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View Full Version : Anyone trying the "One Uke" philosophy?



Drew Bear
01-11-2012, 07:55 AM
At around the 3:00 mark on this video, Jake Shimabukuro talks about why he plays and practices with only one ukulele. Although I am a new uke player with minimal experience playing various ukes, this concept/philosophy made sense to me. Has anyone tried this? Observations & comments?

http://youtu.be/DQZLX2c-E20

I've only tried a handful of ukes, but consider the variables in switching from uke to uke: shape of the neck, width of fretboard, height of action, tension of strings and probably more that experienced players could list. Those are not insignificant for me since I'm still trying to produce clean, nice-sounding, in-tune notes along the fret board. Add barre chords and fast chord changes while strumming and the seemingly minor differences between instruments add up to make learning to play the uke even more challenging...at least for me.


FJ: Are you a collector of ukes?
JS: No, I'm not a collector. I have about four or five instruments at home…
FJ: Compared to many uke fanatics, that isn't many at all.
JS: Yeah. But I just have my main one that I tour with, play, practice on, record with. That’s my Kamaka four-string tenor.

http://www.fretboardjournal.com/features/online/interview-ukulele-great-jake-shimabukuro

Olarte
01-11-2012, 08:06 AM
Well I agree with Jake in the sense that it's his main instrument and how he makes a living.

I'm much more serious about classical guitar, so while I have two, I"m actually thinking of selling my old one since I never play it. I play one guitar I know it intimately, and would never think of performing on different one unless I change to it permanently. MInd you I'm not a professional guitarist but do take it quite seriously and perform a few times a year.

But for ukes I now have 12 ranging from a Toy Story one to my favorite the KoAloha Pineapple Sunday.

Since I do not perform, nor take Uke as serious as Classical Guitar, I like having all these, and play them from time to time. Although I now play the Pineapple Sunday, the KoAloha Soprano T2, or the Mya Moe the most.

A favorite thing to do on a "lazy" day is to play the same tune on all 12 ukuleles.

Again coming from Classical guitar, I love the idea of being able to adjust my hands from the smallest Kala Pocket all the way to the huge stretches that some pieces demand on Classical guitar. I sort of see it as cross training, and I do believe all these Ukes, have actually enhanced my guitar technique as I'm now much more flexible in playing all different sized instruments.

Part of the allure of the Uke for us mere mortals is the affordabilty, variety of instruments and that we don't need to take it so seriously. But for greats like Jake Shimabukuro, Brittini Paiva, James Hill and others, they are the equivalent of professional classical guitarists who have spent more of their life mastering their instrument to a high degree of proficiency and excellent playing abilities.

Ivan

ukuraleigh
01-11-2012, 08:08 AM
I'm probably the same. I have lots of ukes that I pick up now and then, but when practicing or recording, I generally reach for my KoAloha Super Soprano.

janeray1940
01-11-2012, 08:14 AM
While technically I own 4 ukes, this is pretty much what I've been doing since I got my Kamaka pineapple last June. It gets played exclusively about 95% of the time. I have a couple songs I mess around with on the low G uke, and I've been exploring D tuning on my other concert Kamaka, and the Kiwaya is my travel/beater uke (but I still find myself bringing the pineapple with me more often than not).

I think there's something to the idea of becoming completely familiar with the things you noted - string tension, action, fretboard width, neck shape etc - on a single instrument. I do notice that when I switch between sizes I get kinda sloppy about finger placement, probably because I'm so accustomed to the shape/width etc of the pineapple neck. When I play the Kiwaya, I have to actually watch my left hand, because the neck is *so* much chunkier than the Kamaka neck and my fingers end up falling short of where they need to be.

For me, though, it's more about spending time actually *playing* and not sinking all of my time into changing ukes, changing strings, ogling ukes online, and so forth. Why not just focus on becoming the best you can be with what you already have? It just makes so much sense to me.

Olarte
01-11-2012, 08:18 AM
I do get a benefit from playing various sized instruments but when I'm serious (as in classical guitar) then I only play that one instrument.

I also feel that as I ramp up my study of Ukes, I will be focusing on one or two ukes for the most part and will be "playing" all the rest, not focusing on profficiency, technique or performing on them.

What is the saying All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? well There is practice\study\Performing and then there is playing. ;-)

PoiDog
01-11-2012, 08:31 AM
I'm apparently one of the few folks here on UU who have fewer than five 'ukuleles, and who isn't hell-bent on acquiring as many as I can. There are several reasons, but perhaps the biggest one is that I find my Kanile'a is just a great fit for me. I'm very comfortable with it, and it is very comfortable for me, and I just don't have any need or craving for more. The only reason I have two is because I have one as low G. Otherwise, I'd probably sell or gift away the aNueNue.

I understand the things other folks here say about having a full quiver: different woods, different sizes, different builds, etc etc etc. Those may be completely valid points, and I am not going to ever try and argue against them, but they simply don't apply to me, and so, just like gun afficianados can justify what they do, it just doesn't resonate with me. That's not to say anyone is right or wrong, but I personally don't get the need for a roomfull of ukes, just like those folks don't get limiting themselves to one or two.

Trinimon
01-11-2012, 08:38 AM
That vid was from Toronto... just before I picked up a uke! If I'd only started playing sooner! :(

Thanks for the video. I think I have a very controllable version of UAS. Not a whole lot of ukes I care to own, though there are a lot that look gorgeous and I do admire good craftsmanship in luthiers.

FiL
01-11-2012, 08:39 AM
It's an interesting concept that is suitable to some, but not all. Someone like David Lindley, for instance, has done quite well playing all manner of different instruments.

I'm not a pro, but I do play out a bit, and when I play uke, 95% of the time it is my Lanikai O-8E, mainly because it's my only 8-stringer, and it's also the only string instrument I own with a pickup. But just staying in the uke realm, when I jam with friends, I occasionally also play my banjo uke, because I like that sound on certain songs, and I keep a Fluke at work, so I can work on songs during my lunch break without having to cart the O-8E back and forth every day. Whether you play one instrument or several really comes down to what your goals are.

- FiL

janeray1940
01-11-2012, 08:42 AM
I'm apparently one of the few folks here on UU who have fewer than five 'ukuleles, and who isn't hell-bent on acquiring as many as I can. There are several reasons, but perhaps the biggest one is that I find my Kanile'a is just a great fit for me. I'm very comfortable with it, and it is very comfortable for me, and I just don't have any need or craving for more. The only reason I have two is because I have one as low G.

... That's not to say anyone is right or wrong, but I personally don't get the need for a roomfull of ukes, just like those folks don't get limiting themselves to one or two.

You and me both, PoiDog, and for all the same reasons. Of the four that I have, I could very happily get by with just two - the pineapple, and the low G concert. I was actually close to letting one of the concerts go - it took a while for me to warm up to playing low G at all. I'm still in the "not sure if this is for me" stage with it, but I do really enjoy it for certain arrangements.

I do still think having a beater uke is a good idea, but even that isn't a necessity. But it's nice to be able to bring a uke to the beach or desert or wherever without my having to stress out about all the what-ifs that could happen if I brought my Kamaka pineapple!

Drew Bear
01-11-2012, 08:45 AM
...when I'm serious (as in classical guitar) then I only play that one instrument...There is practice\study\Performing and then there is playing. ;-)You mean you're never just "playing" your guitar? :) Didn't Jake say that he often has breakthroughs when just messing around & experimenting with his uke?


For me, though, it's more about spending time actually *playing* and not sinking all of my time into changing ukes, changing strings, ogling ukes online, and so forth. Why not just focus on becoming the best you can be with what you already have? Well said! I'm not saying there's any right or wrong path, but it is a struggle to be content and focus on fulfilling my potential on an incredible ukulele instead of "ogling" custom ukes.

lambchop
01-11-2012, 08:51 AM
Oddly enough, I also play with just one ukulele, and it is the one signed by Jake. Whether it is one or just a couple that are played consistently, there is much to be said for developing a rapport with your instrument. Bassist Victor Wooten sees such a connection essential in his provocative "The Music Lesson," which came out a few years ago. Mike

janeray1940
01-11-2012, 08:54 AM
You mean you're never just "playing" your guitar? :) Didn't Jake say that he often has breakthroughs when just messing around & experimenting with his uke?

Well said! I'm not saying there's any right or wrong path, but it is a struggle to be content and focus on fulfilling my potential on an incredible ukulele instead of "ogling" custom ukes.

You're right, definitely no right or wrong here. But one thing I should point out is that when you have found "the one," like I have, and like PoiDog seems to have done, it's a lot easier to be content with what you've already got.

If I was still playing the entry-level Ohana that I started with, I would definitely be ogling other ukes! While it was a fine starter instrument, I learned two things really quickly: I liked the sound of koa, and I needed more than 12 frets. After upgrading to a concert Kamaka, I learned really quickly that with my little hands, I was more comfortable on a soprano. With all of that in mind, it was easy to figure out the right uke for me, for now. So, I think a lot of UAS really comes down to finding the perfect fit (which some may never find).

CoLmes
01-11-2012, 09:06 AM
I only have 2 that I play.. A Kala for a beater and my Kanile'a.. I'm attached to both I think. I love the sound of each even if one is obviously better than the other.

austin1
01-11-2012, 09:13 AM
I'm apparently one of the few folks here on UU who have fewer than five 'ukuleles, and who isn't hell-bent on acquiring as many as I can.

Likewise. I have three ukes. One is out on more or less permanent loan, and I never expect to see it again, which is fine. The other one is a beater fluke I left in America. I only brought one uke to Germany, it's the only uke I've played in two years, and I can't come up with reasons to switch or get another one!

bdukes
01-11-2012, 09:14 AM
Yes. I subscribe to the "One Uke" philosophy... one of every brand, size, color, wood, shape etc.

Seriously, truth be told I could easily be very content with one uke and fully get the rationale behind it. I have a main player and it is my Kamaka Tenor (signed by Jake) and probably play it 90% of the time. I have several others because the "hunt" and occasional switch up makes me happy. I get great joy in thinking about what uke I'll find on my next trip to Hawaii. Given their relatively low cost (compared to cars, guitars, and cameras which I also like) they're easier to acquire. Also the resale market is good so recycling the collection occasionally can work. Both statements can't be said for cars, guitars or cameras. If I could test drive cars or cameras like ukuleles, I'd probably do it.

Having said all that, there are two ukes I'll never part with (again)... my Kamaka Tenor and Hilo Soprano which was my first. I say part with "again" because I did sell my Kamaka Tenor to a fellow UU'er and was able to buy it back thanks to her kindness and highly evident Aloha spirit. Thanks, Doreen. And the Hilo soprano is nothing more than a $25 student uke I got at a gas station in Maui. But man, does it have some memories attached.

Olarte
01-11-2012, 09:41 AM
You mean you're never just "playing" your guitar? :) Didn't Jake say that he often has breakthroughs when just messing around & experimenting with his uke?


Absolutely that's part of my point when I practice I focus on technique, sound etc... but there are days where I just play, go through old pieces etc... usually on a nice weekend day.

I learned a while ago not to confuse the two because if you do, you make less progress. Many times I would sit down to practice and never really made much progress, only because I was just playing pieces and not really working on the craft.

Same will be for Ukes as I ramp up my interest and my motivation to playing as good as I can. I plan to eventually progress in my chord\strumming and then also play some classical pieces as well. To do that it will require focused practice like CG (Classical guitar) but the uke will always lean more towards the fun side of things than the work that's involved in playing classical guitar. That is one of the reasons why I like Ukes so much!

allanr
01-11-2012, 09:49 AM
I subscribe to the firearms philosophy of ukulele ownership... You can never have too many.;)

But I only have one guitar, and don't really feel like buying more.

GVlog
01-11-2012, 09:59 AM
Depending on what your repertoire covers as you are learning, you might still need two: one in gCEA and the other in GCEA. I'm converting my Kanilea MST-4 to GCEA and will keep my $45 laminate at re-entrant for learning pieces that work only with that tuning.

Jake's now at the point where he arranges his own stuff and he can standardize to just GCEA.

The one uke philosophy could also be expanded to be a one instrument philosophy. Should you just stick to uke? Just to acoustic guitar? Just to electric guitar? Or maybe you regards yourself as a musician and also a multi-instrumentalist?

Gwynedd
01-11-2012, 10:23 AM
Don't know about one uke, but I plan to make my Mainland my "main" uke and possibly go back to a baritone for certain music. And the Dolphin for camping trips and goofing around. And it is a "wait for the Mainland" uke as well.

CoLmes
01-11-2012, 11:13 AM
You mean you're never just "playing" your guitar? :) Didn't Jake say that he often has breakthroughs when just messing around & experimenting with his uke?



Not even kidding.. I've gotten better/ had breakthroughs while on the toilet. Sometimes i'm on there so long my legs go numb.

Ukuleleblues
01-11-2012, 11:30 AM
I wonder if he ever plays other instruments. Would you classify a Tenor Uke with a low G as the same instrument as a soprano with a high G, or a Baritone. Some of these types are almost as different as a Tenor is from a Guitar.

(I always wondered what those bumper stickers meant: WWJD - What Would Jake Do)

thejumpingflea
01-11-2012, 11:49 AM
I think there is merit to having a few ukes to play. Each has a different voice and that allows you to find new sounds with your playing.

That being said, when you love a uke, you'll play it a lot. My main player is my Moore Bettah and I feel that it's a uke that I've grown with more than any other. I spend most of my time on that instrument.

mm stan
01-11-2012, 12:13 PM
While playing just one uke, you learn everything about it and it's sweet spots and dead spots on the fretboard...after that you keep buying more ukes one after another
and learn from each of them.. whether it is sizes or brands...they have different voices and you can change the strings and tunings to fit the style you're playing and or song...

pulelehua
01-11-2012, 12:43 PM
One ukulele. An MP custom. I have a Kala, but it's really just the ukulele I take on planes, or play if it's going to be near freezing (as happened in December at a Christmas yuletide market here in Kent). When I play my Kala, I actually appreciate it more than I did when it was my only ukulele. But it's still like cheating. And certain things feel a bit odd. The string spacing is really different, and the intonation gets pretty iffy around the 10th fret.

I think someday I'll get another ukulele (a DaSilva would be my choice ATM), but it will likely be more a case of serial monogamy than expanding into multiple ukuleles.

ChrisRCovington
01-11-2012, 12:48 PM
I am slowly embracing some of this philosophy only because I can only play one ukulele at a time. Not enough hands to play them all. However I am not a string wizard like Jake or most of the people posting to this thread. I need a different ukulele for different songs because they sound different. Jake can make his Kamaka sound like almost anything he wants because he is a master of his art, me I still suck. When I play stuff like Bob Marley or old SKA songs I love my aNueNue U900 pineapple. When I play stuff like David Bowie or more rock like stuff I love my Applause. When I just want a go to ukulele I get my Martin S1. To be honest the Martin is quickly becoming my "go to" or "one uke" but sometimes I just need a different sound. The rest of my collection collects dust except when I feel guilty for not playing them. Thankfully I use them for wall decoration too so they do have some purpose :)

janeray1940
01-11-2012, 12:54 PM
after that you keep buying more ukes one after another
and learn from each of them.. whether it is sizes or brands...they have different voices and you can change the strings and tunings to fit the style you're playing and or song...

While learning from each can be a good thing, I have to wonder if the average player really has that many needs, though. I know I certainly don't, but I'm not exactly a fancy player :)

Of the two most-skilled players I know - my instructors - one owns seven ukes (among them reentrant, low G, C- and D-tuning), and the other owns only two (both reentrant). From my exposure to different uke groups, classes, etc. I've noticed - and this is just a generalization, and just my own personal experience, and I hope nobody takes offense to this statement - that the better players tend to stick with just one or two well-loved instruments. Most of the folks I've encountered with "chronic UAS" - let's say, 10 or more ukes? - are the first-position chord-strummers.

Dan Uke
01-11-2012, 01:02 PM
As a first-position chord strummer, I take no offense!! LOL

However, I am at a point in my life where I don't want to spend too much time being proficient in the uke!

PoiDog
01-11-2012, 01:09 PM
From my exposure to different uke groups, classes, etc. I've noticed - and this is just a generalization, and just my own personal experience, and I hope nobody takes offense to this statement - that the better players tend to stick with just one or two well-loved instruments. Most of the folks I've encountered with "chronic UAS" - let's say, 10 or more ukes? - are the first-position chord-strummers.

That's actually kind of funny, because as a first-position chord strummer myself, I see no point in UAS at all. On the contrary, I find my limitations as a player to be a compelling counter argument against Chris' contention that different ukes are more help for different styles. From what I can tell, my playing will essentially still sound the same regardless of uke, since I am way too incapable of exploiting the differences and subtleties of wood, size, grain, build, etc. I'd just go about thrashing on one the same as the next.

So it really is because I am such a basic player that I feel anything beyond one uke is superfluous. I mean, I've got my low-g aNueNue, but I honestly feel like I'm being a bit pretentious and putting on airs by justifying it because of the linear tuning, since I'm not near the ability to make full use of what that uke can do.

In any case, more power to those folks who continually need to expand their quiver and acquire more. It doesn't hurt me none.

mm stan
01-11-2012, 01:13 PM
Nothing wrong with first position chord strummers...but you can apply your fretboard philosphy to any uke whether it is first postion or higher up the neck...
It certanily gives you a wider range of options to find in different sounds and what pleases you...trying new things gains knowledge and experience..or how
would you ever know if you don't try in anything you do in life...isn't that what life is about...
My philosphy is rather than struggling to make adjustments on one uke...find the right uke for you... in comfort and sound...foremost rule for playing uke is to
have fun always...I have some of my best times playing first chord songs..."please myself before others" rule..

mketom
01-11-2012, 01:35 PM
I can only play one ukulele at a time. :)
I too only play one at a time, but I prefer sopranos and they're too small to only have one. I have one too many, does that count?

connor013
01-11-2012, 01:35 PM
it was easy to figure out the right uke for me, for now. So, I think a lot of UAS really comes down to finding the perfect fit (which some may never find).

That's been the key in my experience. Coming at it with no real musical background, I've relied on feel to make my decisions. And while I purchased waaaaay more ukuleles than I probably should have -- almost twenty in the past year and a half -- I'm down to five. My goal is to pare the collection down to three: one soprano, one concert, one tenor.

Arrrrrgh! I'm kidding myself. (just looked at my signature -- six is not five!)

ChrisRCovington
01-11-2012, 01:56 PM
I find my limitations as a player to be a compelling counter argument against Chris' contention that different ukes are more help for different styles. From what I can tell, my playing will essentially still sound the same regardless of uke, since I am way too incapable of exploiting the differences and subtleties of wood, size, grain, build, etc.

I know what you're saying and at some level I agree. I'm not that good and I can't take advantage of things like wood, grain etc. but I think the three ukuleles I currently use are different enough that I can notice a difference when I play them. It might not be huge, heck it might only be my imagination but I'm going to run with it :) One thing I have noticed is that certain ukuleles based on size, neck shape etc. are easier to play certain songs on also. Because of the fuller body I can play bar chords easier on a pineapple because of how I tuck it under my arm and how I can move along the neck (btw I have terrible technique when I play). I like the neck shape of the Martin better than say my Fluke and Flea, etc. I guess some of it is because I am so bad at playing they become helpful.

haole
01-11-2012, 02:14 PM
I'd have a lot more money if I was able to settle for one or two ukes. But I go through phases where I'll play one almost exclusively for a few days/weeks/months and then switch. Just scored a cheap Harmony baritone from rasputinsghost and I've been playing it quite a bit, but I'll probably switch back to mostly soprano so my fingers don't get too comfortable!

mattydee
01-11-2012, 02:27 PM
I'm finding that as I try different ukuleles in various sizes and tone woods that I am discovering just what it is I like the most, so I think that Janeray is right vis a vis UAS as a testing ground—at least as far as I'm concerned. I do think that different styles sound better with different woods, but I can see myself with a total of 3 by the time I'm finished: a koa longneck pineapple, a mahogany soprano in C and a mahogany soprano in D.* I don't own the pineapple yet, but it's next on my list and I love the look and sound of it online - its a KoAloha, and I trust that it will become a go-to uke.

But I don't see myself sticking with just one. Even though Jake plays many styles of music, his artistry makes it all his, so the signature sound of his Kamaka makes sense. But for a player like me, who does it just to make music, and enjoy myself—not trying to be a professional musician—I think a few different ukes make sense.

FWIW, my friend Lil' Rev has many many ukes, and plays quite a few of them as part of his show, which always tends to be a sort of journey through ukulele history and style. He has built his UAS into his show, which I think is fun—and has been a bit of an influence on me, as well.

So I guess I see both sides. For the first time, I'm starting to think about shedding some of my ukes, but at the same time, I do want to replace them with other, new to me styles, which I hope will fill the need.

*And a sopranino. And an Eleuke for shredding. And...

ksiegel
01-11-2012, 02:40 PM
I have multiple guitars - why? Because they sounded/felt different, and some songs worked better with the Ovation than the Epiphone, some were better on the Jumbo epiphone than the Ovation, and some just wanted to be played on the Yamaha classical.

I have one 5-string banjo, because my repertoire is limited enough that one was all it took.

I have 2 banjo ukes - one modern, one vintage. They sound different, feel different, play differently. The Stella is a first position only instrument, while the FireFly I can play all over the neck, but I love them both.

The other ukuleles have different souls, so to speak. The other night, I brought my Kala and the Waverly Street to the local Uke meeting. One of the other players asked why I was playing "that thing", when I had that beautiful Kala? I tired to explain, and finally handed it to him, and said "Low g tuning." After he played it for a few minutes, he complimented me on what a wonderful instrument it is. From there, several other players asked to try it, and all said that it was wonderful, and unique, and they now understood.


I recall Dave Van Ronk telling me about how he used to travel with a six-string, a twelve-string, and a backup six, and then one day realized that he was just playing that big old Guild six-string, and he only changed the strings when they got too dead to play. So he got rid of the others, and stayed with his Guild. But, he said, what worked for him wouldn't necessarily work for another musician. "Choose your tools," he told me, "but remember that while a wrench can be used as a hammer, it isn't one."



-Kurt

kaizersoza
01-11-2012, 03:02 PM
as you can see from my sig i have a few ukes, do i feel guilty about having them, no, they all probably cost a lot less than one high end uke, i can see the point that it makes your fingering sloppy with the different fret sizes, but if you play another uke for a few days you soon get used to it, with my ukes i use them all for different reasons be it high G or low g, sopranos are for me not very good when it comes to picking or soloing due to my hand size, yes i can pick or solo on a soprano but i have a tendency to hit other strings, they are just great for strumming though and portability, i, like most of you use one uke more than the rest my fluke, but when i put this up against my mainland boy can i tell the difference with the sound and thats with my inexperienced ear, i have a soprano for work to practice in my breaks this also stays in the car, if i remember to bring it home from work, my other soprano is tuned to D, my eleuke is for well eleuking lol, the only uke i don't really use and i do slightly regret buying is my kala FMC concert, not because there is anything wrong with it , simply because i have got all i want with my other ukes, another plus point to owning more than one uke is this, if i had bought my dolphin back in June and just stuck to it, i would never have learned that sweet sound of a Mainland or the robustness and chime of a fluke or the smokey pineapple tunes of yesteryear, or just how damn good a kala solid mahogany soprano would sound and truth be told if i had to sell all my ukes tomorrow for just one Kamaka tenor uke or a sceptre........i would do it ;)

mattydee
01-11-2012, 03:13 PM
I recall Dave Van Ronk telling me about how he used to travel with a six-string, a twelve-string, and a backup six, and then one day realized that he was just playing that big old Guild six-string, and he only changed the strings when they got too dead to play. So he got rid of the others, and stayed with his Guild. But, he said, what worked for him wouldn't necessarily work for another musician. "Choose your tools," he told me, "but remember that while a wrench can be used as a hammer, it isn't one."

:agree: I love this.

Waterguy
01-11-2012, 03:15 PM
I've had this conversation on this forum before and I basically said that the cure to UAS was finding the one uke you were looking for to begin with. I found out I was wrong about that. It is true for some, but others will always want different sounds from different instruments.

I own 4 uke's. 2 of them never get played. One is a soprano wall hanger that gets picked up from time to time. One is my Kanilea K1T that gets played every day. I'd give up the other 3 in a heartbeat but in the ukulele community I seem to be the minority.

NatalieS
01-11-2012, 03:51 PM
Just one for me at this point. It took several tries (I think I've tried over 20 ukes in all??) but I finally found one that had absolutely everything I wanted in the uke. I'm glad, too, because UAS is an expensive hobby! I think there are arguments either way, for one or several, but for me I feel more of a bond with something if I keep from collecting multiples.

mm stan
01-11-2012, 03:59 PM
Would you like just one black crayon or a box of crayons?? mono simply doesn't work for me...

NatalieS
01-11-2012, 04:13 PM
Would you like just one black crayon or a box of crayons?? mono simply doesn't work for me...

What if that one crayon were burnt sienna??? Would that make a difference? ;)

Hippie Dribble
01-11-2012, 04:57 PM
What if that one crayon were burnt sienna??? Would that make a difference? ;)

he he...good call Nat...now THAT changes everything!!! Orange has always been my favorite color and right now, I'm having my dream uke built for me: spruce top, mahogany body and the bestest part, a tangerine sunburst finish!!!! Yummy!!!! Can't beat that burnt sienna :)

Just out of interest, I started a thread about this UAS thing awhile back too, and put forward an armchair theory justifying the syndrome. The basic conclusion being that trying out heaps of different ukes is a necessary step in refining one's tastes, to the point where we end up ultimately happier with less as opposed to more once we come out the other side.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?37520-UAS-a-theory-of-justification&highlight=UAS%3A+Theory+Justification

I must have owned nearly 100 ukes over the past 6 years and feel like I've sweated blood over this one being built now. My hope is that this custom one will put to bed my UAS once and for all. Here's hoping! :o

Nickie
01-11-2012, 05:21 PM
I am down to one uke. I hadn't touched my beginner Cordoba in over a week, so I sold it. I only play the new Kala now... fickle, ain't I?

bynapkinart
01-11-2012, 05:44 PM
Nope nope nope nope nope. My KoAloha is infinitely nicer than my Waikiki plastic uke, but that doesn't mean that the plastic one isn't fun to play with :)

Teek
01-11-2012, 08:49 PM
I have several but figure some are moving along too as I zero in on the go to ones. They were all fairly inexpensive, and as long as they fit in the office closet and I have a place to put them, I'm not overly concerned, and I don't count the three wallhangers, they are for visual interest. I'm very aware nobody keeps anything in the end but their soul, and never have believed in the "most toys wins" philosophy of life. But I do believe in enjoying what I do have while I still have it to enjoy.

seneystretch
01-11-2012, 09:35 PM
My music teachers said settle on 2, one to leave out and and take to the beach and parties, the other a nice one that's playable and good for learning. A Makai made of tiger maple plywood, bright and durable. A Loprinzi koa which is always put away in its case when not played. I think the important thing is to make sure the instrument is set up and has good strings.

By the way, nice write up in the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/us/music-lessons-on-webcams-grow-in-popularity.html

Drew Bear
01-11-2012, 10:28 PM
There are clearly many paths to ukulele nirvana. Strum your own strum.

These forums are full of discussions of UAS, new ukes and the benefits of owning different scales, woods, tunings, body styles, etc. That's a perfectly valid uke lifestyle if you can afford it and have the space and time.

I was just hoping that newcomers could also see that the one uke option was also reasonable and presented its own set of rewards. No one needs to feel guilty for owning a dozen ukes, but neither should anyone feel badly they only own one.

I know this is not anyone's intention, but it's almost implied in these forums that UAS is unavoidable and that you're a bit abnormal if you don't catch it. I suppose it's the nature of forums to focus on newness and novelty. It's hard to share the excitement of finding the sweet spot on the 7th fret of the A string. Much easier to get everyone pumped up about your new spalted mango uke.

mm stan
01-12-2012, 02:20 AM
Have you seen hard core Harmonica players and their collection...he he

Mandarb
01-12-2012, 03:00 AM
I pretty much only play my Kamaka - it is my "go to" uke. I play it at home, at jams, and take it with me when traveling.

Plainsong
01-12-2012, 03:19 AM
I tried to step away from the whole collecting thing, and concentrate on getting the ones that will be keepers. I couldn't stop at just one, but when I get that last grail uke, I'll be at 5 + 1 solid body + 1 beater, which is just practically no ukes at all how will I ever manage?? :D

efiscella
01-12-2012, 03:29 AM
I watched the video and my first thoughts were that if I played as well as Jake played, what he says about becoming one with an instrument and looking for perfection makes perfect sense. For me, however, perfection is not even in my vocabulary at this stage of the game. I need all of the help i can get and the instrument brings more to me than I do to the instrument. That is why I like having a tenor, concert, soprano, and 8 string. These different voices help me to sound better with different songs. I am finding, however, that as I progress in my skill level, I am beginning to settle on more specific instruments and play them more than others. I believe that what Jake is talking about will be a natural progression for me as I become a more proficient player. I have already taken my collection down from 9 ukes to 4 and of them, I have two up for sale now. This will leave me with one of each size (the soprano is on order from Brad Donaldson). That is my goal.

efiscella
01-12-2012, 03:38 AM
Just out of interest, I started a thread about this UAS thing awhile back too, and put forward an armchair theory justifying the syndrome. The basic conclusion being that trying out heaps of different ukes is a necessary step in refining one's tastes, to the point where we end up ultimately happier with less as opposed to more once we come out the other side.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?37520-UAS-a-theory-of-justification&highlight=UAS%3A+Theory+Justification
o
I agree with this. Once you find your match, then the search is over.

vanflynn
01-12-2012, 03:41 AM
For me, however, perfection is not even in my vocabulary at this stage of the game.

I'm with you there!

One of the many wonderful things about the ukulele is that you can get very playable instrument for $200-$500 range. Not many other instruments can brag that. This allows us to be able to try different ones while keeping some that we really like.

The other aspect is the aesthetics with the different wood types. Many of these are works of art on top of being fun instruments. Hey, who has only one picture in their house?

mm stan
01-12-2012, 03:50 AM
Finding you match is certainly not easy..and after you do, you may certainly want another to grow and experince from..he he..
when I get bored, I buy another ukulele, it keeps me motivated...

cahaya
01-12-2012, 04:50 AM
Jake's now at the point where he arranges his own stuff and he can standardize to just GCEA.

The one uke philosophy could also be expanded to be a one instrument philosophy. Should you just stick to uke? Just to acoustic guitar? Just to electric guitar? Or maybe you regards yourself as a musician and also a multi-instrumentalist?

So Jack plays in high G? I know Brittini P plays in low g.

I was thinking of getting two ukes at first for the G and g settings. After reading this thread, I think I am on the right parth, try them then decide one later.

Magoosan
01-12-2012, 06:18 AM
I never really understood multiple instruments as primary playing instruments. I do have multiple instruments but for specific reasons. My main uke is a Pono tenor, but I do own a fluke I rarely play just in case I want to take it on a picnic to the beach, etc. My primary guitar is Martin D-35 but I have an inexpensive Washburn if I need it for theatrical show so I'm not concerned about it getting knocked over back stage. But when it comes to serious playing, only one instrument.

GVlog
01-12-2012, 06:46 AM
So Jack plays in high G?
Jake you mean? He plays in Low-G I believe. I've always notated that as GCEA and re-entrant in gCEA. Maybe others do it the other way around..

Drew Bear
01-12-2012, 06:53 AM
MK: It looks and sounds as though you play high-G; do you ever play low-G?

Jake: I have always played with the high-G string because it's the traditional tuning of the ukulele. I also love the unique chord voicings that you can get with the 2 higher pitched strings positioned on the top and bottom.
http://lambchopukulele.blogspot.com/2010/08/jake-shimabukuro-interview-if-everyone.html

DeVineGuitars
01-12-2012, 06:59 AM
I never really understood multiple instruments as primary playing instruments. I do have multiple instruments but for specific reasons. My main uke is a Pono tenor, but I do own a fluke I rarely play just in case I want to take it on a picnic to the beach, etc. My primary guitar is Martin D-35 but I have an inexpensive Washburn if I need it for theatrical show so I'm not concerned about it getting knocked over back stage. But when it comes to serious playing, only one instrument.
Good point.
UAS plagues us all but I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity.

PoiDog
01-12-2012, 07:14 AM
Good point.
UAS plagues us all but I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity.

And with these words of wisdom, I think this thread can be wrapped up.

gtomatt
01-12-2012, 07:36 AM
I'm apparently one of the few folks here on UU who have fewer than five 'ukuleles, and who isn't hell-bent on acquiring as many as I can. There are several reasons, but perhaps the biggest one is that I find my Kanile'a is just a great fit for me. I'm very comfortable with it, and it is very comfortable for me, and I just don't have any need or craving for more. The only reason I have two is because I have one as low G. Otherwise, I'd probably sell or gift away the aNueNue.

I understand the things other folks here say about having a full quiver: different woods, different sizes, different builds, etc etc etc. Those may be completely valid points, and I am not going to ever try and argue against them, but they simply don't apply to me, and so, just like gun afficianados can justify what they do, it just doesn't resonate with me. That's not to say anyone is right or wrong, but I personally don't get the need for a roomfull of ukes, just like those folks don't get limiting themselves to one or two.

PoiDog,
Nope... you're not alone. I love my Kamaka HF-2, but I travel a lot for work so I have my Oscar-Schmidt OU-2E that I take along with me in case it gets knocked around a bit. I'm quite happy with just this pair. I can also understand folks who are making a living having an assortment depending upon their needs. I have multiple guitars from when I used to play out more (a few custom shop Les Pauls, an SG, modifed Strat + a Mossman acoustic) which gave the advantage of different tunings depending on the songs in the set list, equipment hiccups, etc. Certain guitars just seem to sound better for different tunes - probably the same with ukes.

Matt

Sporin
01-12-2012, 08:19 AM
There's a lot to be said for the one uke philosophy.

I was really having fun playing my son's Dolphin last week when we got it but trying to play it at Uke Club with many other players where I'm trying to play, sing, and match the others around me it became clear just how different the sizing and spacing was on the neck. Enough to throw off my usual no-look way of playing that I've worked so hard on. Jumping back to my Kala Concert made a world of difference. My fingers "know it" much better and I can play it better and with less concentration on finger placement due to muscle memory.

Now, that doesn't mean I don't covet a bevy of beautiful ukes, I do. But it's enough for me to recognize that the uke I practice with and play with most is going to give me an advantage.

Drew Bear
01-12-2012, 08:31 AM
...I do own a fluke I rarely play just in case I want to take it on a picnic to the beach, etc...I've read others make the same argument for a "take-it-anywhere" uke. But as long as you also brought a case for the uke, wouldn't a high-end solid wood uke be able to survive being outdoors for a few hours? I'm not sure I'd even leave a beater uke lying on the sand or grass. It'd go back in the case when no one was playing it.

Or are solid wood ukes susceptible to some kind of harm from the ocean air or warmth around the campfire (obviously not too close to the fire)? I'm not going to be careless with an expensive instrument, but I'd also like to be able to play it in some of my favorite outdoor settings. Is this really too much of a risk?

janeray1940
01-12-2012, 08:40 AM
I've read others make the same argument for a "take-it-anywhere" uke. But as long as you also brought a case for the uke, wouldn't a high-end solid wood uke be able to survive being outdoors for a few hours? I'm not sure I'd even leave a beater uke lying on the sand or grass. It'd go back in the case when no one was playing it.

Or are solid wood ukes susceptible to some kind of harm from the ocean air or warmth around the campfire (obviously not too close to the fire)? I'm not going to be careless with an expensive instrument, but I'd also like to be able to play it in some of my favorite outdoor settings. Is this really too much of a risk?

I'm mostly concerned with the temperature fluctuations that come with bringing a uke outdoors. When I go to the beach, for instance, the uke goes from an air-conditioned car, to full sun, to temperatures than can drop really rapidly when the sun goes down. The desert presents its own similar set of problems, plus that of lack of humidity. And there are those times when you just really need to stash that uke in the trunk for a while - I mean, I suppose I could always bring it indoors with me, but sometimes if I'm on a day trip and I spot an antique store, I pop in for a look. And the last thing I need is to be carrying a uke with me in a crowded space full of someone else's stuff :)

Until I got my Kamaka pineapple, I was a lot more carefree about bringing my ukes outdoors for the day - my Kamaka concerts have been on planes, to the beach, you name it. But I have two of them, and both are equally good - if one got damaged, while I wouldn't be happy, I would at least have a backup.

My pineapple, on the other hand, is one of a kind. It was hard enough to find a new Kamaka pineapple that I could try before buying - when I did find one, timing was on my side and I lucked out and had two to choose from. The one I chose was far superior to the other Kamaka pineapple in stock at the store - it's just *that good*. So I worry about it probably a bit more than I should, and am probably overly cautious.

GX9901
01-12-2012, 08:51 AM
I agree that for a pro such as Jake, having only one uke is the way to go. Heck, even a hack like me probably should just own one uke. But, I think for those of us who end up owning a lot of ukes, it probably has more to do with our DNA than anything else. I personally seem to end up with tons of everything I get into. Be it ukes, watches, action figures, you name it. If I was rich I'd probably own multiple sports cars and a 10-car garage. LOL!

I think it's great if you're satisfied with owning just one uke. I wish I only had one nice uke (it can be a pain in the butt to humidify 15 ukes during the winter), but I personally do enjoy having a bunch of different ukes around even if don't play some of them very much.

mr moonlight
01-12-2012, 08:51 AM
I have two uke's that I play. I have 4 in all but one I'm going to sell and the other is my kids. So for me it's a 2 uke philosophy. I have one nice custom uke and I have one beater. My beater is also a pretty nice uke, but cost quite a bit less than my custom. I've only had it for a few months and it already has it's share of dings and scratches. It also has a bit of sand in it from the beach. I don't expect this uke to last forever, but that's sort of the point of it too.

Paul December
01-12-2012, 08:54 AM
"But I just have my main one that I tour with, play, practice on, record with. That’s my Kamaka four-string tenor."

:confused: I wonder if he is contractually required to say that...
...Until the very unlikely time some manufacturer starts paying me to play their instrument, I'll keep buying ukes! :D

Drew Bear
01-12-2012, 09:08 AM
I'm mostly concerned with the temperature fluctuations that come with bringing a uke outdoors. When I go to the beach, for instance, the uke goes from an air-conditioned car, to full sun, to temperatures than can drop really rapidly when the sun goes down. The desert presents its own similar set of problems, plus that of lack of humidity. Yes, the temp changes would be something I'd carefully consider. But what exactly are the tolerances of say a solid koa uke? I've read the broad warnings against sudden changes in temps, but no details. Even in an AC car, a uke in a case shouldn't get too cold, right? So would going from 60º F in the case to 80º in the shade on the beach cause problems?


And there are those times when you just really need to stash that uke in the trunk for a while - I mean, I suppose I could always bring it indoors with me, but sometimes if I'm on a day trip and I spot an antique store, I pop in for a look. And the last thing I need is to be carrying a uke with me in a crowded space full of someone else's stuff :)I would never leave my uke in the car, trunk or otherwise, for more than a few minutes. Other people's stuff will just have to fend for themselves. :) j/k I'd probably be toting the cased uke on my back and be very careful how I turned around.


My pineapple, on the other hand, is one of a kind... it's just *that good*. So I worry about it probably a bit more than I should, and am probably overly cautious.I don't blame you. I do want to be responsibly cautious and take good care of my uke. I would just like to learn what the specific boundaries are. In my case the uke has a UV cured polyester finish and I don't know how that influences the temp tolerances one way or the other. I think I'll email Joe @Kanile'a and ask.

Sporin
01-12-2012, 02:20 PM
As I'm looking at nicer, solid body ukes, I have a lot of these same climate concerns. Living in Vermont, we have wacky up and down humidity and wildly fluctuating temps. A lady in our uke club had her beautiful uke pop it's bridge off after a day in her truck.

I'll might pick up another Dolphin (my son loves his) for a "knock-around Uke. I'm not even sure I want to subject my Kala (http://www.theukulelesite.com/ukulelemarket/kala-ka-c-concert-mahogany) to air travel and Florida beach vacation in May.

kaizersoza
01-12-2012, 02:37 PM
I've read others make the same argument for a "take-it-anywhere" uke. But as long as you also brought a case for the uke, wouldn't a high-end solid wood uke be able to survive being outdoors for a few hours? I'm not sure I'd even leave a beater uke lying on the sand or grass. It'd go back in the case when no one was playing it.

Or are solid wood ukes susceptible to some kind of harm from the ocean air or warmth around the campfire (obviously not too close to the fire)? I'm not going to be careless with an expensive instrument, but I'd also like to be able to play it in some of my favorite outdoor settings. Is this really too much of a risk?

i would rather damage my dolphin or my pineapple through an accident than my mainland, its got nothing to do with temperature or anything else, purely accidental damage, i camp an hike a lot and i wouldn't dream of taking my mainland or my Eleuke with me, its called personal choice, you got yours and i got mine

Nickie
01-12-2012, 07:45 PM
I never leave my uke anyplace that I wouldn't leave my cats.

mandrew
01-12-2012, 11:21 PM
I only own and play one uke, a mahogany Kanile'a Islander concert with low G. It does all I need, and I get used to one instrument. Less finger confusion.

Dan Uke
01-13-2012, 07:04 AM
I gotta spend my money somewhere...might as well be for more ukes!!

kaizersoza
01-13-2012, 08:12 AM
well people collect teapots and you can use only one, people collect keyrings, people collect all sorts of things, so why not ukes, ask a lot of guitarists how many guitars they have, if i want 100 ukes i will have them, just coz 'Jake' says he only uses one does'nt mean its the gospel, i notice that most of you on here who 'only use one uke' all own high end ukes i for one cannot afford or justify at the moment paying out that kind of money on one uke, how many ukes have you owned since you started playing? What is starting to get my goat about this thread is that you are making members try to justify why they have got more than one ukulele, you have made your point you and Jake only prefer to use one uke, thats great, crack on, but for some of us we prefer to own more than one, i have lessons with a uke, guitarist, bazouki and banjo player of 40+ years experience, now in his humble opinion it doesn't matter what size uke or any other stringed instrument you play, your muscle memory will adapt

PoiDog
01-13-2012, 08:30 AM
well people collect teapots and you can use only one, people collect keyrings, people collect all sorts of things, so why not ukes, ask a lot of guitarists how many guitars they have, if i want 100 ukes i will have them, just coz 'Jake' says he only uses one does'nt mean its the gospel, i notice that most of you on here who 'only use one uke' all own high end ukes i for one cannot afford or justify at the moment paying out that kind of money on one uke, how many ukes have you owned since you started playing? What is starting to get my goat about this thread is that you are making members try to justify why they have got more than one ukulele, you have made your point you and Jake only prefer to use one uke, thats great, crack on, but for some of us we prefer to own more than one, i have lessons with a uke, guitarist, bazouki and banjo player of 40+ years experience, now in his humble opinion it doesn't matter what size uke or any other stringed instrument you play, your muscle memory will adapt

Seems like you may be a bit defensive here.

Personally, as someone who only has two ukes and who has no desire (nor real understanding of why) to acquire more, perhaps this will help relax you. First, if you want to own 100 ukes, go ahead. It doesn't hurt me. And, just because it doesn't make sense to me, doesn't mean I'm right, any more than the fact that you don't understand why I only have two ukes means I'm wrong. Also, I'm not keeping a low number because of Jake. Because I don't care how many ukes Jake owns, either.

It's just my personal preference and belief. Nothing more.

As far as me owning high end ukes, well yeah. I saved money for them for the better part of a year. I could have taken that money I spent a year saving for my Kanile'a and bought four, five, or six lower priced ukes, but I didn't choose to do so. Others would, and that is fine. I'm not more right or wrong for my choice than they are.

As for trying to make you justify your choice, or make you feel bad for it, well, I certainly don't mean to do that, and in fact I have a feeling that others don't either. And if you really were cool with your choice, it wouldn't bug you even if anyone was trying to do that. More than that, I think it's a bit silly to get all upest over ONE THREAD talking about using only one or two ukes, while every day there are several threads popping up where folks brag and show off their 35th acquisition. Yet you don't see anyone with only a few ukes getting defensive and claiming that all the UAS-promoting posts somehow make us feel the need to justify our choice.

In the end this is all a tempest in a tea pot. If you like having a ton of ukes (for whatever reason), great! Good for you, and I honestly and sincerely hope you get as many more as you could ever want. But, if you prefer only a few (or one), that is great too.

We cool?

bigchiz
01-13-2012, 08:57 AM
I play a Kala tenor (nato / mora) 75% of the time, a ubass 20% of the time. The bass is not a uke though, it's just a really small bass. My teenage kids live at home. One has a Epi Les Paul (concert), the other has a Mitchel MU-70 (concert). Occasionally I play their ukes, say about 5% of the time. The difference in finger positions is noticeable and I don't want to confuse the muscle memory. Better to stay with one size for chording, me thinks.

If I get another uke it will probably be a tenor. Somewhat interested in a banjolele, but probably not in 2012, unless a great deal comes by.

ukecantdothat
01-13-2012, 10:05 AM
In my guitar days, I used to warm up on my acoustic for gigs, like a batter warms up with a weighted bat before stepping up to the plate. Nowadays though, it's all uke all the time!

I have one strung w/lowG and one reentrant. Being a blues rocker at heart, the lowG is essential, but there are things that just can't be done without reentrant tuning, cool picking patterns, that "inside out" vibe, etc. My bucket list has a doubleneck on it for live work, because I don't like the frequent interruptions during a set, and I always have to organize the song order to accomodate the different tunings. I always keep the first and last songs in place, because those are the most important in my IMO, but I'm sure it drives everyone nuts! For muscle-memory purposes, I prefer to stick w/concert scale. The soprano gets pulled out for recordings that demand the "classic" ukulele sound.

If I was a Jake S-type, I would definitely play one uke primarily, I totally get that. But I'm far from it. If I could afford it, I'd have an over-sized collection, strung every which way, and bounce from one to the other like a pinball! I'm also a firm believer that every instrument has a unique tune hidden inside, just waiting to be written.

kaizersoza
01-13-2012, 10:09 AM
Seems like you may be a bit defensive here.

Personally, as someone who only has two ukes and who has no desire (nor real understanding of why) to acquire more, perhaps this will help relax you. First, if you want to own 100 ukes, go ahead. It doesn't hurt me. And, just because it doesn't make sense to me, doesn't mean I'm right, any more than the fact that you don't understand why I only have two ukes means I'm wrong. Also, I'm not keeping a low number because of Jake. Because I don't care how many ukes Jake owns, either.

It's just my personal preference and belief. Nothing more.

As far as me owning high end ukes, well yeah. I saved money for them for the better part of a year. I could have taken that money I spent a year saving for my Kanile'a and bought four, five, or six lower priced ukes, but I didn't choose to do so. Others would, and that is fine. I'm not more right or wrong for my choice than they are.

As for trying to make you justify your choice, or make you feel bad for it, well, I certainly don't mean to do that, and in fact I have a feeling that others don't either. And if you really were cool with your choice, it wouldn't bug you even if anyone was trying to do that. More than that, I think it's a bit silly to get all upest over ONE THREAD talking about using only one or two ukes, while every day there are several threads popping up where folks brag and show off their 35th acquisition. Yet you don't see anyone with only a few ukes getting defensive and claiming that all the UAS-promoting posts somehow make us feel the need to justify our choice.

In the end this is all a tempest in a tea pot. If you like having a ton of ukes (for whatever reason), great! Good for you, and I honestly and sincerely hope you get as many more as you could ever want. But, if you prefer only a few (or one), that is great too.

We cool?

ha, you got me all wrong Poidog, i'm not upset and i find that quite patronising you saying that, i ain't being defensive its just my point of view, i am totally relaxed, i don't feel 'bad' nor have i said that, my choice of ukes don't bug me, i love em, they are my pride and joy, its just my opinion, you are entitled to yours and me mine, as regards 'we cool' course we cool, i love you and your Kanile'a ;o)

PoiDog
01-13-2012, 10:10 AM
ha, you got me all wrong Poidog, i'm not upset and i find that quite patronising you saying that, i ain't being defensive its just my point of view, i am totally relaxed, i don't feel 'bad' nor have i said that, my choice of ukes don't bug me, i love em, they are my pride and joy, its just my opinion, you are entitled to yours and me mine, as regards 'we cool' course we cool, i love you and your Kanile'a ;o)

Well, then everything is good :)

OldePhart
01-13-2012, 11:33 AM
Yes, I believe quite strongly in the one uke philosophy. It's just that the one uke changes from day to day... LOL

Trinimon
01-13-2012, 11:50 AM
Yes, I believe quite strongly in the one uke philosophy. It's just that the one uke changes from day to day... LOL

LOL, one uke for Monday, one for Tuesday, one for Wednesday....

rasputinsghost
01-13-2012, 02:08 PM
I like Jake's philosophy but I'm sticking with my 4 guys...

Drew Bear
01-13-2012, 02:12 PM
I like Jake's philosophy but I'm sticking with my 4 guys...Don't blame ya...that's quite a lineup. The 8-string seems almost a different beast. Do you play any one of them more than the others?

1931jim
01-13-2012, 03:50 PM
Hello Drew Bear,
Thank you for this thread. As a newcomer I thought I would read all the postings and get some needed education. An hour and a half well spent I might add. Perhaps I'm lucky, I started out with nothing and have half of it left. HaHa !
My old plywood baritone from the early 60's and my solid mahogany concert (1980's) will keep my fingers busy for the forseeable future. Being an old guitar player I find the DGBE on the baritone the kindest for my finger muscle memory, as well as singing to the four walls of my little "spaghetti junction" den. ( wee wife's description.)......1931jim

philpot
01-13-2012, 05:04 PM
I only play one right now, with the exception of the occasional venture back into soprano land for a memory trip. When I save up enough for a custom, that one will probably be the only one I play, and depending on how I settle into it, I might try to pass on my Kamaka to someone else. Probably not xD but it's a possibility. So I understand the advantages of just playing on one.

jungleturtle
01-13-2012, 05:40 PM
I've only got one uke so far, but I have many other instruments I play. Next instrument on my list to get is a tiple which is uke-ish.

The whole crayon analogy: one uke by itself can be an entire box of crayons.

Chris Tarman
01-13-2012, 06:28 PM
I'm as much a poster child for UAS as anyone possibly could be, but then I've always enjoyed collecting things. As I've gotten more into the ukulele, I've made better choices about what I like, and I could probably get rid of some of my earlier purchases. Not necessarily because they're not good ukes, but just because they're not what I'm interested in now. For instance, the first decent uke I bought was a concert sized Kala. Then I bought a Kala Acacia tenor. It's a nice instrument for the money. But really, all I play or want to play now is soprano. They're small and I can fit a couple of them in the space that a tenor takes up! But now that I know that I like sopranos, I don't want to settle with just one. I like acquiring things. I like acquiring OLD things. So I have 3 old Martins and an old Gibson. I have two Mainland s that I really like and play semi-regularly. I have a Mainland soprano banjo uke, for something different. I have my Kiwaya KTS-7 because it was easier to get than a vintage Martin Style 3, and it's less finicky. Now that I have the vintage Style 3, I don't think I'll get rid of the Kiwaya. In fact, I'm sort of thinking of having a pickup installed in the Kiwaya someday. I would someday like to get a Style 0 Martin, and to have a custom soprano built. Then, I COULD be done. Possibly. The bottom line is that I enjoy having different ukuleles to play depending on my mood. I could probably narrow my collection down, but I don't think I could ever pick just ONE to play all the time. Thankfully, I don't HAVE to!

ricdoug
01-13-2012, 07:02 PM
I own 62 guitars and 15 ukuleles. While I'll never be a "Jake", I'll always be a performing musician. I will always share my aloha and instruments with others craving to learn. That being stated, I'm a big fan of Jake. From his original "Guitar Gently Weeps" on YouTube to the present. Rock on, Jake! Ric

kissing
01-13-2012, 08:32 PM
It's impossible for me to have one uke.. I enjoy a range of different tunings (GCEA, low G, DGBE, and more recently DGBE but one octave high!)

I enjoy a range of different sizes (Sopranos all the way to Baritone and bass).

And a range of different types (electric, acoustic, steel strings.. thinking of experimenting with slide)

And a range of different brands (insert long list)



I value flexibility and adaptability. Any uke I grab, I can play, as I'm accustomed to a range of different necks and sizes.

Drew Bear
01-14-2012, 07:20 AM
Thank you for this thread. As a newcomer I thought I would read all the postings and get some needed education. An hour and a half well spent I might add...Glad you found it educational, Jim. I certainly learned a lot from the discussion. If I stick with one uke through 2012, maybe I'll be able to add some personal insight on how this philosophy worked out for me. One path that is appealing was suggested by a number of folks who own a few ukes, but play one of them 80-90% of the time.

Couloirman
01-14-2012, 07:50 AM
One uke is not possible for me. In my opinion most people will need one high G and one low G in the house, plus for me I like to have one more to leave in my car at all times just in case I want to play no matter where I am. The car uke is a cheapo laminate for duability so I dont care what happens to it if I ruin it from temp fluctuations or whatever Ill just get another one. Im sticking with 3 for now but that will go up significantly now that Im building my own :)

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
01-14-2012, 08:17 AM
I was a one-uke guy for four years, then my uke broke. Shopping for a replacement, I ended up with both a great uke (a used Kamaka standard) and a pretty intense case of UAS. (I ended up buying seven ukes; the UAS has been in remission since October.)

Now, I play my Kamaka standard every day. Had UAS not struck, it certainly could've been the One Uke for me. Most days, though, I play---and feel some love for---at least one of the other ukes.

janeray1940
01-14-2012, 08:56 AM
If I stick with one uke through 2012, maybe I'll be able to add some personal insight on how this philosophy worked out for me. One path that is appealing was suggested by a number of folks who own a few ukes, but play one of them 80-90% of the time.

The second sentence describes me exactly, but this thread has prompted me to stick to one uke (the pineapple) and one uke only for, oh, maybe a month or so. I'm curious to see if it leads to any breakthroughs, because I could certainly use a breakthrough or two :)

Skrik
01-14-2012, 09:18 AM
I have been thinking about this for the last week or so, and I cannot subscribe to the idea that one ukulele is enough for me. D-tuning, C-tuning, reentrant tuning, linear tuning, soprano, vita, tenor, baritone, (perhaps a concert some time in the future), solid mahogany, curly koa, spruce top, cedar top, rosewood back and sides, archtop, plastic-backed beaters, home-painted monstrosities, etc., etc., etc.

I already have a few ukuleles, have concrete plans for two more (in formats I don't currently own), and dreams of a custom made soprano.

Why all this extravagance? Because it's my hobby, that's why. For me, the huge variation in ukuleles is a huge part of the fun. I have my favourite ukulele that I practice most on (a Brüko No. 6 (soprano) strung with reentrant Aquila Nylguts), but love trying out the same thing on different instruments. I have also found that certain songs sound best on certain ukueles (Big Bad Bill, for example sounds great on my vita, but tame on some of the others I own).

All in all, I like my way of doing things; I am, however, mature enough to realise that my way is not necessarily the way everyone wants to play (and play with) the ukulele. Live and let live, innit?

Drew Bear
01-14-2012, 09:34 AM
Live and let live, innit?Exactamundo! Cool Dolphin!

BTW, I fully understand all the reasons mentioned by more experienced players who own multiple ukes. All valid and I feel the pull of some of those reasons pretty strongly. But is it possibly detrimental to the progress of a beginning uke player to be switching between different sizes, tunings, woods, etc.? I've decided that it would be for me, but I don't know that definitively (since I'm not trying the other path) and I certainly don't know if that holds true for all beginners.

What do ukulele instructors usually advise?

mattydee
01-14-2012, 10:55 AM
Exactamundo! Cool Dolphin!

BTW, I fully understand all the reasons mentioned by more experienced players who own multiple ukes. All valid and I feel the pull of some of those reasons pretty strongly. But is it possibly detrimental to the progress of a beginning uke player to be switching between different sizes, tunings, woods, etc.? I've decided that it would be for me, but I don't know that definitively (since I'm not trying the other path) and I certainly don't know if that holds true for all beginners.

What do ukulele instructors usually advise?

I'm not an instructor, and I've only been playing for 18 months, but I know that my UAS was helpful in determining what size and sound I like best, so that if/when I pare down or upgrade, I can better invest my energies in an instrument I know I'll like. I thought I would love a tenor uke, but having learned on a soprano, and picking up a convert not long after, I realized that was the sound profile I most enjoyed playing with. So I sold my newly acquired tenor and replaced it with another soprano.

It's funny. I keep going back and forth on this, but at this moment, I'm pretty firmly in the I like different sounds for different songs camp, and so having a fuller toolkit makes more sense for me. To each his or her own.

1937Scott
05-13-2012, 05:16 PM
Jake's comments are for him. And they make sense. He's a professional who makes his living with his instrument. And he might even be accused of being a perfectionist.

There is an old saying in the gunfighting world from the Old West, "Fear the man with one gun." Same thought process.

But I just went and saw Joe Bonamassa a couple of weeks ago and he played for almost 2 1/2 hours, and the longest he used the same guitar for was two songs. He had a rack FULL of some of the coolest guitars I've ever seen. And I'd put Joe up against anyone alive today. Of course, I've seen Joe Satriani several times, he plays the exact same model guitar for the entire show, but in-between each song he steps to the side of the stage and swaps out with a freshly-tuned perfect twin of what he's performing with.

So, it probably comes down to ability, needs, how much you practice, and well, how good you are. I started on a concert, but I have 'regeressed' to soprano (for a month), then sopranino (for a month), and now the uke I play EVERY DAY is a Kala Pocket Uke. And after a few months, I'm pretty dangerous with it. But--it has limitations because of the short scale and close together frets.

As stated earlier, UAS can be about finding the uke you like. But for others, it's having a collection to play a variety for fun and enjoyment. I gotta say, I get true pleasure and happiness from playing. If I made a living at it, I might have a different perspective.

(But I'm a pilot that gets to take a uke with me to work and play in-between flights sitting at the airport.)

Freeda
05-13-2012, 05:27 PM
I seem to be on the one uke PER PAYDAY plan. ;)

The novelty of new ones keeps me interested. I have the attention span of a gnat.

janeray1940
05-13-2012, 05:32 PM
Interesting to see this thread resurface after a few months. I'm still on the one-uke plan with my Kamaka pineapple, and I'm convinced that I've been making a bit more progress this year than last year, when I alternated between the pineapple and the concert uke pretty regularly.

1937Scott
05-13-2012, 05:34 PM
I seem to be on the one uke PER PAYDAY plan. ;)

The novelty of new ones keeps me interested. I have the attention span of a gnat.

HAW!!

Good point. and funny

blue_knight_usa
05-13-2012, 05:35 PM
Thanks for admitting this publicly, now I can show my wife there are other "dedicated to the cause" musicians out there.

Cheers,


Not even kidding.. I've gotten better/ had breakthroughs while on the toilet. Sometimes i'm on there so long my legs go numb.

Freeda
05-13-2012, 05:50 PM
Great. Now I need to buy another uke to keep in the john. ;)

blue_knight_usa
05-13-2012, 06:00 PM
I'm in the same boat. I have no duplicates (no tenors with the same woods, no concerts with the same woods, etc) but I do have different ukes and each one is good for a certain style of music. Although you could certainly play just one with all styles. doing blues on a tenor resonator with a glass slide sounds fantastic to me when I play with my dad (harp player). I can't get that sound on any of my other ukes. If playing 20/30's music my Martin soprano has just that right sound for that era of music that seems to fit to my ears. I just really enjoy playing each of mine. I love Spanish music, tremelo playing and thus I never could get the sound I was trying to get until I found my William King custom scale tenor which is bigger than a tenor and sounds just like a spanish style guitar when I'm doing my tremelo runs. Plugged into my VOX amp and a slight reverb and it's just awesome sounding to me. So, I really enjoy the different characteristics of each and I really like collecting custom ukes and have been enjoying them tremendously.

My buddy loves vintage ukes and has been collecting them and he has some of the coolest and fantastic vintage sounding ukes and probably one of the oldest ever made (It's late 1800's and extremely cool and a one of it's kind in the world most likely). I am the opposite and like the modern custom builders (King, Hurney, Lichty, Devine), but we both enjoy collecting. I am certain if I was a pro and making a living I would have just one uke as there is something about having to master the tool of your trade. I just love playing for fun, working on sounding decent, and I'll never get to a Jake or James Hill level because I can't play as much as I would like every day.

A guy I work with plays guitar professionally after his day job and has 26 guitars, so I'm way behind him as I only have 6! I thought my UAS was bad but at least us uke players don't have GAS (I don't!).

Cheers,


I'm not an instructor, and I've only been playing for 18 months, but I know that my UAS was helpful in determining what size and sound I like best, so that if/when I pare down or upgrade, I can better invest my energies in an instrument I know I'll like. I thought I would love a tenor uke, but having learned on a soprano, and picking up a convert not long after, I realized that was the sound profile I most enjoyed playing with. So I sold my newly acquired tenor and replaced it with another soprano.

It's funny. I keep going back and forth on this, but at this moment, I'm pretty firmly in the I like different sounds for different songs camp, and so having a fuller toolkit makes more sense for me. To each his or her own.

consitter
05-13-2012, 06:56 PM
Not even kidding.. I've gotten better/ had breakthroughs while on the toilet. Sometimes i'm on there so long my legs go numb.

Well, that answers a question about a thread I was toying with starting "Do you play your uke while on the toilet?" If you do and I do, I suspect others do while they doodoo.

1937Scott
05-13-2012, 07:04 PM
This thread has kind of gone to....

the crapper.

mds725
05-13-2012, 09:34 PM
I'mI thought my UAS was bad but at least us uke players don't have GAS (I don't!).

Not having GAS doesn't explain breakthroughs on the toilet.....

consitter
05-13-2012, 09:40 PM
It kinda DOES....

consitter
05-13-2012, 09:42 PM
I use one uke to practice with. It just makes sense to me. My others are neglected, but if I play with one, I should practice with it.

Gwynedd
05-13-2012, 10:55 PM
Yes, because I'm only playing my Mainland at all. So I think I will resell the Eleuke (nice though it is) and my grandkids are getting the Makalas.

His Sinfulness
05-14-2012, 12:43 AM
I've only just been diagnosed with UAS, so I currently only have three ukes, and I really only play one of them about 98% of the time. My Lanikai tenor gets all the love right now - I only play my concert when I'm trying to be really quiet for the sake of my early-rising neighbors. My soprano is really a project uke - I am learning about action height and intonation by tinkering with it (read "screwing it up and then trying to make it playable again"). Once I finish learning from it, I think it will be my "take everywhere" uke.

1931jim
05-14-2012, 02:44 AM
Jammin' in the john. Carnegie Hall is next. Get tickets here. Don't block cash register please.

OldePhart
05-14-2012, 12:38 PM
I have been living by the one uke philosophy for quite some time now...one uke per case!

PedalFreak
05-14-2012, 01:14 PM
If I had the money I would have a serious UAS problem. I got over my GAS (Guitar version of UAS). Had at one time 40+ guitars, 20+ amps and 125+ effects pedals. Owned within the last 10 years over 200 guitars, 40-50 amps, and who knows how many effect pedals.

Right now I own 3 ukes, but really only play my Kamaka Tenor.

consitter
05-14-2012, 02:30 PM
I want the "One Uke" that controls all the others!

OldePhart
05-14-2012, 02:35 PM
I want the "One Uke" that controls all the others!

One uke to rule them all, and in mahalo bind them! (hope I spelled mahalo right :) )

John

blue_knight_usa
05-14-2012, 04:51 PM
Darn, I heard him say only one MORE uke and have been telling my wife I only need one more after this last one. I need to listen to those videos better!

Cheers,

consitter
05-14-2012, 06:25 PM
One uke to rule them all, and in mahalo bind them! (hope I spelled mahalo right :) )

John

Yup. You got it right. Wish I'd have thought of that sooner!

consitter
05-14-2012, 06:27 PM
Jammin' in the john. Carnegie Hall is next. Get tickets here. Don't block cash register please.

Will you be performing on a commode?

ukunuke
05-14-2012, 08:08 PM
I'm am soooo late to this thread. But it was great reading. So I've come to realize that I keep my concert kamaka for those moments when only old-school Hawaii will do. But I'm more comfortable learning the ins and outs of my Kanile'a tenor. It's sort of like being married . . . you get to know the full character of your partner as you experience it throughout time.

But I have to admit, the occasional groove on the kamaka is liberating!

OldePhart
05-15-2012, 07:04 AM
I'm am soooo late to this thread. But it was great reading. So I've come to realize that I keep my concert kamaka for those moments when only old-school Hawaii will do. But I'm more comfortable learning the ins and outs of my Kanile'a tenor. It's sort of like being married . . . you get to know the full character of your partner as you experience it throughout time.

But I have to admit, the occasional groove on the kamaka is liberating!

Okay...you probably better stop with the marriage analogy before you get in big trouble! LOL

Shastastan
05-15-2012, 07:45 AM
The "one uke" philosophy is very tempting. That's the way I was when I first started playing my trumpet, but then I discovered that the flugelhorn sounded better with my wife's flute and we play together on gigs so I got one. Then, I was asked to join a brass quartet and play cornet. Well I didn't have one of those so had to have one. It has become my favorite. Then Getzen decided to revive a Doc Severinsen model from the 60's and it sounds better than my 1st trumpet so......With these experiences in my head, I just had to try one of each uke type, but I haven't tried a baritone yet. I guess the bottom line is that some of us, for various reasons, just can't be satisfied with one uke. YMMV Just my 4 cents worth....