Tonight I replaced the strings that came with my Kala Pineapple Ukulele with some Aquila New Nylgut strings. The original strings were supposedly the “Super Nylgut”, but who knows? So I decided to go ahead and try the other strings. They sound great, but I honestly don’t know if they make that much of a difference. They do seem a little firmer, louder, but squeaky. I think the squeak will go away after they pick up some oils from my fingers, but I do like the overall sound. And knowing that they are, in fact, Aquila strings make me feel good too.
Tonight I did a little watercolor of my pineapple ukulele. And by little, I mean A5 size. You see, since I switched to the A5-sized binder, I’ve been waiting for the special Carl 20-hole punch to arrive so that I can add any kind of paper to the binder without using tape or glue. I am excited to be able to add watercolor paper at A5 size, or actually any size A5 or smaller.
So tonight I created this on a hand-cut piece of watercolor paper, then used the new hole-punch, and added it to the binder. I think it is going to work out nicely!
I’ve been practicing ukulele quite a bit lately, but my fretting wrist hurts a lot. I think it’s a combination of two things. First, my wrist when I play ukulele is at an awkward angle and thus causing unnecessary strain on my muscles and other connective bits (tendons?). Secondly, the watchband that I switched to a couple of months ago may have been too tight and restricted movement. It’s odd, but because the watchband is so comfortable I don’t realize that I’ve been wearing it too tightly.
But I really need to work on holding the ukulele in the correct position, with wrist straight and bending my fingertips more. When I use this technique, there’s no pain, but once I go back to bending my wrist a lot, I can feel it hurting.
Anyways, I’ve been learning City of Stars from LA LA LAND, and also Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny. They are both really fun! And I’ve been recording my practices on my phone, but the quality is pretty bad… both my playing and the video. But it’s a fun experience.
Today I received a new ukulele as an early birthday present (the one on the right in the above photo). It’s another soprano ukulele by Kala, just like my pineapple ukulele. Why did I get the same size instrument? Well, I want to put a low-g ukulele string on the new one so I can play a couple of songs that require it in the arrangement. I have a concert-size ukulele that is strung with a low-g, but I really love the soprano size. And I am impressed by the quality and value of my Kala pineapple ukulele, so I decided to get the same brand.
Although the new KAA-15S Kala ukulele is the same size as my old one and uses the same type of Aquila strings, it sounds a lot different – deeper and more resonant. But we’ll see how it sounds after I change out the string when it arrives separately.
As far as looks go, I definitely prefer the pineapple shape, and the color is nicer to my eye. And the cream-colored binding on the edge is beautiful. The new Kala is a dark mahogany with no special binding, but it does have a fancy etched rosette (which I am not too fond of). It still looks nice, but not particularly special to me. Maybe it will grow on me in time. 🤔
I’ve tried videoing a couple practice sessions and it is so hard to get a good take! When the camera is on, everything changes… 🤣 Anyways, I’ll post a couple to my YouTube channel when I am happy with them. But it seems like a good experience to try to play while the camera is on. It’s a strange kind of “no-pressure” pressure situation if that makes any sense.