View Full Version : Nothing like an Old Fool!

02-26-2014, 09:38 PM
I joined this site a bit over a week ago and have posted questions about what to buy which were answered promptly and I believe accurately.
I have on order a new Pono ATSH Pro Classic from HMS and Andrew.

I recently found out about the Waikalola Uke Festival to be held this Saturday on the big island and I will attend it, and in further research noted that there were clinics and lessons. Everyone is encouraged to bring their uke.

Only one small problem there. My Ukes are either on the mainland or on its way to the mainland.

My solution, Craigslist Big Island, musical instruments and I found an as new Kala KA-S for sale a bit away, but what's 40 miles when on a quest.

While I don't fancy myself as an uke snob, I'm wondering if my beginner Kala will be a problem in fitting in. I have three Ukes at home and all are solid playable Ukes, and this Kala I have to admit plays pretty well and keeps it's tune too.
Am I fool, and an old one at that to be concerned about it? I've not attended a uke festival so I guess I don't know what to expect.

I don't want to bring a brown sports-coat to a black tie gala.

02-26-2014, 09:45 PM
It's human nature to feel the need to fit in. If you want to understand why that is check out the book by Ernest Becker "Denial of Death"

If it sounds ok I don't think anyone will care what it is. Except for you maybe.

02-27-2014, 01:42 AM
From one old fool to another, with the price of gas, an 80 mile round trip is likely to erase the discounted price. If your primary interest is the clinics and lessons, it would only be foolish to care what anyone else thinks about what uke you are bringing.

02-27-2014, 02:29 AM
Every uke event I have ever been to, there have been a lot of people with Kala ukes. Kala has done a good job of getting themselves into neighborhood music shops (and Amazon, and eBay), so you just see a lot of Kala ukes wherever you go. And while I have never been to this festival, in general I find that uke gatherings tend to take in all kinds, from rank beginners to top pros, and every kind of uke from $19 souvenir shop specials to $10,000 vintage treasures. The great thing about the uke community is that there is very little of the "my instrument is better than yours" attitude I see in other musical instrument communities. Everybody is just happy to play!

Also, I have found Kala ukes in general to be pretty decent for their price point. I recently helped a friend pick out a starter uke and she ended up with a Kala KA-SLNG (long-neck soprano) that I thought was a very nice uke at its ~$100 price.

02-27-2014, 02:31 AM
Kalas are ubiquitous in the ukulele scene. You are presumably most interested in attending workshops and picking up techniques. If you had a solo to perform on stage, I could understand your apprehension, but in this case, I would not give it a second thought. Perhaps they will also have vendors on site selling different make and models of ukuleles. you could purchase something that day if something caught your eye. Maybe skip the craigslist purchase and take your chances. You might even find someone that would loan you a uke for a workshop.

02-27-2014, 02:48 AM
Yes, you are an old fool:old: ;)

I looked at the web-site. Kala is a sponsor so you are in good company.
The workshop is for all ages so It is likely all levels of ukes will be represented. Festivals attract enthusiasts, and I am sure they just want to spread ukulele love.

Go have fun. I went to 2 work-shops recently with no ukulele at all. Talk about a fish out of water. They had ukes to lend for the first one. I was handed a soprano pineapple...literally, "a pineapple". It was a novelty ukulele, and the back was carved like the outside of a pineapple. The second one, the instructor saw I didn't have one and handed me hers.

Go have fun..you already made the pilgrimage so don't quit now. Post some pics.

02-27-2014, 03:38 AM
I think you and the Kala will have a blast.

02-27-2014, 03:40 AM
I'll bet you a dime you want be the only person there with a Kala, and will probably see another KA-S. ;)

02-27-2014, 04:54 AM
I've been to a number of conferences and festivals in my life and while we as humans will ALWAYS envy the other guy that has something better, at those sort of things you get a full range… there will be $19 ukes there for sure.

Lets play a game, everyone has to drink a shot for every time you tell someone "I have some really nice ukes at home I couldn't bring" heh!

Honestly many people can't afford something nicer.. and if its a learning workshop then you tend to get people who are learning which means you get more entry level tools anyway. You never know who you are sitting next to. It could be someone who saved up for a YEAR to get a $50 uke, or a dink (double-income-no-kids) who spent $400 last week on a brand new one. It's best not to think about it, or compare yourself to others. Just have fun. That KA you are holding, could be on the wish list for someone else who could only afford a Makala Dolphin.

02-27-2014, 05:42 AM
Wow! In reading your replies and re- reading my post, I do kind of sound like an uke snob. I guess I was tired, yeah, that's it!

I simply thought it would be silly to attend without an uke, and even though I have three at home and one on the way, it would be better to take one to the festival than not have one at all.

I paid $40 for the Kala and while it produces an acceptable tone, it's not like my others. To be totally honest, my playing ability as a novice isn't going to make any difference as to what uke I play, anyway.

One nice thing about getting older is that I tend to care less about what others think of me, unless they want to pay my bills, or live with me as darling wife does.

I think I was more concerned with protocol when I posted than with public opinion about my choice of uke brought.

I'm going to have a great time and learn all I can.

I'm sorry if my post sounded snobby, because I'm not, and as a retired teacher, I couldn't afford to be a snob if I wanted to be. Thanks for the replies.

02-27-2014, 06:12 AM
If it were me, I'd contact the organizers, explain the situation and see if someone could loan me a uke, rather than buying yet another one that you will probably not play all that often since you have 3 other ones.

02-27-2014, 06:24 AM
I didn't even think of a loaner being available, hence the name, "old fool" and I already made a 40 mile trip to Waimea from Kona to buy the used Kala.
It's an OK instrument and my wife wants to learn so the soprano will be great for that purpose. I've also had the chance to get some well-needed practice in that I wouldn't have had without purchasing the Kala.

I wish I had thought about them having loaners available!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
02-27-2014, 06:39 AM
No shame in bringing a Kala to the Waikaloa uke festival. Unlike most of the major uke festivals on the Mainland, the Waikaloa event is pretty low keyed (as is all of Big Island) and the Kala will fit right in.
But since Andrew Kitakis will be there representing the Hawaii Music Supply why not wait and buy something from him? At least you'll know it'll be set up correctly.

02-27-2014, 07:14 AM
Thanks, Chuck! I just looked at your website and I don't believe I've ever seen prettier instruments! They are stunning, and I bet they sound as good as they look too.

02-27-2014, 08:53 AM
Thanks, Chuck! I just looked at your website and I don't believe I've ever seen prettier instruments! They are stunning, and I bet they sound as good as they look too.

Yes, they do.

And Chuck is right -- if HMS has a booth at the festival, you're probably better off buying one from HMS at the festival.

02-27-2014, 09:41 AM
Reading this thread had me looking up festivals in my area...you are gonna have an awesome time! Forget what other people think!

PS - I love my Kala. (I MIGHT have said that once or twice around here...) =D

02-27-2014, 01:40 PM
Actually, you don't sound snobby at all just unsure. I know I'm not judging you. They may not have loaners so you did good by getting a cheap uke for the workshop. You will certainly get more out of it with an instrument in your hands.

Anyway, I hope you have a great tme and learn some things.

02-28-2014, 08:43 AM
I don't want to bring a brown sports-coat to a black tie gala.

Did they publish requirements for a formal dress code? (ha ha - j/k)

But seriously, if somebody passes judgement on you because you did not show up with a K-brand or Compass Rose under your arm, or something else all shiny and dripping with abalone inlays such that you can hardly see the OMG sinker redwood - then if it were me, I'd avoid that 'person' like I was running from a hot lava flow...

In fact, I would tell them that KALA, is a 'K-brand' (ha ha), and WHAT do YOU PLAY? uh huh, very nice, now 'shut up and strum the darn thing will ya?'

and if black is your thing, you can always get a can of spray paint and (God forbid) 're-colorize' the Kala from the brown color to black!

(I would NOT use a black sharpie marker which will rub off, and get ALL OVER your clothes and stain your skin and will NOT wash off for days - believe me, you do NOT want to know that story) :)

02-28-2014, 08:12 PM
I'm going to go and have fun. I've read all the replies and they've confirmed that it really doesn't matter what uke you bring as long as you bring one. It's my understanding that Andrew will be there, but will not have a booth set up. I'll play my Kala loudly and proudly!

02-28-2014, 08:41 PM
I bring any one of my common commercial ukes that I paid the highest $199, to festivals, play-alongs, jams, rehearsals, and even gigs without a thought, I just enjoy playing. One might sound a little better than the other, or play easier, but I've had a lot of fun collecting them since starting seven months ago.

03-01-2014, 11:08 AM
There are two options when you go to Hawaii.
1 - bring your own uke and play in the birthplace of the ukulele vibe
2 - buy a new uke when you get there and play in the birthplace of the ukulele vibe
These are the ONLY options.

03-01-2014, 11:35 AM
I'll play my Kala loudly and proudly!

'Atta boy':D