View Full Version : My First Ukulele, Tales of True Love...

09-19-2012, 02:58 AM
I know that this has probably been done before but I just started reading a wonderful book called "My First Guitar, Tales of True Love and Lost Chords from 70 Legendary Musicians." It tells the story of the first guitar for people such as Jimmy Page, Les Paul, Scotty Moore and many more great musicians.

So, what was your first ukulele?

Mine was an Ohana PK25G, I liked the pineapple shape witht the cool headstock, and thought that it would be good to start off with a solid wood instrument.

09-19-2012, 03:23 AM
I no longer have my first uke. When I first started at the store I work at, my plan was to learn the mandolin. I have been playing guitar for many years but never really took to it. I picked up the mandolin and realized I didn't like it due to the double-course of strings and the higher string tension than guitar. Feeling a bit bummed, I went searching for something else that would pique my interest and I saw an Oscar Schmidt OU2 collecting dust in a display. I pulled her out and fell in love with the uke.

It actually took about 5 or 6 months for UAS to kick in. We got a Fender Nohea in stock and I thought it was such a beautiful instrument that I bought it. Not long after I decided I was going to be "serious" about the ukulele and only wanted solid-wood instruments (I've since become less concerned about that). I went on a spending spree and ended up gifting both the OU2 and the Nohea to some friends.

I've lost track of the order in which I've bought all my ukes, but I have kept a list of every uke that I've owned. I just counted...not including the 15 in my signature, I've bought and then sold (or gifted) 39 ukuleles. I've been playing for just over 3 years. Wow...I think I might have a bit of a problem with UAS......

09-19-2012, 03:33 AM
My first uke was a Samick u_50 concert. I called it Buzz (for a reason) sold it this summer as it was collecting dust...

09-19-2012, 03:56 AM
I'm embarassed to say that my first three or so ukes were promptly sold or returned to the dealer because I was too impatient to learn. I think my very first one was an Oscar Schmidt sprucetop laminate soprano, blinged out to no end with abalone inlay everywhere. That one lasted about 5 minutes until I decided it was "too small and toy-like" so I swapped it for an OU53 baritone. Well that was on the opposite spectrum of size. I didn't like that either, but I had no clue of the concept of different uke sizes. I ended up with an Ivy Flea in 2004 which was cute as heck but I couldn't figure out how to strum, and all of my friends were making fun of me for having a uke. I sold it on ebay.

In 2007 or 2008, can't remember which, I decided to have another go at it, ordered a factory second Lanikai LK-1s that was kind of lopsided but endearing. That one stuck with me for several years. That's the one I really learned on and gave me "the uke bug". :)

09-19-2012, 03:59 AM
My first uke was a Kala KA-P Pineapple. I loved the shape then, and I still do now. I've owned four ukes total, but I'm down to two. I decided to sell my SK-35G to put towards my next pineapple!

I bought the KA-P because I wanted something of a bit of quality, but I didn't want to spend too much in case I didn't take to the uke. I kind of wish I had started with a Br√ľko or a solid pineapple, but I had actually chosen the uke before I bought it, so my eyes were blind to other ukes.

I still have the Kala, and after getting tired of the Aquila sound and just not playing it, switched them out for Worth Browns (on a Laminate!) and they make the uke bark, which is awesome. I don't mind the chunky neck, though the thin neck on my Ohana PK-25 feels a whole lot better.

09-19-2012, 04:04 AM
A purple Mahalo. I didn't know anything about ukuleles, just knew I loved songs that had ukes in them. I was walking past a music shop on the country side and saw it in the window. Purple! It was love at first sight. We have now gone separate ways but I remember it very fondly and will always cherish the memories of our time together.

09-19-2012, 08:18 AM
I'd been shopping for a uke for a while, but I was having trouble finding a nice-sounding, not-too-expensive uke. Then in 2007, a good friend gave me a Lyon & Healy Camp Uke for Christmas. A beautful, old uke with a lovely voice. Once spring had sprung, I started to take my uke with me everywhere I went, and my ukulele love affair began.

Sadly, my first uke is badly broken (after a couple of bad falls---keep your ukes in their cases, kids) and it is no longer playable. Waaaahhh.

09-19-2012, 08:43 AM
My first ukulele was a Kala solid mahogany concert. One day in October 2009, I went to Music Works in El Cerrito to try out some ukuleles. Pudgy, who owns Music Works with his wife, let me play various ukuleles for almost three hours, and he even played a few for me so I could hear what the sounded like while I was standing in front of them. A few days later I went back and bought my Kala mahogany concert. I don't play it much now, as I seem to have transitioned to both larger scale ukes from more upscale manufacturers, but I still love it.


09-19-2012, 08:50 AM
My first was an AnueNue Gerald Ross Signature tenor. It had wonderful tone but I soon found that I preferred the soprano. I have since fell in love with my Bushman Jenny. Sweet!

09-19-2012, 09:05 AM
My first uke was a "limited edition" Kala Koa & Cedar top concert uke (laminate body & sides; solid cedar top). I bought it after my daughter hooked me by bringing home a cheap Savannah soprano. I bought the concert as a tradeoff for a larger size. Can't remember when I sold it, but my second uke was a KoAloha Pikake soprano. Been mostly hooked on solid body ukes since then. I REALLY need to compile the full list describing the extent of UAS I've "suffered" since!

I was close to pulling the plug on a second Mya-Moe last week - but... my wife stifled my UAS when we found HER dream Grand Piano. THAT purchase is going to slow down my own instrument acquisition for awhile.

(But, I am almost as excited as she is about the new piano! I almost lost her to illness 3 separate times a couple of years ago, & seeing & hearing her play again has been a dream we both never thought we'd see.)


09-19-2012, 09:14 AM
My first uke was a tiki soprano flea with a Kamaka pineapple shortly thereafter. Played them both a lot.

09-19-2012, 09:43 AM
My first ukulele was from Hilo Hattie's in Lahaina. Really pretty with a nice looking palm tree on the front. When I got it home I put on a tuner and tried to tune it. Three strings got in tune but the 4th took lots of effort and never got there or near to it. The tuner, bridge and string went flying from the uke when I tried to tighten it more. (I knew nothing about ukes, only the stuff it said on the box.) I now own several good ukes that tune and sound good and all are bigger than that 1st one.

09-19-2012, 09:46 AM
My first was a Luna Tattoo Pineapple Soprano. Still love her.

09-19-2012, 09:50 AM
Blue burst Dolphin. eekeekeekeekeek

09-19-2012, 09:56 AM
Orange Dolphin. Still have and love her. Although not quite as much as my KoAloha.

09-19-2012, 09:58 AM
Here's my first and only Uke... Louise... Been told its 1920s and probably made in Europe... Im enjoying her soo much that I will be takin her to France with me next week for my holiday :) Its great knowing there are other folks out there enjoying their wooden (and plastic in some cases) instruments as much as I do !!

09-19-2012, 10:11 AM
a $25 Mahalo that I bought a week after I saw two college students buy one as a prop for a party. (I was in a music store buying piano flash cards for my daughter, and a week later starting thinking about the colorful uke the students bought, returned to the store and made the purchase.) I also bought a Jim Beloff book that cost about half the uke. Later I put on Aquila strings that cost about 1/4 the uke. I would never sell the Mahalo because (1) it has sentimental value for being how I lost my uke-ginity, and (2) I couldn't get anything for it.

09-19-2012, 10:15 AM
Technically, my first ukulele was a Luna concert. I can't remember the name of the model now. I had it three days before I took it back because, of a problem. I looked at the other Ukuleles in the shop and decided to get the Fender Nohea tenor. I still have it and play it.

09-19-2012, 10:52 AM
My first uke was an old Silvertone soprano I got back in 1980 for next to nothing. It had a great sound, but I sold it a few years later and bought a 1950s Martin (which I still have).

09-19-2012, 11:47 AM
My first was a Cordoba LaPlaya Donavon Frankenreiter signature model mahogany tenor that I won in a drawing. It's my avatar here. :)

09-19-2012, 12:05 PM
My first was an Applause Soprano. I recently dug it out again, and have tuned it to D, just so I have an excuse to play it more. :D

09-19-2012, 05:43 PM
I don't have my first, or second, or third uke, either. One was sold and two were given away. I do have my last uke though. Good thing, UAS isn't in my budget...

09-19-2012, 05:49 PM
A Johnson soprano. It was a gift from my wife, who paid way too much. The worst piece of junk that ever existed, but perhaps the greatest gift I've ever received.

09-19-2012, 11:50 PM
It seems that most of you have had a love/hate relationship with your first ukulele.

09-20-2012, 12:09 AM
A Grizzly soprano kit.
My brother has it now.

09-20-2012, 01:10 AM
I cannot remember the make of my first ukulele, a low-end laminate mahogany thing that I bought in the 1970s. It was cheap, though. After I started playing ukulele again, I looked for the old uke in my parents' house, but I couldn't find it... It's gone, and that's that...