Tiki King Obsession, 2000

Ob…ses…sion [ob sÈsh'n , ob sÈsh'n ] (plural ob…ses…sions) noun
1. Preoccupation: an idea or feeling that completely occupies the mind
2. Uncontrollable persistence of idea: the uncontrollable persistence of an idea or emotion in the mind, sometimes associated with psychiatric disorder
So. I took up the Ukulele a while back, and despite many requests to put it back down, I have persevered. I have immersed my self in learning all I can about the Ukulele. I have purchased several, restored a couple, built one from a Cigar Box, and lately, I have done a few custom designs. I have looked through books and web pages, poured over measurements, studies of relative harmonics, bridge and fret placement, tuning methods, tuners, wood resonance, it goes on and on. Has it helped? Well, yeah. I can play a few songs now, and that's more than I could do before I started.
I bought my first Uke at a Hawaiian shirt and fabric store, mainly because it was $12, and I figured it would make a good prop. But something clicked, and I bought another (a Hilo) and a "how to play Ukulele" book at a music store. I began keeping it in my car, and practicing when I was stuck stopped in traffic. I found an old trashed Harmony Soprano in a thrift store and fixed it up, and then found another Harmony in an antique store, but this one was pristine, sounded better and had a case. Then I bought the Fluke Ukulele. If you are an aspiring Ukulele player on a budget, I recommend the Fluke highly. I heard one played at a music store and was amazed at the sound, but it was finding one with a Leopard print sound board that cinched the deal.
The only thing is, once you hear a properly set up Ukulele, you realize how bad most bargin Ukes sound. Ukuleles were mass produced for a long time, and sadly, not much attention was paid to making sure they played well. Truth was, not many people cared. If they could strum out "Silvery Moon" well enough to get to the spooning, it didn't matter. So Ukes were bursting onto the scene like popcorn, and everyone's nutty uncle had one. The good ones got played and used, and sadly many disappeared, and the bad ones were strummed a few times at parties, and then put in the attic. Those "bad" ones are allot of what you find today. But it is not all the Ukes fault. That was why I started learning the mechanics. Now to some extent, I can now tweak the set up of an old Uke and get it sounding fairly true. Some will never sound good, but others just need to be put right. Besides, there is a lot of fun to be had in teaching bad Ukes, and myself in the process, to sound a little better.
click here to see Ukes I have built and/or customized...

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