Sunday Evening Ukulele

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Ukulele & Vino” Cedar Park, 2022

What a wonderful way to spend Sunday evening: sipping a glass of wine and practicing ukulele. ☺️

I’ve started in on a new song today. It’s a very simplified version of “海の見える街 / A Town with an Ocean View”. I figured I should learn something from one of my favorite movies!

My New Ukulele

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec, ISO320
“Kala Surf Swell” Cedar Park, 2022

While looking at ukuleles online, as I often do, I came across a really cool design. It’s a concert-sized ukulele from Kala, called the “Surf Swell” (Model: KA-SURF-SWELL) and it was basically a love-at-first-sight situation. 🥹❤️

I have another Kala concert ukulele, and they are both exactly the same shape. However, the Surf Swell is made of different material, and has different tuners and tuning knobs. It’s got a really retro vibe to it.

Another difference between my two concert ukuleles is that the old one has fluorocarbon strings for a more “modern” sound, but the new ukulele has the nylon strings for a classic ukulele sound. I love both!

But why do I need another ukulele? (I already have 3) Well, I have come to love the concert-size as my ukulele of choice, and the one I had was strung with a low-G. Therefore, I couldn’t play a couple of songs that require the standard G and access to the higher frets that a soprano-size cannot provide. So instead of having two soprano-sized ukuleles (one low-G and one high-G), I am going to go with two concert-sized ukuleles, and probably sell my soprano with the low-G, and keep the pineapple ukulele.

I hope you had a nice day! またね〜

Practicing Ukulele

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/5, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“Practicing Ukulele” Cedar Park, 2022

I’m enjoying practicing a couple of new songs from my Studio Ghibli ukulele book: Princess Mononoke Theme and The Legend of Ashitaka. I figured the themes of the two stars of Mononoke Hime would be fun to learn. Plus I think they are really cool songs!

With my morning Twitch livestreams, I often will practice ukulele on my 10-minute breaks, and just this small bit of consistency has made a noticeable difference in my playing. It’s like a little bit of magic! Who knew practice would improve my ukulele playing? 😜

Low G for the Kala Concert Ukulele

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO640
“Low G” Cedar Park, 2022

I’ve started learning a new song on the ukulele which requires reaching the 13th fret, which my soprano ukuleles do not have. But that’s fine because I have a Kala concert ukulele which I am enjoying playing the most these days. However, the song arrangement works with a low-G (one octave lower than the standard G), so I had to buy a single string to change it. I’m all set now!

Of course, the only problem is what to do when I need that 13th fret for the song I know that requires a standard-G? Perhaps a new concert-sized ukulele? 😄

Anyways, the new song I am working on is “Loyal Brave True” from the movie Mulan. I think it’s a great song, and sounds nice on ukulele. The coolest part (and most fun to play) is when the word “loyal” is sung. I love it!

New Ukulele Strings

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Martin Ukulele Strings” Cedar Park, 2021

I got some new strings for my concert ukulele and they sound fabulous! I don’t have a very discerning ear, but I can tell that these Martin M600 fluorocarbon strings are a bit brighter than the Aquila strings that came with the ukulele originally. For only about US$6, it doesn’t cost much to give new strings a try, so why not? And these are sort of clear which makes my ukulele collection a little more varied. Fun fun fun!