hello world!

this is an (experimental) website dedicated to a 4-stringed instrument: the ukulele.

“as if we had not yet enough of these pages” one might think – and you are correct. in fact i am was just messing around a bit on a new hosting platform. but i didn’t like the idea of using dummy texts and the like all over the place so i went for something more inspiring – and who knows, maybe i will really start blogging ukulele related stuff here…

the domain name was inspired by one of my hobbies: ukulele playing. that’s it.

despite some affiliate links eventually being spread over the website this is a private and non-profit web presence without any commercial background.

ukulele related

my random collection of topics related to ukulele in general – whatever i found worth spending some thoughts on.

flight tiny6 mini amplifier

flight tiny6 mini amplifier

one of those unnecessary necessities i always wanted: a portable mini amplifier for all occasions, battery powered and small enough to fit in a gigbag or whatever – and not breaking the bank.

the friendly folks from ukesupply.de announced it on facebook and an hour later i had already placed my order. the factory specs seem to make it a pretty good companion for e.g. my risa solid.

specifications

  • size: 212mm x 65mm x 38mm (8.35″ x 2.56″ x 1.5″)
  • weight: 320g
  • battery: 3,7V 1200mAh rechargeable lithium,
    said to be good for 4-5 hours of use
  • charging: micro usb (cable included), 2-3 hours for a full recharge w/ 500mA
  • input: 6,3mm (1/4″) standard jack, bluetooth 5.0
  • output: 2 speakers, 3W
  • color: maple or walnut
maple or walnut?

bluetooth connectivity is inbound only, the amp is basically a standard bluetooth speaker with an added instrument jack. play your favourite backing track (e.g. from ireal pro) from your phone via bluetooth and start jamming – or simply amplify whatever your pickup delivers. or skip the instrument and use the stylish bluetooth speaker.

amplification is sufficient for passive pickups even though you really need to use high output volume settings here; the passive signal is pretty low on its own so don’t expect a miracle from this tiny amp.

100% volume is enough to make a risa solid as loud as a “normal” ukulele – at the same time this amp is small enough to fit easily in the bag. mission accomplished, i’d say….

ukulele import to the eu

ukulele import to the eu

brexit has put a customs border between some well-known british ukulele suppliers and many of their customers – as a result, many people now have to consider customs duties when buying stuff from the uk.

as a rule of thumb one could add ~25% to the foreign invoice amount equivalent in € for all charges. precision lovers find the exact calculation below; note that all of this is only valid for ukuleles coming by mail etc. where the invoice amount exceeds 150€. ukuleles purchased abroad and brought back home in person (as personal effects or souvenirs) are exempt from all customs charges up to an instrument value of ~500€ per person. beware that instruments always count as one and cannot be shared: a couple can bring back 4 ukes worth 250€ each or two for 500€, but not one for 750€. any whole instrument is always assigned to a single person.

calculation logic

customs value = goods value + shipping

import duties = 3.2% of customs value – unless the instrument originates from the uk or vietnam (and probably some more countries, see the full list here)

import sales tax = local vat on sum of customs value + import duties

service fees of the transport company might come on top or not, that depends….

sample calculation (import to germany):

200€200£instrument price (excl. foreign vat)
50€50£shipping cost
250€250£total invoice amount
250€290€customs value in Euro
(sample exchange rate of £1 = 1.16€)
8€9.28€import duties (3.2% of 250€)
258€299.28€subtotal
49.02€56.86€import sales tax (here: 19% for germany)
307.02€356.14€total price payable
= 123% of customs value in €
= 142% of invoice amount in £

here is what you could key into your calculator after grabbing the exchange rate from e.g. xe.com/ucc:
(((total invoice amount) * exchange rate(*1)) * 1.032(*2)) * (1 + import sales tax rate(*3)) = total price payable

*1: exchange rate is the amount of Euro per foreign currency unit
*2: use “1” instead of “1.032” if no import duties are due (check origin here)
*3: import sales tax rate is in % and usually equals your local vat

disclaimer: all of the above is based on my own research and knowledge, it is by no means legal advice or legally binding. before relying on the above please doublecheck with your local customs authorities – they have the final word in any case.

feel free to leave a comment below about any error i made above 🙂

that’s the theory, but how is it in real life?

i recently received a payment request from a parcel carrier for a ukulele i had ordered in england – and to my great surprise the invoice did not really match the above. and i doubt that this was only due to the fact that their import clearance took place in the netherlands as first touchpoint in the eu.

they charged me:

  • 3.2% customs duty on the ukulele value (without shipping costs)
    and they had it declared as guitar (which doesn’t make a difference in the customs tariff, but still)
  • 21% import sales tax (standard rate in netherlands) on ukulele + customs duty
  • 5€ service fee + 21% vat

which was in total less than i had expected, so i did not question it too much 😉

update: ioss

since summer 2021 a new portal for e-commerce is live: the import one-stop shop, short ioss. registered uk vendors are able to handle all vat and customs clearance for sales into the eu via that portal, provided the goods value is less than 150€. above 150€ the usual vat and customs rules apply, i.e. buyer is liable and must pay all inbound duties. under 150€ the online shopping experience is (resp. could be, seel below) as smooth as before brexit

but be warned: as of summer 2022 only very few customs branches in germany are already connected to ioss – you might well have to pay your import duties on delivery even though the uk vendor is already using ioss (happened to me already).

knots and ties – how to prevent strings from slipping

knots and ties – how to prevent strings from slipping

a fairly common challenge for every ukulele player is a string change. i won’t elaborate on choice of strings which is a whole different story, esp considering that every single ukulele has its own “perfect” strings – in this post i will concentrate on string fixing only. this is how i do it, feel free to add your method in the comments.

tuning pegs

pretty easy and straightforward for me: i never used any real knot at the tuning pegs. one or two (for the thin string) rounds around the peg and through the hole were always sufficient, the rest is done purely by friction and tension of the string itself. i don’t even need some “over and under” winding, just looping through the peghole and winding down (!) does the job. “down” means: you want to have the steepest angle possible from nut to peg, i.e. the pegside end of the string should be as close to the headstock as possible.

additionally it seems worth mentioning that string windings on the peg should not overlap as this could lead to snapping strings (when a string pinches itself). believe it or try it: 3-4 rounds around the peg create enough friction to hold the string in place. pull the string hand tight, make your rounds through the peg hole and tune up to pitch (or a full note above for a few days to settle a bit quicker – no manual pre-stretching please).

bridge

i won’t cover pin bridges, simply because i don’t have any experience with those yet.

slotted bridge

technically all it needs to hold the string in place is a thick end – this could be some kind of bridge beads tied to the string end or simply a thicker knot. on most occasions i encountered a simple “figure 8” knot was enough; this knot is well known amongst sailors to prevent ropes from slipping through blocks and the like. it is easy to tie and gets pretty thick under load – just what we need.

for thick c-strings (and wound strings in general) a standard half hitch (aka overhand knot) could well be sufficient, esp when the figure 8 is too big to fit in the bridge cutout.

on the other hand sometimes it needs more (esp on thin a-strings): the figure-8 can be doubled up

and of course there are other options if you don’t want to go common mainstream: most suitable would probably be stevedore knot (ashley #456) or ashley stopper (aka oysterman’s stopper, ashley #526).

tie bridge (single hole)

as the name implies: strings are tied on these bridges. i’ve seen single and double hole versions and over time i came to ignore the second hole and stick with the single one. fixing a string here is even easier than on a slotted bridge as the “knot” pinches itself under tension: i know it as timber hitch or bowyer’s knot (ashley #1665). you pull the string through the bridge, once around the standing end (=the end going to the headstock) and 2-3 times around itself – wiggle it tight and you’re set. the string end should poke out on the side of the bridge so you can neatly tie one under another (if you like). in any case i recommend to make the ends point downwards, i.e. from g towards a – thus they won’t poke your strumming arm. of course you could as well tie the ends away inwards (g under c, c under e, e under c, a under e), but that’s more of advanced macramé style – or leave them all alone as on my makala in the pictures below.

in case you don’t trust your timber hitch or have a very thin and slippery string (e.g. fluorocarbon a-string) you might want to tie an extra figure 8 or half hitch to ultimately prevent the end from slipping – after all, the a-string end is probably not secured by another string.

tie bridge (double hole)

the technical advantage of a two-hole bridge is a steeper string angle on the bridge and thus a higher pressure and better transmission of string vibration to the soundboard. that is the technical explanation – whether you will really ever notice it on such a small instrument is another story. if you have two holes in your bridge use them, they are there for a reason.

for the two-hole tie bridges you could do the following: loop the string through both holes around the bridge, then loop the end underneath itself on the side of the bridge and let it pinch itself. add another knot at the end to ultimately prevent any slipping or secure the end under the next string – whatever floats your boat.

a slightly more secure variant uses an additional round through the bridge but is only possible if your bridge holes are big enough:

references

the “ashley book of knots” by clifford w. ashley (1881-1947) still appears to be the ultimate reference book when it comes to knots of all kinds.

if you need more knots for all purposes dive into the web, there’s plenty of information out there – i found animatedknots.com really useful and entertaining.

ortega standard soprano case oucstd-so

ortega standard soprano case oucstd-so

i‘m still was in the market for a soprano hardcase which doesn’t break the bank and yet fits nicely. after the kinsman seemed too big i gave the ortega case a try… it looks pretty similar from the outside – after all it is just another black standard soprano hardcase, so what would you expect. unlike the kinsmann it has only two latches, but they look more reliable and sturdy.

ortega uses a 15mm brown velvet padding which looks pretty elegant; measurements according to the ortega website (where i also borrowed the diagram) are as follows:

A: 55cm (21.65″)
B: 29cm (11.42″)
C: 12cm (4.72″)
D: 14,5cm (5.71″)
F: 17cm (6.69″)
depth 8,5cm (3.35″)

 

to cut a long story short: this one is a keeper and now protects my flight wus-3 for the time being – the brown interior matches nicely 🙂

the only remaining mystery to me is why the accessory compartment is so high up the neck – it could well sit a bit closer to the body and thus leave more headroom for the headstock….

planet waves micro soundhole tuner (pw-ct-15 ns)

planet waves micro soundhole tuner (pw-ct-15 ns)

after falling in love with the ct-12 micro headstock tuner i thought it would be about time to have a look at the soundhole version and how that one fits to my ukuleles. note that ct-15 is the “standard” (guitar) version of the micro soundhole tuner, d’addario also have a dedicated ukulele version, the pw-ct-22. from their website i don’t see any real difference (apart from the new display colors) – and the ct-22 was not available locally at the time of writing anyway. the soundhole tuner is slightly bigger than the headstock version: the front (display & switches) measures 3,5 x 1,5cm, overall depth is approx. 3,5cm. see pictures below for more measurements (scale shown is cm; 1″ = 2,54cm)

display "front" view

technical specs are generally like the headstock version:

  • 3-color display (red = not, yellow = almost, green = in tune)
  • chromatic
  • piezo system
  • calibration range 410-480Hz
  • standard CR2032 battery, easily accessible (just held with a clip)
  • designed to work with soundboards up to 3,8mm (.150″) in thickness – i actually reworked the holding clip slightly for ukulele
  • underside of the clip (the bit resting on the outside of your soundboard) is nicely padded so it wouldn’t leave scratches
  • the ct-15 doesn’t have a metronome function (never used it on the ct-12)

once installed it is even less visible than the ct-12, you really don’t see more than a small black clip the size of your fingernail (1,5 x 1cm). and yet it is easily visible for the player. depending on the individual ukulele (mostly soundhole diameter) switching it on and off can be a bit tricky – after all the tuner is inside the soundhole so you have to work your way around the a-string somehow.

tuning as such is as easy and precise as expected, response on the soundboard is excellent. be aware that the tuner doesn’t show the octave (3 or 4 for ukulele), it is your own responsibility to get that correct. a string overtuned by a full octave will most probably snap before being even close to the correct note, but undertuning could easily happen and will end up with a pretty floppy string. being strictly chromatic the tuner does of course not give any hint which string you are tuning. but hey, you know the basics of your instrument, right? (if unsure have a look here)

but still my final verdict is the same as with the ct-12: definitely a “must have” accessory even though it is a tad less universal than the headstock tuner. the risk of losing a soundhole tuner is for sure next to nothing, this one will not accidentally be knocked off and disappear.

a word of caution, though: the tuner is not completely buzz-free on all of my ukes. i haven’t yet found the exact reason, but a tiny bit of paper as additional padding on the soundboard apparently helps so i don’t really feel pressed for further investigations.

pictures below show the tuner mounted on a pono tenor. note: the slightly off-center position is due to some bracings (parallel to the strings) on the inside.

audience view of mounted tuner
audience’s view
player's view of the mounted tuner inside the soundhole
player’s view (g-string is tuned slightly flat)

i bought mine from amazon (here), but of course it available elsewhere as well.

kinsman kus10 soprano hardcase

kinsman kus10 soprano hardcase

gigbags are nice, but sometimes you need a bit more protection for your instrument – and all over sudden you find yourself looking for a real hardcase which doesn’t break the bank. initially i was looking for a thin case for my kala travel soprano, but as i had another regular soprano incoming i pulled the trigger on the kinsman case (ordered it from amazon for a little more than 30€). thin hardcases seem to be non-existent these days, i haven’t found one yet; kala themselves used to sell/produce some in the past, but those are no longer available 🙁
if you know a source let me know in the comments below.

the regular kinsman got some reviews complaining about it being a snug fit – which i can confirm. a makala soprano fits in just right (see title image) and sits so tight it wouldn’t fall out on its own; if the instrument is slightly bigger you’ll probably have a hard time squeezing it in.

interior measurements are approx.:

  • length: 53,5cm (~21″)
  • lower bout width: 18,5cm (~7″)
  • upper bout width: 13cm (~5″)
  • body length (heel to bottom): 26cm (~10″)
  • headstock length: 12cm (~5″)
  • headstock width: min 9cm (~3½”), max 12cm (~5″)
  • height: ~7,5cm (~3″) (the case itself is ~6cm (~2.3″) deep)

note that my micro headstock tuner didn’t fit when it was clipped on at the nut where i usually have it.

the accessory compartment is way smaller than it looks: only 6,5×6,5cm – enough for a small tuner and the case keys, but not much more. it definitely looks bigger from the outside. its lid is “hinged” only by the interior fabric, not by any mechanical means – we’ll see how long that is gonna last…

some reviews claimed a disgusting chemical smell – i cannot confirm that, the whole case arrived odorless at my doorstep.

sides are nicely padded all around, just the top and bottom padding is reduced to the bare minimum; any less and you couldn’t really call it padding any longer. the bottom padding is basically only a diamond-shaped piece of soft foam under the plush lining; the top has a rectangular foam padding where the strings are. as said: it is fit for purpose, but not more. i roughly outlined the padded sections in the pictures below.

in case you didn’t stumble over the interior depth, let me come back to that point. in fact it makes the bottom case padding pretty much useless: the neck rest in the case is roughly 6cm (~2¼”) higher than the case bottom. i have never ever seen a soprano uke with such measurements… (put your soprano on a flat table and measure the distance between table and neck, you’ll see what i mean.) thus the instrument doesn’t even touch the case bottom, there’s plenty of air underneath. the whole case could have been built almost 2cm lower without compromising on protection or overall fit. unfortunately the space is too small for standard-sized folders (be it letter format or common A4) – in other words it is pretty much wasted. the neck rest feels like styrofoam under the plush lining so it might be possible to deepen it a bit for a better fit.

nothing spectacular on the outside: the wooden (according to seller’s description) frame is covered by some leathergrain vinyl material, 3 silver catches (1 lockable), 2 black plastic feet on the side and a black plastic handle. nothing to complain, but not exactly overwhelming either. length 58cm, width lower bout 23cm, width head 15cm, height 10cm.

as you can see on the last picture the manufacturing quality is acceptable, yet one of the less good examples for “made in china”.

considering the pros and cons for myself i finally decided to return it.

worth medium

worth medium

i don’t have any tension values, just taking a quick note of string diameters for worth medium strings. these values are apparently valid for clear and brown strings for tenor and concert scales.

  • A4 0,52mm (0,0205″)
  • E4 0,66mm (0,0260″)
  • C4 0,74mm (0,0291″)
  • C5 0,47mm (0,0185″)
  • G3 0,91mm (0,0358″)
  • G4 0,57mm (0,0224″)

full string specifications (resp diameters and available sets) can be found on the worth website.

alex of southern ukulele store discussed all of them in depth on youtube:

quickstart for guitar players (dgbe tuning) on ukulele (gcea tuning)

quickstart for guitar players (dgbe tuning) on ukulele (gcea tuning)

i would assume it is commonly known that guitar and ukulele have some things in common – apart from the 8-shape. i am referring to the tuning intervals of the strings.
standard guitar tuning is eadgbe, standard ukulele tuning is gcea – and believe it or not: the string intervals are the same :-). ukulele is just tuned a bit higher than the top 4 strings of a guitar; baritone ukulele is the exception from the rule and tuned to guitar pitch completely.

quick excursion regarding vocabulary:

  • a chord is a group of notes in certain intervals. it contains the same notes on any instrument – in other words: this is what you hear.
  • a pattern (or shape) is the group of finger positions on the fretboard which creates a certain chord – in other words: this is what you do.

this similarity has some fretting advantages especially for people switching back and forth between guitar and ukulele:

  • guitar and baritone uke shapes are identical. whatever you do on the top 4 guitar strings to fret e.g. a c chord is exactly what you need on the bari for a c chord.
  • gcea chord shapes can easily be used on guitar (or bari), all you need is a capo in 5th fret. if you use gcea shapes on a bari without capo your chords are different, namely 5 semitones higher (a gcea “c” shape will produce an “f” chord on baritone). as long as you play on your own this is no problem at all, but what if all you have is gcea knowledge and only a bari or guitar in a group of guitar players?

so what could you gcea player do when trying out a bari? sure, you could force the different names for the known patterns into your head. but that’s probably a rather tedious task. the other option is pretty simple (somehow cheating – but who cares? as long as it sounds ok…): assuming you are familiar with gcea patterns and your mind has no problems translating a “c” on the chord sheet to the 0003 pattern you could use the transposition table below to rewrite the chords on your chord sheet.

the correct pattern for the c chord in dgbe tuning is 2010 – this pattern should be known to your brain as “f” pattern. grab your chord sheet and change all c’s in chords to f, change all d to g, etc.
an experienced bari player will now sound way off when using your chord sheet – but you gcea guy can now easily get along on the bari.

best of all: this works both ways. if you want to play along with a guitar/bari transpose the chord letters on your chord sheet (f to c, g to d, etc.) and you’re done.

ADF#Bd

d#

eb

eff#

gb

g

g#

ab

aa#

bb

bc
c pattern in adf#b
c#

db

GCEAc
c pattern in gcea
c#
db
dd#
eb
ef

f#
gb
gg#
ab
aa#
bb
b
DGBEgg#
ab
aa#
bb
bc
c pattern in dgbe
c#
db
dd#
eb
eff#
gb

(chord diagrams kindly provided by ukulele-chords.com)

notefinder aka another fretboard map

notefinder aka another fretboard map

there’s plenty of fretboard maps out there, showing which note is where on the fretboard of your ukulele. but all of these graphical maps omit the octave, they show only the note names – which can lead to slightly unwanted results…

fretboard_mapas this disturbed me for quite some time now i finally decided to quickly draft some kind of tabs showing classical musical notation together with tabs considering all strings:

gcea

adf#b

dgbe

other ukulele tunings

  • re-entrant fbbdg tuning; tuned a full note below standard gcea, can be very useful when playing with bb tuned wind instruments like clarinet or (tenor, soprano) sax

eadg (bass tuning)

  • eadg ubass tuning; the last note (c4) is the connection to gcea tuning and actually not really playable on a ubass (alternate version with additional treble clef notation)

other intervals/instruments

  • cgda fifth tuning as used on tenor banjo (and cello which ist still one octave lower) – and also on ukulele with e.g. aquila 31u strings (available on amazon and elsewhere)

note: all these pdfs are created from musescore files which i can provide on request – just leave a comment below. and if you need another version, leave a comment as well.

howto add a strap button to the firefly banjolele

howto add a strap button to the firefly banjolele

sometimes a strap comes in handy – but on the original firefly there’s hardly any good mounting point to attach a strap. big banjoleles come with lots of possibilities, just the firefly lacks one. and i do not consider fiddling some shoelace through the tailpiece a good solution, not even a workaround.

fortunately the tailpiece is fixed to the rim with a standard screw. replacing it with a longer one and a strap button is only a matter of less than 15 minutes…

  1. losen the strings and remove the bridge (after all we will undo the tailpiece which holds the strings so we’d better get the tension off it)
  2. remove the cap nut and the screw. you might have to really unscrew the screw from the rim instead of simply pulling it out
  3. depending on your strap button you might need a longer screw with the same diameter. i only had a m4x40mm with matching nut and washer at hand, but a 25mm would have been sufficient. the original cap nut did not fit my german m4 screw btw.
  4. mount the button – this time the screw goes from outside to inside of the rim, the nut secures it from the inside.
  5. make sure the tailpiece does not touch the skin after tightening everything.
  6. retune.

in case you’re interested: i mounted a planet waves pweep202 elliptical end pin (available e.g. at amazon)

project: “bass” ukulele

project: “bass” ukulele

bass clefone might ask: why “project”, the ubass has already been introduced?
looking closer, the question already contains the answer: the ubass (and all its variants) is in fact not an ukulele but a small scale bass. most obvious proof is the tuning: ukulele is tuned gcea (or adf#b) – ubass is tuned eadg which is the standard bass tuning.

in a group of ukuleles you’re always a bit weak on the bass side, mostly for pure physical reasons: as a matter of fact low frequencies simply do not properly resonate in small instrument bodies with short-scale strings. big bass needs big space (or proper amplification as we see on the ubass). period.

coming from ukulele i do struggle with bass playing, all fretboard knowledge (“which note is where“) is useless and i have to relearn. after all the bass is an instrument of its own. learning the arpeggio patterns etc. is not rocket science, it just takes time and prevents a easy quick flick between uke and bass.

the solution of this “dilemma” is imho quite obvious: for more bass you need a bigger ukulele body with strings tuned below standard c4. the biggest available ukulele bodies are baritones, but these are usually tuned dgbe (like the four highest strings of a guitar). fortunately baritone string sets are available in gcea as well, even in linear tuning.

and this is exactly what i will try: a baritone tuned (low-)gcea, one octave below standard c4 tuning. i know it will not be as low as a real bass but i expect it to be a nice low-end addition to the smaller ukes. see the picture below with tonal ranges of various ukulele sizes (all tuned gcea) and the bass (tuned eadg):

  • yellow = sopranino
  • green = soprano, concert, tenor (low g enhancement in light green)
  • orange = the “bass” ukulele (baritone tuned low gcea)
  • blue = bass

tonal ranges of ukuleles and bass
tonal ranges of ukuleles and bass

all necessary materials are ordered, i am curious about the results.

i will start off with a inexpensive standard (re-entrant gcea) set of aquila 23u baritone strings which i will use for linear low g tuning by swapping g, c and e strings to descending diameters from top to floor:

4th string = c string, tuned down to low g
3rd string = e string, tuned down to c
2nd string = g string, tuned down to e
1st string = a string, tuned to a 🙂

btw: this is the easiest way to test linear tuning without investing any money in a dedicated set of strings. the strings could feel a bit sloppy, but in any case they will give you an overall idea of low g sound on your ukulele.

update 12 dec 2015:

the string tension of the aquila 23u is so low on the baritone that i refrained from the low-g trial – re-entrant tension is already pretty sloppy and way less than what i am used on my concert and soprano ukes. the c string is almost in tune once you pulled it tight and fixed it on the peg, hardly no need for a few peg turns if you don’t want to go for adf#b tuning.

anyway, it gives the expected low end even though strummed chords tend to sound “muddy” – but that’s most probably caused by the ear’s disability to clearly distinguish the low frequencies.

bottom line: test passed 🙂

if you need some bass in the ukulele group and don’t want to spend time and money on ubass the gcea baritone is an instant solution.

ASCII Art: Ukulele

ASCII Art: Ukulele

you never know when you will need this, e.g. in a forum signature…
basic ukulele

( o )==::

advanced (soprano and concert) ukulele incl bridge (a turkish character, code #305;)

(ı o)==::
( ıo )===::

a fluke

| ıo >==::
[ ıo >==::

a flea

|ıo )==::
[ıo )==::

a banjolele

(ı )===::

another one (found on Ukulele Rocks!)

::==={o |}

(to be continued…)

coming soon: plastic ukulele

coming soon: plastic ukulele

i couldn’t resist when i saw this koki’o transparent plastic soprano – maybe i will found an underwater ukulele group one day. the only non-plastic parts are the tuners, all the rest should be 100% waterproof. apparently plastic ukuleles are on the raise again, targetting the lower end of the price scale whilst promising a steady level of quality. after buying a flea with plastic body and fretboard, this seems the next logical step. sound samples on the web are still rare, but not disappointing (nor discouraging).
for the time being i can only post pictures from the vendor’s website; these will be replaced by my own photos as soon as possible.

the koki’o plastic ukuleles are also available in black, transparent blue, transparent red and “wood” – all are soprano scale. click here to get directly to ukulele.de.

i love the idea of putting stuff inside like e.g. some led lights or similar – this could become a whole new ukulele experience….

some sound samples on youtube:



ukulele tuning pitches

ukulele tuning pitches

i found a great picture of a full piano keyboard (made by phillip kuhrt based on an original by sergey pushkin) on wikimedia; look at the different ukulele tunings in relation to each other:

ubass: E A D G
baritone: D G B E
“standard” ukulele (tenor, concert, soprano): G (low or high) C E A
“alternate” tuning: A (low or high) D F# B

tonal ranges

  • ubass (16 frets), tuned e1-a1-d2-g2: range e1 – b3
  • baritone (19 frets, linear), tuned d3-g3-b3-e4: range d3 – b5
  • gcea tenor (20 frets, linear), tuned g3-c4-e4-a4: range g3 – f6
    (all the green way including the dashed and dotted ends)
  • gcea concert (17 frets, re-entrant), tuned g4-c4-e4-a4: range c4 – d6
    (solid green line only)
  • iuke sopraninos (12 frets) are tuned an octave higher g5-c5-e5-a5:
    range c5 – a6 (not included in graphics below, sound reminds me of an egg slicer)
ukulele tonal ranges in standard notation (bass/treble clef)
ukulele tonal ranges in standard notation (bass/treble clef)
ukulele tonal ranges on full piano keyboard (88 keys)
ukulele tonal ranges on full piano keyboard (88 keys)
planet waves micro headstock tuner (pw-ct-12)

planet waves micro headstock tuner (pw-ct-12)

i already have a few of the previous model (planet waves mini) living on the various headstocks of my ukes, and now I gave the new model by d’addario a try:

it is an excellent example of how even good things can be improved.

  • slightly smaller than the previous model
  • 3-color display (red=off, yellow=almost, green=in tune)
    the newest models use a different color scheme with white text, see picture below
  • reworked clip, now fits thinner headstocks and is easier to handle
  • “flip screen” display, can be turned 180° depending on mounting location
  • bigger buttons on the micro tuner
  • tuning range 410-480 Hz (mini: 410-450 Hz)
  • optical metronome 20-270 bpm
    (haven’t used that one yet, but can imagine some use for it)
  • battery now accessible without any kind of tools
    (you still needed a coin or similar to twist the battery compartment of the mini)
  • standard CR2032 battery
  • lightweight and almost invisible when mounted behind (or should I say “under”?) the headstock
  • 360° swivel base
  • piezo system for precise tuning even in noisy environments

bottom line: definitely one of my “must have” ukulele accessories.

cheap enough (available on amazon) to have one for every uke – and on the other hand so small you should never take it off because it will get lost 😉

some pictures below; on the left is the old model (pw mini), measures in cm

 

link collection

link collection

i don’t want to maintain a super long list of external links in the side menu, but still i need some kind of notepad for useful links. here we go – unordered for the time being…

ukulele setup

ukulele related

inventory

ukuleles i played, ukuleles i owned, ukuleles i found interesting enough to write about. articles are dated with date of purchase for a chronological view.

pepe romero jr’s tiny ukuleles have a very distinct look – when you see one there is no second thought about the brand. somehow they seem to attempt to get the maximum sound out of minimum size, kind of opposite to all the longneck ukuleles out there. the stc ...
more
made in japan in very limited numbers from only the highest grade hawaiian koa this ukulele looks almost to good to be played, even though the sound and playability really match the appearance. despite what the logo says they only started building ukuleles in 1957 and sin...
more
before i saw this instrument in a review on gotaukulele.com i did not even know 8-strings existed in concert scale. i love my pono, but i still struggle with the tenor scale every now and then. so the combination of 8-string sound with my preferred concert scale sounds al...
more

go.4str.in

YOURLS: Your Own URL Shortenergo.4str.in is powered by yourls (your own url shortener)

if you came here to find out more about go.4str.in you have come to the right place.

i am pretty active posting stuff about ukulele in various related forums like ukulelenboard.de or ukuleleunderground.com (just to mention two). as a matter of fact people keep asking similar questions over and over again, meaning you need to point them to the same resources again and again. that’s why shortlinks are useful – you simply don’t have to remember the full url to everything.
of course i could have started using one of the more popular shortlink providers like bit.ly or tinyurl. but i am more of a diy person and thus i went for my own installation of yourls on this webserver. just for the pun of it i set up the url shortener with a “speaking” subdomain 😉
i have full control and full statistics available at my own discretion – what more could i want.

for the time being the shortlinks on go.4str.in are reserved for anything related to 4 strings.

it might happen in the future that i open up the public interface on go.4str.in and make this shortlink service available for the general public. YOURLS as such is reliable and stable enough, but spammers tend to abuse the service pretty soon; so far i have not found a fully satisfying remedy against those “funny” people. that’s why the interface is not yet public.

(Header image shamelessly copied from https://blog.yourls.org/)

disclaimer

anything posted here could be pure fiction or plain wrong – this might have happened on purpose, by coincidence or by accident. feel free to notify me about any errors you find.
some things might still be true though.
whatever you do with stuff found here is done completely under your own responsibility, not mine.

links to external sites should only lead to legal content – at least they did so at the time of linking. should that have changed in the meantime pls. leave a comment on the respective page where you found the link to notify me. external links (to sites beyond my control) throughout the text are marked for clarification; some remain unmarked as they are obviously pointing to external sites (like e.g. the social sharing buttons below).

pictures used on this site are either my own work or used with kind permission of the original authors. should you know better, let me know and i will take down the unlicensed content.
some of the background images are taken from pixabay – a great source of free (cc0 license) images.

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in a nutshell: this is a private, non-commercial website. any information collected about site visitors (e.g. ip address) is collected for defense against spam and statistical purposes only and anonymized before storage. i don’t care who you are as long as you don’t try to leave spam or to interfere maliciously with my website.

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