Thanks everyone for hanging in there with me at last month’s Flea Fest, while we tried “Makin Whoopie.” I think we did pretty darn well. I changed it into a format that might be easier to read and added the second half of the lyrics, which some of you might find amusing. Others not so…….I’ve also added it to our songlist.
There’s also a few video links down at the bottom of this post, if you’d like to see how it has been “performed” over the years by folks as diverse as Eddie Cantor, Michelle Pfieffer, Diana Krall, Sir Elton John, and Elvis Costello.
Just got back from the Gorge Uke Fest and had a chance to talk to a couple of pros about uke strings for banjo ukes. At our last Flea Fest one of our Flea Jumpers was inquiring about what were the best strings to use on a banjo uke. So, while I was at the Gorge Uke Fest last wekend I asked a couple of the pros. I wish I had some definitive news, but I asked two different people and got two entirely different answers!
Ralph Shaw (banjo uke player extraordinaire) likes the sound and tone he gets on his banjo uke with nylon strings. If you’re not familiar with Ralph’s portrayal of English super-star (and banjo-uke player) George Formby, you might enjoy this little snip:
I also asked Gordon Mayer, luthier extraordinaire of Mya-Moe ukes (and someone who has researched strings exhaustively), and he prefers the sound of fluorocarbon strings. So there you have it.
Nylon strings for ukuleles are pretty easy to come by. Hilo is a popular brand. Fluorocarbon strings are also becoming easier and easier to find and are made by Worth, DaKine Line, and a few others. As most of know, the DaKine Line strings are made by my son Taylor, who will be heading off to college in a year and a half (can you believe it?) and would love to have your business!
Speaking of banjo ukes….I just got one to play around with and am having nothing but fun with it. It’s definitely a smile-maker….and loud.
I hope to post more about some of the great ukes I saw at the NAMM show in January, but wanted to alert you in the meantime to the March Special on BugsGear ukes being offered by Kani Ka Pila. These are definitely beginner ukes and can’t compare to a fine, hand-crafted ukulele. But, if you have a very young player in mind and are looking for something to put in their Easter basket (besides candy) you might like to consider one of these very racey little cut-aways….
Kani Ka Pila’s March Special includes one of these delighful little ukes, re-strung with DaKine Line fluorocarbon strings (what a difference a string makes), and Ralph Shaw’s The Complete Ukulele Course for Kids! DVD for just $39.95 (a $71.95 value)! Visit the website for more information and while there you might want to subscribe so that you’ll be notified whenever we run these specials.
Hope to see you at our monthly gathering on the 25th!