Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ukulele Forums

There are a lot of 'ukulele forums on the internet for the uke enthusiast to read or interact with other people's opinions on the instrument. I visit quite a few of them on a regular basis and there are a couple of interesting observations. The first one is that a lot of the same people seem to post on all of these forums, including me. The other one is despite many of the same people appearing in those forums, they all seem to have a distinct flavor. Here's a roundup of what I think makes each of those forums that I visit unique:

-Flea Market Music: This is by far the most active 'ukulele forum that I have come across. It uses a pretty ancient message board format, but you get used to it after a while. It almost seem to be the "hub" of the online 'ukulele universe as most people who posts on some of the other forums seem to post here. It has a reputation of being the most confrontational forum, but based on my observations, I don't think it's justified. Sure, there are a few disagreements here and there, but I don't think there's a higher percentage compared to other forums. The average age of the posters here seem to be 40 and up (just a guess though), but they seem to be from pretty diverse backgrounds.

-EZ-Folk: This is the first forum I signed up to after taking up the 'ukulele. It's actually a much more encompassing forum than just 'ukuleles. I only read the 'ukulele area though. Lately this seems to be the "newbie" forum as there have been many beginners here asking questions. So there should be a lot of good information for future new players in this forum.

-Ukulele Cosmos: This is a UK based forum. This one has a strong international flavor since a lot of the posters are from Europe. There are some interesting things to be learned here especially since it's from a different perspective than Americans. I don't really have a sense of the average age of the posters here, but I don't think there are very many in their 20's or 30's posting here.

-The Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum (uke section): I was referred to this forum just last month. It's part of the Martin Guitar forum so most of the posters are guitar players first. Recently there has been an infusion of uke players to this forum (including me). I think because most people here are guitar players first, they acquire expensive ukes pretty rapidly, probably because they seem so inexpensive next to nice Martin guitars.

-Uke Talk: This is a pretty quiet forum usually. There seemed to be more luthier discussion here before but I think they all got too busy building ukes so I don't see as much posting from them here. It seems to be mostly a subset of people from the FMM forum. Discussions are pretty civil around here, but there also isn't much traffic most of the time.

-Ukulele Underground: This is a pretty new site. The age demographic here is definitely A LOT younger than the other forums. Most of the posters are college age kids and the topics of discussion is definitely different from some of the other forums. I think it's kind of refreshing to have a forum like this that's pretty much separate from the others. I think I can relate well to the younger people, although at 32, I'm not really that young anymore. I think this forum will have more and more traffic down the road as time goes on.

So that's my breakdown of the various internet forums that discusses the 'ukulele. It's always fun for me to read about the 'ukulele and to interact with other uke enthusiasts online. I hope to continue to do it for a long time to come.


Woodshed said...

Thanks for the post. I think that's definitely an accurate analysis.

I just can't get along with the Flea Market Music Board. I've tried to get involved but just couldn't put up with how user unfriendly it is.

I used to be on Ukulele Cosmos but now find myself on Ukulele Underground. It's mercifully free of the 'grumpy, old men' element that drives me up the wall on the Cosmos.

I've just started a new community YouKulele. Kind of a MySpace/Facebook for ukulele players. It'll be interesting to see if it takes off.

GX9901 said...

Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I do detect some "grumpiness" in some of the forums as well, but I ignore what doesn't interest me. Underground seem to be taking off nicely. Hopefully it turns out great. I'll check out your new community as well. Thanks for reading!

Rayan said...

Thanks for mentioning Ukulele Underground. Nice site you got going here!

GX9901 said...

Thanks for the comment. You guys at Ukulele Underground are doing great job! Keep up the good work!

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Jenn said...

Hey, perhaps you could add my site. I would really appreciate it! http://ukulelehybrids.com

Which uke should I bring on my next trip to Oahu???

What's the maximum you'd spend on a ukulele case for your best uke?

If you could steal one of my ukes, which one would it be???

How curly do you like your koa? (preferably on a uke)

What's the maximum number of ukes a perfectly sane person should have???

Poll: How often do you play the ukulele???

Poll: Which guitar company's approach to ukes do you prefer???

Poll: What's your favorite type of headstock???

Poll: The new basic Collings concert uke (UC-1) sells for about $1k, your reaction is: