I'd be glad to meet you at Hilo Guitars, or take your family for some local food somewhere. If you want me to scope out what Hilo Guitars has before you visit, let me know.

kiduke310
07-14-2009, 04:22 PM
Haha! Eating is definitely a hobby here in Hawaii. Let me see, what should I feed Kiduke first? Fish eyes, raw sea cucumber, poi.....course there's always McDonalds.

Kiduke,
I'm a bit biased towards ukes that costs a bit more then $200. Not sure if you'll be able to find a decent "made in Hawaii" uke for under $200. For $200, I play a concert Fluke, although not very traditional, it makes a great beach uke and sounds better than many traditional shaped ukes. If I'm free when you're in town, I'd be glad to meet you at Hilo Guitars, or take your family for some local food somewhere. If you want me to scope out what Hilo Guitars has before you visit, let me know.

WOAH! THATS SO NICE OF YOU!

i'm down for all types of food. LOL but you don't have to cook for me or tour my family around for food or do anything out of your normal thing. maybe meeting up would be tight, and maybe you can help me buy a uke at Hilo Guitars. But other than me buying a uke there, i was also thinking about gettting a used Kala Spruce Top (http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-KA-SC-solid-sprucetop-Concert-Ukulele-w-case-SETUP_W0QQitemZ370229280499QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item5633627ef3&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262&_trkparms=|293%3A1|294%3A30) from a lady in town who says she's tired of it. she's played it for i'm not sure how long, but its in pretty good condition. 3 very small dings on the side and scratches from playing and moving around and such. but i'm not sure how much she would like to sell it for. If she sells it to me for less than a hundred, i would consider buying it. Its a bit used, but i would have much less regret if it got harmed at all, versus me having a beautiful beautiful uke having to worry about it constantly. But then that's a hundred dollars less that i'll have, and its a used uke! its not the same as owning one from the start. so i'm a predicament... what would you do?

uluapoundr
07-15-2009, 09:01 AM
KidUke,
Here's what I would do if I was in your situation, I'd save up all I could before flying here. Go wash some cars, mow some lawns, turn in aluminum cans, beg for donations ;), and bring that hunk of change on your visit. Have an idea of what kind of uke you are looking for...for example, does it have to be a "Hawaii" uke, or just one that you can afford. People do fly to Hawaii and purchase import ukes. The advantage with purchasing an uke here versus ebay or online is that you'll be able to play and compare. If you don't find anything here, then you can still be on the market for an ebay uke, but chances are, you'll find something here.

kiduke310
07-15-2009, 10:12 AM
alright! i'll see what i can do before. also, i've got a few hundred coming my way for back to school clothing, but since i have all the clothes i need for now i guess it'll hopefully turn into uke money. and there's always the "while we're on vacation you can get one thing" thing that my parents do and maybe they could help me out with that.

zeroandone
01-28-2018, 03:49 PM
New to the UU forums but a longtime lurker/reader/fan. :) Bumping this thread because I'm in the same situation, heading to the Big Island and wanting to get some updated info for 2018 on what I should go check out! I'm an enthusiast who has been playing for about 6 years, and I co-lead a Meetup here in the Bay Area in California. Have never been to Hawaii before and I'd be seriously disappointed if I didn't do something ukulele-related while there.

We'll be there for a whole week--I'm interested in hearing about stores, factory tours, chances to visit luthiers, jams and other events, the whole shebang. Most of the stores I've found so far online are on Oahu or Maui, to my disappointment.

I'd love any recommendations you have for ukulele stores / activities / events on the Big Island if you are willing to help out a fellow enthusiast!

Gary52
01-28-2018, 05:33 PM
Here's a website with a good list of music events:
http://www.konaweb.com/musicians/events.shtml

We were there in December and heard Led Kaapana at Don the Beachcomber in Kailua-Kona.

Brad Bordessa
01-28-2018, 05:43 PM
New to the UU forums but a longtime lurker/reader/fan. :) Bumping this thread because I'm in the same situation, heading to the Big Island and wanting to get some updated info for 2018 on what I should go check out! I'm an enthusiast who has been playing for about 6 years, and I co-lead a Meetup here in the Bay Area in California. Have never been to Hawaii before and I'd be seriously disappointed if I didn't do something ukulele-related while there.

We'll be there for a whole week--I'm interested in hearing about stores, factory tours, chances to visit luthiers, jams and other events, the whole shebang. Most of the stores I've found so far online are on Oahu or Maui, to my disappointment.

I'd love any recommendations you have for ukulele stores / activities / events on the Big Island if you are willing to help out a fellow enthusiast!

Richard's shop, Hawi Gallery, up north is very small, but fun. He has some nice handmade stuff from local builders and the new location is fabulously well done. Plus Richard is like the nicest guy you could meet.

Come say hi if you end up somewhere I'm playing! http://bradbordessa.com/shows-2/

AlohaKine
01-28-2018, 07:58 PM
Oh no only a $200 budget and going to Hawaii the land of Ukes! LOL...

Don't blow it on the pakalolo... ;)

Man save those pennies so you can get that Killer Hawaiian Uke Brah! :shaka:

maki66
01-28-2018, 10:10 PM
New to the UU forums but a longtime lurker/reader/fan. :) Bumping this thread because I'm in the same situation, heading to the Big Island and wanting to get some updated info for 2018 on what I should go check out! I'm an enthusiast who has been playing for about 6 years, and I co-lead a Meetup here in the Bay Area in California. Have never been to Hawaii before and I'd be seriously disappointed if I didn't do something ukulele-related while there.

We'll be there for a whole week--I'm interested in hearing about stores, factory tours, chances to visit luthiers, jams and other events, the whole shebang. Most of the stores I've found so far online are on Oahu or Maui, to my disappointment.

I'd love any recommendations you have for ukulele stores / activities / events on the Big Island if you are willing to help out a fellow enthusiast!

Hello. Welcome to the forum.
Enjoy the Big Island when you are there.
Could you post a link to your meet up here in Socal? Thanks.

flailingfingers
01-29-2018, 03:31 AM
just caught this on GOOGLE.....
Search ResultsHilo Guitars and Ukuleles Is Now Closed (http://www.hiloguitars.com/)www.hiloguitars.com/







I CLOSED MY STORE HILO GUITARS AND UKULELES ON APRIL 5th 2017 DUE TO THE FACT THAT I GOT DIAGNOSED WITH CHRONIC LYMPHOID LEUKEMIA, CANCER OF THE BLOOD. There is a new shop opening in my old space calling themselves Hilo Ukulele and Guitar. In my opinion this is plagiarism , taking ...

Iulia
01-29-2018, 04:29 AM
slightly off topic but oh my goodness how many ukulele shops are there in Hawaii!!!!!!

I only know two in the whole of UK!!!! :drool:

merlin666
01-29-2018, 06:31 AM
We will also be visiting Big Island again in March but staying on Hilo side. I think there are two music stores in Hilo itself, but some suggestions about upcoming events would certainly be appreciated.

Brad Bordessa
01-29-2018, 07:29 AM
just caught this on GOOGLE.....
Search ResultsHilo Guitars and Ukuleles Is Now Closed (http://www.hiloguitars.com/)www.hiloguitars.com/







I CLOSED MY STORE HILO GUITARS AND UKULELES ON APRIL 5th 2017 DUE TO THE FACT THAT I GOT DIAGNOSED WITH CHRONIC LYMPHOID LEUKEMIA, CANCER OF THE BLOOD. There is a new shop opening in my old space calling themselves Hilo Ukulele and Guitar. In my opinion this is plagiarism , taking ...









Just in case people are scanning: there is still a shop there. It's a new owner and name, but it seems like they are really making an effort to do some cool stuff like mini concerts and workshops. Haven't been in yet, but I'm sure it's worth a stop.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-29-2018, 07:42 AM
Just in case people are scanning: there is still a shop there. It's a new owner and name, but it seems like they are really making an effort to do some cool stuff like mini concerts and workshops. Haven't been in yet, but I'm sure it's worth a stop.

And free keiki lessons on Saturday. It's still the best uke shop on Big island IMO.

flailingfingers
01-29-2018, 11:36 AM
And free keiki lessons on Saturday. It's still the best uke shop on Big island IMO.

that's an endorsement I would follow.

zeroandone
03-25-2018, 05:26 PM
If helpful to others, I just got back from a week spent on the Big Island this month and wrote up a review of ukulele attractions on the island--this is the list of uke stores that I wish *I'd* had when I was planning!

https://medium.com/@amelialin/a-guide-to-hawaiis-big-island-for-the-ukulele-enthusiast-249bd620f72

merlin666
03-27-2018, 09:46 AM
If helpful to others, I just got back from a week spent on the Big Island this month and wrote up a review of ukulele attractions on the island--this is the list of uke stores that I wish *I'd* had when I was planning!

https://medium.com/@amelialin/a-guide-to-hawaiis-big-island-for-the-ukulele-enthusiast-249bd620f72

We just came back two days ago and I wish I had seen this sooner, so we could have visited some of the stores as well. I went to nine stores on Kauai and Big Island and will start a separate thread when I have time to report m impression of the stores and ukes I tried out. But to add to the list in the thread, there are three more Hilo stores that I went to:

1) Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar has three stores on the BI and their Hilo location is the newest. It is a large store and still in the process of being set up. They had a nice collection of low to high end ukes and also a luthier section. I think they will host some events in the future, the space is certainly large enough. https://hawaiian-ukulele.com/
2) Big Island Guitars has only a few ukes, but I almost bought a very cool Hanalei tenor with beauftiful appointments. http://www.bigislandguitars.com/
3) A few doors up is LILINOE LIFESTYLE, which has an eclectic collection of several vintage ukes (pre 1920) as well as ukes from BI Guild builders. The owner (Mike) also builds in the store and is a pleasure to chat with, and it's worth a trip for sure. https://lilinoelifestyle.com/