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fernandogardinali
07-18-2013, 02:47 AM
Through the years, since I bought my Kala KA-15S in 2008, I've had quite a lot of ukes. In some moments I tried to keep one uke of each size, then I wanted to have one uke of each size, in koa and mahogany.

Then I decided to have as many different kinds of ukes I could, but I ended up always playing the same ones. Then I watched the "Rock That Uke" documentary (which I don't particulary recommend), but among the punk ukers, there was an old moustached senior man called Travis Harrelson. He played a vintage Martin with a hole on the top (think Willie Nelson's trigger!) with a very vigorous strum technique. I found that very cool, but I seen that I would never play a uke that much if I had 20 of them. I realized how unpratical that would be.

I sold the ukes I didn't play and bought nicer ukes. I can say I'm happier and more satisfied now that I've got 5 very nice ukes than when I had 20 average ones. I'm always trying to get better instruments, but I will keep up with not many ukes. For example, I plan to buy a vintage Martin soon, but then I will let go my Kiwaya KTS-4. I want a National resonator, then my Republic Guitars uke will part too.

For me, having less ukes made me connect more with the ones I have and that made me a better player.

This is my particular experience, but I'd recommend that to anyone.

hibiscus
07-18-2013, 05:01 AM
I'm happy you enjoy your ukuleles more with fewer to play. I feel the same way. I collect angels and dolls, but I want to play my favorite ukes and I don't have room for extras in my mind or in my house.

Helms
07-18-2013, 05:33 AM
I just got to the stages where I want to have a ton of ukes. I've already made a wishlist with a dozen of ukes.
I get your point though - and although I have only 3 ukes at the moment, I rarely play on a uke other then the newest purchased. I hope to change this around and play on them all eventually.

mattydee
07-18-2013, 05:40 AM
I feel the same way, fernando! I recently did a purge, and feel pretty good with the ukes I have! I will eventually replace some of my lower end ukes with higher end ones, and maybe add 1 or 2 more styles to the stable, but I definitely play all of my ukes much more than when I had twice as many! So I am twice as happy!

(Or something... Who knows? Of to go play some more.)

wayfarer75
07-18-2013, 07:03 AM
That's my plan, only I'm just being picky about the ukes I buy instead of purging. Not having enough money helps. LOL I'll probably never get ridd of my Kala KA-S, though, it's my first uke. I know what I'm going to buy, and I have no desire to get myself something cheap to tide me over. I've been playing my Kelii concert almost exclusively since February; I don't see a lot of room in my life for too many more ukes.

janeray1940
07-18-2013, 07:33 AM
For me, having less ukes made me connect more with the ones I have and that made me a better player.

This is my particular experience, but I'd recommend that to anyone.

Agree completely. While I've never been a collector and have not owned more than 5 ukes at any given time, even 5 to me seems excessive. I've never regretted selling any of the ones I've sold, and the 3 that I've kept are equally loved and played.

For me, having ukes that sat around un-played was just... depressing. Each time I've sold an un-played uke, I've felt like I'd let go of something that was just bringing me down.

The only ukes I would consider for future purchases are - possibly, and more than likely probably not - a Kamaka tenor or Ohta-San, and a National Concert NRP (http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/names/national-concert-nrp-ukulele-and-case--NCNRPU.htm). All of these have a sound that I find completely different from my sopranos and concert uke, and if the right one came up at the right time, I'd go for it. But I'm not actively seeking them out - I'll patiently wait for them to find me when the time is right :)

fernandogardinali
07-18-2013, 07:41 AM
for me, having ukes that sat around un-played was just... Depressing. Each time i've sold an un-played uke, i've felt like i'd let go of something that was just bringing me down.


this ^!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tsani
07-18-2013, 08:22 AM
I have UAS pretty bad - but limited funds. My "stable" has 7 ukes in it now. Each one is different and fulfills a different role. There are probably a couple I could sell - but I am not ready to go there yet.

1. Epiphone Les Paul - primary performance uke for church. This gets played in performance every week.
2. Aloha (antique) soprano - primary practice and all around playing uke. This is my "go to" uke for learning songs, composing, and just day to day playing.
3. Favilla Baritone - This lovely instrument is used by either my son or myself for playing duets. This is my first uke, and I am still blown away by how beautiful it sounds.
4. "Maestro" Tenor - this is my only tenor, and my only low-G uke. If the composition requires low-G, this is what I play. This uke has "f-holes" and different sound that I like for playing classical and baroque music.
5. Baroq-ulele Concert - I love the look of this instrument, but the intonation has been a disappointment. The C-string on the 2nd fret is flat - and I have no idea why. It is annoying and keeps me from playing it more often.
6. Marca Aquila soprano - This is a wonderful instrument, an antique made around 1910. My oldest, and should be one of the most valuable. I do not play it as often as others because I worry about damaging it. Tuning is also difficult since it has tapered brass friction pegs. It has a great sound though.
7. Kohala sopano signed by Jake - this is not a good player. Intonation is questionable. Sound is not that great. I could sell it or give it away... I just haven't yet. I like that it was signed by Jake, but that doesn't make it sound any better.

And I am not counting my son's ukes... and one is in the mail.

sugengshi
10-10-2013, 05:42 PM
This is a great article. I definitely agree with less is better than more. I'll need to start doing my divesting soon to get rid of those less-played ukes. :-)

Dan Uke
10-10-2013, 06:35 PM
"Less" is good but can you do even better? So far I haven't anyone say I have one uke and I am satisfied. Less than before is still rationalizing the current stable. Just asking as I've had more and I've had less but somehow I can always rationalize the number of ukes I've owned.

janeray1940
10-10-2013, 06:48 PM
"Less" is good but can you do even better? So far I haven't anyone say I have one uke and I am satisfied. Less than before is still rationalizing the current stable. Just asking as I've had more and I've had less but somehow I can always rationalize the number of ukes I've owned.

I'll admit it, I'd have a hard time with just one, due to the low G/reentrant thing. I play both just about every day and can't really imagine having to choose between low or high G!

And now that I've thought about it - pretty sure I don't know a single uke player who has just one... quite a few who have just two though.

mm stan
10-10-2013, 06:56 PM
Being the enabler I am, Have you thought of another senerio, alot of high end great ukes.....More or less :)

Hammond
10-10-2013, 07:02 PM
I have only one ukulele. Its not an expensive fancy one. I concentrated all my time on this one (polish, setup, modify, decorate, play, and love). I always have desire to buy an more expensive one, or a custom like MB. But I just stay with it.
So I do agree less is better.:)

Flyinby
10-10-2013, 07:55 PM
Ukes are fun to collect, and I don't think one's ability to play well has anything to do with it. Buying new ukes in hopes of it improving your playing is a waste of time, but if you just appreciate the different designs, different sounds, woods, and overall beauty of design, there's nothing wrong with collecting as many as you like.

Having been a lifelong photographer, I keep finding analogies between photographers and ukulele fans. There are a lot of people who buy expensive cameras that never learn the art of photography, and they keep buying more in hopes it will improve, but it's a waste of time because they just don't get it. Like a cheap pocket camera in the hands of a good photographer producing photos that make people look in awe, one inexpensive uke in the hands of someone who "gets it" and has put in the effort can have everyone dancing or listening intently.

There are so many different ukes...sopranos for their unique sound, tenors for their playability or sound or low G, any size for different tunings without having to retune, 8-strings, 6 strings, cutaways, Fleas for travel, flukes, banjo ukes, ukes to take to the beach, to travel with, to keep home safe so the exotic solid wood doesn't get damaged, baritones when you want an 'almost guitar', ukes with paintings of the Great Wave or a smiley face or a watermelon, ukes to have available when you have family/friends over and want to jam, resonators, and more. Ukes with loud volume, deep bassy sound, and then some with pickups for when you need to plug in. Develop a buzzy fret? With one uke to your name, you're stuck until you fix it or take it in, or you put up with the buzz, but I can just set it aside until I feel like fixing it, and play something else.

As I said, I see nothing wrong with collecting all sorts of ukes if you enjoy it. Just don't think that it's going to improve your playing, that has nothing to do with it. One expensive uke may be fine for some, but I just enjoy the varieties and differences among them, with no delusions that buying another uke is going to improve my playing...practice and more practice is the only thing that will help there, and it doesn't matter if it's on a single uke or among 20.

kohanmike
10-10-2013, 08:25 PM
I started playing only five months ago, but in that short time, I've succumbed to UAS. With a delivery tomorrow of two more, I will have five (could not pass up a number of great deals, all sell for around $350 US, got each for under $200). I chose to have all the same configuration, tenor cutaway with electronics. They do differ in their material, which attracted me to the various choices. Because I go to the CC Strummers twice a week, and now the Westside Ukulele Ensemble twice a month (although I don't know if I can keep up with them), I make it a point to switch ukuleles each time.

bunnyf
10-10-2013, 08:40 PM
This is a great article. I definitely agree with less is better than more. I'll need to start doing my divesting soon to get rid of those less-played ukes. :-)

I do think less is more. I don't know that I could get down to being a one uke girl though. I'd always want to have two, in case someone came over and wanted to jam. I have 4 right now and each gets played often and they fulfill different needs. A custom LoPrinzi tenor w MiSi pickup, which is my go to when I need to be plugged in. This is a beautiful uke to look at and sounds great, but surprisingly is not my fav. Had an old cheap Lanikai Bari which was my fav and is now much loved and played by my son, which I just replaced with a Creedy (Virginia luthier) baritone. I love the baritone and I guess if I could only have one, this would be it. I have a Flea for kickin around. It's my emergency uke and goes in the car for when a uke emergency arises. You never know when you are gonna need to uke, so it's best to always be prepared. It goes camping and to the beach and is the one I don't mind letting other people use, even kids. Lastly, I have a little Eddy Finn Koa soprano, which while it was not very expensive, has a surprisingly sweet voice and is probably my second fav. So there you have it, I don't think I could part with any of these (replace maybe) without feeling like a hole was being left, since they all have their unique function. It's funny though, IF I was gonna eliminate one, it would prob be the LoPrinzi since it's not my fav size, too expensive to cart around too much (not going camping or to the beach with me) and I feel a little guilty having it when I don't play it much. I think that's why I've been holding off putting a pickup in my baritone, because then I will probably play the tenor even less. It's just too nice though for me to let go of, I think I'd regret it. So 4 it is!

bassballz
10-11-2013, 06:46 AM
Ukes are fun to collect, and I don't think one's ability to play well has anything to do with it. Buying new ukes in hopes of it improving your playing is a waste of time, but if you just appreciate the different designs, different sounds, woods, and overall beauty of design, there's nothing wrong with collecting as many as you like.

This! :agree:

sukie
10-11-2013, 06:58 AM
"Less" is good but can you do even better? So far I haven't anyone say I have one uke and I am satisfied. Less than before is still rationalizing the current stable. Just asking as I've had more and I've had less but somehow I can always rationalize the number of ukes I've owned.

I have a few ukuleles. Mainly wall hangers.
I play one ukulele exclusively and I am totally satisfied. Totally.

bnolsen
10-11-2013, 07:20 AM
About keeping just one ukulele around:

I prefer playing soprano/concerts but I find it very nice to keep a bari around tuned in cuatro-c with a non ukelele sound which can be very useful at times. Others may feel they need to keep around a 'low-g' tenor or concert to serve a special purpose as well.

I'm fortunate enough that I can practice some at work as well. Got to have one there as well!

fernandogardinali
10-11-2013, 08:27 AM
I think our playing evolve over time. When I started I liked playing tenors. Now I can't stand it - mainly because of my right hand technique. I'm very happy with my current collection, although I still want a Mahogany concert uke.

cantsing
10-11-2013, 10:34 AM
Since I don't perform or require a variety of sizes and sounds, I so far have owned just one uke at a time and replaced it when I have specific reasons to do so.

I started out with a laminate Kala tenor (KA-T). After 6 months, I realized I really preferred concert size and figured I'd go for solid wood as well--I upgraded to a mahogany Mainland. I immediately stopped playing the Kala and eventually sold it. Two years later, I'm ready for another step up, and I'm now on the Mya-Moe waiting list. I hope to be playing the Mya-Moe for a long time!

Flyinby
10-11-2013, 12:33 PM
OK, maybe I'll bite the bullet and get rid of all but one uke. Less is more.

Well, maybe 2 so I can jam with my son when he comes by...but wait, my grandson likes to join in, OK, 3 then. And my granddaughter is learning, OK, 4, but that's it. But I'll keep my first Islander uke, bought in Oahu, for sentimental reasons. but it's a soprano, and my fingers just don't fit it well for some things, So I'll keep one of the tenors...no, 2, because I occasionally want a low G for picking. The baritone is handy for jamming with guitars in E, and they always want to play in E, so I'll keep it. My wife loves the pineapple Great Wave, watermelon, and penguin hanging on the wall. The koa bell I got that had a twisted neck that I fixed, I can't sell, but it still plays fine, no sense giving it away and it's not really sellable. Got to have the Oscar 8-string though, it's just too much fun, and that lovely glossy quilted mahogany in its hard case is just so great looking, I love to just look at it and feel the finish. And the Flea...the surfboard flea with wood fingerboard that I take traveling, no way can I get rid of that one, maybe I can part with the Fluke; no, they're a nice set there sitting on end in the living room, ready to grab and jam.

Oh wait, I do need to plug in occasionally, I'll keep the koa tenor cutaway with the pickup, but then if son and grandson join in for recording, we all need to plug in, so I'll keep another tenor and the quilted ash concert. Oh, I almost forgot, the U-bass isn't going anywhere, that's indispensable, and also the banjolele when for those bluegrass licks, no way will either of those go. And the koa tenor I keep in my shop to pick up whenever, if I got rid of that I'd have to go up to the house whenever I got the urge to play. Or the monkeypod in my office, same situation. Oh, and the little spruce top Bushmann-Engelmann soprano, such a pretty little uke, and you can't get those any more, and it's the only solid-top soprano I've got. That stays.

There! except for those I'm trimming it down to one, because less is more. Unless I see a really good deal...

Bumgardner
10-11-2013, 04:08 PM
Less is more! You can only play one uke at a time. I have a Dolphin that I bought last December, and a Kinnard tenor on the way. Considering that the Kinnard fits my fancy it should be my last uke.

fernandogardinali
10-11-2013, 04:44 PM
OK, maybe I'll bite the bullet and get rid of all but one uke. Less is more.

Well, maybe 2 so I can jam with my son when he comes by...but wait, my grandson likes to join in, OK, 3 then. And my granddaughter is learning, OK, 4, but that's it. But I'll keep my first Islander uke, bought in Oahu, for sentimental reasons. but it's a soprano, and my fingers just don't fit it well for some things, So I'll keep one of the tenors...no, 2, because I occasionally want a low G for picking. The baritone is handy for jamming with guitars in E, and they always want to play in E, so I'll keep it. My wife loves the pineapple Great Wave, watermelon, and penguin hanging on the wall. The koa bell I got that had a twisted neck that I fixed, I can't sell, but it still plays fine, no sense giving it away and it's not really sellable. Got to have the Oscar 8-string though, it's just too much fun, and that lovely glossy quilted mahogany in its hard case is just so great looking, I love to just look at it and feel the finish. And the Flea...the surfboard flea with wood fingerboard that I take traveling, no way can I get rid of that one, maybe I can part with the Fluke; no, they're a nice set there sitting on end in the living room, ready to grab and jam.

Oh wait, I do need to plug in occasionally, I'll keep the koa tenor cutaway with the pickup, but then if son and grandson join in for recording, we all need to plug in, so I'll keep another tenor and the quilted ash concert. Oh, I almost forgot, the U-bass isn't going anywhere, that's indispensable, and also the banjolele when for those bluegrass licks, no way will either of those go. And the koa tenor I keep in my shop to pick up whenever, if I got rid of that I'd have to go up to the house whenever I got the urge to play. Or the monkeypod in my office, same situation. Oh, and the little spruce top Bushmann-Engelmann soprano, such a pretty little uke, and you can't get those any more, and it's the only solid-top soprano I've got. That stays.

There! except for those I'm trimming it down to one, because less is more. Unless I see a really good deal...

this is HILARIOUS! LOL

Hippie Dribble
10-11-2013, 05:31 PM
this is HILARIOUS! LOL

Ha ha!!! What Fernando said! LOL :biglaugh:

RichM
10-11-2013, 06:24 PM
I have a million ukes and keep them in a big room and swim around in them like Scrooge McDuck. MORE is more! :)

http://brobrubel.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/scrooge-mcduck.jpg?w=640

sugengshi
10-11-2013, 09:28 PM
OK, maybe I'll bite the bullet and get rid of all but one uke. Less is more.

Well, maybe 2 so I can jam with my son when he comes by...but wait, my grandson likes to join in, OK, 3 then. And my granddaughter is learning, OK, 4, but that's it. But I'll keep my first Islander uke, bought in Oahu, for sentimental reasons. but it's a soprano, and my fingers just don't fit it well for some things, So I'll keep one of the tenors...no, 2, because I occasionally want a low G for picking. The baritone is handy for jamming with guitars in E, and they always want to play in E, so I'll keep it. My wife loves the pineapple Great Wave, watermelon, and penguin hanging on the wall. The koa bell I got that had a twisted neck that I fixed, I can't sell, but it still plays fine, no sense giving it away and it's not really sellable. Got to have the Oscar 8-string though, it's just too much fun, and that lovely glossy quilted mahogany in its hard case is just so great looking, I love to just look at it and feel the finish. And the Flea...the surfboard flea with wood fingerboard that I take traveling, no way can I get rid of that one, maybe I can part with the Fluke; no, they're a nice set there sitting on end in the living room, ready to grab and jam.

Oh wait, I do need to plug in occasionally, I'll keep the koa tenor cutaway with the pickup, but then if son and grandson join in for recording, we all need to plug in, so I'll keep another tenor and the quilted ash concert. Oh, I almost forgot, the U-bass isn't going anywhere, that's indispensable, and also the banjolele when for those bluegrass licks, no way will either of those go. And the koa tenor I keep in my shop to pick up whenever, if I got rid of that I'd have to go up to the house whenever I got the urge to play. Or the monkeypod in my office, same situation. Oh, and the little spruce top Bushmann-Engelmann soprano, such a pretty little uke, and you can't get those any more, and it's the only solid-top soprano I've got. That stays.

There! except for those I'm trimming it down to one, because less is more. Unless I see a really good deal...

I just love this, full of romantic relationships with the ukuleles. :-)

consitter
10-11-2013, 09:32 PM
I have two fairly expensive ukes and one very expensive uke. What am I playing right now? A $30 dolphin.

Just depends on where you're at and what you're doing.

drbekken
10-11-2013, 09:57 PM
I have given most of my cheapos away, to friends or to the university college in which I work (music dept). At home, I keep a modified Rogue soprano, a vintage 1920s banjo uke, a Rogue baritone and a Yamaha guitalele. I plan to get a Martin OXK soprano, mainly because living in the near arctic means strange temperatures and a harsh climate. I want to travel and take the uke to gigs, so I need a quality instrument which is sturdy. Then I will stop buying. (Oh, yes, I will.)

consitter
10-11-2013, 10:01 PM
I have given most of my cheapos away, to friends or to the university college in which I work (music dept). At home, I keep a modified Rogue soprano, a vintage 1920s banjo uke, a Rogue baritone and a Yamaha guitalele. I plan to get a Martin OXK soprano, mainly because living in the near arctic means strange temperatures and a harsh climate. I want to travel and take the uke to gigs, so I need a quality instrument which is sturdy. Then I will stop buying. (Oh, yes, I will.)

Ahem**BULLCRAP**

Stupidly I don't know what a Martin OXK is except, of course, an ukulele. Is is made from plastic or something that won't bow to extreme temperature changes?

BTW, I am in awe of your videos.

drbekken
10-11-2013, 11:30 PM
Ahem**BULLCRAP**

Stupidly I don't know what a Martin OXK is except, of course, an ukulele. Is is made from plastic or something that won't bow to extreme temperature changes?

BTW, I am in awe of your videos.

Thanks for complimenting me on my little old videos! A Martin OXK is some kind of laminate uke, that's supposed to be extremely sturdy. I do not know what it's made of, and since I have no taste, I don't care...as long as it sounds good and looks good...But seriously; a decent laminate is better than solid wood up here, due to the climate. Unless, of course, you have the possibility to keep the instruments in the correct temps at all times. However, I have come to believe that 'less is more', just because my strained wallet and cramped housing can't take any more ukulele expenses...

JLM
10-12-2013, 03:01 AM
The Uke journey is different for each of us. I say play, collect, give in to UAS, whatever makes you happy. The truth is, if it is not fun - what's the point... I was fortunate enough to see a curious Uke on this forum made by Three Cedars Ukulele Company. I was fascinated by the design. A couple months later, it came up for sale. The rest is history. There are 4 ukes in the house from low to mid-range. I try to play them all, but after a few minutes I always go right back to the Three Cedars. My son feels the same way about his DS Gill pineapple soprano.

My UAS has waned in the last few months. I used to spend hours looking at the Kamaka and Koaloha web sites dreaming of a Hawaiian-made instrument. Once I got the the Three Cedars, my interest in the island ukes faded completely. I consider myself fortunate to have found "the" Uke for me. Will I buy more in the future? Yep. Ben Cram at Three Cedars is building a trio of ukes as we speak for my two sons and I. To each their own! This little instrument is the best therapy I know of.

pulelehua
10-12-2013, 06:34 AM
I decided a while ago that I would be a 2 ukulele boy (standard philosophy of "onstage what if something happens?"). Just got a third, so gave my first ukulele away. Gave it to a boy at the ukulele club I run at school. We voted. Everyone agreed. It was great. That was a Kala acacia concert. Now I have an MP custom and a Mya-Moe. If I get another, some boy at school is going to be getting one nice ukulele! ;)

My Mya-Moe needs refinishing and some protection or it's going to end up looking like Willie Nelson owns it!

UkeKiddinMe
10-12-2013, 06:56 AM
This little instrument is the best therapy I know of.

Couldn't agree more. Very, very grateful I found this instrument.