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This is my uke. There are others like it, but this one is mine.


This is my ukulele. My sexy, sexy ukulele.

I shall call him Weenus.

It’s a proper musical instrument (though short of a $5,000 Martin uke). It has a surprisingly sweet tone (short audio clip of it here).

Fun fact: the uke is tuned like the bottom four strings of the guitar (well, it’s not. It’s gcea not dgbe, but the relationship is the same). So if you know any guitar chords, you can play it right away.

And, actually, it’s gCEA, meaning the top string is an octave higher. When the strings don’t go in order from lowest to highest, it’s called reentrant tuning (the five string banjo is tuned thusly, as well). It gives the chords an unexpected quality. You can *try* to make a horrible discordant sound with the uke, but somehow the result still sounds fun.

I hope you had as jaunty and deelightful a Christmas as we did!

Comments


Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 26, 2012, 5:55 pm

I forgot to mention that I got my wife an 800,000-volt stunner.


Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 26, 2012, 5:56 pm

first!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 26, 2012, 5:59 pm

Was that wise, Bob?


Comment from JeffS
Time: December 26, 2012, 6:37 pm

That depends on whether or not Bob’s wife is stunning, Sweasel.

:) :) :)


Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 26, 2012, 7:50 pm

She hasn’t shot, stabbed or pepper sprayed me yet. 12 years and counting!


Comment from Redd
Time: December 26, 2012, 8:08 pm

Look at those delicate little weasel paws!


Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: December 26, 2012, 9:14 pm

Is it your best friend? Will you master it as you must master your life?


Comment from Deborah
Time: December 26, 2012, 9:28 pm

What a charming little instrument—Weenus is a lovely present, Stoaty. I hope you will treat us to more melodies soon. Have Uncle Badger’s presents arrived under the tree yet?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 26, 2012, 9:36 pm

He’s still three short, Deborah, but I think he forgave me. Lots of grovelling and foot rubs.

Weenus is but one among many, Scott. This place is stuffed with instruments. He’s a pip, though.


Comment from Nina
Time: December 26, 2012, 9:56 pm

You’d be amazed how many of my students bring ukes to school and play them as they walk from class to class. Those and those annoying kendamas.


Comment from Oceania
Time: December 26, 2012, 10:23 pm

Gerry Anderson – gone!


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: December 26, 2012, 10:30 pm

Can the kendamas be used to make a tune? (Although it may be foolish of me to assume that your students make tunes on their ukes–but Sweas has a point about the general not-unharmoniousness of ukes).
Happy New Year, Sweas and minions. Bittersweet time for me, but this blog does keep the two balanced.


Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: December 26, 2012, 11:20 pm

Were you a USMC Weasel at one time, since you know at least the start of the Rifleman’s Creed?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 26, 2012, 11:23 pm

No, I just read a lot.


Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: December 26, 2012, 11:54 pm

Reading is good. I was USNR at one time, being a ROTC Rat at UW Madison. Where I learned to love Big Badger Boats, like BB64 USS WISCONSIN.

I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of Weenus. It seems the uke is making a comeback.


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: December 27, 2012, 1:30 am

Scott – got that right. My ship used to escort the USS Missouri and the USS New Jersey…


Comment from Mitchell
Time: December 27, 2012, 1:52 am

No, I just read a lot.

Yeah, that and the fact she’s seen Full Metal Jacket. :-)


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 27, 2012, 5:34 am

Now how’s that go again?

This is my Rifle Banjo, that is my Ukulele.
This one’s for Bluegrass, and that one’s for …

Something….


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 27, 2012, 5:39 am

Hey! It wasn’t me that said finger-pickin’!

It was? Oh….. Am I banned yet?


Comment from Nina
Time: December 27, 2012, 4:35 pm

All you get from a kendama is noise…constant noise.


Comment from Oceania
Time: December 27, 2012, 9:16 pm

Oh Scube! Have a read of this: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1205/ML12052A107.pdf


Comment from AmericanGypsea
Time: December 27, 2012, 9:53 pm

Wow! I was a piano teacher, (went to music school and everything), took up the fiddle this past year but this is the fist time I’ve heard of “reentrant tuning”. But now that I’ve heard of it…yeah…I can “hear” it in banjo music now! Thanks!


Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 29, 2012, 11:26 pm

I don’t know if you know of Amy Crehore, but she’s a Seattle artist who has a ‘thing’ for ukes.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ticklergirl/sets/72157613402025169/


Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: January 4, 2013, 1:27 am

Stoaty: Search Youtube for: “Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain”

There’s one of them playing The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, another of them playing the theme to the TV show “Shaft”…

Blame LauraW over at Ace of Spades, I found it there. :-)

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