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Thread: Malaiselele

  1. #1
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    Default Malaiselele

    Is anyone else frustrated — and maybe a little baffled — by the lack of brick-and-mortar stores selling quality (and quantity/variety of) ukuleles? Sound samples and written descriptions and phone conversations don’t come close to the experience of trying out an instrument. (I mean, it’s at least 94% subjective.)

    Supposedly ukuleles have become relatively popular in recent years, but still it’s the same brands (Kala, Lanikai, and other mostly inexpensive ones) in most stores. (I’m not knocking those brands; I just want more variety.) I’m not just looking for higher-priced ukes, either.

    Why are there so many more guitars to try out — or are the guitars also the same brands, repeated among stores? (And I’m sure there still are many more guitar players than ukulele players.)

    Do certain uke makers require an investment (number of ukes purchased) by the store that the store feels it can’t justify?

    Is it also that too many stores see ukuleles as toys, and it’s easier to just put anything out there because, you know, it doesn’t really matter?

    Are they afraid that the “fad” will end suddenly, like the ’29 crash, leaving them destitute, sitting on a street corner with a sign reading “will strum for food”?

    There, I’ve vented. But . . . what do you think?

  2. #2
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    I've wondered about this myself and talked to folks who work at Sam Ash. They've cited a general decline in instrument sales at their store. That broke my heart. We've seen lots of bookstores close on Long Island. Are music stores next?

    Why Kala and Lanikai? I wonder that, too. I also am not thrilled with how ukes are displayed at the S.A store-one vertical rack, all the ukes on their backs.

  3. #3
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    I just asked my local brick and mortar why they didn't carry Martin. The reply was tha a lot of manufacturers won't let a dealer carry just a few models, they have to stock all models and it's just too expensive to do that!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by whistleman123 View Post
    I just asked my local brick and mortar why they didn't carry Martin. The reply was tha a lot of manufacturers won't let a dealer carry just a few models, they have to stock all models and it's just too expensive to do that!
    Why is it that manufacturers require that? Are they trying to get the store to stock (and sell) more models, or is there some less sinister explanation?

  5. #5
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    That's why, when the "play it before you buy it", crowd jump in with their sage advise, I think, "in your world maybe you can do that, but not mine."
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    That's why, when the "play it before you buy it", crowd jump in with their sage advise, I think, "in your world maybe you can do that, but not mine."
    Yeah, I've kind of wondered about that, too. I think most people's worlds are limited in play-before-you-buy options. Part of my frustration is looking at an online seller like theukulelesite / HMS and wishing I could try 90% of what they have online . . . without going to Hawaii. Which I intend to do, but not this week.

  7. #7
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    I am truly amazed ...really that in the US you seem to have so few stores....shops, locally that sell ukes ...and the other musical trifles like guitars and things...

    From where I live I can count at least , hang on....Omega , GuitarGuitar, JGWindows x 2, The Guitar Shop, Curvy Sounds,Rainbow,Core...without thinking . All within a 45 mile radius...spoiled or what ?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    You may not have noticed, but here in the US we're mainly consumers of entertainment, not producers of self-entertainment. Our pub musical tradition is limited to karaoke. Big Music has convinced most of us that folk music is complete rubbish, and no music is worth listening to if it's not recorded or performed on stage by so-called professionals, blasted at us at 30 db with unrelenting drum tracks and frenetic effects-soaked electric guitars. Uke is only slowly making inroads into that world.

    We are also a culture that increasingly shuns contact with each other. I long for your SMSs, but don't interrupt my texting with your noisome conversation. So naturally we prefer to order things online rather than change our sweatpants for trousers and slog all the way to some {gak} store where there are {gak} other people and we might have to {gak} wait for service. Wait for service! Can you even imagine!

    I notice that you are using "gak"...are you promoting the Shop "Guitars and Keyboards" whom have several branches acros the UK and oooowwwwww...stop hitting me !!!

    Actually you have also put your finger on something else that has been irritating me slightly for a while about UU and the general response to Links and Videos.....

    If it isn't an over rehearsed slick production by a card carrying pro then here is generally no response....not even a "Well that was crap, but hey it was fun"....hmmmmm...you may have just rendered this site redundant for me...

    Thanks Ubulele, you have just made it all very clear....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    You may not have noticed, but here in the US we're mainly consumers of entertainment, not producers of self-entertainment. Our pub musical tradition is limited to karaoke. Big Music has convinced most of us that folk music is complete rubbish, and no music is worth listening to if it's not recorded or performed on stage by so-called professionals, blasted at us at 30 db with unrelenting drum tracks and frenetic effects-soaked electric guitars. Uke is only slowly making inroads into that world.

    We are also a culture that increasingly shuns contact with each other. I long for your SMSs, but don't interrupt my texting with your noisome conversation. So naturally we prefer to order things online rather than change our sweatpants for trousers and slog all the way to some {gak} store where there are {gak} other people and we might have to {gak} wait for service. Wait for service! Can you even imagine!
    So are you saying that there aren't enough people (demand) for ukuleles in walled stores, or that the perception is that there aren't enough people? Or . . . both?

    Sure, most people want to only receive music. But of those who want to make it on a uke, are there enough of us to warrant stores with a quantity and quality of options?

  10. #10
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    I also think that the price setting makes ukuleles a little less interesting for shop owners or shop keepers than keyboards and guitars. A decent 'sell one every few days' ukulele costs a third or less than a decent keyboard or guitar sold at the same frequency. That's why they usually have more choice in drum sets than in tambourines.

    I don't think canned music is to blame - it has been around for several decades, and people still make their own music, although less than somewhat over a century ago when the only music was live music.

    As for brands only supplying shop stock on their conditions, I've only heard it about the Gibson vs. Elderly trial.

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