Siv's Ukulelog

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
I'm starting to log mainly so that I have a record of this new hobby and to see how it develops.

Some background first. My 12yo daughter has been watching someone called "Soot" on YouTube and asked me if she can get an acoustic guitar. Having dabbled in my youth I decided to get her a 3/4 Oscar Schmidt acoustic which she likes and has been working on learning.

Now she's a lefty so I found it nearly impossible to show her fingering etc as it was all reversed. But I didn't want to buy a guitar for myself to play with her as it would likely just collect dust. My sister was visiting at the time and suggested a ukulele. So the search began.

I read and watched videos and decided that I would spend a little more than the bare minimum on an instrument so ended up placing an order for an Ohana PKT-25G from Uke Republic, including the matching hard case.

50839106026_551240a883_c.jpg


I really like the pineapple shape - as is typical for me, I prefer things that are not so conventional. Solid mahogany, not too expensive and definitely appealing to the eye. I'm pretty happy with this purchase!
 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,782
Points
48
Hi Siv, I'm in the same boat as you (except that I don't have a daughter that I acknowledge). I've been annotating my uke experience for four years now. It is good to see someone else here.
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
While I was waiting for the Ohana to arrive, my sister and I got chatting and I somehow ended up ordering another uke from Amazon. I wanted to see the difference between a slimline uke and a regular so I bought this for $50.

50878018501_b31228db5b_c.jpg

50878126292_cf4d925714_c.jpg


It's a Kmise travel tenor and it looks a lot fancier on Amazon than real life. Although if it had a gloss finish, it would be stunning. Overall, it's pretty well put together but the finish on it is so thick it makes it look and feel like plastic. You can see that it's laminate but they did use double sided laminate so the tiger stripe is visible through the sound hole. It's definitely not as resonant as the Ohana and a little thin sounding but it has fulfilled its purpose nicely - I definitely find the wider standard body more comfortable to play seated than this thinner version. It will now be my experimentation rig for different tunings and string combinations.
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
So next on the list of things to buy are tuners. I was using my phone but it's a bit clunky and I wanted something more dedicated to the instrument. I looked on Amazon and bought a whole bunch!

  • Snark SN6X Clip-On Tuner for Ukulele
  • D'Addario Accessories Eclipse
  • Korg CA-2
  • D'Addario Ukulele Soundhole Tuner
  • D'Addario Micro Guitar Tuner

I gave the Eclipse to my daughter to use on her guitar. The Korg is destined for another musical project and will live in my workshop.

The micros are nice but I'm finding it hard to find a place to put them where they don't stand out and interfere with my left hand or the case.

My favourite of all is the soundhole tuner. It's discrete, always there and doesn't get in the way. My only complaint is that it's $20 when the micro ones are essentially the same thing but half the price. I've been keeping an eye on Amazon and will pick up more when the price drops. I managed to find another one on a "warehouse deal" for $11 over the weekend.

50898391396_d294cd5d20_c.jpg

50897676508_e5fc1efa16_c.jpg
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
While buying toys is a lot of fun, I'm guessing that I should also be learning how to play! Having a little familiarity from the guitar, my sister and I searched for a tune that we could learn easily and we found Over the Rainbow by Iz.

I found a video by Uke Like the Pros and followed along.

The strumming pattern is quite the challenge but the chords are relatively easy so this the first song I learned to play! I then discovered UkuTabs which has little more complicated version but still relatively doable. UkuTabs is a great resource so we searched for another song and found Lava which was a very quick and easy one to learn and we spent a good half an hour playing along to the short on the TV.

YouTube is a wonderful resource so I decided that I would try out one of the ukulele courses. I settled on Andy's Guitar 10 day course and right now I'm on day 8. It's been fun and about the right speed for me.
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
I try and not spend too much of my disposable income on hobbies as they tend to come and go. However, I had sold some stuff and had some money burning a hole in my Paypal account and I was constantly drooling over more expensive ukes. One that caught my eye is the Tiny Tenor - what a nice idea, a tenor scale but concert sized instrument. And then I saw the spalted mango and I had to have one. I searched and searched and all that were available were pretty plain looking and not the funky stand-out grain that some have. Finally I found one for sale at Aloha City, dropped them an email to confirm that the pictures match the uke and snap bought.

50863997468_6eae9888b5_c.jpg


Sweet sounding, funky looking and with a low G, this is the uke that I'm picking up almost all the time to play now. My only slight disappointment is the lack of a hard case. I tried it in a tenor hard case and it fits as in the pic below but will have to see if it fits a concert equivalent. One of the sad things about funky looking ukes is that finding hard cases is gonna be hard to impossible.

50864813872_93da6c8622_c.jpg

50864709556_257dc73bbf_c.jpg
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
Hi Siv, I'm in the same boat as you (except that I don't have a daughter that I acknowledge). I've been annotating my uke experience for four years now. It is good to see someone else here.

ripock, I wanted to read your thread before replying but only managed to get about 4 or 5 pages in! It has been years since I learned music theory and I've forgotten it all. Your thread comes across as a far more advanced take than mine will likely ever be. So while I'm playing a little every day, it's likely this thread is gonna be more about toys than technique!

Last night my daughter and I learned "Can't help falling in love" and serenaded my wife (who's a big UB40 fan). It went down a treat. :)
 

mjh42

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
552
Points
18
Siv--your jumping in the deep end.......all is good......having multiple ukes gives you multiple choices.....as you will see some folks are dedicated to one or just a few while others have the ukes moving in and out of their hands a a fast pace and others have large collections.......

TKL might have a case for the Tiny Tenor??

Oh, yea and serenading loved ones can have lots of benefits........:cool:
 
Last edited:

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,782
Points
48
ripock, I wanted to read your thread before replying but only managed to get about 4 or 5 pages in! It has been years since I learned music theory and I've forgotten it all. Your thread comes across as a far more advanced take than mine will likely ever be. So while I'm playing a little every day, it's likely this thread is gonna be more about toys than technique!

Last night my daughter and I learned "Can't help falling in love" and serenaded my wife (who's a big UB40 fan). It went down a treat. :)

That's cool. And your log will be much better received than mine because you use pictures and make reading it easier for an audience. I only write for myself and I have actually been criticized because of that. Keep up the good work
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
While noodling on the uke, and following along to some YouTube videos, I came across some uke building vids. I have often watched guitar builders and marveled at their skill but since this was pre-uke, it was nothing more than entertainment. Now my interest is piqued.

I am a hobbyist woodworker, mainly supporting my wife's painting activities by making frames for her artwork. And the occasional Christmas present.

50911915711_3172e001ec_c.jpg


So the search began for some plans. And surprisingly, there are several available online for free!
https://www.oaktownstrings.com/free-instrument-plans

I also discovered the Hana Lima 'Ia site where they sell printed versions as well as an instruction book. An order was placed!

50911899381_7c7569fb1f_c.jpg


Once my table saw is fixed up (don't ask), this is definitely a project that I'll be taking on.
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
My son and I finally got the table saw working again so the immediate project is a case for the tiny tenor. I should know better but I just went straight at it, rather than thinking.

The box was easy enough but like an idiot, I forgot to account for the thickness of the ends!
50922143798_0dca07666a_c.jpg


I had to notch out one of the ends to get the uke to fit:
50922956577_7ae83ee19d_c.jpg


It's snug but there's room for 2mm foam at either end.
50922956617_7893e83d7c_c.jpg


The second mistake I made was gluing the foam into the box when I should have left it removable so I can wrap and tuck the lining. Ah well, I have learned for the next one.
50922830711_25fc3f7aa2_c.jpg


I'll have to see what to do - perhaps build a thin box from 1/4" ply or cardboard which can be covered in tweed or some other sturdy fabric to serve as the outside. Anyway, still some work to go but it came together very quickly and cost almost nothing (scrap plywood, foam floor mats from Harbor Freight and some left over velvet).
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
My wife has a little corner in our house where she keeps her prized junk. It's junk because they're all on the whole totally impractical or useless yet they seem to serve some kind of nostalgia. For example, an ashtray when neither of us smoke and an analogue phone when we don't have a land line. Anyway, to add something practical to the corner, I was on the search for a Banjo uke. While researching, one popped up on the marketplace here so I bought it.

50922894676_487dcddc5e_c.jpg


The Duke 10 arrived will all the accoutrements and a low G. It looks in perfect condition and like it was never played. However the frets ends are a little sharp so that's something I'll have to take care of. I may restring it to re-entrant as I think that suits the banjo better. It's certainly some fun and I've been learning some fingerpicking which is all the more enjoyable on a banjolele!
 

mjh42

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
552
Points
18
I see you have been rubbing the jinni lamp on the window sill and all your ukulele dreams are coming to fruition. Sounds like happy times :cool:
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
One of the most dangerous things about joining a forum is the marketplace. What initially started as a glance here and there became a daily stalk. And when a Koaloha Opio became available, I made an offer and the seller kindly accepted! She arrived on Monday. Wow what a revelation. This uke is an order of magnitude louder than all the others I have tried. And also it plays like a dream - I put this down to Mim's setup, she being the original source of this instrument.

Since getting my hands on this uke on Monday, I haven't touched the Tiny Tenor. I was speaking to my sister last night and she scolded me for neglecting my other ukes. So I picked up TT last night and had a little noodle. She's certainly a richer sounding uke just shockingly quiet compared to the Opio. I think the Opio is the one I'll be noodling on until people go to bed - then I can continue on the TT.

Now I have a problem though - has the Opio ruined all other ukes for me?

50930409901_565c984cb5_c.jpg

50930534562_2c18fa4156_c.jpg

50930408611_69e65c064c_c.jpg
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
I was sitting in the car the other day while the kids were in Karate class thinking that it would be nice to have a uke in the car so I could noodle at time like this. I also love watching YouTube reviews and Baz's videos are a favourite. That lead me to the Enya Nova. Nice plastic uke that I can leave in the car and not worry about. And $60 for the soprano from Amazon... why not.

It's really a surprising instrument. Loud enough, easy to play and Enya give you a lot for the price. The case, tuner, extra strings etc are all unnecessary yet create a nice package. Clearly they got the design right as it plays well right out of the box and you can't really adjust it anyway. The soprano size allows me to sit in the driver's seat and still fit the uke in. Any larger and I'd be hitting the window with the headstock. Finally a damn good reason why the British drive on the correct side of the road - they won't have this problem (unless they're left handed).

And before you say anything, I'm not ukeing and driving, this is strictly for the carpark!

50933429708_d64d442f03_c.jpg

50934118976_a10ccce9aa_c.jpg
 

mjh42

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
552
Points
18
Just as each child brings their own special joy to your heart so too will each ukulele that you posses bring a special sound and feel to your heart as well......:cool:
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
So at what point is it considered a problem?

50936384757_101574c29a_c.jpg


Three days and three ukuleles!

My sister was talking about plastic ukes a while ago and how she didn't like hers so I started watching a few more uke review videos and saw good things said about the Outdoor. Now how to justify buying one? Well I thought it would be cool to have a uke I could leave in the car and the outdoor certainly ticks those boxes being fine in ridiculous extremes of temperature. Of course, this was ordered before the Enya and I didn't think about the practicalities of sitting in the drivers seat and the neck hitting the window. Anyway, here she is. Surprisingly heavy for a uke, not that loud but it doesn't sound plastic. I quite like it and it's very easy to play. I'll have to play this a bit to get the strings to settle and then it'll be the literal outdoor uke - not sure if I'll leave it in the car as they Enya's there now. Perhaps something to noodle with by the pool?

50935583688_b7e2ced556_c.jpg
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
OK, no ukuleles today :)

I wanted to find a storage solution for my ukes where I can grab and go easily in the house. A wall mount or two would be ideal but as you can see I have already accumulated a number. So I was thinking about what way to get them securely mounted (screwing into the studs) and not have wall mounts peppered around the house. My wife gave me permission to use a wall that is in the corridor from the living room to our bedroom so I measured up, found the studs and made a plan. I was originally planning on making the hangers from wood myself but after seeing pictures of damage, I thought it best if I just buy them. It looks like silicone a gives the best grip yet no chance of damage so I started searching. In the end I bought a 6-pack of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085FX6R4V/

I removed the hangers from the wooden blocks, rescued the t-nut and cut a couple of pieces of oak to fit. I routed a profile on the edges, drilled some holes, stain and wax and we're ready to go.

50939023563_1950643088_c.jpg


My wife approves so that's all the blessing I need! I have a humidity gauge arriving today that I'll mount up there also.

There's room for one more uke though...
 

Bill Sheehan

Active member
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
1,548
Points
38
That's cool. And your log will be much better received than mine because you use pictures and make reading it easier for an audience. I only write for myself and I have actually been criticized because of that. Keep up the good work

No way should you be criticized for writing only for yourself, Ripock. I for one enjoy reading your posts, although I don't always understand the technical and "theory" aspects very well. I'm sure many others enjoy following you too. And we'll enjoy Siv's thoughts as well. As MJH said above, "All is good."
 

Siv

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
64
Points
0
I wish there were like buttons on this forum as I'd like to like all the responses I've had. Since this is the shameless self promotion section, we should not feel the slightest bit of shame :)

I'm usually a buy once cry once kinda guy but it sometimes takes some time to realize what the "buy once" should be. I decided that I should stop messing around and go straight to the source. I sold a few things from another hobby and set out looking for a Kamaka. Not all that easy a task since they seem to sell out at the more reputable stores relatively quickly. Finally I found a tenor at Ukulelelab and struck up a conversation with Isaac who was incredibly helpful. The added bonus is that the serial number is a combination of my lucky number and my wife's lucky number. I guess it was meant to be mine. So I paid and was excited to get my uke in a few short days.

The heavens decided that would not be the case and the icepocalypse struck Texas. The uke had made it from Honolulu to Memphis in a day and promptly sat there while all around froze. With no power and water and the temperature and humidity rapidly dropping in the house, I thought it probably best that she wasn't with me. At least Memphis has power!

Finally, a week later, she arrived and was handed to my wife. I rushed to open and check the condition and thoughtful packing with a Boveda humidity pack meant she came out perfect. She's a little quiet but rich - I think I'm going to enjoy experiencing how I grow with her.

51000819462_1b2d151b8a_c.jpg


51000819812_92f5c65b1b_c.jpg


The Opio is great for low G and loud and the outdoor uke serves well as a beater. Now my problem is what to do with the other wooden - the Tiny Tenor and Ohana Pineapple.