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Thread: Your First Ukulele and what it meant to you.

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Shoreline, WA


    I've always wanted a Hawaiian koa wood uke--something to remind me of the fours year I lived there, back in the early 70's. 25 years later and ten years ago, I happened to be passing through Hawaii at the time and was wandering around Ala Moana Mall. I saw a kiosk selling ukes and, after considering my budget, bought an all koa, standard-sized uke for $365. KoAloha had been in business for only five years, but the one I walked away with turned out to be a lot nicer than I had any idea about. It took me eight years to wake up to what I had, but I'm glad that I finally got around to focusing on the uke over the past two years. Talk about taking something for granted. At least I did get around to it.
    2000 KoAloha Soprano
    2009 Kamaka 8-String Koa Tenor
    2010 KoAloha Tenor
    2009 Martin D-35
    198? Dobro Steel Guitar
    199? Larravie Acoustic/Electric Bass Guitar

    Ceviche is like a Latin American version of Lomi-Lomi salmon--or is it the other way around?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Twin Cities, MN


    My very first ukulele was purchased in Honolulu in Feb. 2008. It was my main ukulele for 6 months. I donated it to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Ukulele. It started getting signatures right before UWC 2009. It went to UWC and then started traveling. It traveled until UWC 2010. We got a lot of signatures -- Victoria Vox, Liz Beloff, Jake, Aldrine, plus tons of others. I have it back now and we are really ready to auction it off. Thanks for reminding me to get off my butt and do something with it.

    It was a Hawaiian Ukulele Company concert.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Brentwood Essex


    Bought my first uke about three or four weeks ago. Only bought it after playing one at my nephews house. It is a blue plastic backed Makala Dolphin ( so many recommendations a a good starter uke...and they are not wrong ), Now has a 1950s pin up waterslide transfer of a very lovely lady on the front ( now called Betty ). I have been playing guitar for a long while so picked the basics of the uke up very quickly. I now have a Makala MKC Concert another cheapy but a nice instrument , a second Dolphin ( painted as the Who-kulele a whole other forum thread ) the third Dolphin that I am n the process of painting to sell on e bay, and am picking up a Kala Flame Maple Concert tomorrow( definitely not a cheap instrument and boy it sounds sweet...( was considering the tenor but the same number of frets, a mere 2 inches difference in string length and to me it slightly loses that Uke tone and starts to sound a little like a small guitar...each to their own ). So there you are in a short space of time I have 4 Ukes, and have sold my electric guitar to pay for my new Kala. ( will be keeping both my acoustic guitars though )
    Makala Dolphin ( Betty ) Makala Who-kulele. Makala MKC Concert. Kala Flame Maple Concert

    My YouTube Channel .....
    My sons music facebook page!/...2379432?ref=ts

  4. #24



    This blurry picture is of Vera, my very first ukulele.

    She's an Amigo tenor, and we'll get into that a bit more later.

    I'm not sure what possessed me that fateful day in 2004 to drive the six miles across town and pay $78 for a ukulele. Probably a combination of Central California heat, graduate school insanity (I'd also bought an XBox and a special quilting sewing machine), and one too many viewings of Lilo and Stitch.

    I also bought a beginner's chord book. I think I stuck with it for about nine days.

    Between 2004 and 2010, I moved seven times. Vera moved with me every time, and I'd find a corner to stick her in, just in case I got the urge to try playing again.

    Didn't get that urge until March this year, when I picked her up and did a Google for "Ukulele Chords".

    Now, back to the Amigo brand-- not one I've ever seen mentioned on here. Probably because it stinks on ice. The sound's awful, the intonation's off starting at the 6th fret, and it won't stay tuned thanks to friction(less) pegs and a cracked headstock. Which is why Vera lives on a shelf and I bought Johnny in April of this year.

    Because for all that she's a royal pain in my behind, I can't bear to part with her. She has witnessed some of the best and worst moments of my life from her perch on the shelf in all the houses I've lived in. And she brought me back to music at a time in my life when not only did I need it, I didn't think I'd ever get it back. She's going to stay up there on that shelf in honorable retirement.
    My primary selection critera for a new ukulele:
    "Is it pretty?"

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Fredericksburg, Virginia


    My first ukulele wasn't my first ukulele.

    The ukulele belonged to my father and since he went abroad a lot, I picked up the uke while looking for a Queen album in his closet. I looked at the cheap little plastic blue ukulele and was instantly smitten. I've lived a sad life where so far I've only fallen in love with ukuleles, hope I grow to love people soon too .

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Rohnert Park, CA


    My first Ukulele was a soprano Kamaka HF1 that I bought from the factory on a field trip in elementary school way back around '72.

    Concert Fluke 'Tiki King Surf', Worth CM-LGHD strings.

    Tenor Solid Koa Nice "Aloha Swap Meet special", Worth CH-LG strings.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Dallas, TX


    My first uke (see signature) allowed me to indulge my rock star fantasies.

    My mom is a big classic rock fan who got me started on her favorite bands when I was really little, and from that time on, I've been a bit of a crazy fangirl when it comes to the bands I love. I always loved the idea of making my own music and performing, but my parents said no when I wanted to learn to play drums as a kid, my attempts at learning guitar went nowhere, and my voice is passable but not anything all that special. When I started playing uke, I finally had that satisfaction of making music rather than just listening to it. Granted, for the moment, I mostly perform to an empty living room, but I'm working on moving up to actual audiences .
    Lanikai LU-21 CE in black (aka Johnny Cash) * Washburn High School Musical-edition concert * Flaming concert Fluke * Ohana SK-22Z soprano * Mahalo U-30 soprano (first uke)

    Is it not strange that sheeps' guts should hale souls out of men's bodies? - Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Cardiff by the Sea


    Quote Originally Posted by Keef View Post was my mothers she passed away last October...
    I feel ya! It's been almost four years, in October, but it always reminds me of the beauty that Mom brought into my life. Before I start tearing-up (too late), my first memory of the ukulele was her pulling one off the wall at a condo we were vacationing in, four decades ago. It was meant purely as decoration, but she tuned it a bit, and absolutely wailed on it.

    I believe she started playing when she was chasing my Dad, who was going to the University of Hawaii (before statehood). It was in her retirement that she became reacquainted with the instrument. She had acquired a couple ukuleles (early onset of UAS), and one went to my nephew, the other to me.

    What was the question?

    My first ukulele was an old baritone. It was my first stringed instrument, and the discovery process was painfully funny. The first surprise was finding out that it was tuned differently than other ukuleles. Took me weeks to figure that one out! The second was a bit later, taking it in for repairs, and finding out that it was a Martin. I didn't know that was significant. Then the other shoe dropped when I picked it up, and was told it was a fake!

    Doesn't really matter to me. I loved the ukulele the moment I picked it up. Even before I learned it might be worth something, it already was worth something, to me. Although today the baritone not my daily hatchet, Mom is the reason I am here talking to you beautiful people today.

    My heart goes out to you Keef.

    Spirit does live on.

    "My people are the people of the dessert", said T.E. Lawrence, picking up his fork.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Mission Viejo, CA


    I am a relative newcomer when it comes to ukuleles. My first ukulele was a KoAloha soprano from MGM in March 2007. I probabaly went beyond the cost of a typical first instrument, but I had played guitar for 40 years so a stringed instrument wasn't totally foreign to me.

    Getting that ukulele really opened my eyes that a ukulele is a real instrument and a very cool one at that. I moved on to tenor size ukes, but that soprano started it off.

    The other good thing about that ukulele is that it got the opportunity to become someone else's first ukulele and everything that goes along with it.


  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    Great thread!!

    I bought my first uke on a whim at my local music store during late June of this year....a Lanikai LU-21T. Due to my hectic schedule and some work issues I did not actually start to learn to play until the beginning of July. I was instantly hooked. In the middle of July, I was taking a few days to travel from PA to KY and visit some local sites. I read all the great reviews of Mainland Ukes so I decided to purchase a classic mahogany tenor with the gloss finish and MOP tuners. I was already traveling 12 hours from PA to KY and Mike's shop was only about 1 1/2 hrs from my Louisville destination so I figured I might as well visit his shop and pick up my uke in person. It was a great experience. I love both of my ukes and I plan on keeping both of them.

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