Here’s a random selection of emails I wake up to in the morning:
- What type of ukulele does Jake Shimabukuro play?
- What sort of uke is that Jake uses in While My Guitar Gently Weeps?
- Where can I buy a ukulele like Jake Shimabukuro plays?
OK, I’m exaggerating. But I get enough enquiries to make it easier just to write a post.
Shimabukuro plays a custom Kamaka tenor ukulele by Casey Kamaka. His first ukulele, at the age of 4, was a Kamaka and he’s been using them ever since.
If you want to buy one, you’re pretty much out of luck. In 2006, Kamaka made 100 Jake Shimabukuro Signature Model ukuleles. These ukes were made to Jake’s specifications and individually inspected and signed by him.
Despite a hefty price tag of $5,500, demand for them was over whelming. So much so they decided to have a raffle to determine who could buy the ukuleles. By January 2007 they were all gone. If you manage to find one for sale, expect to pay much more than the original price (at least double would be my guess).
The Nerdy Stuff
Body: Curly Koa
Bridge Ebony: Ebony
Inlays: Mother of pearl and abalone
Tuners: Gold Schaller tuning keys
Pickup: Fishman Acoustic Matrix