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View Full Version : I must be going tone deaf



Keef
08-18-2010, 07:12 PM
I have 4 really nice ukes
but I find my self really enjoying the cheapest one I own it's a Westbrook saprano made by harmony original price in the early 60's was $7.95 with friction tuners and plastic fret and finger board a real bottom of the line starter uke have I gone insane?

cletus
08-18-2010, 07:17 PM
Why do you prefer it over the others?
It could be worse, at least you only have 4 to choose from.

Teek
08-18-2010, 07:22 PM
Harmony's are sweet little sopranos, it's that nice older, denser mahogany. I keep trying to sell mine, it keeps sticking to my fingers.

Keef
08-18-2010, 07:32 PM
Well it's loud and sharp not banjo sharp but sharp for a uke this uke has been sitting around for the last 49 years and I got an itch to learn how to play so I bought a high end uke but I think I'm going to take this uke to my next lesson
http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad54/Kempocat/7ebc11a4.jpg

Teek
08-18-2010, 07:55 PM
Truly a beauty!

mm stan
08-18-2010, 11:58 PM
Aloha Keef,
I can relate to that, I play daily my second ukelele i ever owned and it was $24.95
I always grab it first, and enjoy it before playing my more expensive ones...Not sure
why, but I feel more comfortable with the tone and playability of it...I've thought about
this many times,,,,what am I doing with these expensive ukuleles when I enjoy this one
and I'm satisfied....Am I too shallow and just looking at price and name brands....????
"keep strumming them strings" Too attached!!! MM Stan...

Sambient
08-19-2010, 02:57 AM
I love the Harmony I scored on ebay a few months ago. Love it like crazy. Thanks for educating me on the name Westbrook.
Face it, your old uke is an old uke and has old uke mojo. If it's something that has enjoyed a life already, it carries that with it. If it sat with its potential untapped all these years, it has ached to unite with its musician and when you play it it weeps for joy.

Skitzic
08-19-2010, 03:02 AM
I love the Harmony I scored on ebay a few months ago. Love it like crazy. Thanks for educating me on the name Westbrook.
Face it, your old uke is an old uke and has old uke mojo. If it's something that has enjoyed a life already, it carries that with it. If it sat with its potential untapped all these years, it has ached to unite with its musician and when you play it it weeps for joy.

I agree with this 100%. Old ukes ooze mojo. Don't question it, just enjoy what you're playing.

molinee
08-19-2010, 04:00 AM
have I gone insane?

Yes you have gone insane....

cletus
08-19-2010, 04:34 AM
I agree with this 100%. Old ukes ooze mojo.

So thats why my Kamaka seems to have awakened from a long slumber? I think there is some sort of spirit living in that uke. Seriously.

Mandarb
08-19-2010, 04:37 AM
Yes you have gone insane....

But if he is questioning if he is gone insane - then he is still sane, right? ;) To the OP - glad you are enjoying your uke (whatever the reason).

Skitzic
08-19-2010, 06:28 AM
So thats why my Kamaka seems to have awakened from a long slumber? I think there is some sort of spirit living in that uke. Seriously.

Probably. I am a firm believer that instruments pick up a bit of energy from each person that plays them, each time they play them. So old, well played ukes are going to be alive in their own way.

Teek
08-19-2010, 07:57 AM
So thats why my Kamaka seems to have awakened from a long slumber? I think there is some sort of spirit living in that uke. Seriously.

I agree with you and Sambient and Skitzic, I have an old Kamaka that was loved and played by owners who could play it properly, and it has an energy much much different from any new uke. New ukes seem sterile. This one just wants to sing! My newest new uke is a pineapple concert built by Brad Donaldson, I will have pics up shortly though I posted some a couple of weeks ago in the luthier forum.

That uke came preloaded with mojo! Brad built it with skill and a lot of love, and it's steeped in the wood, and the uke is a joy!

Skitzic
08-19-2010, 09:17 AM
I agree with you and Sambient and Skitzic, I have an old Kamaka that was loved and played by owners who could play it properly, and it has an energy much much different from any new uke. New ukes seem sterile. This one just wants to sing! My newest new uke is a pineapple concert built by Brad Donaldson, I will have pics up shortly though I posted some a couple of weeks ago in the luthier forum.

That uke came preloaded with mojo! Brad built it with skill and a lot of love, and it's steeped in the wood, and the uke is a joy!

Just imagine how that uke is going to sound in 10 years. Woof.

DogBisquit
08-19-2010, 04:11 PM
Funny, I just updated my signature to put my Harmony first, since it's my daily hatchet. Since it's the least amount I've paid for an ukulele ($10 from some tweaker) and has tons of wear on the fretboard (no, he didn't play) I figured this would be a good one for casual travel outings. But, I get home and it is still the one I reach for.

It has a piece of masking-tape stuck inside the sound hole with the words, "Nov. 1960 - Old Jug". It's the only ukulele I have that's named, but not by me.

cletus
08-19-2010, 04:25 PM
it has an energy much much different from any new uke. New ukes seem sterile. This one just wants to sing!

I never would have dreamed it, but it's the truth.

Hippie Dribble
08-19-2010, 07:23 PM
I am in complete agreement with skitzic and sambient.

For me, each uke has it's own personality that is best reflected by it's individual tone and appearance. It's not necessarily your most expensive ukes that you enjoy playing the most but, for me, it depends on what kind of mood you're in on any given day. I have a couple of Harmony's and they are as important to me as my most expensive uke.

When I first started collecting ukes I couldn't get enough of the new models. As time has gone on I am less convinced by the newer ones and deliberately hunt down the vintage ones for the reason sambient describes.

One of my very favourite sounding ukes is a Mahalo soprano les paul copy. Only cost me $65 but boy, it sounds so nice!!!

luvdat
08-20-2010, 12:16 AM
Whether it's picked up energy or not...I think this kind of thing gets proven again and again: we love what we love...and when it comes to ukes, "high end" is often very personal...

mailman
08-20-2010, 06:04 AM
I agree with this 100%. Old ukes ooze mojo. Don't question it, just enjoy what you're playing.

A little household detergent and some elbow grease will get that out....

Skitzic
08-20-2010, 06:19 AM
A little household detergent and some elbow grease will get that out....

It's a good ooze. You don't want it gone. :p

cletus
08-20-2010, 06:35 AM
It's a good ooze. You don't want it gone. :p

Uhh, that's what she said?

Skitzic
08-20-2010, 06:56 AM
Uhh, that's what she said?

Ok that made me laugh out loud.

Skottoman
08-20-2010, 08:00 AM
I have 9 ukes, and a few 'high end' ones as well I'd say. But the funny thing is my preference for each one seems to rotate. For any given period of time I'll be playing one, and really get into it. It becomes my "go-to" uke and my fav. Then later I'll grab another one, and it becomes my favorite for a while.

I think that is just what happens when you have a bunch of different ukes to choose from.
After playing my Pineapple Sunday for a while, my sopranino has the greatest "Bark" and then I get into that..... then after a while of that if i go back to my PS, I think it's the greatest thing ever. Just swapping around keeps things fun!

Cheers,
Skottoman

arashi_nero
08-20-2010, 09:12 AM
I have 4 really nice ukes
but I find my self really enjoying the cheapest one I own it's a Westbrook saprano made by harmony original price in the early 60's was $7.95 with friction tuners and plastic fret and finger board a real bottom of the line starter uke have I gone insane?

keef, once again, you're totally on the mark!! my first ukulele was my dad's beltone that looks exactly like your westbrook. same shape, same plastic fretboard, same color of dots, same headstock shape, and they were both made in japan. i guess really only our bridges are different. after i fixed my beltone up, i realized how good it really sounds. i had to buy my son a dolphin just so i could play my beltone soprano more. i love all my ukes about the same, but my beltone is a constant.

btw, a $7.95 uke back around 1963 would be about $55 now, so really not too bad if you think about it. my dad doesn't remember how much he paid for his, but he was sure it was around $10.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=12172

Keef
08-20-2010, 09:27 AM
wow look at that its the same uke with a gloss finish and a better bridge
thanks for showing it to me :)

ukebeatsguitar
08-20-2010, 02:01 PM
hey, Arashi_Nero, I read you little under post box thingy and saw the thing about bassoon. Do you really play bassoon, cuz I do! I love it. (Well, not really, I hate it, but I love making music and many scholarships come with bassoon.) :D

mm stan
08-20-2010, 04:26 PM
I have 9 ukes, and a few 'high end' ones as well I'd say. But the funny thing is my preference for each one seems to rotate. For any given period of time I'll be playing one, and really get into it. It becomes my "go-to" uke and my fav. Then later I'll grab another one, and it becomes my favorite for a while.

I think that is just what happens when you have a bunch of different ukes to choose from.
After playing my Pineapple Sunday for a while, my sopranino has the greatest "Bark" and then I get into that..... then after a while of that if i go back to my PS, I think it's the greatest thing ever. Just swapping around keeps things fun!




Cheers,
Skottoman
G'Day Skottoman,
I too have a few ukuleles too, and I like to rotate playing them too..They're all different and you learn to play each one differently on a pinch of a dime.
You also find which technique or song works best for each ukulele..as they're all sound different. Keep strumming them strings...So much fun, eh!!
Cheers, MM Stan...

arashi_nero
08-23-2010, 04:31 AM
@keef: no prob man! it's good to know there are some people with basically the same uke out there who really enjoy those ukes!


hey, Arashi_Nero, I read you little under post box thingy and saw the thing about bassoon. Do you really play bassoon, cuz I do! I love it. (Well, not really, I hate it, but I love making music and many scholarships come with bassoon.) :D

yes! i really do play bassoon. one of my bachelor degrees is in music performance on the bassoon. i absolutely love the bassoon. i heard peter and the wolf for the first time when i was 5 and knew then i would play bassoon. since i graduated, i haven't played as much (actually haven't played in about a year). i think i was a little burned out from having to play several hours a day for many many years. the uke has been a great release because it's teaching me new skills. i also don't have to worry about warming up for 15-20 mins before playing and spending 15 mins swabbing every joint when i put it away. however, when put together and playing with great reeds, i can't think of anything that sounds better and any instrument i want to play more. and you're right, the scholarships were awesome too.

anyway, what type of bassoon do you play?