Friday, 12 February 2016

How to become an Expert Ukulele Player ... or at least better than you were yesterday.

Talent vs Practice ... Maybe Talented people have just put in the practice time?
Often my students say things like "That woman's such a talented player' or "I wish I had half as much talent as him"   I tell them ... Show me a person with talent and I'll show you someone who has put in the hours practising their ukulele.

Talent is but one part of the learning puzzle, You can be born with a great ear and great motor skills in your fingers but if you don't practice how good will you be?

Unfortunately people you have to practice, and Repetition is the key. A little often produces results.  Play your ukulele 10 minutes a day, everyday, and you will see amazing results.

But practice doesn't have to be a BAD thing, if you love ukulele then just take the next step and fall in love with practising your ukulele.  Develop better ways to practice, change it up, make it fun, push yourself to try new strums and styles, Steele yourself to reaffirm the skills you already know ... use it or loose it.

 find people to play with, I cannot stress that enough.  If they are better than you, then learn from them, if they are worse than you, then teach them how to be better. Playing with others is what making music is all about.  And perhaps most importantly, never give up!

Now its 'official' practice has been confirmed to help you become an expert in anything. That bit 'to help you" is the very important caveat.  Practice develops your talents.  Psychologist Dr. Anders Ericsson claims to have determined that anybody can be an expert at anything ...  to become an expert, it takes 20 hours of practice per week for 50 weeks a year for ten years (a.k.a. 10,000 hours).

Luckily you don't have to be at the expert level to have fun playing your ukulele ... But it's amazing how the 'talented good players' play every day, even if it's just 10 minutes a day.


As always
Have fun,
Happy strumming.

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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Guide to Ukulele Tone Woods; Mahogany Versus Cedar Vs Rosewood Vs Koa Vs Spruce Vs Ovankol

Many factors contribute to the tone of your Ukulele.

The choice of strings and the size (Soprano / Concert / Tenor) are probably the most obvious.

Design factors in construction, play their part also.  Such design choices as the placing of the internal braces and type of kerfing employed can mean the difference between a uke that sings and one that, well, just 'plonks'

Visually the most obvious differences in ukuleles is the woods used in construction.

Woods are chosen for their Tonal Characteristics as much as their looks, perhaps even more so.

Kala Brand Ukuleles has produced this handy guide to Woods and the tonal properties they exhibit.

Some final words of advice ... Use Your Ears! We are all different, and much like taste in Artwork or Food we all have our own ideas of what is 'Good'.

Some people perceive a Bright Crisp Ukulele as Shrillness or Thinness, others perceive a ukulele with a big bottom end bass tone as 'Dull".

"Horses for Courses" as they say

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Can you Tune a Baritone Ukulele gCEA standard ukulele tuning?

So to answer the question "Yes", you can tune a baritone ukulele like a standard ukulele, but you need the right strings.

YOU NEED The Aquila Baritone gCEA strings. 


Aquila AQ23U
Baritone gCEA Strings
$14.95 Including Postage in Australia


The standard baritone ukulele strings are lower in pitch than the standard ukulele tuning. They are tuned to DGBE (the same as the top four strings of a guitar). They also differ from the standard ukulele as they are not in re-entrant tuning i.e.. the strings go from low to high.

The Scale length of the baritone is longer than that of a Tenor Ukulele.  The strings are pulled to a lower tension and produce notes lower in pitch then regular ukulele.

If you attempt to tune your standard baritone strings up in pitch to gCEA you will most likely start snapping strings and/or pull your bridge off the top of your ukulele.

Baritone to Tenor tuning Conversion Strings made by Aquila are made specifically to produce notes of gCEA at the correct tension at the baritone scale length. From the  treble side to bass side / 1st string to 4th string are about 025 031 038 027 in thousandths of an inch.

The strings are all plain Nylgut material with no wound stings.  Nylgut is a new formulation of polymerized plastic mixed with additives and patented by Aquila.

So To answer the question: yes, you can tune a baritone ukulele like a standard ukulele, but you need the right strings. Aquila Baritone gCEA strings

Kala Brand Music Co KA-BE Mahogany Series Baritone Ukulele with Onboard EQ and Tuner with Hardcase

The Kala Brand Music Co KA-BE is a Mahogany Series baritone Ukulele that is equipped with Kala's UK-300-TR active piezo pickup system with 2-band EQ and built-in tuner. This Ukulele has a 20-1/4" baritone scale with an overall length of 30-1/4". The body and neck are constructed of mahogany, while the fingerboard and bridge are both rosewood, giving this Uke a full-bodied tone with singing highs and mellow lows.

Hands down the easiest way for guitarists to get into the 'Ukulele World' is via a Baritone Ukulele.  The tuning is DGBE, the same as the four high strings of a regular guitar.

EVERYTHING you already know can be transferred right to Baritone ukulele ... your familiar scales, riffs, chord shapes,  it's all there waiting for you!

Being tuned like a guitar it makes a fantastic addition to any ukulele band.  Nothing fills out the bottom end and gives your songs that 'omph" like adding a Baritone ukulele to the mix.

1.  Set of Aquila Baritone Conversion Strings so you can easily take off the DGBE strings, put on the gCEA strings and tune up to Standard Ukulele Tuning of gCEA

2.  A Quality Hardcase.

Only Two Units available so be quick.

KA-BE Baritone Ukulele From the Satin Mahogany Series.
$345 retail in OZ.

As always it comes with 
FREE Setup.
FREE Hardcase
FREE Postage inside OZ.
FREE Set Aquila Baritone Conversion Strings
so you can restring it in standard ukulele tuning of gCEA

Paypal or Direct Deposit.
Phone 0432 306 920

The Kala Satin Mahogany Series is our flagship series and has become an industry standard since we introduced it in 2005. These ukes are made of Mahogany which offers a full, rich sound. The Series comes in a beautiful satin finish and white binding that gives it a traditional look to go along with a great sound. This uke makes for a great student instrument and will stand the test of time.

Mahogany body
18 silver-nickel frets
Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
Mahogany neck
Fret position marks at 5th, 7th, 10th, and 12th frets on neck and on top of fingerboard
Chrome die-cast sealed geared tuners
Aquila Nylgut premium strings
Onboard UK-300-TR piezo pickup system with 2-band EQ and built-in tuner
Kala Brand Music Co KA-BE Specifications:
20-1/4" Baritone Scale
30-1/4" Overall Body Length
13-3/4" Body Length
7-1/2" Upper Bout
10" Lower Bout
6-3/8" Waist
3-1/8" Body Depth
UK-300-TR Pickup System:
Features: 2-band EQ with Chromatic LED tuner
Input Impedance: 22 MOhms
Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Control Range:
Bass: ±12 dB at 100 Hz
Treble: ±12 dB at 10 kHz
Battery Status: LED
Power Supply: (2) CR2032 Coin Battery
Battery Life:
Only EQ: Over 200 hours
Tuner On: Over 100 Hours
Pickup: Omega II Piezo Cable pickup

Friday, 29 January 2016

Kala Fruit Soprano Ukuleles under the silk screened graphics and funky shapes are proper mahogany instruments.

Ukuleles from Kala Brand Music Novelty Ukulele Series BUT REAL INSTRUMENTS that play and sound just as good as any other quality Kala Brand Music Product.

$169 RRP In Australia

FREE Tuner
FREE Lesson
FREE Postage

It is hard to say no to a ukulele that plays as sweet as it looks. With the Kala Novelty Series, though they look delectable, you can't satisfy your stomach's needs but, you can certainly get your fill of an affordable uke that stands out in the crowd, sounds fantastic, and becomes a conversation piece wherever you take it.

Try to be sad while strumming a Kiwi, Watermelon, or a Pineapple uke; it just doesn’t work. Play them and laugh or just hang them on the wall and see what your friends say.

• Mahogany body top, back and sides
• Silkscreen print graphics
• Mahogany neck
• Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
• Faux tortoise shell binding
• Opened geared tuners with white buttons
• Premium Aquila Nylgut strings.

Ukulele Lesson with USA Tutor Jeffrey Thomas.

Jeffrey Thomas teaches Skype ukulele lessons to students of all levels around the world.

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, Jeff can help you out.

He provides webcam ukulele lessons using Skype, ooVoo, Yahoo Messenger or Google Hangout which allows the student to learn at home without having to drive to and from a music store.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Herb Ohta Jnr Signature Series ukulele Strings by Worth Creations Japan

Herb Ohta Jr and Worth Creation Collaborated and created a Signature Set of Clear Flurocarbon Strings.

Herb Ohta Jr. has been using Worth Strings more than ten years.  He selected his best gauge set and Worth released it as the Signature Clear Ohta Jr Set.

$30 Including Postage in Australia.

 1st A: 0.0224 / 0.57mm HD
 2nd E: 0.0290 / 0.74mm HD
 3rd C: 0.0319 / 0.81mm HD
 4th Low-G: 0.0344 / 0.88mm HD

A Message from Herb Ohta Jr.
"I’ve been using Wort Stings for the past 10 years.  What I love about Wort Stings is their tonal quality and sustain. I find it easier on my fingers.  The COJ set is my personal preference. Every ‘ukulele and every musician is different, but in my 40 plus years playing  ‘ukulele, the COJ set by Worth Stings are the best for me!"

"Worth – My favourite, hands down. These fluro-carbon strings pack more punch than most. They are bright sounding and pull very tight across the fretboard. These strings are used by Herb Ohta Jr., David Kamakahi, and Brittni Paiva.

There are two main kinds of strings that Worth makes: brown and clear. The brown strings are warmer sounding and the clears are brighter sounding. The clears are what I like. I’m usually a bass/middle frequency guy, I don’t like songs with treble boosted anything. But these strings work for me because my ukulele has such a warm sound, it all balances out. Both kinds of string comes with an optional unwound low G string (yay, no squeaks!) in normal, medium, or heavy tension"

Manufactured in Japan, Worth Creations make premium quality strings in Soprano/Concert, Tenor, Baritone, 6 and 8 string sets. Worth Strings is standard fitment to the prestige Hawaiian KoAloha ukuleles. Imported into OZ by Ukulele Trading Co Australia.

$25 including postage: 
Soprano/Concert /Tenor in Brown or Clear, Low or High G.

$30 including postage: Baritone, 6 string, 8 string, Herb Ohta Jnr Signature Series.

Phone 0432 306 920 or

PAYMENT: Direct Deposit or Paypal

9 Benefits of Worth Premium Flurocarbon Ukulele Strings.

1. Easy Playing Feel under your fingers - Softer Material and Lower Tension Worth is a softer, easier feeling string under your fingertips, this is due to their lower tension and being made of Flurocarbon. Other brands/materials can 'shred' your fingertips, even after you have developed callouses on your fingertips, not Worth Strings.

2. Bending Notes and Vibrato – Smooth lead playing. If you like to bend notes then try Worth strings. Flurocarbon strings will not 'roll under’ your fingertips like other materials do. You can really 'dig in' and bend a note smoothly with great control of pitch and vibrato.

3. Brown or Clear Strings – Choose your tone Jazzy or Bright. Worth ukulele strings come in Brown and Clear versions. The Brown produces a warmer rounder jazzy sound while the Clear strings are the brighter. Many customers report Worth fluorocarbon strings exhibit a rounder softer tone, with less of a 'sharp attack' to the beginning of notes.

4. High or Low G sets – without finger squeak. The Worth low G ukulele strings are not wound, so they are less likely to give finger noise and do not have that annoying “Finger Squeak' of wound low G strings.

5. Value for money with 2 sets per pack. Worth ukulele strings come in double-length sets. Each package contains enough string length to restring your ukulele twice.

6. Rapid ‘Settling In’ with Stable Tuning. When new strings are fitted they will (regardless of brand) take some time to stretch and settle in. Unlike other strings Worth Ukulele Strings will stretch out and settle in just a few days, and will remain stable, with no further stretching due to unwanted elasticity of string material.

7. Volume Balance. Comparing Worth strings with nylon strings of the same tension, Worth strings have a more consistent and even volume and tone balance between the strings, especially the Low G sets.

8. Long Lasting. Worth Strings are less prone to breakage than strings manufactured from less durable and stable materials. Worth Low g strings are solid Flurocarbon and unlike wound low g strings there is NO outer wrap to separate or wear away from an inner core, the separation leads to string failure.

9. Stable Tuning. You will find Worth Ukulele Strings have very stable tuning regardless of Temperature and Humidity