Tommy Rodriguez ukulele

Kei

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I went back through the archives and found just a little bit on this Richmond, VA builder and his ukes. I’m in RVA right now and considering a purchase of a soprano while I’m here. Before I pull the trigger to satisfy more UAS urges, I’d love to get any thoughts from members who have experiences with his instruments. All accounts I’ve read to now indicate they are superb. Thanks!
 
Well I’ve got one and it is superb in all ways! Made with wood from a very old piano. I’m the 3rd owner and the 1st owner was our very own Jon Duncan. I will try and get a picture up when I get home later tonight.
 
Interesting, he builds his ukes to look a bit like charangos.
 
yes as Glenn said, i was the original owner of that Rodriguez soprano.
i liked it a lot. he established his reputation as a classical guitar maker;
i'm fairly certain the one above was Tommy's first uke build, around 2012 i'm guessing it was...
Rich, this one has the obvious Spanish style leanings but i also owned his 2nd one -
that was an all-mahogany soprano and played and sounded even nicer.
i tried to look him up for a little while after buying those 2 ukes but saw nothing more and then stopped looking.
would love to see some of his more recent builds if he's still dabbling w/ ukuleles. the one thing that detracted
from their sweet sounds and obvious beauty was that, playing in first position,
the left hand would be cramped, as the shoulder of the headstock was very much on the short side and i felt
the build (particularly of the first one) to be a little on the heavy side (the tap plate didn't help! though it looks awesome).
i recorded a stack of songs w/ the one Glenn is showing but sadly they're all lost to history,
except this one i just found. cheers!

 
I went back to the shop, Fan Guitar and Ukulele, where Tommy apparently consigns many of his builds. I was able to glean that he isn’t all that easy to get hold of and kinda prefers to do his own thing when he wants to do it. Doesn’t really pay attention to asks for custom builds. Keeps a stock of reclaimed wood that he uses to build when he’d rather build than play. Actually sounds like a fascinating guy. I left town without making the purchase but that doesn’t mean I won’t. It’s a beautiful but understated koa soprano with reclaimed maple nut and saddle and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and binding. Exactly the aesthetic I love.
 
I went back to the shop, Fan Guitar and Ukulele, where Tommy apparently consigns many of his builds. I was able to glean that he isn’t all that easy to get hold of and kinda prefers to do his own thing when he wants to do it. Doesn’t really pay attention to asks for custom builds. Keeps a stock of reclaimed wood that he uses to build when he’d rather build than play. Actually sounds like a fascinating guy. I left town without making the purchase but that doesn’t mean I won’t. It’s a beautiful but understated koa soprano with reclaimed maple nut and saddle and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and binding. Exactly the aesthetic I love.
Fan guitar and uke was where i bought mine too.
any pics of the one you were looking at? just went to the site and nothing...
 
I did not think to snap one. I wish I had. The fellow working there, Stu, said they’ve had it in stock for awhile. I think he used the words “a few years” but I wouldn’t swear to that. Great little shop, BTW.
 
yes as Glenn said, i was the original owner of that Rodriguez soprano.
i liked it a lot. he established his reputation as a classical guitar maker;
i'm fairly certain the one above was Tommy's first uke build, around 2012 i'm guessing it was...
Rich, this one has the obvious Spanish style leanings but i also owned his 2nd one -
that was an all-mahogany soprano and played and sounded even nicer.
i tried to look him up for a little while after buying those 2 ukes but saw nothing more and then stopped looking.
would love to see some of his more recent builds if he's still dabbling w/ ukuleles. the one thing that detracted
from their sweet sounds and obvious beauty was that, playing in first position,
the left hand would be cramped, as the shoulder of the headstock was very much on the short side and i felt
the build (particularly of the first one) to be a little on the heavy side (the tap plate didn't help! though it looks awesome).
i recorded a stack of songs w/ the one Glenn is showing but sadly they're all lost to history,
except this one i just found. cheers!


Thanks for posting this Jon. I fell in love with this uke way back when watching your “stack of songs” and had to have it when it became available. I haven’t played it in quite some time…think I’ll get it out and reconnect later today. Maybe do something for the seasons of the uke, haven’t done that for many moons.
Cheers old buddy…can’t wait to hear that Collings!
 
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Thanks for posting this Jon. I fell in love with this uke way back when watching your “stack of songs” and had to have it when it became available. I haven’t played it in quite some time…think I’ll get it out and reconnect later today. Maybe do something for the seasons of the uke, haven’t done that for many moons.
Cheers old buddy…can’t wait to hear that Collings!
oh man it would be fantastic to see and hear you record something new, Glenn!
the Collings! goo-goo-gaaaaah, brother...i can't wait to hear it too 🙂 cheers mate!
 
yes as Glenn said, i was the original owner of that Rodriguez soprano.
i liked it a lot. he established his reputation as a classical guitar maker;
i'm fairly certain the one above was Tommy's first uke build, around 2012 i'm guessing it was...
Rich, this one has the obvious Spanish style leanings but i also owned his 2nd one -
that was an all-mahogany soprano and played and sounded even nicer.
i tried to look him up for a little while after buying those 2 ukes but saw nothing more and then stopped looking.
would love to see some of his more recent builds if he's still dabbling w/ ukuleles. the one thing that detracted
from their sweet sounds and obvious beauty was that, playing in first position,
the left hand would be cramped, as the shoulder of the headstock was very much on the short side and i felt
the build (particularly of the first one) to be a little on the heavy side (the tap plate didn't help! though it looks awesome).
i recorded a stack of songs w/ the one Glenn is showing but sadly they're all lost to history,
except this one i just found. cheers!


Loved it. Great playing and singing. I enjoyed the song very much.

I think the camera distorted the three ukes photo making the two bouts to look to be the same width. Much better representation in the video.
 
I think That one was at Fan for a while.

I have the rosewood cedar one on this page:


I bought mine from Tommy at the Richmond ukulele festival for a really good price. IDT Tommy makes many, if he even does and more.

You are very unlikely to be disappointed if you buy it!

(P.S., it looks like fan is very slow in updating their website ...)
 
Well I’ve got one and it is superb in all ways! Made with wood from a very old piano. I’m the 3rd owner and the 1st owner was our very own Jon Duncan. I will try and get a picture up when I get home later tonight.
Is yours the top one here?


(Mine is the bottom one...)
 
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