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EllenMelon
09-27-2010, 01:01 AM
As well as painted a ukulele for my A level art coursework i am also designing and making an electric ukulele in product design. I had to solve a problem so i decided to make a ukulele aimed at females as there is a lack of designs aimed specifically at us girls! I am designing it for the girls guitar company "Daisy Rock" as it is a similar product and also aimed at females. In my research i have to include a questionnaire so it would be a great help if some of you female uke players could answer a few of these questions for me!

- Would you purchase a ukulele specifically aimed at women or are you happy with the ukuleles currently available?
- What colour would you like the ukulele to be?
- What kind of shapes could you suggest for the body which would appeal to women? (e.g. hearts, flowers etc)
- How much would you be willing to pay for a ukulele like this?
- What material do you think would be best to manufacture the body from? (i am thinking plastic but what kind? i am a bit of a beginner in the ukulele world)
- Would you prefer a cut out or full body design?

If you have any other comments or suggestions which could help me then please let me know. I will keep you updated on how it is going!

joeybug
09-27-2010, 02:11 AM
- Would you purchase a ukulele specifically aimed at women or are you happy with the ukuleles currently available?
- What colour would you like the ukulele to be?
- What kind of shapes could you suggest for the body which would appeal to women? (e.g. hearts, flowers etc)
- How much would you be willing to pay for a ukulele like this?
- What material do you think would be best to manufacture the body from? (i am thinking plastic but what kind? i am a bit of a beginner in the ukulele world)
- Would you prefer a cut out or full body design?

If you have any other comments or suggestions which could help me then please let me know. I will keep you updated on how it is going!

1. I probably would purchase a Ukulele aimed at women, but I'm also happy with the current range that I've seen (I'm very new at this!)
2. I'd say purple, but I already have my purple Ukulele, so maybe a pinkish purple
3. I kinda like the standard shape, but I could be in the minority
4. A custom? Probably about 150, but I'm talking on my budget that's what I could afford, if I didn't eat for a few weeks!
5. Plastic, I'm not so sure about, I like the wooden ones, they make a good sound.
6. I haven't tried a cut out, so I'm gonna go with a full body...

Hope that helps :D

Kanaka916
09-27-2010, 05:12 AM
Brad Donaldson designed an instrument for a few of our female members . . . it is a custom with a concave back. I've listed the threads below. Contact info for Brad can be found in the Custom Builders List (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?12834-A-Partial-List-of-Custom-Builders).

Brad, I've been meaning to ask you what an "Amy model" is. I've looked around but haven't found anything educational on the subject of Amy.


It has a concave back. Molds nicely to female anatomy. ;) I understand that the first one was for another UUer named Amy. But it just seems very ergonomic overall to me in the fit against the body, even though I tip the headstock out, and men who have tried this body style like it. I have made the acquaintance of Lori's Amy 2, and it is a meticulously built little beauty.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?15164-Has-anyone-designed-a-uke-to-accommodate-a-woman-s-body

Sambient
09-27-2010, 05:27 AM
so i decided to make a ukulele aimed at females as there is a lack of designs aimed specifically at us girls!

Wow, do I find "us girls" disturbing. Ghettoizing even.
Furthermore, is the ukulele market rife with ukes that are male specific that your product line would serve as antedote?

I don't know if you're familiar with the brand Luna Guitars. They make products that are a little more female form friendly in that there is a mindfulness of the fact that women's hands are usually smaller. They create ukuleles too.

Ukeffect
09-27-2010, 05:29 AM
Brad Donaldson designed an instrument for a few of our female members . . . it is a custom with a concave back. I've listed the threads below. Contact info for Brad can be found in the Custom Builders List (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?12834-A-Partial-List-of-Custom-Builders).




http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?15164-Has-anyone-designed-a-uke-to-accommodate-a-woman-s-body

I bought one of these, and although I'm not a woman...I find it to be a perfect fit (and more comfortable) for those of us guys who like the (less than) occasional malt beverage! Also, it sounds better than about any other ukulele I've played ...she's my favorite by far! :cool:

Sambient
09-27-2010, 05:30 AM
P.S. I'll take an ukulele with a star shaped soundhole with electronics set up for a left-handed player. I'll take it in any color whether it's battleship grey or pepto-bismal pink. Though I would find the grey more unique.
Edit to add: In one of the smaller sizes, soprano or concert. Though I know size of uke knows no gender either, this femmy thing does not like those big ol' tenors.

Ukedani
09-27-2010, 05:32 AM
I could say a lot about this topic but will refrain. :) Suffice to say that I've never associated the uke with maleness, thus, it would never occur to me to want to buy a uke that is aimed as "us girls." A uke is a uke to me.

ytmr
09-27-2010, 05:34 AM
- Would you purchase a ukulele specifically aimed at women or are you happy with the ukuleles currently available?
I'm actually quite overwhelmed by the selection already!

- What colour would you like the ukulele to be?
I don't know about others, but I find white instruments very appealing! I love white baby grand pianos.

- What kind of shapes could you suggest for the body which would appeal to women? (e.g. hearts, flowers etc)
The traditional is great.

- How much would you be willing to pay for a ukulele like this?
Well, I'm not one with a huge budget, I'd say $300?

- What material do you think would be best to manufacture the body from? (i am thinking plastic but what kind? i am a bit of a beginner in the ukulele world)
I'm sorry, I don't know much about the materials!

- Would you prefer a cut out or full body design?
Full body!

Hope it helped!

Keef
09-27-2010, 05:47 AM
thanks to tiny tim Ukes are generaly thought to be somewhat on the female side already
but we are healing from that era
.
I think its great to market a girly yoook
meanwhile I will stay with my manley uke made from engine parts :)

Lori
09-27-2010, 06:01 AM
- Would you purchase a ukulele specifically aimed at women or are you happy with the ukuleles currently available? Maybe, but I don't like overtly girly themes, and no pink
- What colour would you like the ukulele to be? I like blues, greens, maybe purple or natural blond colored woodgrain
- What kind of shapes could you suggest for the body which would appeal to women? (e.g. hearts, flowers etc)I think it is difficult to make it a less than standard shape and have it look attractive. I would go with a pineapple shape or figure 8.
- How much would you be willing to pay for a ukulele like this? For an electric ukulele, concert size, maybe $250 - $300 USD.
- What material do you think would be best to manufacture the body from? (i am thinking plastic but what kind? i am a bit of a beginner in the ukulele world) I don't know what would work best for the sound, but I might stick with whatever is commonly used for electric ukes and guitars (maple?) The balance between neck and body is important... you don't want it too be to head heavy.
- Would you prefer a cut out or full body design? I generally prefer full body designs, but there is one I like very much from boatpaddle ukulele (5th photo down) http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/instruments.php

If you have any other comments or suggestions which could help me then please let me know. I will keep you updated on how it is going! If you want to put interesting graphics on it, I like moon and stars, nature stuff like leaves and trees and landscapes, maybe clouds.
I have a video of a few people testing out the Bradford Donaldson Amy #2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjAxHYvzWZo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdrWNmVAGSs&feature=related
As a product designer I appreciate the opportunity to test out, and buy this interesting ukulele. My sister-in-law fell in love with it, and I believe she is going to order one herself. She found it so much more comfortable than the standard ukulele. Teek had an Amy Pineapple made, and it is really really nice! Ukeffect had one made too, and here is his video on it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAm0d1YLp2M
–Lori

NatalieS
09-27-2010, 06:09 AM
I've never really felt the need to own a "girly" uke because I consider the instrument to be pretty gender-neutral. I'm not a fan of the color pink, so I usually shun things that are overly girly.

Having said that, I wish someone would make a turquoise blue uke with a tastefully-done mermaid design on it. (Something similar to the Luna Aurora mermaid guitar) I can't see many men playing the Luna mermaid guitar so I figure the uke would be geared towards women.

Cost all depends on the quality of the instrument. As long as it sounds good, I don't care whether it's plastic or laminate wood, but I'd pay maybe $150. I always prefer traditional shape to the cut-out.

LoMa
09-27-2010, 06:13 AM
This thread somehow reminds me of when I went to the LaGrange Rodeo a few years ago during "The Really Tough Wear Pink" campaign for raising money to fight breast cancer. The sponsors donated $5 for every person who wore pink at the rodeo - they did this at the bigger rodeaos all over the nation getting both local and national sponsors to fund it - John Deere you are good!. Anyway, at LaGrange, there were whole stands of men and women wearing pink. Very cool. And I tell you, these are real macho folks out there in the farmland of central California...

EllenMelon
09-27-2010, 08:21 AM
Nice to see that some people are willing to help so thanks to the people who have sent me links and answered my questions! However, to the people who took the "us girls" part the wrong way i never said a ukulele is a gender based instrument, its just what i am doing for my SCHOOL PROJECT! i am an 18 year old girl, not a ukulele expert and its just something i'm interested in so thought it would be good fun. No need to take the girly part too seriously... its like having a pink car, some girls like girly things! I am simply basing my project on the idea of daisy rock as it is aimed at females, not saying anything about ukulele being gender based. I will not pass my A levels if i design a simple brown wooden ukulele so i was trying to do something a bit different.

lackluster
09-27-2010, 08:25 AM
- Would you purchase a ukulele specifically aimed at women or are you happy with the ukuleles currently available?
- What colour would you like the ukulele to be?
- What kind of shapes could you suggest for the body which would appeal to women? (e.g. hearts, flowers etc)
- How much would you be willing to pay for a ukulele like this?
- What material do you think would be best to manufacture the body from? (i am thinking plastic but what kind? i am a bit of a beginner in the ukulele world)
- Would you prefer a cut out or full body design?


1) I would probably be less likely to purchase an instrument marketed to me solely on the basis of my gender. Especially if it was pink and sparkly. I just find that insulting.
2) I prefer to see the beautiful wood grain in a quality instrument. But if it has to be colorful... then make it orange. ;-)
3) Please, just a regular figure-eight or pineapple shape. I would not touch a heart- or flower-shaped instrument with a ten-foot pole.
4) Depends on the materials and the construction. If it's a solid-wood uke, then it's worth more.
5) At least make the top solid wood. That's the most important thing.
6) Personally, I like a clean, uncluttered aesthetic. If it absolutely must have some bling, then I'd suggest a simple rosette around the soundhole. No funny heart shapes, though, please! :-D

EllenMelon
09-27-2010, 08:28 AM
And again, this is my SCHOOL PROJECT! i am not going to manufacture it so stop taking it so seriously. If any of you have actually seen daisy rock guitars then you will know why i said a heart or flower shape as i am actually basing my project on their guitars. Can't get more girly than daisy rock!

fitncrafty
09-27-2010, 08:54 AM
Ellen...
Here's my take. I am not a girly girl.. but as the current owner of only one mid to low end uke and little experience playing... I am in love with this Uke http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SSUR46/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER Not only to I love the way it looks, but it sounds amazing as the shop tried to sell it to me.. I love the looks.. but I have to say without the sound I would not want it. Good sound is key.
For a project for school, I would say go for it, design anything your heart desires. Have fun. Even if it did have a heart shaped sound hole someone would buy it. Look what people are paying for a uke with hello kitty shaped sound hole! Amazing...
I love color I am partial to purple, but love greens and blues too. My husband is artistic and I am begging him to buy a dolphin and paint it for me (I will share photos if he ever does it) more for fun and a project for him than anything else.
Most important have fun with your project and enjoy your schooling! I wish I did more of that when I was younger in school! Feel free to PM if you need more ideas...

GrumpyOldMan
09-27-2010, 09:00 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/PinkHeart.jpg

A typical Daisy Rock guitar.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/HelloKittyuke.jpg

A "GIRLY" Hello Kitty Uke.

No idea why someone should consider the phrase "us girls" as Ghettoising, I guess it's a language thing. In the UK being girly is normal and everyday, there are pink cars everywhere you can even buy pink screwdrivers and toolboxes. In some ways I guess it is also a positive feminist statement as in "I am girly and proud and if you don't like it tough!"

sukie
09-27-2010, 09:24 AM
I like girly stuff. I'm 53 and I like girly stuff and I'll say it out-loud.

However, I don't really think about having a girly ukulele. I think younger girls may like it though. They probably wouldn't be super-serious about playing, but that's ok too.

Good luck with your project.

Skitzic
09-27-2010, 09:39 AM
I don't mean to be rude, and maybe it's just because I went to school before the interweb was in every house, phone, and burger king...but if it's your project...isn't it kind of cheating asking for ideas?

Different schools of thought maybe...I don't know.

Bottom line is, it's your project. If you want to do it on a uke based off of Daisy Rock's Heartbreaker...do it.

Lori
09-27-2010, 10:05 AM
I don't mean to be rude, and maybe it's just because I went to school before the interweb was in every house, phone, and burger king...but if it's your project...isn't it kind of cheating asking for ideas?

Different schools of thought maybe...I don't know.

Bottom line is, it's your project. If you want to do it on a uke based off of Daisy Rock's Heartbreaker...do it.

She is doing a product design project. Researching the market is a very good idea. It is a design project, not to be confused with an art project, meant for personal expression. EllenMelon, you are on the right track, so don't get distracted by those who don't understand fully. The interesting aspect of your project is how to make something appealing to more women... without falling back on the tired old cliches. There are a good number of women who are tired of the same old thing being pushed at us in the market. I like the butterfly soundhole on the Mike DaSilva ukulele http://ukemaker.com/DaSilva-InstrumentGallery.html, and the bird design on the Moore Betta ukulele.http://www.moorebettahukes.com/GALLERY.html. I prefer details like inlays and shaped sound holes better than an overall novelty shape.
–Lori

mm stan
09-27-2010, 10:06 AM
Thanks for posting the Pic's GOM...
And Good Luck EllenMellon....It's nice to get others opinions and idea's but, do what your heart tells you to do....and everything will be fine..after all you will know it will be a personal accompishment from the heart..
Keep us informed, and let us know how it turns out.....sounds like a really fun project!! MM Stan...

ukeeku
09-27-2010, 11:02 AM
Just my 2 cents;
I am a guy, but let me give you a little history about guitar design for woman. (This is being written as informational, and to help with design. Project sounds like fun)
parlor guitars were designed for portability. they are smaller and have a smaller/thinner neck, but the body was the real change. they elongated it a little and made it thinner. Woman like it because it could fit comfortably under one of the breasts. it was a comfort thing since "normal" guitars were a little to thick and the cut or curve would be too high and pull the instrument away from the body.
Make sense? If it helps, cool, otherwise it sounds like a fun project.
I find that daisy rock has a great market and really is split in to two categories. Younger woman (Sparkles, heart shapes) and grown woman (More inlays and nice designs with less flash. just more feminine) so I would say figure out who you are targeting and focus on that area.
good luck.

austin1
09-27-2010, 12:21 PM
you should design a ukulele that shoots fire, I would buy that thing in about two seconds flat.

Sambient
09-27-2010, 12:25 PM
Just because someone isn't in full agreement doesn't mean they're not helping.

As far as materials I think a mindfulness toward replenishable sources could be a great way to distinguish your product. Whether that's Post Consumer Recycled Materials or wood that comes from an easily renewable source. Bamboo is making its way into the market. So are cookie tins and the like as ukulele bodies. An extra big challenge is going to be getting your ukulele to have some sound quality.

Chris Tarman
09-27-2010, 12:42 PM
I'm a 45 year old man, and my 44 year old wife doesn't play ukulele or anything else. HOWEVER- She is absolutely MAD for "Hello Kitty", and if there was a cheap but playable "Hello Kitty" themed uke, I would buy her one in a second. I have thought about getting a pink Makala Dolphin and some "Hello Kitty" stickers and doing it myself. She isn't a "super-girly" type girl, and doesn't ordinarily like pink things that much... just totally bonkers about "Hello Kitty" ever since she was a young girl.

redheadedali
09-27-2010, 05:20 PM
you should design a ukulele that shoots fire, I would buy that thing in about two seconds flat.

When we went to see Lady Gaga in concert this summer, her piano burst into flame at one point, and I turned to my husband and said, "I need a uke that does that!" :)

The people who say that ukes are really gender neutral have a point, and I know a lot of people say that if the uke sounds good, but I am one of those people who tends to go for things that make me go "Ooh, pretty!" (which is why I have a pink uke, a uke with shooting stars, and a uke with, yes, flames on it, which may not be stereotypically girly, but is still kind of flash). As I get better at playing, I am drawn more to quality over looks, but I still find myself drooling over things that are a little off the beaten path (example: I don't think I'd buy a plastic uke that was not a Fluke or Flea at this point, but a nice wooden instrument with a unique sound hole or pretty inlay? Yes, please.) I agree with Sambient about using socially conscious materials - that would be a bigger draw for me than, say, sparkles, although sparkles sure wouldn't suck ;).

And I would do unseemly things for a really nice Hello Kitty uke. For reals.

Teek
09-27-2010, 10:18 PM
Red, you did see the pink Hello Kitty uke a page back, right?? I think there is one on eBay right now, but not in pink.

Sigh, must go seeeeee.......

Nope, sorry, IN pink but guitars...

GrumpyOldMan
09-27-2010, 10:20 PM
For the Hello Kitty fans it wouldn't be too difficult to take one of these Stagg Electric Ukes
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/StaggUke.jpg

and turn it into one of these
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/squier-hello-kitty.jpg

And as for the flames take one of these
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/PinkFlyingVUke.jpg

and turn it into one of these
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/AshTimFlameguitar.jpg

That's Tim Wheeler from ASH by the way, in case you didn't know.

EllenMelon
09-27-2010, 10:32 PM
Thanks a lot for the help everyone! Some people have mentioned about how it is my own project and to do what i want. Technically i am making it for myself but as it is a coursework based subject there is a lot of research involved. The first part is doing market research and researching existing products so a questionnaire was essential really, i just thought this was the perfect place to do it! Got some really helpful information so thanks to everyone!

Fuzzy
09-28-2010, 05:34 AM
Well, I'm no girl, but...

How about something "girly" but in a different way? How about a black uke with spiderwebs or something on it for all the Goth chicks? My daughter knows a few teenage girls who would be all over something like that.

theukulady
09-28-2010, 06:21 AM
Currently Luna Guitars is making a female line of ukes - they are purple and blue with flowers and dolphins. FLowers are appealing, dolphins are lame. I would buy a female-marketing uke if it was awesome! Pink, glitter with adorable, delightful images: girl robot, cupcake with googly eyes, Murakami Flowers (something like this), unicorns, pegasus, rainbows - but the typical girl images need a twist. If it's a great sounding uke, I'll pay around $300-400 - it needs a little button to attach a strap to. My biggest problem with ukes is the lack of buttons for strap-strapping, for us uke players on the go. The other questions don't matter much - full cut, etc - just make the designs un-tacky and slightly quirky, as uke players tend to be both of those adjectives.
Thanksies, Thessaly Lerner, The Ukulady
www.TheUkulady.com

- Would you purchase a ukulele specifically aimed at women or are you happy with the ukuleles currently available?
- What colour would you like the ukulele to be?
- What kind of shapes could you suggest for the body which would appeal to women? (e.g. hearts, flowers etc)
- How much would you be willing to pay for a ukulele like this?
- What material do you think would be best to manufacture the body from? (i am thinking plastic but what kind? i am a bit of a beginner in the ukulele world)
- Would you prefer a cut out or full body design?

If you have any other comments or suggestions which could help me then please let me know. I will keep you updated on how it is going![/QUOTE]

Ahnko Honu
09-28-2010, 09:26 AM
you should design a ukulele that shoots fire, I would buy that thing in about two seconds flat.

Oooh oooh GREAT idea! I'd like one with a built in phazer set on "stun" to zap rude people with. :D

Ahnko Honu
09-28-2010, 09:42 AM
FLowers are appealing, dolphins are lame.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:4er_9R8aENEQ1M:http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o225/kmsilin/Home_CuteDolphin.jpg&t=1 ;)

redheadedali
09-28-2010, 11:58 AM
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:4er_9R8aENEQ1M:http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o225/kmsilin/Home_CuteDolphin.jpg&t=1 ;)

Oh, poor dolphin, don't be sad - I'll be your friend :).

theukulady, I now really, really want a uke with a girl robot on it. That would be epic!