View Full Version : The case for having multiple ukes

08-08-2012, 08:30 AM
Because of work and family commitments, I have had little time to play with my ukuleles. The wife let me know how she feels about the musical intruments. Ultimately, she knows it is a passion and it keeps me off the streets; so begrudgingly she lets me dabble in my music fascination.

I sent her and our 1 year old back to her home country ahead of our vacation and so now its me alone in a big house with just tv and a big stash of 20+ ukuleles.

I just spent 3 hours playing all of them. Wow!! I am a lucky man.

There are only a few that I consider beaters - ukes that are fine but don't really get my blood going. I will leave those out for easy access to play.

A couple more of them need some work to get them back to player condition.

Here are the ukes that really made my heart palpitate (in no particular order)
- 2 Kanileas - The Aldrine Guerrero and a K-1-C that I handpicked,
- a King Tenor - ohhhhhhhh,
- a Santa Cruz concert,
- a Martin 3M (which I bought almost a year ago and left in the shipping box until now FFS),
- a Howlett Uklectic,
- a Kiwaya Soprano
- a couple of Koalohas including a Sceptre and a concert

There are other ukes; but, I'm gonna try spending time with each of these ones this weekend. I may not want to travel anywhere for vacation if I get too attached to these things.

The point is - I feel lucky to have multiple outstanding ukes. I have been playing one uke almost exclusively and it was so nice to hear different tones. I feel reinvigored to play as much as I can. Its like living in a ukulele store. :)

EDIT: I need to add that a Kelli Soprano also had a ringing echoing sound to it. It and my Gstring Hawaiian Style soprano are loud little guys.

08-08-2012, 09:21 AM
Lucky guy, I know what you mean. I have 7 ukes' none exactly exotic but I enjoy them.all. My wife too cuts me a lot of slack when it comes to music.

If one's wife wont let you enjoy them, why tolerate her? Just kidding but Its.nice to have a gal that understands.

08-08-2012, 09:44 AM
Sounds familiar to me. I have 28? of various makes and models, wood configurations, lams and solids and I play them all. I don't have any top shelf ukes but my top ones are my Wixom Custom Tenor, Mele Double Puka Solid Koa with slotted headstock Tenor, and a Maui Music Concert, in no particular order. I love Meles and have seven of them, all different woods and sizes, including a 6 string tenor.
Like I said, I don't own a major brand (as perceived by others) but I'm happy with what I have. I know how each one sounds so I can match any song to a uke that would fit it best. That's the beauty of having a collection................ask mm Stan...........................................BO. ................................

08-08-2012, 10:20 AM
I currently have nine ukuleles. I have a Mainland Gecko I stripped and spray painted purple that I keep in my desk drawer at work. I have a Lanikai LU-21T that used to be my beater but now has a bunch of autographs on it. The rest are all fine players, even my $99 Epi Les Paul I love to play.
Most of the time they sit in their cases in "my" spare bedroom, and I will have one in a stand in the living room that I play every day. Sometimes I will think that I need a low G or high G so I will make a swap. Sometimes I want to play the 6 string. Sometimes I want a tenor... Whatever.
My wife thinks I'm nuts, but she knows I enjoy them so she is very tolerant.
Every now and then I think I should sell some of them and buy a nice K brand or something, but I cannot seem to part with any of them.
Each one has a unique sound, beauty, or sentimental attachment that prevents me from letting it go.
My Pono Koa tenor is great in every way. Beautiful, plays well, sounds great, and has a MiSi pickup I had installed. This my "gig" ukulele.
My Ukuleles Hawaii by R&L mini concert is amazingly beautiful, has a fast neck, and is all koa - bridge, neck, fingerboard, body - everything. Really cool, and LOUD.
My two Emil Bader ukuleles were literally made for me, one out of Milo wood and the other is Milo and Lychee wood, how freaking cool is that!
My latest acquisition is a Kamoa GC-700. It is a tone monster, it has that built-in echo and resonance like no other ukulele I have played.
My baritone was my wife's grandfather's, and grandma gave it to me.

I am very fortunate that I am able to indulge my passion for the ukulele and my wife thinks it's ok. She even mentioned the other day that she might like to learn - after all, we have enough ukuleles to share!

08-08-2012, 11:11 AM
When I had so many ukes, it was stressful to me, trying to make sure that I wasn't just blowing money and being selfish for myself, while this uke or that uke never got played. It felt like consumerism for the sake of consumerism. I'm not saying that about anyone here, it's just how it felt to me. Now I think most of us know you need more than one uke, but nowadays I try to keep a handful of them. My two best are the Kanliea and Koaloha. I know they're not super-sexy for the cool kids who demand that you need a custom uke to really belong.... but they're very different from each other, and each suitable to my hands. Keepers. :) And then there's the sk-38 which just... I mean that is a complex sounding killer soprano who cost like 130 bucks... not expected at all!

Unless a ton of money comes floating down a river, I might be more or less done, and if it turns out I can never get that last custom uke... I'm happy with what I have.

Hippie Dribble
08-08-2012, 03:57 PM
eeeeh I love it when you talk doity Frank :p

08-08-2012, 06:01 PM
You left your 3M in the box for a year? Was this some kind of test of your will power? I'm weak, I would have had it out as fast as possible.

I'm lucky, too. Nice ukes. Play them all. Ecstasy.

08-08-2012, 06:18 PM
I was feeling like I had too many ukes. My wife's perception was that I'm spending it all on me which is not the case at all. I have my children's future in mind too. :) serious??!!

I spent a lot of time with the King Tenor and Martin 3M last night. It was the latest I had stayed up in a long time.

I do think I have everything I need. I haven't had UAS pangs except for a Kamoa I bouht off Mim lately which means I need to sample all my electronic ukes.

I am happy that I put the downpayment on a Devine uke. I eagerly await when I can pick that up. I am trying to keep my expectations low on the Devine so I can fully appreciate it when its in my hands. If its anything like the King and Kanileas, I will be a happy man.

Lastly, as I don't have much time to play, I still try to practice at least 10-20 minutes a day and to me, it seems like that still helps to make progress. I have lots of tutorial books and music so I try to learn one new aspect of music a week.

I feel I need to put some review/comparison videos togethe. In time. When I have time.

08-08-2012, 06:25 PM
OP, I am sorry your wife only accepts your uke passion begrudgingly.

My husband was skeptical at first and questioned why I'd play uke over one of my classical guitars. I told him it was because it was more fun. Now he'll say, "You gonna go play one of those twangy things of yours tonight? I think you should." :)

08-08-2012, 06:30 PM
Wow the lineup of ukes..I only have one! Are you doing donations to people who only have one uke? :P

08-08-2012, 06:56 PM
Lexxy, I have made many uke donations to family. A few of them actually use and play the uke; but, many ukes don't get played. I have tamed my donating ways. haha.

I actually am trying to round up my cheapies and beaters to allow for possibly setting up a uke strumming club here. I expect I'll send some of my idle ukes in THailand and the USA so kids and their parents can try the uke on in this country and I won't have to go crazy birdeying people picking up my favorites.

so, the answer is no Lexxy. Sorry. I've thought of donating Eugene's Collings back to him but I dismiss that as crazy bipolar disorder (CBD).

itsme, the wife is just from another culture. She's sees the money I spend for musical instruments and feels it could rather be spent on gold, diamonds, land, and houses in a third world country. She has good ideas. we are working on some of her ideas right now - diverting music money to make my wife feel more secure.

08-08-2012, 10:16 PM
Every time I have one of my three ukes in hand I say to myself, "I could be happy just playing this one for the rest of my life!". Just looking at them makes me happy and I'll often stop playing just to admire their beauty at hand.

If loving uke is wrong then I don't wanna be right.

08-08-2012, 10:47 PM
I definitely think one of each size makes sense for the different tones they bring - plus and electric I suppose. You could then add in exotics like 5, 6, and 8 stringers for more variation, a banjolele and a resonator - quite easy to build up a collection.

When I look at my uke family, and pick out the duplicates in size though, I find that there is still real difference. I have a Pono Mahogany concert and a Big Island Koa Concert - may as well be two totally different instruments. I play the former when I want a mellower sound, or for picking the latter for strumming with bite that the Pono doesn't have.

All of mine get played depending on mood, and I do try to rotate them anyway

08-08-2012, 11:11 PM
OP, I am sorry your wife only accepts your uke passion begrudgingly.

My husband was skeptical at first and questioned why I'd play uke over one of my classical guitars. I told him it was because it was more fun. Now he'll say, "You gonna go play one of those twangy things of yours tonight? I think you should." :)

Jeez, I'm almost the luckiest girl in the world. Only way it could be better is if he'd actually play. He says he would if he could instantly sound like Bosko. Maybe since he was raised in a family where everyone played something. The sounds of noodling some phrase over and over really doesn't get on his nerves.

Now what would get on his nerves is 20 of the same freaking thing, but like I said, that stresses me out as well.

Suzukhammer, when you're buying these spendy ukes, is a similar amount spent on your wife and kids? Is it all more or less equal? That's a personal question and you don't have to answer out loud, but if you have ukes you haven't even opened until now, maybe... And I'm not judging or attacking, but just maybe, it's getting out of hand?

08-08-2012, 11:46 PM
I agree with Bazmaz. THey all have something to contribute.

Plainsong, I can agree it may be out of hand. I became addicted most likely because it is not easy to source ukes where I live. I don't drink or smoke so money goes to good hobbies, like music. Like I said, the child(ren) will have an endless source of uke if he gets the bug like I did.

Do I spend equal amounts on my wife and children? I spend much much more on my wife and children. Additionally, I put over 40% of my salary into a 401k account; so that helps to damper the spending wants. Sometimes I feel like I could sell a few ukes to put some away for the baby's college fund. We'll see. Perhaps I need to identify the ukes that are my keepers and sell the rest; but, for now....... I love this little harem.

And the root of the topic is: If I didn't have my harem, I couldn't be this happy. UAS was strong before and it got me to this point; but, the UAS has waned for the most part because I am content with what I got.

08-08-2012, 11:49 PM
I'm thinking I should post some pictures.

08-09-2012, 12:54 AM
The practice wall
the tenors
The ukes that are going back into the humidor this weekend
and a pic of all the ukes chosen to be in play this weekend.


08-09-2012, 12:57 AM
Very nice Frank. I was waiting for some pics!

08-09-2012, 01:01 AM
Very nice collection, and first time see the Santa Cruz concert uke too.

08-09-2012, 01:05 AM
That Santa Cruz is smooth as butter.

Here is the boy who will inherit the Devine. He's happy because he knows that.


08-09-2012, 01:56 AM
That Santa Cruz is smooth as butter.

Here is the boy who will inherit the Devine. He's happy because he knows that.


Just making sure you're ok. Wouldn't want to have an ukulele intervention.... We wouldn't be very good at it! :)

08-09-2012, 02:48 AM
The best of everything - wonderful human family and wonderful uke family!


Hippie Dribble
08-09-2012, 03:11 AM
I can agree it may be out of hand.

Out of hand? he he Frank, I love you man. Oh, great idea to send the Collings home. She loved living at Birralee and misses Sammy the sheep and Eloise the duck. Your little man will be too busy playing with his DeVine to even notice. :p

08-09-2012, 03:31 AM
Just making sure you're ok. Wouldn't want to have an ukulele intervention.... We wouldn't be very good at it! :)

I know I would be:
Walk into the room.
Cry a bit.
Say "Frank, I love you"
Walk out of the room with ten ukuleles.

08-09-2012, 09:00 AM
"We're concerned about your UAS. It may be out of... Oh is that a Martin 3M?? Oh that Santa Cruz.... :D

08-09-2012, 08:44 PM
"We're concerned about your UAS. It may be out of... Oh is that a Martin 3M?? Oh that Santa Cruz.... :D

I'm gonna have to go through the notes to make sure what that Martin is. EDIT: I checked my notes and it is a Martin 3 made of Mohoganey so 3M it is, I guess. Its an old one with lots of strum marks; so, its a player. No fear. Just pick it up and get after it. OH, and I bought it in February not 1 year ago. So I only left the box unopened for 1/2 a year. I think the story sounds better if I said I left it unopened for a year; so, let's stick to the original story.

All, I'd love to see the intervention break down into a an afternoon of strumming.