Cool Uke Tweet of the Day

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 5.08.10 PM

 

Hell, this is probably the Cool Uke Tweet of the decade!

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A Ukulele on the Moon?

Astronaut Neil Armstrong strumming his Ukulele while in isolation upon returning from the moon in 1969.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong strumming his Ukulele while in isolation upon returning from the moon in 1969.

 

Well, not exactly. But this is pretty close.

In honor of the 45th Anniversary of the first men to walk on the moon (last weekend July 21), we present you with Astronaut Neil Armstrong, strumming his Ukulele while in isolation upon his return from the moon in 1969.

For those of you not up on your history, Armstrong is the first man to walk on the moon.

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Born in the U.S.A.

Kala U.S.A. Custom Shop Handmade #1 Uke

Kala U.S.A. Custom Shop Handmade #1 Uke

 

Behold the Kala Custom Shop, made entirely in the U.S.A., serial number 1 Ukulele.

This is the first of what hopefully is a long line of handmade Kala Ukes built right here at home. We told you about this new Kala line earlier this month.

Kala says this one is not for sale, as it is going into the company’s collection. But number 2 and forward should be available for sale.

No word yet on pricing or availability.

This was was shipped to Summer NAMM for all the world to ogle.

And it’s a beauty.

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This is Definitely Not a Good Way to Use a Ukulele

Don't try this at home kids!

Don’t try this at home kids!

 

I’m not sure if this video is real, but it sure seems to be. The guy probably thinks it’s way too real. Ouch!

This is definitely not a good way to treat a Ukulele–or a boyfriend for that matter.

I feel sorry for the guy. And the Ukulele.

 

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So, Does it Hibernate in the Winter?

Bear_Head5_preview_featured

From the Department of the Strange and Unusual comes the Bear-u-lele/The Ukulele with a Bear Head! Made of plastic (I assume) and printed with a 3D printer, the Bear-u-lele, according to its maker, is playable.

I guess playable is debatable, but you can strum it and get a sound out of it. Check it out in action Here.

If you’re into 3D printing, you can download the files to make your very own Bear-u-lele. It’s an 8mb Zip file.

And while we’re on the subject of 3D printing, if the Bear-u-lele is not your thing, how about a Les Paul Ukulele?

You can download the files for printing the LP Uke Here. This one is a 274kb Zip file.

Somehow I don’t think the makers of plastic Ukes have anything to worry about from 3D printers just yet.

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George Said Everyone Should Own a Ukulele

George Harrison spells out the reasons everyone should own a play a Ukulele

George Harrison spells out the reasons everyone should own a play a Ukulele

 

And who am I to argue?

Seems like sage advice from George Harrison. And he should know. Being a pretty decent Ukulele player and all.

Apparently whenever he was in Hawaii, Harrison would go around to all the shops and buy up as many Kamaka Ukes as he could get his hands on. He would then give them out to his friends.

In a letter written on Flea Market Music stationery in 1999, Harrison spells out why he thinks everyone should own and play a Ukulele.

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New, Handmade Uke on the Way from Kala

Kala Brand Music Co.plans to add a Ukulele handmade in the USA to its lineup next year.

Kala Brand Music Co.plans to add a Ukulele handmade in the USA to its lineup next year.

 

The Kala Brand Music Co., well known and highly respected for producing well-constructed and playable Asian-built Ukuleles for little money, plans to add USA-made models to its lineup next year.

Mike Upton, the founder of Petaluma-Ca.-based Kala, told Musical Merchandise Review magazine that the company plans to introduce at least one Made in America model soon.

Kala will introduce a ukulele handmade in the U.S. at our Petaluma, California shop at the 2015 NAMM Show.

He did not say if it will be introduced at Winter NAMM or Summer NAMM, though.

Kala already produces a line of Acoustic/Electric Ukulele Bass models in California, so adding a USA-made model Uke makes sense. No word on how much it will cost or what woods will be available, however.

 

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The Honolulu Baby

Book of Magic – International Doll Cut Outs in the Washington Times – Feb. 19, 1922

Book of Magic – International Doll Cut Outs in the Washington Times – Feb. 19, 1922

 

Back in the day, you could often find something like this in your local newspaper.

This page is from the Washington (D.C.) Times on Feb. 19, 1922, at the height of the “first wave” of the Ukulele craze in the U.S.

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Taimane Rockin’ the Uke

 

Taimane Gradner playing her Kamaka Ukulele on stage.

Taimane Gradner playing her Kamaka Ukulele on stage.

 

Anyone who says you can’t rock out with a Ukulele has never heard Taimane Gardner play.

Check out this performance from the recent San Diego Ukulele Festival 2014.

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Meet Clara

Blackbird Guitars Clara Ukulele

Blackbird Guitars Clara Ukulele

 

Ukuleles come in many shapes and types of materials. There’s Koa wood, Mango, Maple, Spruce, Cocobolo, Mahogany, to name a few. They even come in plastic and composite materials like carbon fiber. Now you can add Ekoa to the list of materials used to make a Ukulele.

Meet Clara. A new Concert-sized Ukulele from Blackbird Guitars that uses composite materials–Ekoa to be exact–and claims to have a tone just like vintage wood.

According to the company that produces Ekoa:

Ekoa natural composites are even lighter than carbon fiber yet offer superior tensile strength and vibration dampening.

Sounds good, but I’m not too sure about the vibration dampening part. I would think you would want a Ukulele to vibrate freely, to get a good, loud sound from it. But that’s just me.

Blackbird says its Clara Ukulele is the result of years of research using the eco-friendly composite. It features a proprietary hollow neck and unibody construction.

Clara is the loudest concert ukulele with the widest frequency range available yet compact enough to fit in a backpack— the perfect instrument to have around in all circumstances. With the tone of vintage wood and the durability of cutting-edge sustainable composite construction, musicians get what was previously unobtainable: the experience of a vintage old-growth wood instrument in a lightweight, durable package, notes Blackbird Guitars founder Joe Luttwak.

You can check out the Clara in action in this video.

Here are the detailed specs for the Clara:

Construction: Ekoa natural composite
Top: Ekoa natural composite
Neck Material: Ekoa natural composite
Neck Shape: C shape
Neck Reinforcement: Composite assembly
Nut Material: Graphtech Tusq
Headstock: Ekoa natural composite
Headplate: Ekoa natural composite
Fretboard Material: Richlite
Scale Length: 15″
Fretwire: Nickel silver
Number of Frets Clear: 12
Number of Frets Total: 17
Fretboard Width at Nut: 1.4″
Fretboard Width 12th Fret: 1 3/4″
Fretboard Side Markers: 5,7,10,12
Bridge Material: Richlite
Bridge String Spacing: 1.6″
Saddle: Graphtech
Tuning Machines: Gotoh
Recommended Strings: High G/Low G
Case: Heavily padded soft case
Electronics: Optional Mi-Si Pickup
Finish: Natural
Dimensions: 24″ x 7.75″ x 3″
Weight: 1.2 Lbs

The Blackbird Clara Concert Ukulele starts at $1,150.00. With the optional electronics, the price is $1,350.

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