How to Screw Up a Nice Uke!


Well-known member
Dec 7, 2009
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New England, USA
Ok, I'll start this thread about how some folks screw up otherwise nice ukes. I saw this very nice looking Martin C1K uke on GC, on which someone installed a garish pickguard. Dunno if the guard is removeable without damage, but I hope so! Got other examples?


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Can’t be all that hard. I would think you could get a fingernail under an edge and gently pry it up…
I'd take it to a luthier and have them remove it. They'll know better about how to do it without damaging the finish.
Wonder if that pick guard was put there to cover damage. I just can't imagine why else anyone would cover the whole shoulder like that, but, to each their own.

Good luck with it's removal, Ukecaster.
I like it! I have put pick/scratch guards on some of my ukes when I've felt they would benefit from one. I've also pulled off a sizeable chunk of not just finish, but also some of the surface grain of a cedar top removing one, too, so ended up replacing it, but it is a consideration that a bit of heavy-handed strumming may have left it looking marked enough to be installed in the first place.
Is that a beheading, bRUTOh?

The scratch guard was not that bad. If it played and sounded good, I could (maybe) live with it.
To go slightly off topic, whether it's an ukulele or a tuba, it always amazes the tasteless or just plain dumb things some people will do with their instruments, and delicate instruments like ukuleles can be particularly susceptible. I've been lucky that of all the ukuleles I've owned, none has had anything worse than a sloppy seam repair (well, a very sloppy seam repair, actually) or tuner replacement. With other instruments, one of the most egregious abuses was a 1/4" diameter hole that went halfway through the back of a beautiful cherry red Gibson lap steel, for which the great Toronto luthier Joe Yanuziello ( made an almost invisible repair. From the corresponding hole in the back of the case, it was obvious that someone had seen fit to use their lap steel case as a workbench for an electric drill, without even bothering to remove the guitar first. There oughta be a law.
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