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View Full Version : Roughed up, played hard and scuffed up



SuzukHammer
09-10-2011, 03:03 AM
I have bought 2 of Eugene Ukulele's old ukes and they are banged up with strum marks. I swear to God that buying used EugeneUkulele ukes is much better than buying new ukes.

Chris Tarman mentioned an old Gibson was surprisingly wonderful to play. I completely believe it now.

I am a believer in old beat up ukes!! strip me down and hit me with a Low G string til I say ENOUGH!!, I am converted.

To celebrate, I put strum marks on my unplayed Koaloha that's been sitting in its case and it sounded nothing but tasty, spicy, and zesty. I looked at those strum marks. Yes, they are permanent and it means the Koaloha will be played. Its gone from case queen to player in one sitting.

I just had to post it.

Getting rough is what its all about.

bynapkinart
09-10-2011, 03:28 AM
That's a message I can get behind. My best sounding uke is 83 years old and looks like it:

http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss258/bynapkinart/P8230026.jpg

SuzukHammer
09-10-2011, 03:51 AM
Good picture.

Maybe I should invest in an old uke.

bynapkinart
09-10-2011, 04:11 AM
If you wait and keep your eyes out, an old uke will come to you. If I had bought mine retail I probably would have spent well over $500 (Johnny Marvins aren't rare, but the airplane bridge version was only made for 3-5 years and many Harmony enthusiasts chalk them up as the finest ukes Harmony ever produced). As it were, the guy who brought it in sold it to me for $80, because he wanted it to be played by a uke player and not get restored and repainted by a collector.

I still might get it cleaned up at some point, but as it is it sounds divine and I don't wanna mess with a good thing.

Chris Tarman
09-10-2011, 04:50 AM
Here's my Style 2. I'm not responsible for many (if ANY) of those marks. 27900
And my Style 1 has some little marks that weren't there when I bought it last August. 27901
Even my Flea is getting in on the game! 27902
I did make all the marks on the Flea, and I believe the Style 1 is pretty much all me too. It was really minty when I got it.

Chris Tarman
09-10-2011, 04:51 AM
That's a message I can get behind. My best sounding uke is 83 years old and looks like it:

http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss258/bynapkinart/P8230026.jpg

That is GORGEOUS!

Chris Tarman
09-10-2011, 04:55 AM
SuzukHammer, just don't take a belt sander to them to get that vintage look. Have you ever seen Kenny Wayne Shepherd's Strat? I swear that's what he did to get it to look like Stevie Ray's. It has MASSIVE, SERIOUS wear in places that a guitar would not normally get that much wear. Maybe it's for real, but it sure likes like he just got out some power tools one day...

SuzukHammer
09-10-2011, 05:45 AM
SuzukHammer, just don't take a belt sander to them to get that vintage look. Have you ever seen Kenny Wayne Shepherd's Strat? I swear that's what he did to get it to look like Stevie Ray's. It has MASSIVE, SERIOUS wear in places that a guitar would not normally get that much wear. Maybe it's for real, but it sure likes like he just got out some power tools one day...

I dig Kenny Wayne Shepherd; but, I hadn't ever seen his strat.

I can pretty much figure out how Eugene Ukulele plays though. haha. And I swear his ukes have mojo. His Black Bear is pretty scratched up like he was playing lottery scratchers on that thing; but, it has a very unique sound, like an echoing room. Sustain with a capital SUS. I think I should go to his house and see what ukes he's throwing away cause they got his mojo and its good stuff.

Chris, When you get your ukes scruffed up and I get mine scruffed up, we should do a trade. Maybe we need to have the travelling scruff uke teaching everybody that getting rough means better sound.

rasputinsghost
09-10-2011, 05:56 AM
My kamaka's finish is worn out in places but I swear it makes it sound better. Hah!

Ukuleleblues
09-11-2011, 01:08 AM
KWS http://www.kennywayneshepherd.net/board_posts/kennys-equipment/photos/2524

chindog
09-11-2011, 03:54 AM
SuzukHammer, just don't take a belt sander to them to get that vintage look. Have you ever seen Kenny Wayne Shepherd's Strat? I swear that's what he did to get it to look like Stevie Ray's. It has MASSIVE, SERIOUS wear in places that a guitar would not normally get that much wear. Maybe it's for real, but it sure likes like he just got out some power tools one day...

I just don't understand the concept of putting fake wear on new instruments. It must be a viable selling point though, since Fender has a whole line of new "road worn" guitars.

http://www.fender.com/products/roadworn/models.php?partno=0131012306

Pippin
09-11-2011, 04:11 AM
There is a real trick to playing instruments for years without leaving any sort of scratches on them. I have always considered it a thing with which I have been blessed-- no scratches. It is the "angle of attack" and even with a guitar (flat-picking) and mandolin (hardcore-flat-picking), I leave no scratches. If you can learn to play without leaving a scratch, you will preserve the maximum value for collectors and still enjoy having a "player" uke or other fretted instrument. Not to be critical, but that is my personal philosophy.

bynapkinart
09-11-2011, 04:18 AM
That is GORGEOUS!

Thanks Chris!

consitter
09-11-2011, 04:46 AM
Suzuk,
Alright, I GOTTA say somethin!! I play Lokahi every ding-dang day, and the first time I put a strum mark or ANY mark on it, I'll probably crawl up in a little ball and cry like a baby! But, then as the years pass, I'll get over the first mark. Then when the 2nd one happens, the process will start all over again!;) So far, I've got 3 ukes, no strum marks. But then, I strum up on the neck 2-3 frets too. That could be why. Only thing they got is may a little oil on them where I sometimes play without a shirt, but if I can get my lazy self to wipe them down with a microfiber rag, that's easily taken care of. I'm gonna end up saying this--they're yours and you have fun doing whatever you want with them--as long as you do what you said and play for that baby every night!!

Scott

hmgberg
09-11-2011, 04:46 AM
I just don't understand the concept of putting fake wear on new instruments. It must be a viable selling point though, since Fender has a whole line of new "road worn" guitars.

http://www.fender.com/products/roadworn/models.php?partno=0131012306


I was in NYC a little over a year ago and stopped into an instrument shop. I had noticed in the window a Les Paul junior that looked as if it had seen a lot of battle, perhaps even been through a fire. Turns out it was new! The shop has "a guy" who distresses the instruments, then they charge significantly more for them than they do the ones that are brand new and look it. It's really quite hysterical: You pay more for a new guitar that looks old and beat up than you do for one that looks new, but you pay more for an old guitar that looks new than you do for an old one that looks old.

I need a more elastic brain to completely wrap my head around this one. I don't mind some honest wear and tear on a vintage instrument. However, if I get a new one, I'd prefer to put the marks on it myself.

roxhum
09-11-2011, 05:12 AM
Ha ha, Have you seen those jeans that you pay extra for to have them look warn out. The funny thing is you see people wearing them and the warn out places won't be placed on their bodies in the right place. I am with hmgberg, I can't quiet wrap my brain around paying extra for something that looks used.

rasputinsghost
09-11-2011, 06:11 AM
Those dings and scratches have to be earned, dammit!

hmgberg
09-11-2011, 06:25 AM
Okay, if anyone out there has a uke that looks too nice, I'll be happy to break it in, or just plain break it, for you. I'll do it cheap, say $100.00. Feel free to PM me. Honestly, I can make a real mess out of it for you...years of experience.

SuzukHammer
09-11-2011, 07:05 AM
I guess I should state that I buy most of my ukes used because I have to figure in shipping rates and I'm kinda a hoarder. I got nice case-queen ukes but, the beauty was getting that first scruffed up expensive used uke that basically said - "play me" and it made making music fun - taking that worry out of the equation.

I have case-queens and I never really talk about them.

oh... I guess I should say "Alot of my japanese ukes are case queens" I started to figure that out. They have low action and thin strings. You have to get used to it if you want to play those things.

OldePhart
09-12-2011, 02:41 PM
SuzukHammer, just don't take a belt sander to them to get that vintage look. Have you ever seen Kenny Wayne Shepherd's Strat? I swear that's what he did to get it to look like Stevie Ray's. It has MASSIVE, SERIOUS wear in places that a guitar would not normally get that much wear. Maybe it's for real, but it sure likes like he just got out some power tools one day...

Heh, heh. You gotta remember that Strat is about twenty years older than he is - chances it was pretty beat up before he got it. The other thing is stop and think about how many hours some of these kids put on these guitars, compared to what we do. I used to think one of Jonny Lang's tele's looked "artificially relic'd" until I realized he'd been playing it six hours a day or more for 8 or ten years before he got his first recording contract.

Some of these guys put more hours on an instrument in a year than most of us do in twenty years! And for SRV followers like KWS, there pretty rough hours, too.

Not to say KWS didn't maybe grab some sandpaper, but I wouldn't say it's a sure thing just 'cause he's young and the guitar is really beat up.

John

sbpark
09-12-2011, 03:49 PM
this has always bothered me with guitars, and there is a whole group of followers and enthusiats who are into the 'reliced' instruments. i agree with you. i feel like you and your instrument should have to pay your own dues and put in the years and effort yourself. it's like the way the rest of society is nowadays; everyone wants the end result or end product now and doesn't want to put the time or effort into it and would rather pay to have it. i dont baby my instruments and put them through their paces, but at the same time i am not going to take a dremel to them to make them look like they've been used extensively. i like them to wear naturally. with that said, i have played some of the fender road worn telecasters, and as much as i hate to say it they look the part and do feel amazing believe it or not.

and for the record the 'Road Worn' series has been around for several years now. it's nothing new from them.

Chris Tarman
09-12-2011, 04:28 PM
Heh, heh. You gotta remember that Strat is about twenty years older than he is - chances it was pretty beat up before he got it. The other thing is stop and think about how many hours some of these kids put on these guitars, compared to what we do. I used to think one of Jonny Lang's tele's looked "artificially relic'd" until I realized he'd been playing it six hours a day or more for 8 or ten years before he got his first recording contract.

Some of these guys put more hours on an instrument in a year than most of us do in twenty years! And for SRV followers like KWS, there pretty rough hours, too.

Not to say KWS didn't maybe grab some sandpaper, but I wouldn't say it's a sure thing just 'cause he's young and the guitar is really beat up.

John

Oh, I realize it's an old guitar, and that he has played it a LOT. It's just that the place with the most wear (the whole upper horn/bout area) if a place that I don't really ever see worn on guitars. But then, I've never seen KWS play. Maybe he has a very unorthodox strumming technique and hits that area hard.

Chris Tarman
09-12-2011, 04:31 PM
this has always bothered me with guitars, and there is a whole group of followers and enthusiats who are into the 'reliced' instruments. i agree with you. i feel like you and your instrument should have to pay your own dues and put in the years and effort yourself. it's like the way the rest of society is nowadays; everyone wants the end result or end product now and doesn't want to put the time or effort into it and would rather pay to have it. i dont baby my instruments and put them through their paces, but at the same time i am not going to take a dremel to them to make them look like they've been used extensively. i like them to wear naturally. with that said, i have played some of the fender road worn telecasters, and as much as i hate to say it they look the part and do feel amazing believe it or not.

and for the record the 'Road Worn' series has been around for several years now. it's nothing new from them.

I agree 100%. Right down to the part about the Road Worn Fenders being amazing. I've played a couple of Road Worn Jazz Basses, and LOVED them. I don't know that I'd BUY one... I WOULD however, buy an old bass that had been beaten up the natural way (and I have, in fact, although I don't have that bass any more).

OldePhart
09-14-2011, 01:11 PM
Oh, I realize it's an old guitar, and that he has played it a LOT. It's just that the place with the most wear (the whole upper horn/bout area) if a place that I don't really ever see worn on guitars. But then, I've never seen KWS play. Maybe he has a very unorthodox strumming technique and hits that area hard.

On strats and teles I tend to beat up the upper bout more than any other area (though I don't beat my guitars up anywhere near that bad). "Gibson" type guitars have the pickup switch up there and that makes me avoid that area - which is probably why I don't clobber my Casino, SG, and Robin Savoy anywhere near as hard. LOL

Piikea
09-21-2011, 01:24 PM
Well, even if you're a restrained player, you will mark up your instruments if you play them regularly. But if that abandon hits and it's gotten good to you, you will ding them up for sure. It's part of the story of the life of the instrument. Do we want them completely trashed out or "reliced" as is the craze with electric guitars?? I don't think so, I prefer my marks to be natural. Party's sometimes leave bruises..;-)


My girl has a '58 Kamaka soprano that has been handed down through the family females. All those fretboard fingernail marks from all the aunties and tutu's that have gone before speak of mighty Kaninkapila's in many backyards and beaches... ;-)

If that Ukulele could talk....

mr moonlight
09-21-2011, 09:39 PM
Those pre road worn instruments are hilarious. Why would you want buy a new instrument that's already beat up? So you can pretend your axe is cooler than it is? Maybe I'm missing something or I just don't get it. If you want your instrument to look beat up, why not just play the sh*t out of it. It's not so hard. Throw some stickers on it, don't wash your hands and play really hard. Wear a big belt buckle.

Personally I try to keep my instruments as nice as possible, but in the end I have a number of them with holes, scratches and dents. They're meant to be played not babied.

hmgberg
09-22-2011, 04:27 AM
Okay, if anyone out there has a uke that looks too nice, I'll be happy to break it in, or just plain break it, for you. I'll do it cheap, say $100.00. Feel free to PM me. Honestly, I can make a real mess out of it for you...years of experience.

Price Drop!! I'll do it for $50.00 ($45.00) for sopranos!! Let me show you guys what I can do. I'll destroy your instruments to your specifications, i.e., extensive strum wear, dings anywhere you would like them. Would love to work on a Collings or any instrument made by one of the fine luthiers that contribute to the forum. They've been posting a lot lately about the types of finishes they use, and I've researched them enough to know how to really mess them up.

joejeweler
09-22-2011, 07:13 AM
There is a real trick to playing instruments for years without leaving any sort of scratches on them. I have always considered it a thing with which I have been blessed-- no scratches. It is the "angle of attack" and even with a guitar (flat-picking) and mandolin (hardcore-flat-picking), I leave no scratches. If you can learn to play without leaving a scratch, you will preserve the maximum value for collectors and still enjoy having a "player" uke or other fretted instrument. Not to be critical, but that is my personal philosophy.

I think that's a big part of the reason Jake's tenor always looks brand new. As hard as he strums (about the most energetic i've ever seen),....not a mark to be seen,.....at least from the distance of youtube videos. Upclose and in hand,.....might be a whisper of strum wear somewhere.

...... his right hand can strum so fast, it appears as if a hummingbird has stopped in flight.

.......and no scratches, damn him! :D

NatalieS
09-22-2011, 12:00 PM
Has anyone seen Glen Hansard's guitar? This guitar first got my attention when he played it in the movie "Once". I thought... how crazy is that thing? But I love that he's kept it over the years. It was used in the movie, and in all the tours he's done since (including the concert I got to see live!), and even took it down the red carpet with him to win the Oscar for "Best Song". What a cool story...

28269

hmgberg
09-22-2011, 02:50 PM
Has anyone seen Glen Hansard's guitar? This guitar first got my attention when he played it in the movie "Once". I thought... how crazy is that thing? But I love that he's kept it over the years. It was used in the movie, and in all the tours he's done since (including the concert I got to see live!), and even took it down the red carpet with him to win the Oscar for "Best Song". What a cool story...

28269

I could do that!

itsme
09-22-2011, 02:55 PM
The shop has "a guy" who distresses the instruments, then they charge significantly more for them than they do the ones that are brand new and look it.
Reminds me of when my aunt had her kitchen remodeled with the "distressed" look. She said they had huge rings of keys they flailed on the cabinets to ding them up so they looked old. :D