Anniversary Issue

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					                                                                                                issue 10

                                                                      'd like to thank all the peformers
            Anniversary Issue                                         and artists that have allowed us
                                                                      to spotlight them in each issue,
December 3rd, 2009 is a date       I'd like to thank Louis Wu of      and those artists and performers
to remember. It marks the one-     Ohana Ukuleles and also Ken        that sent us CDs and DVDs to
year anniversary of this           Middleton for his contributions to review. I hope to continue with
publication. ukulele player is     the world of ukulele. Louis has    album reviews and interviews.
one-year-old.                      helped this magazine grow by
                                   giving us the opportunity to       Finally, I'd like to thank all the
We have come a long way            review many of the wonderful       luthiers for allowing me to
since that first issue. We now     instruments that Ohana makes. interview them. The quality of
have 100,000 readers and                                              ukuleles today is unsurpassed.
have forged friendships with       Mike Upton, of Kala Ukes also
manufacturers, performers,         deserves a big thank you. Mike     Thank you ALL for helping us
recording artists, and ukulele     has supplied us with most the      make ukulele player a big
enthusiasts around the globe.      ukuleles that we have been         success. We could never have
                                   giving away since very early in    done it without all of you.
I am proud to say that we have     our publication's history. Also
received so much great             thank you Noel Tardy (of online    This issue, we have news,
feedback and support from the      retailer        reviews, and information you
community of ukulele players       Noel helped us with a Kala uke     can use. We have a cool give-
world-wide.                        in the very first give-away.       away, too.

Thanks to the internet, we have    Tom Ferrone or Oscar Schmidt
not been limited to a particular   also deserves a big thank you.       what's inside...
region. The bulk of our readers    Tom provided us with some nice
are from the United States of      instruments to review and give       p2. Curt Sheller - Jazz Ukulele
                                                                        p9. Ohana CK-300G Review
America and England, but there     away to our readers. He even
                                                                        p11. Dominator - the interview
are increasing numbers from all    sent us a one-of-a-kind OU7T,        p16. Kala KA-ASAC-T Tenor Uke
European nations, Japan, South     curly mango uke (last issue).        p17. Mixing Boards
Korea, even India and                                                   p18. Shiny and the Spoon
Southeast Asia.                  We have received help from             p19. Ukulele Chords - book review
                                                                        p18. Rick Turner - Compass Rose
                                 Craig Robertson, Steve Boisen,
                                                                        p20. Coming Soon...
I'd like to thank everyone for   JukeJeff, Michael Bloom (PR            p21. Kala Uke Give-A-Way
reading ukulele player and       Management for Jake                    P22. One Year Anniversary
especially those of you that     Shimabukuro), Mark Taylor              p23. Club Listings
have shared it with your ukulele (manager for Bill Tapia), and          p29. What's Happening
                                                                        p31. Online Resources
clubs and others. We have        many others that enabled us to
grown much faster than we ever put together all of the issues we
thought possible.                have released.
                     Curt Sheller
For over thirty years Curt Sheller   a musician wants to remain in
has been playing music. He is        business, he or she has to treat it
best known for jazz guitar and       as such. But, he also a
began his musical career             generous guy, which explains
playing jazz standards on            the free content on his website
archtop guitar. Well, Curt is a      and the enthusiasm he exhibits
devotee of ukulele as well and       at shows and seminars.
he has written a bunch of books                                        profile of Curt Sheller, a jazz
on ukulele chords and playing       The folk music and jazz scene in guitar and ukulele player,
techniques.                         Southeast Pennsylvania is pretty prolific writer, and tireless worker.
                                    big, actually. There are
If you have some time to            countless faires and festivals     Q: You play guitar, bass, and
spend, take a look at Curt's        from Central College, home of ukulele. What other instruments do
website. There is a wealth of free Penn State, to the Delaware         you play?
information for registered          Water Gap. The Poconos are
readers and premium content         filled with musical events and     A: For the last thirty plus years I
for would-be jazz ukulele and       there are great venues all over    been mainly a jazz guitarist. I been
                                                                       a serious student of jazz guitar
guitar players.                     the place. There are lots of
                                                                       since my early twenties. Always
                                    talented players in the region.    studying and exploring the genre.          Having played a lot of music in For the past seven years or so the
                                    the region myself, it is no        ukulele has take over and been
I spent a lot of time in            wonder that I did not realize that my main instrument. I continue to
Pennsylvania and knew of Curt       Curt played ukulele. There are     perform as jazz guitarist locally in
years ago, before I returned to     other uke players in the region    an around the Philadelphia area. I
Columbus, Ohio. At that time,       that I did know. We profiled uke mainly do solo jazz gigs.
however, I knew about Curt the player Tom Dennehy a couple
guitarist, and didn't know about issues past and Tom has played I did the Top-40 band thing many,
Curt, the ukulele player. So, it    all through that area.             many years ago, playing four or
                                                                       five nights a week. I’ve played bass
was a really pleasant surprise to
                                                                       guitar in a few rock bands over the
learn that Curt not only devoted Curt and I have been bouncing last ten years.
a lot of time and energy to         e-mails back and forth planning
ukulele, he has taught              this interview for a while. We are Q: What came first, guitar or
workshops and seminars far and also going to be reviewing              ukulele? How old were you when
wide.                               some of Curt's books to give       you first started playing?
                                    players at every level an idea
I have been an advocate of          what is resources are available    A: The guitar came first around
treating music like the business    to players at every level.         1963 or 64. Like most guitar players
that it is since I was in my youth.                                    around that time and my age I
Curt, I have found, understands Issue Ten kicks off a series of        was influenced by the British
that music is a business and if     book reviews and an artist         Invasion, the Beatles, Rolling Stones
and the like. My first teacher, my       Minnesota, Wisconsin and South        the time of year. I teach at a Music
Dad calls him “the Beatnik               Dakota. I wanted a small guitar to    and Arts Center in Plymouth
teacher”, just started me with the       take along. I was seriously into      Meeting, PA and my home
Mel Bay book one and wasn’t really       guitar and didn’t want to be          studio/office. I teach everyday
into teaching. So my dad talked a        without a guitar that long. I was intoexcept Fridays. Student ages run
local jazz guitarist he worked with      music full time at that point. I was  from six year old beginners
into teaching me. His name was           teaching, playing and practicing a    exploring simple melodies to sixty-
Franny Boyle and he was a great          lot and had started my publishing     year-old players wanting to explore
player and teacher. Then his             company and written a few guitar      jazz guitar. The bulk of the guitar
nephew, a local rock guitarist           books by then.                        students are interested in playing
taught me. My Dad says he never                                                contemporary rock guitar. A few
had to tell me to practice. Then         Never did get that guitar but         venture into jazz guitar. I also have
after a renewed interest in really       learned there where other sizes of    a few bass and ukulele students.
playing the guitar while in the          ukulele other than the smaller        Several of my students got turned
Navy. I started studying with Paul       soprano I had. I also learned         on to the uke through me, as I
Byrne after I got out and finally with   about the various common tunings always have one of my tenor ukes
Chuck Anderson. I’ve always kept         and how close it was the the          with me at all times. Some split
playing and working at the guitar,       guitar. Gotta love the Internet. I    their lessons between bass guitar
albeit poorly until hooking up with      collected a lot of information and    and guitar with a little uke thrown in
Chuck Anderson.                          when we returned I bought my first for a few.
                                         tenor uke from Roy Cone at
Initially my introduction to the         UkuleleWorld, a Lanikai tenor         Q: Which instrument did you teach
ukulele came about twenty years          cutaway. Still, no instructional      first?
ago, after attending a family            material for what I wanted to do. I
reunion where two distant uncles         wanted to play jazz, chord melody A: Guitar and Bass Guitar where
where playing ukulele and singing.       style. The same stuff that I did on   the first instruments that I started
It was great, I could see the joy        guitar. I started with “G” tuning,    with and are the my main
and fun they where having. So I          DGBE for awhile then quickly went     instruments today. A lot of people
went out and I bought the only           with “C” tuning, mainly a low “G”. At start guitar. I’ve had beginner Banjo
ukulele available, a cheap               that point in time I was somewhat     and Mandolin students and even
soprano ukulele from George’s            of a decent jazz guitarist and        had a Violin student. I had a
Music in Spring City, PA. There          understood the guitar and how I       saxophone student studying jazz
weren’t any books or resources like      could transfer my guitar knowledge improv with me. He was the Dad of
today to learn the ukulele. I found      to the ukulele.                       one of my guitar students. The Dad
one book and how to tune it. It was                                               is now studying jazz guitar with me.
such a cheap uke and I was just          My main uke now is a Ko’olau CS          I’ve had a few parents of students
learning my way around the guitar,       Cedar top Tenor and a couple of          start taking lessons from me.
I didn’t really get much out of the      Pono’s. I try and keep one tuned
uke at the time. It wouldn’t stay in     with a re-entrant, high “G” tuning.      I have some musicians that come
tune and was really detrimental for      I’ve had a few Flukes and need           on a consultation basis to the
learning the uke. A lot like some of     another one for the winter. They         home studio. They are not on a
the beginner "tourist" instruments       travel really well in our Northeast      regular schedule and take an hour
today. It eventually came unglued        winter weather. I have my eye on a       or two whenever they can. Busy
at the seams and fell apart. It must     Mahogany Concert or Tenor with           adults like that arrangement. I’m
have planted a seed for later.           the new PegHed tuners.                   pretty flexible with my home
                                                                                  teaching schedule.
I was reacquainted with the ukulele      Q: Your website says that you've
while researching travel and             played for over thirty years and         Q: When did you first decide to
smaller guitars to take on a Camp        taught for over twenty years. What       start writing how-to books? What
Fire USA trip to South Dakota. My        instruments do you teach?                was the first book you wrote?
wife and I where driving a fifteen
passenger van load of kids and           A: I maintain a steady teaching          A: The when was around 1997. The
adults on a ten-day trip up and          roster of between 50 and 65 plus         why of the when was the state of a
around the Great Lakes visiting          students a week, depending on            lot of material out there. A lot of
the material isn’t organized or           Martin staff and instruments. His is    The Advanced Guide to Ukulele
focused very well. They typically try     good friends with Dick Boak, Chris      Chords and Exploring “Jazz”
an present too much material and          Martin and quite a few the Martin       Chords is all about 4-part, a.k.a
and have “kitchen sink” approach.         staff. Martin has actually had me       “jazz” chords. It is these jazz chords
It’s always a struggle with what to       up consulting on a few ukes in the      when you hopefully realize that
NOT put into a book. It is too easy       works.                                  there are just way too many chord
to put it all in. I never set out to be                                           shapes to memorize all the chords.
a writer, just fell into it. I have       The outline, foundation and             This books presents and organizes
always organized my study                 information from writing the            a core set of major, minor,
material for myself. Chuck                QuickStart Scale books and              diminished and augmented four-
Anderson                                  Advanced Chord books for guitar,        part chords. These you memorize
(             provided the ground work for the        and build from. From these you
has been a valuable resource as           chord and scale ukulele books. For      can create any chord you ever
mentor, editor, teacher and               the ukulele, with the three             need. This is based on how chords
sounding board for my publishing          common tunings, there are three         are constructed and what notes to
and music efforts. My background          versions for the scale books. The       displace to create more
as a graphic artist allows me to do       Advanced Chord series of books          advanced chords. This is how the
all the layout, art and covers            for the uke are mainly “C” tuning.      great jazz players, any instrument
myself. That and learning how to                                                  know so many chords.
program for the Internet makes it         Q: How many ukulele books have
somewhat easy. I don’t need to            you written in all?                     Luckily, as uke players we have it a
farm out or depend on other                                                       lot easier than guitarists. As an
people for that part of the job.          A: I think I’m up to well over twenty   example, for a serious jazz guitarist,
                                          ukulele books at this time. The         you need a set of twenty dominant
My first book was in my QuickStart        different tunings allow for multiple    seventh chords as your core you
Scale Series. It was for guitar and       versions of the same book. In the       can build on to really explore jazz
titled: QuickStart Scale Fingerings       QuickStart Series there is a scale      guitar. For uke player if is only four.
for Lead Guitar. I then produced a        book for C, G, and D tuning
play-along CD of 24 tracks                covering six essential scales. I’ve     A Guide to Blues Chord
covering the Blues, Pentatonic,           been able get the triads books of       Progressions for Ukulele A to Z , my
Dorian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and           arpeggios for C and G tuning done       best seller, takes these basic jazz
Ionian scales to use with that book.      as well.                                chords through twenty-six blues
In fact, I use the play-along CD                                                  progressions with various chord
with most of my guitar and bass           I categorize chords into four types.    substitutions and explanations of
students today. Great practice for        Basic open position chords,             where the subs came from.
playing with others.                      movable versions of the basic
                                          open position chords, 4-part jazz    I also wrote Ukulele for Guitar
I then wrote the three volumes of         chords and finally free form chords. Players which covers a lot. Chords,
the Advanced Guide to Guitar              My site has    scales, transposition and an
Chords. Those books cover 4-part,         more information and detail on this  introduction to reading. Shows you
a.k.a. “Jazz” chords. Vol 3 is for 7      organization.                        how to transfer the information to
string guitar. My main guitar is a                                             ukulele. Any proficient guitar can
custom seven string guitar built for      My book A Guide to Ukulele Chords pick up uke in a short time. The
me by Dale Unger, Dale is a               is an introduction to all of these   hard part is to, ultimately, not
master luthier and owner of               chord categories in C, G and D       sound like you’re play guitar and
American Archtop Guitars. He is           tunings. This is a great book for    treat it as a its own instrument. I
building me a tenor uke right now.        introducing a new player to what is went through this process. With
I finally wore him down and talked        possible chord wise on ukulele. The being a pretty good pick style
him into building a few ukes. He is       smaller half size book, Ukulele      guitarist, I started playing the uke
a master guitar builder and spent         Chords, takes the open position      with a guitar pick. I slowly over a
three years with Bob Bendetto             chords and their movable forms       long period developed a finger
learning to build archtop guitars.        and presents it in every key for “C” style approach, that I’m still working
His shop is in Nazareth, PA and           tuning, low or high “G”.             on. Always trying new stuff.
Dale has access to all the great
Q: How many books have you              Q: Are you self-producing it?          International Wedding & Event
written on jazz guitar? ...and bass                                            Videographers Association
guitar?                                 A: I have the help of Chuck            conference in Florida. Their stuff is
                                        Anderson with production. I’m          really good. The do all their shoots
A: I have about ten books out on        actually using his bass player and     using three or more cameras and
jazz guitar.                            drummer. Ed Rick on drums, with        shoot digitally in High Def. I’ll con
                                        whom I have worked before, and         them into shooting the recording
I started a QuickStart Scale book       Eric Schreiber on bass. They have      and see how that goes.
for Bass guitar, but have taken a       been working with Chuck for the
new direction with packaging the        past two years and they can bring      Q: Your website has to be the most
books in QuickStart Scale and           a lot to the project. Very seasoned    comprehensive of any I've seen.
Arpeggio series. Books in the series    pros.                                  How long did it take to create it?
are now being released as single
scales in the QuickStart format. No     Q: Do you have a released date         Thanks. I liken the site to the
more volumes of scales. Each            set?                                   monster in the cult classic movie,
scale has its own book. Most are                                               The Blob. The sites just keep
now being released as eBook/PDF         A: Shooting for Spring 2010.           growing and growing.
downloads only. You can pick and
choose the scales and arpeggios         Q: Will there be a tour when your      The main sites, my
that you want to learn. Any one         CD is released?               and
scale or arpeggio book is only                                        have
$4.95. So if you only want the                                                 been one the web site 1995 or so.
                                        A: I mainly doing it to sell online
Mixolydian scale for C tuning, you                                             I’ve been on a Mac since 1987.
                                        and at festivals. Plus to aide in
buy just that scale. I’ve included in                                          I’m constantly tweaking and trying
                                        booking performances at festivals
each book an introduction to the                                               to organize the content of the sites.
                                        and club events. Jim Beloff and
fingering principles used in the                                               With the site at
                                        others have been prodding me to
series. I’ve been fortune enough to                                            over 500 pages that can be hard
                                        record. I’ve been lucky enough to
have and continue to study with                                                to do. I even have a hard time
                                        perform at ukulele festivals based
Chuck Anderson and use his Six                                                 finding stuff myself.
                                        on my web presence and book
Secrets of Guitar fingering
                                        reputation alone.
principles for the QuickStart Series.                                          The original site was
                                        I’d love to do the west coast next
                                                                      with evolved
                                        October and hit the festivals and
Q: You have a CD coming soon,                                                  into
                                        clubs. I attended the Southern
"How About Some Uke?", how near                                                around 1995. The site was hand
                                        California Ukulele Festival a couple
completion is it?                                                              coded as they weren’t any
                                        of years ago and presented
                                                                               programs like DreamWeaver and
                                        several workshops and hawked my
A: I going to go into the studio with                                          GoLive then. I just used BBEdit, a
                                        books. Had a great time and really
bass and drums first of the year.                                              programmer’s text editor on a
                                        enjoyed meeting players that have
Charts are done and should get                                                 Mac. I still use BBEdit and have
                                        my books and have meet on the
going then. Juggling teaching, the                                             organized the sites like a
web sites, publishing and                                                      programmer might do with include
practicing. I’m pretty sure I can get                                          files and templates. I try not to
                                        Q: Will there be any videos to         change the same information in
it out for Spring.                      accompany the project?                 more than one spot. I suck it in
Q: Is this a home-studio project or                                            from a common file.
                                        A: I’m in a great position for this.
from a regular studio?
                                        My daughter and boy friend have        The sites started small, as a few
                                        had their own video production         pages and have continued to
A: Going with a pro studio. I’ve got    company for the past ten years.        grow and morph into what they are
enough on my plate and can only         The shoot dance performances,          today. They are really a fews types
do very, very basic recording stuff     weddings and corporate video.          of sites in one. Especially the main
at home. I’m Mac based and              Their end product is more like a site. A directory
have only done simple stuff with        film then video. This past summer      site of listings and resources,
GarageBand for the lessons on my        they won first place in 19th Annual    lessons, TABs, a blog, forum and
eStore. That site contains               content.                                This sit has ben profesionaly prof
everything. My sub sites like,                                                   red. awl tpyos aree free and no,                     When I’m working on a solo uke          aditonal chrge.,         arrangement like the upcoming and a few           CD. I always write out a chart and      I’m not going to retire to some
others are my attempt to present a       put into Sibelius, a music notation     island with what I make from the
sub set of the material that is on       program. I just finished Feliz          web. Maybe the island between
the main site. Sort of a mirror.         Navidad and posted it to the site. It   the north and south bound lanes of
Navigation is one of biggest issue I     is in standard notation and TAB.        the I 95. It’s probably a break even
wrestle with on the main site. There                                             proposition with what I spend on
is just so much stuff there.             Q: Do you know how many                 web sites, hosting, software and
                                         members the site has?                   the like.
I would love to have the sites be
more database back-end driven,           A: I think I only started the           Between the teaching, web and
especially for the resources listings.   members part of the site three          books I can make a middle class
I just don’t have the time to learn or   months ago and have around              living as a full time musician. The
have the resources to have the           1000 members. All but a handful         CD, performing, selling books at
code done. I looked into SQL and         are the FREE members. The               festivals and presenting workshops
PHP and somewhat understand              premium membership is only              really are to fund the trips to more
what has to be done - but don’t          $9.95 for three months. the             festivals. I love hooking up with
think I want to learn that. Looks like   premium member gets access to           fellow uke players. Travel expenses
fun to learn but I need to focus,        quality play-along tracks, mostly       really eat into profits you might
“Oh!, look a squirrel.” I did do a       jazz standard I had professionally      make. They are more of a working
long stint as a computer                 recorded many years ago.                vacation. Especially when I have to
programmer on Macs and even              Members also get discounted and         cancel and loose a day or two of
taught myself how to do object-          free books. Premium members get         teaching income.
oriented C++. So I can probably          more FREE books.
figure it out myself but - focus,                                                I do have some dealers for my
focus, focus.                         Q: You have a lot of FREE content          books and I’m always thinking of
                                      as well as premium content. Have           expanding that network for selling
Thirty years ago someone once         you found that beneficial?                 books. But I really like keeping the
told me. “There isn’t much in this                                               publishing operation small. It is just
                                      A: Visitors love the free stuff. I love
world that you want to learn that                                                me. It looks a lot bigger than it is.
                                      free stuff. But, it’s a fine line
hasn’t been written down                                                         I’m the CEO, CFO, CPO, COD,
                                      between when and what to
somewhere.” With the Internet it is a                                            publisher, editor, videographer,
                                      charge or give it away. At heart,
lot easier to find it.                                                           graphic artist, musician, in-house
                                      I’m a teacher and love helping
                                                                                 entertainment, mail clerk, janitor,
                                      fellow musician realize their goals.
Q: How often do you add new                                                      secretary, errand boy, web master,
                                      So a lot of the content is and will
content?                                                                         accountant, programmer and
                                      stay FREE. It really depends on the
                                                                                 what ever else is needed. So if a
                                      amount of production and time
A: Pretty much everyday. If I’m not that I have to put into a lesson,            dealer contacts me I’ll take them
teaching or practicing. I’m at the                                               on.
                                      whether it is to be FREE. It does
computer. Either doing freelance      give visitors a chance to see the
graphic design work for a few                                                    There are some parts of learning
                                      content quality they would get
select music clients, working on a                                               an instrument that are so critical
                                      from books.
book of mine or another author. I                                                and overlooked by most players
visit every link people send me                                                  that I just give the content away. It
                                      One note, is my fingers are known
before I add it to the site.                                                     is that important. One of the big
                                      to improvise on spelling and typing
                                                                                 areas for players is they think they
                                      on the web. The books are edited
For new lesson material I try and                                                KNOW THE NOTES OF THE
                                      and pretty much typo free. I
add a new lesson or two every                                                    FINGERBOARD. This is a problem
                                      chuckle at some of my typos on
month. TABs and arrangements I                                                   with guitar players and even more
                                      the web. The footer of the web site
add as I’m working on my                                                         so with ukulele. Nt many other
                                      has my typing disclaimer.
repertoire. I mainly add ukulele                                                 instruments suffer from this. The
think they know the notes, the          The           local pro with music. Up until 10
names of the notes on the               site actually started with me             years ago maintained a full time
fingerboard. They can figure them       looking for an archtop guitar to          day job with the teaching. First as a
your but don’t know them                have built. I collected luthier           graphic designer then as a
intuitively. So I just gave the         information and thought. Why not          computer programmer. Always
Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard        put it on the web. I was teaching         keeping the music going and at
books away. I was actually              my self html. This was back in 1995       times teaching up to 40 students a
planning on getting 2000 printed        or so and my sites are all hand           week. Then after a few downsizings
and give half away to clubs and         coded using html, css, javascript,        in the corporate world. I cut my
with orders. And selling the rest for   jquery and php. I’m constantly            earnings in half and I went full time
$1.95 each. But the funds just          tweaking and adding content. I’m          music.
aren’t available right now.             like a digital pack rat. I save
                                                                            Playing wise, in the ukulele world
                                        everything, and if it is of value I put
Chuck Anderson says this about          it on the web. My main site is now  you can pretty much play with
guitar players and the notes of the     over 500 pages of content. It’s likeanyone and everyone at the
neck, and I was one of them a           the Blob and just it keeps growing  festivals and jam sessions. I sit in
long time ago. “There are two           and growing.                        with Jim and Liz Beloff when we are
types of players. Player’s that know                                        at the same festival. They use me
they don’t know the notes of the      I would love to keep the sites        as lead ukulele and I get to improv
neck and player’s that think they     advertising free but need to pay for off their great tunes. Jim writes
know the notes of the neck.” This is  the hosting and site name             some great songs. Jim and Liz are
different than reading. This is just  registrations. This is one reason for a great couple that has done a lot
knowing the names. Ukulele            the members area. To have it          for the ukulele. A personal celebrity
players are just as bad at it.        banner ad free in the content         for me is Gordon Velesco in the
                                      area.                                 Washington D.C. area. I love
I’ve also made the Reading Primer                                           playing with Gordon whenever I’m
for Ukulele available as a series of  Q: You play some festivals and        in that area. So much fun.
free online lessons for members.      teach seminars and workshops,
                                      too. What percentage of shows         The uke community is such a nice
Q: You have paid advertising, too. and festivals are guitar and what        place to work in. In a past life I was
Do you do your own advertising        percentage are ukulele?               a competitive race walker in my
sales along with all the other work? A: All ukulele festivals. Ukulele      thirties and competed at the top
Where do you find the time?           players are so much nicer, sharing of my age group for 10 years. Ever
                                      and welcoming. The uke has pretty player second one year in the
A: The paid advertising actually      much taken over. I though of          open division at 40 Km National
started by accident with my           doing a few guitar festivals to       Championship. I have a gold site promote the ukulele. Guitar shows medal for the team 20Km walk at
and a company called Fine Cases are mainly geared to sell vintage           the World Master Championships.
contacting me about running a         and custom instruments. I do          The racewalking community is a
banner ad on the cases page of        perform at Dale Unger’s American tight knit group and accepting like
my site. I Archtop booth when he does the           the uke community.
said sure, as long it is directly     guitar shows.
related to the content of the site. I                                       Dauod Shaw, the original drummer
quoted a, probably too low price      I love presenting workshops at        for Saturday Nite Live and producer
and they went with it. I’ve always    festivals. They are typically more    of some Van Morrision albums
created banners for the sites of my advanced material that I try and        played drums on my jazz guitar
stuff and the products and gear       present without scaring anyone        CD, Midnight at the jazz Cafe. The
that I use or admire. I did that for  away. My wife mans the sales          bass player was Steve Bescrone
Sadowsky Guitars and sent it to       table while I do do the workshops. who has played with everyone
them see if I could run it and they                                         from Ray Charles to Pat Martino.
offered to pay for it and they have Q: Who are some of the celebrities
now been running the banners for      that you have played with?            Q: Have you had any students go
several years.                                                              on to become entertainers?
                                        A: I’ve pretty much stayed as a
A: A lot of students get into bands.
A few have gone into college and
pursed music as a career. Some
you just loose touch with.

Q: What lies ahead? Are there any
goals you have set aside for the

A: More content for the web,
books and get that CD done. I’ve
been planning on doing more with
video and creating DVDs of a few
of my books. a DVD would allow
me to add additional material that       The Barnkickers - Steve Boisen and Amanda in ukulele player hats.
wouldn’t make it into the book.

More scale books in the QuickStart
series. With each book I can add
web content and examples that
are not in the book. Figuring out
how to handle that. I sometimes
think I give too much away.

I started a Hearing the Changes
series of web lessons that I’ll be
adding material to.

The Reading Primer only dealt with
reading in open position and the
key of C with no sharp or flat notes.
Which is actually pretty easy on
uke. Future books will deal with
reading in other positions and keys
up the neck.

Guitar material has taken a back
seat and my focus is all ukulele.
More fun anyway.


I want to thank Curt for taking
time from his busy schedule to
answer our questions.
                                                   Wild Child Embroidery
Curt's website is filled with lots of
useful information. This interview
gives lots of insight into the
"business" of music, but also   
maintaining a website and
developing a good readership.                Custom orders from 1 to 1000
                    Ohana CK-300G
I received a shipment of Ohana      and Nut
ukuleles for review and I was      * Gloss Finish
surprised to find the CK-300G in
the carton.                      Suggested Retail: $589

The CK-300G is a concert-sized          The first thing I noticed after the
ukulele made of solid Hawaiian          gloss finish was that this ukulele
Koa. This is one of their top-of-       has "geared tuners" not "Gotoh
the-line models.                        Friction Tuners".

The first thing I noticed was the    Louis Wu, of Ohana Ukuleles,
high-gloss finish. It is silky smoothand I had a conversation via
and highly reflective, but it        e-mail in their increased use of
doesn't feel too thick like many     geared tuners on many of their
gloss finishes.                      ukuleles. With more guitarists
                                     taking up ukulele than ever
The koa wood-grain is absolutely before, geared tuners are in
beautiful and the color is rich.     bigger demand.
There is a little bit of curl in it,
but, I would not classify it as      The "machines" on this uke are
"curly koa". The front, back, and Der Jung sealed tuners. I find
sides are all lightly figured.       them to be very precise and
                                     much nicer than the geared
Ohana's website has the              tuners found on the BK-20CE or
description of this uke listed as    the CKP-70 (Vita copy uke). They
follows:                             are also better quality and more
                                     precise than the tuners on the
"Gorgeous solid koa with a           new CK-70G (spruce top,
deep gloss finish and wonderful maple back and sides).                        The tuners are gold-plated and
warm sound make this a                                                        look great on the Koa
customer favorite! Primo!            Der Jung is a Taiwanese (ROC)            headstock of this ukulele.
                                     company with a German-
   * Solid Koa Top, Back & Sides sounding name. They make                     Ohana has a pearl logo on the
   * Rosewood Fingerboard &          high-quality tuners at affordable        headstock that also lends it a
    Bridge                           prices. What I really like about         very classy look. There is a little
   * Mahogany Binding/               them is the diminutive tuner             curl in the koa used in the
    Headstock Overlay                "keys". They are pearl-colored           headstock that tops of this
   * Pearloid Sound Hole Rosette plastic, in this case, and quite a           instrument beautifully.
   * Gotoh Nickle Friction Tuners bit smaller than most geared
   * Aquila Strings, Bone Saddle tuners, but I really love the look.          The rosette is also pearl inlay.
The fretboard and bridge are       instrument. So, I was happy to      expensive ukes.
rosewood and the nut and           see the CK-300G make its way
saddle are bone.                   around the room several times.      A lot of solid koa ukes have a
                                                                       pronounced "bark", but this
Ohana furnishes the CK-300G      Everyone loved the sound of this instrument is loud without being
with Aquila Nylgut strings and   uke and several people loved          harsh. Played hard, it is still
they compliment it well. The uke the size of the tuners. Even if you sweet to my ears. Played softly,
has a beautiful voice and        have big fat fingers, tuning the      it is smooth and soothing.
plenty enough volume. The        CK-300G is a pleasure, not a
neck is sleek and feels really   chore.                                I am very impressed with the
nice in my left hand.                                                  CK-300G and highly
                                 People noticed the beauty of          recommend it. I'd like to see
The action on this ukulele is    the woodgrain, but also, several more shops carry these.
perfect for my taste and the     people commented about the
frets are beautifully dressed.   quality of the fit and finish of this I tip my hat to Ohana. This is the
Playing it is a breeze.          uke.                                  nicest ukulele I have had the
                                                                       pleasure of playing that carries
I took several Ohana ukuleles to From the shape of its headstock the Ohana name. There are
a club meeting and pasted        to the tip of the lower bout, this some instruments that look
them around the room. None of uke has a look of luxury but it          great and don't perform. There
the people present had ever      gives you solid performance.          are some that perform but are
played a solid koa Ohana uke. With a rich, full sound, this            lacking in other ways. But the
In fact, none of them knew that ukulele is a genuine player. It        CK-300G has it all. What a great
Ohana made a solid koa           competes with much more               ukulele at a great price.
                                                                         time and effort into something
                                                                         with little if anything to gain.

                                                                         I am certain that Dominator
                                                                         gets some sense of satisfaction
                                                                         from hearing people play songs
                                                                         that they learned by the use of

                   "Dominator"                                           his tabs, but there is something
                                                                         much more to this man and I
                                                                         want to give him a chance to
He has played music with many        you want to "learn" a new song,     share his thoughts with ukulele
of the ukulele world's biggest       these sheets will teach you         devotees around the world.
names. His real name is              exactly where to place your
Dominic Pieranunzio, but the         fingers to get the job done.        I wanted to interview Dominator
world knows his as "Dominator".                                          for ukulele player and I chose
                                     It takes many hours to              the anniversary issue to do so
You may not know the name,           accurately produce tablature        because I wanted to give him
but if you have spent any time       and Dominator is an unsung          special recognition.
on YouTube viewing ukulele           hero to many players. If I could
music videos, I can guarantee        create a ukulele award for          Matt Dahlberg (thejumpingflea)
that you have seen and heard         people that contributed to the      recommended that I interview
the results of Dominator's                                               Dom and I told Matt that I was
contribution to the community                                            already planning to approach
of ukulele players.                                                      him with the request for an
                                                                         interview. Matt credits Dom's
If you know the name,                                                    tabs with his expeditious
Dominator, most likely you know                                          learning and honing of his
about "Dominator Tabs".                                                  ukulele playing skills.

Dominic has spent countless                                              Matt is not alone. Thousands of
hours putting together tabs of                                           people have learned songs by
popular tunes played by the                                              using Dominator Tabs.
likes of Jake Shimabukuro,
Aldrine Guerrero (of Ukulele                                             With that, I'd like to introduce
Underground fame), James Hill,                                           Dominator...
and so many more of your
favorite performers and                                                  Q: How long have you played
songwriters.                                                             ukulele?

Tablature is the term used for                                           A: My first trip to Hawaii was in
song-sheets that teach the           betterment of ukulele for the       1997. It was a reunion of sorts
finger positions for playing         global community of players         with two of my high school
musical arrangements,                and enthusiasts, Dominator          buddies. That’s when I heard the
including chords and riffs, for      would be at the head of my list.    music of Israel Kamakawiwo`ole
direct finger placement on the                                           and Jake Shimabukuro for the
neck of stringed instruments. This   If anybody deserves recognition first time. I believe Jake was
loose definition is my own and I     for tireless effort without reward, playing with Pure Heart back
am not worried if it is not          it is Dominator. With that said,    then. I became intrigued with
technically precise. It gives you    who is this man and what            the instrument at that time but it
the general idea - that being, if    motivates him to put so much        wasn’t until our trip to Kauai` for
the millennium New Year that I       Annapolis, Maryland. It’s a long     house party we had while they
really knew I wanted to make         scale (18”) tenor with incredible    were here. After looking back at
the ukulele a part of my life. Up    bell like tones. It sounds           the video we decided it was
until that point I would pull out    fantastic. If I hadn’t bonded so     time to take the next step and
my cheap Hilo soprano a week         well with the spruce top the         prepare to pursue gigs.
or two before our trip and           Glyph would definitely be my         Rockslide is a five-piece band
maybe tinker with it a few weeks     main player.                         with two guitarists (the singer
after we got home. So I guess                                             plays guitar), a keyboard player,
I’ve been playing consistently for   Q: How long have you played          bass and drums. We’ve been
the past 9 years or so.              guitar?                              playing about twice a month for
                                                                          the past sixteen years or so and
Q: How many ukuleles do you          A: I started playing guitar when I   currently still have three of the
have in your collection?             was twelve-years-old. I took         original members.
                                     some lessons for about a year
A: Oddly enough, I’ve never          and then gave up and focused         I was fortunate enough to find a
come down with the UAS bug           on sports until high school.         great bunch of guys that are
(Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome)       During high school I started to      not only good musicians but
so my collection is somewhat         concentrate a bit more on            they are great people as well.
limited. I have eight ukuleles in    guitar again but it wasn’t until     Though we have a handful of
the herd at the moment but           the mid 70s that I really started    original songs we play primarily
really only six of them could be     to buckle down and try to finally    70s and 80s covers.
considered playable for me.          learn to play solos. I wore out
                                     many needles on my turntables        Q: You are best known for your
Here is a list in the order of in    slowing down licks by The            "Tabs" site. Did you start with
which I aquired them:                Outlaws, Jimmy Page, Robin           guitar tabs first?
                                     Trower and Van Halen to name
Martin Backpacker                    a few.                        A: No. I have done a few
Lava Tenor Fluke                                                   transcriptions for guitar but the
Walnut Tenor (first build)       In 1978 I formed a band called reason I started transcribing in
Glyph Tenor                      Legacy that toured the Midwest the first place is because
Mahogany Tenor (secind build)
                                 for about two years. The road     Google searches for Jake
Walnut Soprano (1st soprano build)
                                 began to take its toll on us all  Shimabukuro ukulele tabs came
Spruce Top Tenor (7th tenor build)
Kepasa Madeira                   and we disbanded and I got a up empty. After hearing IZ and
                                 real job.                         Jake on my trips to Hawaii` I
Q: Do you have any favorites?                                      started my search for their tabs.
                                 Q: Tell us about "Rockslide".     Guitar tablature was very easy
A: My main player at the                                           to find but at that time ukulele
moment is a spruce top tenor     A: When I moved to Roseville,     tablature of any kind, good or
with walnut back and sides that California back in February of     bad, simply wasn’t available
I made myself. It’s a wonderful 1991 I met a group of              online. That’s when I decided I
instrument. It’s not the loudest musicians in the neighborhood. would have to try to transcribe
ukulele I’ve built but it has a  We started getting together on    the songs myself. I put this
bright, yet pleasing, to my ear, weekends just to have fun and it simple webpage together to
tone and I just enjoy being able gave me an opportunity to get post the tabs so that others
to perform with one of my own    some of my chops back             could benefit and try to learn
instruments. I also have a       together. In 1992 my family       the songs as well. I had no idea
beautiful Glyph koa tenor built  came out to visit for Christmas   what it would develop into. And
for me by Dave Means of Glyph    and I borrowed a video            by that I mean just how many
Custom Ukuleles out of           recorder from a friend to record people that I’ve come to know
                                 the band playing at a little open all around the world as a result
of the site. It’s pretty amazing    version of “The Christmas Song”      thumb and middle finger to
and without the Internet it simply and found it very difficult to        pick the notes for the fast runs
couldn’t have happened.             enter into Powertab and have it      throughout the song. I find this
                                    sound at least reasonably            particular technique quite
Q: How much traffic does the        decent during the midi               challenging and have not
tabs site get?                      playback. As an alternative I just   focused any effort in perfecting
                                    posted a video tutorial of “The      it.
A: Well, to be honest I don’t       Christmas Song” instead so that
know exactly how the stats for      people could learn the song          I believe there are close to
my site work. There are referring during the Holidays. Hopefully, I      ninety tabs on my site and it
searches, indexing robots,          will find time to get the tab        seems most people assume I
syndication etc. But the “direct    squared away in the near             can play them all. The truth of
access” hits on the site from       future.                              the matter is that if I don’t play
someone using a bookmark or                                              them on a somewhat regular
directly typing in the URL range    Q: Are there any tabs that you       basis then I forget them. But
from 2500 to 3000 per day.          have created that you can't          that’s the good thing about
                                    play?                                having the tabs. I can go back
I noticed that over the                                                  and brush up on a particular
Thanksgiving weekend it was         A: Most definitely. There are        song in short order by referring
down to between 1700 and            some songs I’ve transcribed that     to the tab. This is much faster
2000.                               I can’t actually play at             than having to refer back to the
                                    performance level. A couple          audio only to learn it again.
Q: How long does it take to "tab" examples that come to mind
a song, on average?                 are James Hill’s “Skipping Stone”    Q: When did you decide to start
                                    and Jake’s 3rd Stream. When I        making ukuleles?
A: It varies based on the           transcribed them I was able to
complexity of the song but for      slow the songs down and figure       A: I started general
an average tab it usually takes     out what to play but actually        woodworking after seeing an
between two or three days. But being able to execute them at             episode of the New Yankee
this is after I have already spent performance level is a whole          Workshop in 1986. I made
a number of days actually           different thing. The ole fingers     several pieces of furniture for
figuring out how to play the        just don’t move like they used       the house and built up a
song.                               to, however the issue with both      decent collection of shop tools.
                                    of these songs is primarily due
I usually don’t start a tab until I to my lack of proficiency in the     Many of my friends would come
know how to play the entire         right hand. James incorporates       over and, after seeing the shop
piece. If a song is in a standard what he refers to as a “mono”          and knowing I played guitar,
meter with consistent beats per strum which consists of playing          would ask, “Why don’t you try
measure etc. entering it into the single note runs while strumming       building a guitar?" I had the
Powertab software can go            up and down on all the strings.      blinders on and just thought it
pretty quickly. Where it gets       That sounds easy enough but          was way over my head to build
difficult is when a song is played the trick is to mute the other        an instrument. It seemed like
in free time where the artist       three strings that don’t involve     such a daunting task to bend
plays slow for a while and then     the single notes being played.       wood to the shape of the body,
speeds up and then brings it        So you get this nice percussive      etc... I just never thought I had
back down. Jake does this on        attack but only sound the single     the skills to do so.
many of his tunes.                  notes of the particular passage.
                                                                         I actually made the decision to
As an example, I started working In the case of 3rd Stream, Jake         try my hand at building when I
on a tab of Aldrine Guerrero’s   uses a combination of his               was recovering from a heart-
attack. I had a 5-way bypass in      Q: How long does it take to       Q: You have played with
December of 2003 and during          build an ukulele from start to    numerous ukulele "celebrities".
my recovery I purchased a            finish?                           Can you give us a
couple books and started to get                                        rundown?
my ducks in a row so to speak.       A: This is really hard to nail
After reading the books I            down. I’ve only been building    A: I’ve had interaction with a
discovered that from a               one or two at a time and can     number of celebrities but I
woodworking perspective I was        only do it in my spare time and  haven’t necessarily had the
up to the task. What I lacked        on weekends that I’m not either  opportunity to play or share the
was access to a few specialized      attending a ukulele function or  stage with them. Those I have
tools specific to lutherie. So I     gigging with the band etc.       shared the stage with are
created an E-Bay account, sold                                        Aldrine Guerrero, Bryan
some old music gear and then       The spruce top tenor took me       Tolentino, Brittni Paiva and
purchased a few essential hand     approximately seventeen weeks Gerald Ross.
tools and materials to get         start to finish. I was building
started. I completed my first      another tenor along side it and I participated in some sing
soprano ukulele from a Grizzly kit focused solely on the spruce       alongs with James Hill at the
in March of 2004.                  top at the point where I was       Wine Country Festival this year
                                   working on the neck and            and I’m hoping to get a
Q: How many ukes have you          fretboard. I’m in the process of   chance to jam with Jake at the
made (to date)?                    finish neck construction on the    upcoming Tahoe Area Uke Fest
                                   number eight tenor as time         in March.
A: Not including the three         permits.
soprano Grizzly kits I have                                           Q: You have been video-taped
completed ten ukuleles to date. Q: Do you build to order?             playing with several notable
I have three more under                                               players, have you recorded with
construction of which two are      A: I guess the answer to this is   any of them?
nearing the finishing stages.      sort of yes and no. Currently,
                                   four of the ten ukes I have        A: No, I have not. I’m just
Q: Have you made guitars as        completed are in the hands of thankful that I’ve had the
well?                              happy and satisfied players. I     opportunity to meet and play
                                   sold three of them and the         with so many great people.
A: No, I have not made any         other was given away to a very
guitars. I’m sure I will build one deserving YouTube star.            Q: Is there a ukulele album in
in the future at some point but                                       the works?
no plans to do so anytime soon. Right now I’m building for a
                                   select group of people that        A: I’ve been approached by a
Q: Have you tried "electric        have no set timeframe for          producer who is interested in
ukes"?                             getting their instrument. At this  promoting a CD. I’m slowly
                                   time I’m not in a position to do   working on coming up with
A: Actually, I have not played     true custom work. I need to be     some original and cover tunes
any electric ukes. I know they     building on a much more            to consider for the project. No
are out there but I just haven’t   consistent basis before taking     specific milestones have been
had the opportunity to do so       on that added stress and           established at this time.
yet. I have heard good things      pressure. Right now I just want to
about both the CE series semi-     enjoy building and get my          Q: What lies ahead? Do you
hollow body from Ko`Olau and instruments in the hands of              have any future goals for
Pete Howlett’s solid body          those that will enjoy and          ukulele? How about guitar? How
Uklectics.                         appreciate them for what they      about as a luthier?
A: I must admit that I don’t
actually practice guitar much
these days. Rockslide hasn’t
rehearsed in nearly ten years.
Everyone is good enough that
when we put new cover tunes
together we just distribute an
mp3 and everyone learns their
part. Our rehearsal is always live.
And fortunately, since we stay
true to the original recordings in
the beginning, this process
works great for us. We decided
a few years ago that we would
continue playing together as
long as it was still fun for
everyone involved. And fun it is.
We all started in the same
neighborhood but now the bass
player lives in Carson City                   Got Uke?
Nevada and the singer is now in
the Bay Area. So we are spread
out about as far as we could
be. I’ve told everyone that I
won’t replace anybody that
decides it’s time to leave the
band. So when the band does
decide to call it quits that’s
when I will focus even more of           You can find Kala Ukuleles at
my efforts on the ukulele.        
Regarding building ukuleles, I
hope to continue to hone my
skills as a luthier over the next
several years in hopes of
building on a consistent basis
during my retirement years.

Getting a CD put together is
also a goal I want to achieve in
the coming year.


Thanks for the interview,
Dominator. I look forward to your
eventual CD and would love to
review it when the time comes.
Thanks for your contributions to
the ukulele community.
        Kala Solid Acacia Tenor Uke
Kala Ukulele has been able to          would be as easy to tune as it is.
do something that a lot of their       The vintage-style Grover tuners
competition has not been able          were the perfect choice for it.
to do. They have brought solid
acacia-wood ukuleles to market         The body is bound with black
without experiencing the               plastic and the nut is black
cracking issues that other             synthetic material of some sort.
manufacturers have had.                It has an elegant look. The
                                       saddle is bone.
Kala sent me a slotted
headstock acacia tenor uke for         Speaking of looks, I do love the
review and to give to some             way that the slotted headstock
lucky reader for our anniversary       is cut. There are several layers of
issue. The KA-ASAC-T sports a          wood that give the slotted
luxurious satin finish and has         headstock an appearance like
fancy inlay in the neck. The           no other.
slotted headstock is a big hit on
the ukulele forums and virtually       The fit and finish are superb on
everyone that has played one           this ukulele and I do think that it
wants one.                             is the best workmanship of
                                       anything Kala has sent me.
Acacia has had cracking
problems on other makers ukes,         One very interesting thing was
but for some reason Kala has           that when opened the box the
not had a problem with that. I         day this uke arrived, I tuned it
don't know if it is that they have     and immediately started to
better raw materials, or they are      play. My wife came into the
drying the wood differently, but       room and said that it was one
whatever it is, that gives them        of the sweetest sounding
the upper hand. This wood is           ukuleles she had ever heard. I       headstock might serve as an
beautiful to behold. It has            mention it because my wife is        inspiration to them. Whatever
beautiful straight grain and the       so used to me playing she            the case, the KA-ASAC-T, solid
color is medium brown. It does         seldom comments.                     Acacia tenor uke with slotted
not look like koa or mahogany,                                              headstock is a winner and
but that is one of the things I like   Kala does have a winner with         would be a great addition to
about it. If all ukuleles looked       this ukulele. It has beautiful tone, anyone's collection.
the same, there would be no            a distinctive appearance and
point in owning more than one          the slotted headstock is very        I found the KA-ASAC-T available
of a particular size, right?           popular with Jake Shimabukuro online for $309 USD. That makes
                                       fans. Since so many people           this uke a great value as well as
I didn't think that this ukulele       want to play like Jake, this uke's a great performer.
                                                                        German Village Music Haus
                 Mixing Boards
                                                                            We Sell Ukuleles
What is it that separates          than volume and basic tone via       expert setups for your fine
professional musical performers    a limited EQ, it will also have an      ukuleles and guitars.
and recording artists from the     effects send with output and
mass of wannabees?                 inputs for each channel. Some             350 S. Grant Avenue
                                   simple mixers just have a master         Columbus, Ohio 43215
Just about every garage band       effects send/receive but no
                                                                          Bill Foley, owner and luthier.
and every singer or musician       individual channel controls. That   
wants to play "live" and make a is a limitation, but it is better                 (614) 228-8467
recording. Whether they want to than a straight PA amplifier.               email:
make a CD or just post songs
online, the "mix" will make you or Behringer and Macke both
break you.                         make modestly-priced "project
                                   mixers" for live play and home
Why do so many "bands" sound recording. In fact, some of their
more like unorganized jam          gear gives you professional
sessions and so many artists       quality at budget prices. The
have audio level problems?         price per channel remains
                                   about the same, so, the cost to
When you play "live", you need you is determined more by the
to balance the volumes of all      number of channels than the
the instruments involved so that "quality" of features. There is a
everything is audible and clear. high-end professional line, too,
A sound-man, so to speak,          but the budget line of both
should be used to monitor the      companies is actually quite
volume levels of all the           good.
musicians and vocalists in order
to get a good balance.             Once you decide you need a
                                   mixer, determine the size
Fiddling around with volume        (number of channels) based on
controls on a bunch of             your number of instruments and
individual amplifiers or           vocalists. It is best to separate
instruments is impossible. What    each instrument and vocalist
you want is a mixing board.        into their own channel, if
                                   possible. If not, merge the
A mixer is a tool that enables     vocals, but separate the
the sound-man to control the       instruments.
volume of each individual input
and adjust the tone in some sort You will find that "live" type
of EQ. There are multiple          recordings require a mixer, there
"channels" that can and should is no getting around it. Multi-
be dedicated to each               track recording is greatly
instrument and vocalist. The       enhanced by a mixer because,
more channels you have, the        even though you are recording
better your control.               one track at a time, the added
                                   control will improve your over-all
A good mixer will control more     audio quality.               
              Shiny and the Spoon
In issue one of ukulele player,       and sexy at the low-end. She
we featured Amber Nash as an          has great control and can
up & coming artist and                harmonize really well, whether
someone to watch among                live or dubbing back-up tracks.     "Dream" starts with some nice
ukulele performers.                   Jordan has a good voice, too,       guitar licks. Nash & Neff make
                                      and the vocal blend with Amber      good use of istrumentation.
Since that time, Amber has            makes for a really pleasing duo.    There tempo is really tight. They
teamed up with Jordan Neff to
                                                                          have great timing and put a lot
create an act known as "Shiny         "Simple Song" has a short           of effort into keep it that way.
and the Spoon". And so it is          musical intro and in comes
appropriate to review Amber           Amber's wonderful vocals. There     "Feedin'" has a very traditional
and Jordan's new CD, an EP of         are some great guitar accents       country feel to it. I am talking
original tunes in our anniversary     played in the perfect volume        old-school, Hank Williams here.
issue.                                behind a solid uke track. Very      The guitar takes the center-
                                      nice musicianship, understated      stage in this song. Good vocals.
First, I'd like to congratulate       and very classy.
Nash and Neff (couldn't resist)
                                                                          "Good On You" reminds me of
for being nominated the "New       "Buried" features Amber and            an old Johnny Cash, June
Artists of the Year" in Cincinnati,Jordan's great vocal blend.            Carter tune, but with better
Ohio's "Entertainment Awards". I   Nice harmonies. I love the             vocals. Again, a country
think it's fantastic!              melody of this song. Nice              flavored song. What a perfect
                                   harmonica, too. This song              wrap to a very enjoyable CD.
I have a copy in electronic form reminds of Simon & Garfunkle.
                                                                          Great job!
of the coming EP, since it is not
ready at the time of this writing, "Canary in a Coalmine" was
but soon will be. You can buy      written by Amber quite some
the tunes online if you prefer.    time ago and I am happy that
                                   they included it on this project.
Here is the line-up:               This is an escape song. The
                                   vocal flavor or this song is sort of
1. Simple Song                     vintage - there is a lot of reverb
2. Buried                          in it, but the instrumentation
3. Canary in a Coalmine            remains clear. Nicely produced.
4. Two Pennies
5. Dream                           "Two Pennies" is a good follow-
6. Feedin'                         up to "Canary" and also has
7. Good On You                     that sort of speak-easy quality to
                                   it. Listen closely, there is some
Amber's voice is polished and      nice tasteful guitar-work in the
shines at the high-end, is sultry  background, Nice horn play.
                    Ukulele Chords
                            by Curt Sheller
Curt Sheller has written a boat-     Curt explains how the
load of books on ukulele.            transposing charts work and
                                     uses clear examples.
Ukulele Chords - C Tuning is just
what the title implies.              The book explains the theory of
                                     movable chords. Those are
In "C Tuning", Curt starts with      chords that you play up the
tuning your ukulele in standard      neck where your fingers stay in
"C" tuning and also shows you        the same relativfe positions but
the alternative "low G" variation.   you just slide up and down the
From there, he explains what         neck to different fret positions.       without having to think about it.
basic chords are and describes
open tuning and "movable"            Transpositional charts for              Ukulele Chords - C Tuning is an
chords.                              movable chords have FRET                essential tool for a beginner that
                                     references to facilitate finding a      wants to learn chords and the
Curt explains the elements of a      chord up the neck. You don't            theory behind them without
chord chart then jumps right         really have to figure it out, just      getting bogged down in details.
into major chords in "C tuning".     use the chart and let Curt do           It's a quick path to playing basic
                                     the work for you. In time, you will     and intermediate chords.
The book has beautifully clear       just go up and down the neck
chord diagrams for major
chords, followed by minor
chords. Flip the page and you
have sevenths.

Page nine explains diminished
and augmented chords and
shows how they are illustrated in
musical lyric and chord charts.

One of the really cool things
that Curt provides is transposing
charts. If you are trying to
change the key of a song,            Beyond learning basic
                                     ukulele chords most players struggle with advanced chords. Commonly called
these charts will make things
                                     "jazz chords", these more sophisticated chord voicings find a wide use in all
much easier for you. This would      forms of music.
help ukulele clubs figure out
how to change keys without           If your goal is to expand your chord vocabulary, "A Guide to Advanced Chords
having to work out all the           for Ukulele is your answer.
details. Just read the chart.                      - excitement, music, lively discussion, and a whole lot more...

Coming Soon...
While working on the Dominator
interview and story, I decided
that I should create some sort of
award especially for the ukulele
community. It would have to be
a way to show appreciation for
contributions that have been
made to the world ukulele

I have discussed this with my
wife, a graphic artist, and we
have decided that it would be
a great way of giving something
to our readers and the great
entertainers that we spotlight                                    ukulele player is created using
and review.                                                       Serif PagePlus page layout and
                                                                  graphic design software.
There are certain people out
there that we feel deserve                              
special recognition and we'd
like to show them that we
admire them for what they have
done for all of us.

So, what we are going to do is
create a "logo" award that is not
a marketing-based thing, like
the "Top 50" sites and such. This
will be a specific award that
can be displayed on your
website and validated through
ukulele player.

If you have a nominee in mind,
then post it on the UU forum,
Cosmos, and FMM and we will
consider all your views and
reasons. We want to say thank
you to all of you.        
ukulele player and kala present...
ukulele player and Kala Ukuleles came together to bring
you this exciting opportunity. One lucky reader will win
this ukulele.

All you have to do is submit your name, an e-mail
address, and a shipping address so that if you are the
winner, we will be able to ship it to you. You only need to
submit your information one time and you will be in the
running for all of the Kala Ukulele give-a-ways.

You read about the Kala KA-ASAC-T ukulele in this issue of
ukulele player, now, here is your chance to win it. Follow
the instructions below...

We will not share your contact information with anyone
for any reason.

note: if you have trouble with the form, e-mail your entry
Include name, shipping address, e-mail address.

                 Thanks for reading ukulele player
            and thanks to Kala Ukuleles for their support.
          Happy One Year Anniversary, Ukulele Player Magazine!
                                          by Mary Rose Maguire

My husband is a bit obsessed. I      music. A musician himself, he        standards to quirky folk, rock,
say this with all the love a         listened intently and nodded         alternative music. My tastes
devoted wife can muster since        appreciatively. "There's             slightly vary from my husband's,
Mickey's passion for All Things      something about the ukulele,         being an old-school "New
Uke is just one of the many          isn't there? Those who play it are   Wave" chick from the 80's. But
things I adore about him. When       unpretentious, down-to earth." I     good music is good music and
he talked to me over a year          agreed. In fact, I said I'd never    I've been amazed by the talent
ago about starting an online         met a more friendly bunch of         that exists in the ukulele world.
magazine for the ukulele             musicians than ukulele players.
community, I did what most                                                Our home reflects Mickey's
wives do. Nodded my head             I came from a musical family,        passion for the ukulele. The
and said, "Yes, dear. That           although I didn't last with any      highlight for both of us was to
sounds dandy. Now what would         particular instrument. I admit I     see Jake Shimabukuro live in
you like for dinner?"                still love the sound of an           concert and then meet him
                                     acoustic guitar, but the ukulele     afterward. (What an amazingly
I never expected the ukulele to      is starting to grow on me. I         talented man whose humility is
infiltrate our lives like a warm     remember buying Mickey a             equally amazing.) I know Mickey
breeze from the islands. In fact,    baritone uke for Christmas in        has been able to interview
I was quite surprised when I         2002 and then felt terrible when     many people he has admired
accompanied my husband to            he discovered the neck was           and has enjoyed sharing his
what would be one of our many                                             discoveries with others. This
ukulele gatherings in town. I                                             magazine is truly a labor of
remember meeting Jeff and                                                 love. I know it means much to
Carol, the gracious hosts of the                                          him when others express their
"COUP Group." (Columbus, Ohio                                             appreciation, but perhaps more
Ukulele Players Group) and felt                                           than anyone else, I can say his
immediately welcomed. The                                                 dedication to the magazine has
rest of the group was just as                                             only increased during this past
friendly, laughing easily with one                                        year. I got a kick out of his
another and then settling down                                            response when recently he
to play songs. Something in me                                            walked into the kitchen to find
stirred as I was reminded of how                                          me (very badly) strumming one
music has the power to join                                               of his ukes to Jason Mraz's song,
hearts together.                                                          "I'm Yours." Well, I'm his but I'm
                                                                          happy to share him with the
During this past year, I watched                                          ukulele community because as
Mickey time to magazine, and                                              far as I'm concerned, there's no
the opportunities it provided for    badly warped.                        better around.
other ukulele players to learn
about each other, find new           But over time, he was to enjoy       Congratulations, Mickey, on
artists to appreciate, and most      playing many different types of      staying with this thing for one
importantly in my eyes -             ukuleles (and who knew there         year. May you have many more
connect with other ukulele           were that many?!). In turn, I        to come.
players in their local area. I       started to discover the many
remember introducing my                                                   Thank you, Mary Rose, for putting up
                                     styles of ukulele music.             with all the ukuleles, the hours I am
father to the magazine and the       Everything from old jazz             busy, and everything else.
Ukulele Club Listings...
If you would like to list your club here, submit contact information
at this website:
or e-mail me at this address:
We will add you to our list.


Scottsdale Strummers, Scottsdale AZ, Contact Pat McInnis
weekly daytime meeting, monthly evening meeting

Tucson Ukesters
Tucson, AZ
Meet weekly - usually on Monday afternoon
Contact: Kristi

Nuked Ukes
We are in Auburn California. Welcoming players from all levels.
contact: Loyce Smallwood'sblog
                                                                                  German Village Music Haus
Ukulele Society of America
Contact: Richard Douglas                                                              We Sell Ukuleles
(760) 458-6656
                                                                                  expert setups for your fine
300 Carlsbad Village Dr.
Carlsbad CA, 92008                                                                   ukuleles and guitars.
                                                                                       350 S. Grant Avenue
Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz                                                            Columbus, Ohio 43215
                                                                                    Bill Foley, owner and luthier.
One of the Largest Ukulele clubs in America! Usually meets every third thursday  
at Bocci's celler in Santa Cruz, but check the website, cause it sometimes                  (614) 228-8467
changes. Or email for club information.                               email:
      Ukulele Clubs continued

The Ukulele Club of Southern Connecticut and the
KookeeUkie Ukulele Band.

We welcome players of all skill levels and offer classes
for those new to the ukulele. Check our web site at
Pete Johnson


Tampa Bay Ukulele Society

Each meeting will start with a group lesson followed by an informal jam session
for players of all levels. Everyone gets a chance to call a few tunes.
Kansas (and Western Missouri)

Kansas City Ukesters


Kentucky Ukes
meeting the fourth Sunday of every month


StrumMn ukulele players

New Mexico

The High Desert Sand Fleas
Meet the 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month at the
Albuquerque Press Club [6pm - 9pm]
2101 Highland Park Circle, Albuquerque, New Mexico - USA
contact: Stephen Hunt via email:

New York

Ukulele Club of Potsdam (New York)
meet-up every other Friday at 5PM at Tim's Comic & Game, 6 Main Street
contact: Tim Connolly call: (315) 268-1598.
Loaner ukes available. Bring your uke and leave your cares at home!
       Ukulele Clubs continued

COUP (Central Ohio Ukulele Peeps)

Green Country Ukes
Meeting the needs of ukulele players in the greater Tulsa area
contact via e-mail:

South Carolina

Lowcountry Strummers Ukulele Club
Charleston, SC metro area. We meet twice a month. One beginner class and
open Jam each month. All are Welcome. e-mail


Robert S. Sparkman

Lone Star Ukulele Club (in North Dallas)

The Dallas Ukulele Headquarters
Go to and search The
Dallas Ukulele Headquarters to join the group. Lots of fun events and jams!

CHUG - Coffee House Ukulele Gang
Fort Worth, Texas

This wild west ukulele gang meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month.
Contact Steve for more info. (


Vermont Ukulele Society
Meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.


Seattle Ukulele Players Association (SUPA)
      Ukulele Clubs continued

Ukulele Society of Great Britain
43 Finstock Road, London W10 6LU
Tel: 020 8960 0459

Cambridge Ukulele Co-operative [Cuckoo]
Meet alternate Sundays 2pm-6pm
The Portland Arms Cambridge CB4 3BAIf
If you're cuckoo about ukes come and join us.

Ukulele Philharmonic Orchestra of Sudbury
Tuesdays evenings from 7.00pm
The Institute, Station Road, Sudbury Suffolk CO10 2SP
Beginners Welcome

Uke Wednesday Jam
Every Wednesday 7 till closing Downstairs @ The Royal George
Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EA, U.K.
contact: Quinc email:

SCUPA - Second City Ukulele Players Association

We meet weekly on Tuesdays at 7:30pm in the upstairs room
at The New Billesley Pub, Brook Lane, Kings Heath,
Birmingham, West Midlands B13 0AB

We accommodate all players beginners to experienced.
Call or text Jon 0787 353 1161 or email: for more information.
Stockton to Darlington Ukulele Express
Meeting monthly in Darlington, northeast England new members always
welcome. contact Simon at

Tune Army Ukulele Club
The Bay Horse, Front Street, Whickham, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE16 4EF
Meeting first Monday of the month 7:30 - 9:30

UkeGlos Ukulele Club
Meets Every Mondays every month, 8.00pm
The Exmouth Arms, Bath Rd
Cheltenham, GL53 7LX

Wooden & banjo ukes welcome. All levels of playing ability & song styles. For
full details visit:
      Ukulele Clubs continued
Ukulele Sundays host:Tim Smithies
I host a Ukulele Jam session on Sunday evenings in Sheffield UK called 'Ukulele
Sundays' All welcome - 8.30pm onwards. Riverside Cafe Bar.

"Brighton ukulele Sundays"
Meet first Sunday of the month at the Brunswick Pub in Hove East Sussex UK.
Visit Facebook Brighton Ukulele Sundays for more details.

Leicester Ukulele Club
All welcome, First Monday of the month,
Upstairs at Babalas Bar, Queens Road, Leicester
Contact: or


Irish ukulele club meets on the second saturday of
each month.Players from all over Ireland. Ukeplayers of all levelswelcome. If
you are a visiting uke player please feel free to come along. The meetups are
held at 2, eden park, Dunlaoire, Co. Dublin.

The Ukuholics are based in the Irish Midlands and meet once a month.
Players of any or no ability will fit in nicely!
Visit for more info


Monday Ukearist
Edinburgh’s very own ukulele gathering. We gather once a fortnight on
Mondays from 7 to 10(pm!) at Mackenzie School of English near the foot of
Leith Walk

6 John’s Place,
Contact: John Hobson, +44 (0)7940 513969,

South Wales

Ukulele Nights
meet on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month at 8.30pm.
The Albion, Glebe Street, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales

Contact: Sarah Thomas:
(for songbooks, directions and more. Beginners very welcome)
      Ukulele Clubs continued

Ukulele Club of Germany (home page) (message board)
Deutscher Ukulelenclub
c/o Raimund Sper
Korneliusstrasse 1
D-47441 Moers
tel. +49/2841-394837
fax + 49/2841-394836


Ukulele Jamboree in Rotterdam - hosted by 'The Uke Box'
The night is comprised of a workshop, performances & open mic.
To Join the Mailing List send an e-mail to:

To read more about this and our other ukulele projects go to: (Dutch)
Visit my personal blog spot and click on 'Ukulele' under "Contents" (English)

Note: Shelley has an Etsy store where you can find ukulele related items for
sale, check it out:


Ukulele Club of Paris
Thursday starting 7:30 PM
Meetings are announced on the website King David Ukulele Station at this URL:

Club Olympique de Ukulélé de Lille et des Environs

"Stay cool, come and play with the C.O.U.L.E."

Association des Ukuleliste de Valbonne Sophia Antipolis (Alpes Maritimes)
Visit for more info
      Ukulele Clubs continued

Club del Ukelele de Madrid (SPAIN)

"Para todos los aficionados al ukelele que viven en
"For all the ukelele fans living at Madrid"
Now preparing their first festival and meeting very soon -
stay tuned!
Lone Star Ukulele Festival
dates are 4/30-5/2 in Dallas
UkeLadyMusic and The Dallas Ukulele Headquarters are organizing the event.
more information coming soon.

Hawaii State Society of Washington, DC
Oct 9-11, 2009.

Herb Ohta, Jr. and Keale are the ukulele players that we
are featuring as the ukulele instructors.

UK Ukefest

July 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th 2009
Run Cottage
Suffolk IP12 3RQ
more information available soon on

London Uke Festival And World Record Smash!!!
Calling All Uke players! All ages and abilities, 1000 Uke players in an afternoon
of entertainment with bands, food, drink, very special guests and a charity
money raising World Record attempt!!
Devonshire Square, London EC2.
contact Quincy at
20th June: Noon till 6pm,


Paris ukulele Festival
Le 4 juillet 2009 / July 4th 2009 "La Bellevilloise"

     Making beautiful music is your passion, helping you do it is ours.
This year edition will happen on July 4th with :
Kelli Rae Powell (USA)
Tim Sweeney (USA)
Elvira Bira (Sweden)

Ukulele Zaza (Belgium)

Marie Darling (France)
Patti Plinko and her Boy (UK)
Les Ukulélé Boyz (France)

Vonck and Vlam
touring from Holland to Istanbul - this summer...
Check out the Website... that's great entertainment!

WORLD MUSIC DAY at Auburn Preserve Park
from Noon to 5pm June 20th. No fee. Join us for fun: For Festival Info contact:

What: Tampa Bay Ukulele Society presents "open mic"
at New Harmony Coffee & Tea
When: August 29, 2009 2:00 PM
New Harmony Coffee & Tea
1949 Drew Street
Clearwater, FL 33765

Bill Tapia's 102nd Birthday BASH
Aloha friends,

Held in Los Angeles on December 5th from noon to 4pm
Stevens Steak House.

There will be a lot of ono food, and of
course wonderful entertainment throughout the afternoon.
Further information may be obtained at
                                                                                         German Village Music Haus

                                                                                             We Sell Ukuleles
                                                                                         expert setups for your fine
                                                                                            ukuleles and guitars.

                                                                                              350 S. Grant Avenue
 Essential Links from the World-Wide-Web                                                     Columbus, Ohio 43215

UkeTalk -                                                    Bill Foley, owner and luthier.
"Ukulele Spoken Here" is one phrase that comes to mind. It you want to talk             
ukulele or catch all the news that is news, this is a can't miss website.                          (614) 228-8467
Brudda Bu's Ukulele Heaven
If you'd like to learn the history of some of ukulele's greatest players, this site is
absolutely essential.

Ukulelia -
The World's Greatest Ukulele WebLog" Need I say more?

Ukulele Cosmos -
One of the hottest ukulele forums on the web. Don't Miss It!

Ukulele Underground
Another really popular ukulele forum, lots of Hawaiian players and folks from the
West Coast of the Mainland USA.

Flea Market Music -
This is Jumpin' Jim Beloff's website. He has lots of great resources and an
excellent forum as well. You can buy Flukes and Fleas there, too. Jim also has
lots of songbooks, DVDs, and other great stuff there.

UkeLadyMusic -
Auntie Noel runs a really great shop. Her passion is ukulele and it shows.
Contact Us: phone 214-924-0408
or email

Kiwi Ukulele
New Zealand's Ukulele Companion

Bounty Music

Bounty Music Maui
111 Hana Hwy. #105
Kahului, Maui, HI 96732
open 9 :00 to 6:00 Monday thru Saturday * Sunday 10:00 to 4:00

Phone: (808) 871-1141
Fax: (808) 871-1138                                                             
           Online Resources
comment=Website listing:

Home of Tiki King Ukuleles since 1999. lots of neat Ukulele stuff,
such as the webs largest Ukulele makers database, Custom Hand
Built Tiki King Ukuleles, and ukulele stuff to see and buy. We have
Flukes and Fleas, Ukulele Art Gallery, Ukulele classes, chord
charts, CD's and more!

Bonsai Garden Orchestra

World Music Festival "glattundverkehrt" on july 22nd .

Assorted Ukulele Picture Exposé

How High The Moon Publishing
Publisher of the Jam Book "Play Well with Other"
9826 James A. Reed Rd. Kansas City, MO 64134
816-965-0183 or 816-728-6936

Uke Farm -
Uke Farm Radio -

"GoChords™ is an easy-to-use writing and playing tool with
moveable chord tablature!"

Live 'Ukulele
Tabs, lessons, and info for 'ukulele enthusiasts