View Full Version : Signing ukuleles

Zaza The Rebel
09-01-2009, 09:01 PM
Hey everybody,

I've been lurking and searching for a while, and I was wondering if there were any types of wood or finishes that really held in signatures. I was thinking of getting an ukulele and bringing it to an Ingrid Michaelson concert, but I wasn't sure if ukuleles were sign-able or not.

I saw that a few people had ukes signed by Jake S., and I've heard about the Brother- and Sisterhood of the Traveling Ukes, but the real question is this:do you think a high-gloss or a satin finish would work better for a signature?



09-02-2009, 02:41 AM
I don't think the finish on the uke makes a lot of difference, it's the type of pen you use that's important. I have used a thing called a "BIC Permanent Marker", and it worked really well. It's like a chunky felt tipped pen, and the ink smells quite pungent. Don't get it on your clothing - I absent-mindedly put it into my shirt pocket without replacing the top. It REALLY IS indelible!

Hope this helps.


09-02-2009, 03:21 AM
If this is going to be a "wall hanger"...I would recommend something like a Makala or Lanikai low-end uke (which is really more of a raw finish), which would take a sharpie well. Then clear-coat it with either a satin or gloss finish (depending on personal preference).

09-02-2009, 03:57 AM
no ones writting on my ukulele and getting away with it.

09-02-2009, 04:12 AM
Just make sure she signs in an area where it doesn't contastant rub with your arm, finger, or shirt and you should be set.

I used a regular sharpie on my Ohana that was satin finish, but I gave it a thicker coat before leaving for research in S.Africa.

Here's the uke after my 2 months spent in Kruger. Some of the sigs on the back and near the sound hole on the front are a little light now, but its currently on my wall just for show. ->



09-02-2009, 08:47 AM
If you're getting an inexpensive beater/wall hanger signed, I'd suggest putting something like an adhesive clear pickguard over it.

If it's going to be a relatively serious uke, try to have it signed at a spot that won't be in contact with you using a good permanent marker. The picture below shows where I asked Jake to sign my cigar box uke. The spot doesn't ever come in contact with me while playing so the signature should last.


09-02-2009, 11:41 AM
no ones writting on my ukulele and getting away with it.
I agree... and I don't care if your name is Jake...

09-02-2009, 02:28 PM
This thread reminded me of a very cool photo I saw recently of Willie Nelson's guitar. Check this out: http://justwilliam1959.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/1046936-md.jpg

Zaza The Rebel
09-02-2009, 03:39 PM
I will be playing it, and I have no idea how to apply gloss, so I think I may get it signed on the upper half of the ukulele, where it is less likely to be played.


09-02-2009, 03:48 PM
Here's another thread that may be of interest to you: http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15367

09-02-2009, 04:28 PM
I swear by the Sharpie Industrial Strength pen. It hasn't faded like run-of-the-mill sharpies. But you should also get it signed where you won't touch it, as many others have mentioned. Personally, I suspect that satin finishes are better for signatures. I had Aldrine sign one of my satin ukes, and it seems much more stable than Jake's signature on my Kanilea with the UV gloss finish, both with the same Sharpie. Not sure how to describe it, but I always feel like Jake's is going to rub off. Plus, I think Jake had a harder time signing it, maybe b/c the gloss finish was a bit slippery. Aldrine had no problem drawing a whole picture.