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oldjazznut
07-04-2013, 11:32 AM
Sorry, this will be long, but I think some background will help folks know where I'm at.

I've had several ukes for about six years, and I'm hoping to get myself remotivated. I've played off and on, but it's the old story of some distraction breaking my interest and I don't retain much of what I learned. Same way with guitar, I used to give it a lot of time, but now I'm down to rarely playing just an old Truetone (Western Auto sold them!) classical. It actually plays pretty well!

I'll list my gear, and see if anyone has thoughts, or useful additions:

I've got a Lanikai CK-C, two Lanakai LU-21Cs, a Vineyard CK-55, and a really cheapo Hilo model 2659. They are all concert size.

I am familiar with action work and mods. I added a .020 shim to one of the LU nuts, to get the actions equal, replaced the Vineyard pegs with Grover 8N open gears, and the Hilo frets were in bad need of dressing. It actually plays well, but it's overbraced and sounds very dull.

All have GHS black Hawaiian strings, and I have a lifetime supply stashed. I am happy with them, and know all about Aquilas and Worths, no sale there.

Books, I have the Hal Leonard and Mel Bay chord books. Fretboard Roadmaps. Ukulele For Dummies. Learn To Play by Phil Capone ( very good for a compact book). The Bailey and Guckert methods. A large volume by Consolidated Press that is a collection of about a dozen early methods. I have a binder full of all the chord and scale charts from online sites.

I have a Korg tuner, and Kratt pipes. Wittner and Nitto metronomes. I like the large floppy Talina Gray picks that Ukulele World has on occaision.

I have pretty good resources, just need to use them.

I have a good collection of 1920's and 30's, some 40's jazz. Especially Benny Goodman. I even tried some clarinet, but my teeth are wrong for reeds. Tried tenor banjo, even totally restored an old Weymann, but the strings are death on fingers and frets.


Lanakai CK-C
Lanikai LU-21C (two)
Vineyard CK-55
Hilo 2659

Kayak Jim
07-04-2013, 12:38 PM
I think the best motivation is playing with others. Find a uke group or consider starting one yourself.

And take the step up to a solid wood instrument, like a Mainland or KPK or Islander. The difference is amazing and I'm always amazed at the beautiful sound just noodling around makes.

oldjazznut
07-04-2013, 01:28 PM
I've thought about a solid uke, once and if my abilities have earned it. From what I've seen of current offerings a Pono would be it, were I to buy a solid uke today.

rowjimmytour
07-04-2013, 01:53 PM
I've thought about a solid uke, once and if my abilities have earned it. From what I've seen of current offerings a Pono would be it, were I to buy a solid uke today.
http://www.pilikoko.com/
:D

TJ Uke
07-04-2013, 01:55 PM
Maybe get a camera and share videos of pieces on youtube?

That's something I enjoy and I know there are plenty others here who find it fun.

ukuLily Mars
07-05-2013, 06:43 AM
You might check out the Seasons of the Ukulele! It's a subforum under Contests. While we call them "contests" they are non-competitive in the extreme! :music: They are more like challenges, as each week there is a different theme and different parameters (we call them "rules") so there is the fun of finding a song that fits. You will find a lot of people who have similar taste in music to yourself (me!!!) and people with completely different sing choices and it's a blast.

I live in Switzerland, nowhere near any 'ukers, let along 'uke groups, and the Seasons with giving me some loose structure to motivate me. Of course, being part of UU, it's a great group of people. Please come visit!

PTOEguy
07-05-2013, 06:58 AM
I play for the kids division at my church and that keeps me motivated - its good to have a place where you can't just stop when you get a little off.

Also - regarding getting a better uke - My theory is that you should get a uke that is one step ahead of where you're playing. Often times, it is easier to make the jump to the next level if your instrument supports it. Plus, I find a better uke more enjoyable to play. I've got a couple of Lanaiki 21s (in concert, pineaple and baritone sizes) around right now for a school music project, and they are great for a lot of stuff, but playing higher up the fingerboard is a lot cleaner on my Pono.

ichadwick
07-05-2013, 07:38 AM
I have a good collection of 1920's and 30's, some 40's jazz. Especially Benny Goodman.

I have a lot of the original sheet music from that era digitized, if you're looking for a particular piece...

mm stan
07-06-2013, 04:20 AM
Main thing you are enjoying what you are doing....Happy strummings...

igorthebarbarian
07-06-2013, 05:34 AM
Tried tenor banjo, even totally restored an old Weymann, but the strings are death on fingers and frets.


I too have an old-school no-name heavy tenor banjo. I have a set of custom fluorocarbon strings from Ken Middleton at Living Water Strings. He can make up a set of high D (re-entrant) or low D if you email him directly and paypal him. They are really nice strings and easy to play on the fingers. Just a thought if you really want the banjo-y sound but won't murder your fingertips.