Loving seeing the new products introduced at NAMM!

NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchants) is currently meeting in Anaheim, California. It ends on Sunday, January 19th.

Lots of musical instrument manufacturers and publishers are introducing new products. Among them are these great looking ukuleles from KALA…

Photo Source: Kala’s facebook page

“Announcing the new Surf Collection by Kala! These original designs were made in house by the Kala design team and they look totally awesome! 🏄”

“The Surf Uke will be starting at $79.99 and will be available in early March!”

Bernadette suggests ’20 Most Important Ukulele Chords’…

As part of her #30DayUkuleleChallenge ‘Bernadette Teaches Music’ provided a YouTube video listing and demonstrating the most important ukulele chords.

Of course, most of them are the common ones. A few of them , however, are good alternate chords by moving a barr chord up the fretboard (example: moving B flat up to form C, D and E.

Love the ‘Strum Together’ books from Hal Leonard!

Have you seen the series of ukulele books from Hal Leonard called, ‘Strum Together’?
The ‘Together’ part is cool – each song has the chords for the following:

  • Standard Ukulele
  • Baritone Ukulele
  • Guitar
  • Mandolin
  • Banjo

They are intended for casual jams with friends who play other instruments. Since the purpose of them is to allow people with different instruments who may not have played together the arrangements are not difficult.

They are also great for ukulele classes since they give both the standard ukulele chords and the baritone chords.

The music is on the right side page and the chords are on the left side

I have three of them:

There are a few duplicates among the three books…

  • some are in a different key, 
  • some are in the same key in both books
  • a few are in the same key but one has more advanced forms of the chords, 
  • some have different layouts [order of verses, chorus, coda, etc.], some are in 

I have these marked on and in my books if you’d like to see them.

There are three others…

The series can be found here. The names of the songs in each book are listed there. 

I know that a couple of them was arranged by Mark Phillips but I don’t know about the others.  

Below is an example of the chords page…

The song is on the right side with the chord names, the melody and the lyrics.

I love this cover of ‘Addicted To Love’!

“Raymond Penfield was the father of a London Caberet artist, Holly Penfield and often sang often as part of her act when she was in London or Rome. He passed away at the age of 98. He lived in a small California community and sang locally as often as he could. He also had tried out for America’s Got Talent, and was known for his continuing effort to write and create songs with his son-in-law and daughter’ https://youtu.be/O2GTHFeN4LM

Ukulaliens has a new partner channel – Ukulele Wales!

This semester I started a ukulele club at the high school that I work at. We have a variety of skill levels so we project YouTube ukulele playalongs. Ukulaliens has become a favorite source of them. I was pleased to see the creation of ‘Ukulele Wales’ which offers a variety of resources including tutorials for their Ukulaliens songs. Nice!

Here is the introductory video for Ukulele Wales…

How to string a Ukulele

Ukulele strings can last a long time, but changing them will make a huge difference in sound SO why put it off. It really isn’t that hard, but if you are slow like me it might take a little while. Do it while you watch TV, rest or something.

There are different ways that strings attach to the bridge – a knot, a ball or inserted and looped as above. If your strings are like the above, be sure to start with the G, then the C, E and finally the A so that you can tuck the ends of the strings under/behind the next string and so that the ends will face the bottom of the uke body – you are much less likely to catch the downward pointing strings than if pointed up or were cut (similar to the photo).

A warning about Outdoor Ukuleles & Low G Strings

Carbon Tenor Outdoor Ukulele
Photo: OutdoorUkulele.com

I love my Carbon Tenor Outdoor Ukulele and have loved having a wound low G string on it. The instrument and the strings combination have been wonderful and SO ENJOYABLE. I am, however, beginning to have problems. I noticed wear on the frets under the G string. After investigation I discovered in the Outdoor Ukulele warranty this statement:

“Our composite polycarbonate ukuleles are not designed to be used with wound strings; if used, they are not covered by warranty. Strings with fillers, such as copper powder may also wear the frets over time. “

For the whole Outdoor Ukulele warranty, click here.

When I discovered the wear and found the warranty information, I bought a unwound low G. I am having intonation problems with it. It becomes much worse if I try to capo at any fret. It may be that particular unwound string so I am going to try another unwound low G string.

If the second one doesn’t work, I will try a high G string. I don’t want a high G, but if it will save the instrument that is what I will do.



UPDATE: I put on a UNWOUND Low G and tried it but didn’t like it all. It was too loose or floppy and I couldn’t correct the intonation. I went back to a WOUND Low G. If it damages it, I’ll buy another one. So far, so good though.