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beeploop
08-22-2011, 08:18 PM
I just uploaded a song entitled "Wait'll You See My Gal". May Singhi Breen played the uke and Arthur Fields on vocals. I believe this was recorded in 1920's. It seems the sound of Breen's uke is so different from the sound of today's ukuleles. is it because she used "real gut" strings? could this be the authentic ukulele sound?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivD6r9QZ84I&feature=channel_video_title

bynapkinart
08-22-2011, 08:33 PM
Sounds a bit like a banjolele that I played not too long ago. Could be that's the reason it sounds different.

I think it's more likely that the fidelity and quality of modern recording media are so much higher than in the 20's that it would be nearly impossible to say. If we could go back and record the first ever ukulele with modern gear and compare that to modern ukes, then we could get somewhere...but this was probably recorded onto spindle, then rerecorded onto vinyl or bakelite, then 60 odd years of degradation due to play and environment made it sound nothing like it did live.

Cool sound, though. Much like modern banjoleles!

zac987
08-22-2011, 09:08 PM
She's playing a banjo uke with gut strings I assume. I love that sound.

Chap
08-23-2011, 03:07 AM
I don't know about the gut strings, but it's probably also due to the fact that it will have been tuned to ADF#B.

kissing
08-23-2011, 03:57 AM
If the picture has anything to do with the song, it looks like a banjo or banjo uke she's holding

Rick Turner
08-23-2011, 05:33 AM
"Authentic"? Yeah, mainland authentic!

Banjo uke, calf skin head, gut strings...plastic heads and nylon strings hadn't been invented yet.

Not exactly an authentic Hawaiian song, either!

zac987
08-23-2011, 05:45 AM
And it's definitely pretty far away from a Portuguese machete song....

Dougf
08-23-2011, 04:25 PM
Nice little writeup in the YT description. The drawing is a bit confusing -- if that is the banjo's resonator in her lap, then the neck on that uke must be shaped like a swan's. Or is that something else in her lap?

Ukuleleblues
08-24-2011, 02:00 PM
I just uploaded a song entitled "Wait'll You See My Gal". May Singhi Breen played the uke and Arthur Fields on vocals. I believe this was recorded in 1920's. It seems the sound of Breen's uke is so different from the sound of today's ukuleles. is it because she used "real gut" strings? could this be the authentic ukulele sound?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivD6r9QZ84I&feature=channel_video_title

Probably so, it may have been colored a little by the old ribbon mics they used and the pressing process for the the old records may have had some influence on the way it sounds and it could have possibly have been put through some software to get ride scratches and pops. But other than that is has that strong sound associated and technique associate with the banjolele. I like it.