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Thread: Your story: how ukulele found you?

  1. #231
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin


    I had never considered the ukulele for a moment before the day I fell in love with it.

    I was asked to preach a Lenten retreat to a convent of nuns. Before they began their silent retreat, they had a dinner and played me some music at the end of it. One of the nuns in the band played a ukulele and I was so taken by the simplicity of the instrument and its beautiful tone. I had to get one. I then got a nice Lanikai off Craig's List, quickly gave it to family in my parish of little means, and upgraded.

    I found that ukuleles were like my tobacco pipes. Two are enough, but once you have three, you never have enough.

    Loquax autem mutus es

    1920s Martin Style 2
    Anuenue Moon Bird Tenor
    Kanile'a K1T
    1923 Gibson tenor trap door banjo (ukefied)
    1920s SS Stewart soprano banjolele ("University Model")
    Kiwaya KSU-1L (long neck soprano)
    Flight TUS-35

  2. #232
    Join Date
    Apr 2017


    For me it was going after a package. The place just happened to be a combined package delivery place and a small music store, for some reason these totally unrelated tasks combined. They had mostly guitars, tried a keyboard, and then there were the two ukes, a soprano and a concert. Tried out the soprano, liked the sound and sight, and mine it was. Who knows when I would have got one without this incident?
    Have a good soprano

    My whistling channel

  3. #233
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Texas, USA


    Walked into a pawn shop one day and they didn't have any chainsaws I liked, so I bought a guitar that caught my eye.

    I didn't know how to play it, but it was 27 years old and in perfect condition. It was just beautiful.

    They took my 40% off offer and threw in a padded gig bag with some new strings, a couple of harmonicas, guitar honey, and some other odds and ends inside.

    I was very happy with the purchase. But was afraid of damaging the guitar. So a few days later, found an old classical Yamaha for sixty bucks that I liked the feel of and took it home.

    Decided the Yamaha was too big to carry around with me during the week when I wanted to practice. And decided that four strings would be easier to learn than six. Then found out a baritone uke shared the same four high strings with a guitar, so the search was on.

    Baritone ukes are scarce on the used market around here, but I found a couple of used mandolins on clearance and thought they were really cool. So I bought them. Then a couple of more guitars.

    So finally, after investing six Benjamins on other stringed instruments, I found an old baritone uke made by a company I'd never heard of with mismatched strings and an old unpadded hard case for a yard sale price, and I bit. It was in pretty nice shape other than a few little dings. And it wasn't made in China, which was a big plus for me.

    So I got some new strings, just yesterday, and now I'm starting to try and learn to play.

    I have visions of building a bowl back uke. And possibly converting a cheap mini strat to a steel string uke for quiet practice with headphones. But so far have resisted the temptation to plop down any major cash on anything new and really nice. Might go and get a couple of spools of high test fishing line anticipation of finding some more used deals that I can't walk away from, in need of new strings.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by old and slow; 11-30-2019 at 07:50 PM.
    The crew...Giannini Baritone Uke, Washburn Rover "4-string tenor guitar", Yamaha G-85A classical guitar.

    In the works....LP style long scale wide neck solid body electric tenor guitar.

    Wall hanger...The Loar Honey Creek type-A Mandolin.

  4. #234
    Join Date
    Aug 2012


    My dad bought a Silvertone baritone uke at Sears the year I was born and played hokum and swingy stuff like "FrimFram Sauce" on it. I got a guitar for my 8th birthday and have played ever since. When the old man had to go to assisted living for Alzheimer's, I strung and cleaned up the old bari and took it to him. He strummed one chord, then handed it back and said: "take it away!" About that time I was having recurring hand trouble and found that the light tension and short scale were less stressful. I also started teaching English to at-risk kids at a Charter School and kept a cheap guitar, a Casio keyboard, and some cheap sopranos in class for the kids to bang on when they finished assignments. Began buying ukes (ohana, mainland) and playing concerts and tenors. We retired to Italy a couple of years ago and I sold all the ukes but my prized loPrinzi cherry concert. My youngest daughter (29 yrs old) is keeping the tradition. She's got Pop's old bari and plays regularly.
    Last edited by tejastani; 11-30-2019 at 10:49 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #235


    Guitarist. Got tired of their bulk on road trips. Stumbled on a Luna concert uke at a pawn shop. $60 w/hard case. In ten minutes, I was hooked. The upward $piral continues. I currently rock a pair of Farallons. plus about 6 others, depending on what week you may ask. Love 'em all!

  6. #236
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Pacific Inland Empire


    It was my wife's fault.
    She checked out a soprano from the library, then bought a tenor ($100) from Amazon.
    So, started looking for cheap fixer-uppers from eBay.
    Bought a Luna baritone, fixed it up, didn't like the overly guitar sound. Gave it away, got
    a super tenor. We all have ukes now!
    Last edited by ukeanixi; 01-11-2020 at 07:09 AM.

  7. #237
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Brenchley, Kent, England


    Change in the gigs we do. For about four decades we've been mainly a Saturday nights band playing for barn dances at weddings and similar, with me playing lead on melodeon. Now the others have retired, have free time in the week, don't need the dosh and want to explore more musical avenues. We've become 'Last of the Summer Wine - with instruments'. I wanted a quieter and more versatile instrument suitable for a wider range of styles, ukulele appealed the most.
    Pete Howlett 'Deacon' - low G (That One With The Amazing Back)
    Gold Tone small bodied Tenor resonator - high g
    Kala Tenor resonator - low G

    Also Mark Savoy G melodeon, Andy Norman DG Anglo, Alba & MK whistles, Dave Copley flutes and Jon Swayne bagpipes. Well, keeps me busy.

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