Friday, January 8, 2010

An update!

Someone on Ukulele Underground reminded me that I have not updated this blog for quite some time. I guess I just have not had much in the way of interesting ukulele contents to post. But since I fully intend to keep this blog going, I'll discuss what has been going on with me with ukuleles and what plans I have, as well as whatever ukulele related items I can think of to post here.

First off, I have not really learned any new songs for a few months now. I think the last song I learned was $5 Unleaded. Since then, I have not sat down and really tried to learn a complete piece. I wouldn't say it's a lack of motivation because I still want to learn new songs, but perhaps because what I want to learn is too difficult. As I've posted before, I want to learn 3rd Steam, and right now I feel that my skills are light years away from being able to play that song passably. Now days I seem to just play the same songs over and over again (Gently Weeps, Piano Forte, Blue Roses, etc, etc...). I guess I'll need to learn something new eventually. Gotta find some motivation!

I have been free from UAS for the most part for the past 6 months or so. Other than the Mainland slotted headstock concert, which I really got because of my desire to do that Smackdown comparison with Collings (I will finish it off, I promise!!), I have not had the desire to acquire new ukuleles. I look at what I have right now and I'm thinking about how I could thin the herd, but the problem is just about everything I have left are keepers for one reason or another (the current "collection" picture is outdated, I'll need to take another group shot at some point). I'm sure I'll end up with some new ukes down the road (heck, I have a Glyph that was ordered almost 3 years ago that's about to be started soon), but I'm really satisfied with the ukes I have now and it's pretty much impossible to justify anything more unless I sell off more ukes. It seems that right now is a great time for me to NOT be wanting to buy new ukes because it appears that prices are still rising. It would suck if I wanted to buy a uke that I know I could have gotten for less not too long ago!

It's been eons since I last did a lineup ranking. Truth be told, the longer I play ukuleles, the more difficult it is for me to distinguish the sound quality of the ukes I have. I seem to hear the good from lesser ukes more than I used to, so everything sounds pretty good to me. That said, the elite ukes still sound elite and there's always aesthetics and playability to consider. Hmm, I think I'll do a quick top 5 right now! Keep in mind I have sold off the awesome Kanile'a super-tenor, otherwise it would probably be in the top 5.

1. William King LS-concert: It has such a high fidelity sound and is so easy to play, I tend to reach for this uke 9 out of 10 times. I think the sound has improved since I first got it too. Seems a little more full-bodied and even more "alive". Awesome!

2. Kepasa Gypsy Rose concert: Well, I'm more or less a concert guy now, and this uke has always sounded awesome to my ears. It gives me a near-tenor sound in a concert-sized package. I still love the custom headstock that I drew too.

3. William King LS-tenor: Since the arrival of the King LS-concert, this one really has not been played a heck of a lot. But whenever I bust it out, it still sounds great to me. I really wish I had specified Gilbert tuners on the headstock of this one. That would have made an even better looking (to me) ukulele.

4. KoAloha Pineapple Sunday: For quite a while I had not ranked this uke very high on my list. But I've always liked the styling and I think I'm appreciating its great sound more than before. It sounds pretty similar to the King LS-concert with perhaps a touch less "liveliness". But it's just as easy to play and I'm digging the fact that it was a first run Pineapple Sunday that's getting a little rare.

5. Koa Works tenor: This ukulele strikes a balance between the thumping power of the King LS-tenor and the crystalline high fidelity sound of the King LS-concert. When I play this uke it still strikes me by how good it sounds. I had neglected this uke for some time now, but the bottom line is that it's still one of the best I have.

OK, so that's a quick current top 5 in my collection. I would say the King LS-concert is my clear favorite right now, while the other ukes are all kind of in 2nd place. It's hard for me to rank them and the order probably would change depending on the day I rank them.

What else? My Glyph mezzo-soprano could be started this month. I very much look forward to its completion, but I don't have any feeling of anxiousness about it. I guess what's another couple of months after a near three year wait right? I'll be posting progress pics here if I get them from Dave Means.

Anyway, that's it for this in-coherent update. I hope to have more interesting things to post here in the not to distant future.


Ron said...


You might want to hold onto that UAS. I talked to Pops at KoAloha last week and he is accelerating his Signature Line. The next one comes out in December with a new one every six months after that.

What is the main reason for your concert preference at the moment?

GX9901 said...

Hey Ron,

It'll be interesting to see the new KoAloha signatures, but I doubt I'll be getting one unless it knocks me out. I actually like the Sceptre a lot but haven't found the motivation to pull the trigger.

As for my current preference for concert size, it's due to laziness. LOL! It's just that concert is easier than both tenors and sopranos for me to play. Actually, I guess since I mostly play the 16" scale King LS-concert, my preference lies somewhere in between concert & tenor. But the LS-concert plays a lot more like a concert than tenor.

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: