10 Reasons You NEED to Buy a New Ukulele

I’m currently trying to convince myself that buying another ukulele wouldn’t be a huge waste of money. There are far too many people in the world that can’t understand the need for one more ukulele. So here’s a list of reason you can trot out whenever you need to justify another uke purchase to yourself, your spouse, your parents or your debt counselor.

1. Size: Sopranino, Soprano, Concert, Super-Concert, Tenor, Super-Tenor, Baritone.
Tuning: C, D, Low-G, Low-A, Slack Key.
Construction: Mahogany, Koa, Banjolele, Resonator, Electric, Plastic, Sapele, Mango, Spruce, Cedar
Strings: 4, 6, 8.

That’s 1,050 combinations (koa concert ukulele etc). Bare minimum.

2. The value of the dollar is falling like a drunken gymnast. Buying a ukulele from Hawaii is basically currency arbitrage. Technically, I’d be making money (this one doesn’t work if you live in the US).

3. In the age of mass production and synthetic materials, it’s our duty to support skilled craftsman working with wood.

4. I have a tie that would go perfectly with that uke.

5. The strings on this uke need changing, and I really can’t be bothered.

6. A new ukulele will expand my sonic palette and inspire me to previously impossible artistic achievements. Buy a ukulele that isn’t at least twice as expensive as all my current ukes put together is a false economy.

7. I have a spare humidifier.

8. MGM is offering free international shipping on that one.

9. I need to buy one now to avoid getting caught in the Christmas rush.

10. The kids can go without school shoes. It’ll toughen them up.

We need all the help we can get. So add your reasons/excuses here.

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44 Comments

  1. todd August 13th, 2008 6:14 pm

    How bout’

    these other four ukes I have are great……but to quote Bono, “i still haven’t found what I’m looking for?” :)

    or

    hey, I’m not drinking or drugging or hurting anybody?

    or

    to spin off of the Jeep quote, “it’s a uke thing, you wouldn’t understand.” (I wonder what sort of reaction this would incite?)

    I suppose we could keep going…..your initial list is brillian though…

    I’ve got a 1920’s slingerland banjo-uke on the way…..and now I can’t help thinking about how cool just traditional mahogany martin-style sopranos are…..of course I never did pick up that lava-soprano uke i wanted…..somebody help me :)

  2. Carol (Uke Gal) August 13th, 2008 6:45 pm

    all very creative and funny! I will have to try them on my family who have forbidden me to get any more (I have 5, all filling various niches!)

    Don’t forget the obvious: “you don’t understand, EVERYONE ELSE is doing it!” (I know someone with 43!)

  3. Heather August 13th, 2008 6:59 pm

    I just bought a Dresden Dolls uke.

    My justifications:

    It supports one of my fave bands

    It supports whomever painted the thing

    I have to have a shiny new one for my next performance (Sept. 11th, Edmonton, Canada, Liquid Lounge)

    Here she be: http://www.postwartrade.com/products/ukelele

  4. Minamin August 13th, 2008 8:00 pm

    When you add in pineapple shapes, the total jumps to 2100! I think. Possibly. Either way I have some catching up to do.

    Also, no one else would appreciate a sopranino, an old Nunes, an Akulele, or a plastic Lisa like I would. I can’t let some undeserving jerk get his hand on these gems only to neglect them!

    Plus, owning more ukes will prevent me from getting a charango and starting a new obsession.

  5. LonnaB August 13th, 2008 9:43 pm

    I think there should be one ukulele for every room in the house.

    Two for the kitchen and bathrooms, just in case I should become tempted to do any cooking or cleaning.

  6. Emily August 13th, 2008 10:15 pm

    The more ukes I have the more I’ll play.
    The more I play the less you’ll be forced into watching Doctor Who with me.

    (Yes, that one was meant for someone specific.)

    Also, ’cause I’m a big girl and can spend my hard earned money on whatever I want.

    And I use my uke skills in the workplace so the more I play, the better I’ll become and the more likely the kiddies will have a good time.

  7. Cardboardfrog August 13th, 2008 10:55 pm

    because its results day in 12 hours and i need cheering up/ to celebrate

  8. zym August 14th, 2008 12:58 am

    Heres the 10 ive been trying out on Mrs Zym…

    1) Id only spend the money on booze

    2) Its important that the baby learns about music

    3) Gary said he’d let me join his band if i get one with a pickup

    4) It will make me feel like im a giant playing a guitar

    5) I can fit a alot of ukuleles in the same amount of space your piano takes up

    6) Its not for me, its for a review on ukehunt

    6) Its for my dad for fathers day.
    (BTW, He still hasnt got it yet because…. **Im waiting for the strings to settle down** )

    7) Im working on a “one in, one out policy” (see point 6)

    8) Its cheaper than a motorbike

    9) Ive only got 4!!

    10) Ive heard theres going to shortage and we could sell them on ebay

  9. Ian August 14th, 2008 3:39 am

    Hey… about the dropping dollar… we made an… umm… what was it… something like .13% gain on the pound in the last week!

    Amazing, I know. Sadly, it made headlines…. well, not exactly headlines, but there was an article about it in the dallas morning news…

    Yeah, it’s pitiful, at the moment.

    Nice list, by the way!

  10. Tony August 14th, 2008 5:42 am

    - My ukuleles need to learn about diversity.
    – By not buying a guitar, I’m preserving trees.
    – By using natural wood, I’m promoting the summery-weather caused by global warming.
    – Two words: ukulele party.
    – Ukuleles are an endangered species – we need to do all we can to protect them.
    – I smashed my last one trying to be Pete Townshend.
    – Every time you buy a ukulele, an angel gets its wings.

  11. todd August 14th, 2008 5:54 am

    i’m so glad that I’m not alone with my UAS

  12. amber August 14th, 2008 7:34 am

    I would appreciate that old Le Domino more than anyone else would. I don’t want a beauty like that going to someone who wont worship it.

    Quick, someone email this list to my boyfriend and tell him that rent isn’t all that important.

  13. Olly August 14th, 2008 11:55 am

    “I’m going back to university in september and if i get a nice sexy uke, I can go busking for beer money, erm, i mean tuition fees…”

  14. Marlon August 14th, 2008 12:59 pm

    This list may be useful… The other day I told my dad I was going to the Duke of Uke to get an idea of what I could get for my birthday/christmas and he said “You should get a case for your concert. You don’t need any more instruments.” Yet clearly I do, because this time I’d like something that’s not a Mahalo. Also, it’s my birthday.
    Sigh, guitarists…

  15. Cardboardfrog August 14th, 2008 1:22 pm

    i’m going to try and start a ukulele group at uni and i need spares for newbies ^^,

  16. LonnaB August 14th, 2008 3:16 pm

    I need at least one ukulele for every guitar playing friend I have, just in case they all come over at the same time.

    I also feel like I need at least eight ukuleles to play the eight different national anthems Woodshed was nice enough to tab out for us. It’s only respectful that each country should have its own unique ukulele sound, right?

    Also, I wonder how often I need to use my e-bay account for it to stay open? I would hate to have to change my password or anything like that.

    I am positive that every time the UPS guy delivers a ukulele shaped box to my house, it makes him happy, too. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for him becoming depressed.

    Since I started playing the ukulele, I’ve gotten a new one every year. I think because my parents obviously should have started me on the ukulele when I was a small child, they should pony up and buy me a ukulele for every year they deprived me of my passion. I’m gonna call that about 25 ukuleles.

  17. kim August 14th, 2008 3:54 pm

    IS there an addiction group for this? I just bought my first one in May for a costume party, already have one Kala Mango Tenor, red soprano Makala, Kala Turquiose concert ( had to buy that one quick as they are a year out on production…that’s a good excuse…right?) pink Kala concert ( wanted the bubble gum pink soprano but they are also a year back order) Mango flea, Kala Kiwi pineapple
    I mean I can barely play the things but they are just so darn cute!
    Then of course for XMAS I want a really NICE koa

  18. happytraveller August 14th, 2008 6:31 pm

    My youngest grandson wanted my old uke when I recently got a new one. So in order to keep it, and at the same time, have the pleasure of purchasing yet another one, I have purchased one for him. However, now I can’t bear the thought that I’ve bought another uke which isn’t for me….. and I do need another, because the one I recently bought wasn’t the one I really wanted. So will order a new one now, and tell the family it’s my Christmas present to myself. And will fund it with the money I make from busking, which was intended to pay for their Christmas presents.. soooooh. they can just make do with a comb and some tissue paper and some lentils inside an old yogurt pot. And do I even care?

  19. Woodshed August 14th, 2008 10:32 pm

    Blimey, thanks for all the comments. I see I’m not the only person to have given this subject some thought.

    todd: I’ve got a Slingerland on my list as well. But it’s a long list.

    Carol: Five is a dangerously low amount.

    Heather: Thanks for the link. That’s a fine uke.

    Minamin: I can’t believe I missed out pineapples.

    LonnaB: It’s definitely best not to take that sort of risk with your eBay account. And it’s best to have regular purchases to keep your feedback rating up.

    Emily: Not having to watch Dr Who is well worth the price of a uke.

    Cardboardfrog: How did the results go? And good luck with the uni uke club.

    zym: Number 5 is a good one. And ‘Im waiting for the strings to settle down’.

    Ian: Ssssshhh! You’re supposed to be helping ;)

    Tony: Ukulele party, you definitely have to be prepared for that eventuality.

    amber: I know how you feel. I hate watching lovely ukes get tortured on YouTube.

    Olly: You definitely need a spare if you go busking. If you break a string and have to replace it, that’s valuable time lost. And time is money.

    Marlon: Tsk. Guitarists. You have to pity them really.

    kim: There is a group, but I can’t for the life of me find the address. If you’re doodling ukes, you definitely need help.

    happytraveller: Kids don’t have the necessary life experience to appreciate the ukes as much as you do anyway.

  20. Woodshed August 14th, 2008 10:43 pm

    kim: Found it.

  21. Bill August 14th, 2008 11:04 pm

    Kim asked: “IS there an addiction group for this?”

    Well, there is Ukuholics Anonymous, but I’m not sure how serious they are given that they require members to have a different ukulele for each of the 12 steps.

  22. chrispix August 14th, 2008 11:08 pm

    I need one for the office

  23. zym August 15th, 2008 12:02 am

    haha

    I need one for the office too :D

  24. pam August 15th, 2008 12:23 am

    Because I’m still kicking myself for not buying that one in Kauai, dammit. If I don’t buy THIS one, I will experience a life time of regret. Do you want me to experience a lifetime of regret? DO YOU?!

    Because, like shoes, you need the right one for each outfit.

    Because I wore the old one out.

    Because ukuleles are the way to salvation.

    Oh, yeah? What about all your Star Wars figurines?!?!

  25. pam August 15th, 2008 12:25 am

    Also, sorry, but I am laughing at the idea of “dangerously low ukulele levels.”

    “Nurse! Ukulele! STAT!”

  26. gentry August 15th, 2008 3:23 pm

    i played it too fast and the strings melted all over the darn thing and i dont have time to scrape it off till next week

  27. Howlin' Hobbit August 16th, 2008 5:16 pm

    5 ukes is dangerously low?

    Hmmm… I’ve just gone up to five (ok, the banjo uke still needs fixing) and I thought I was getting up to nearly too many.

    Now look what you’ve gone and done.

  28. Woodshed August 16th, 2008 7:31 pm

    Bill: I’m glad to hear that. Anyone trying to restrict the supply of ukuleles is truly evil.

    chrispix and zym: You need one for each person in the office.

    pam: You’re right about the regret one. I’ve lost count of the number ukes I’ve seen come and go on eBay and wished I’d dived in on.

    gentry: :)) Nice one.

    Hobbit: I think our reward for playing a small, relatively inexpensive instrument is a vast collection.

  29. Rob August 17th, 2008 12:32 am

    Everytime I commit to purchase another uke I kid myself with the false notion that this will be the last .Once I get this one in my hands I’ll have no need for another.I will be truly satisfied.Sadly ,this feeling dosen’t last very long.Sooner or later ,another uke catches my eye and develops into an intense desire to possess.I Make all the excuses stated size,style, wood,collectibility.I really think I’m addicted to the ukulele.Is there a cure?

  30. Mark August 17th, 2008 6:22 am

    I just told my wife the other day that I have a feeling that another Uke is in need of being adopted by me! I said that it is better than adopting another dog because it is doesn’t need to be taken outside, it is generally quiet and it doesn’t hog the bed! I too, have a problem. I just bought a Risa Uke Stick Soprano, and I am already looking at a Bushman! So far I have a Kala KA-S, an Aero Uke, a Risa Uke Stick and a kit that I built myself. That doesn’t include the six string acoustic guitar! And I love all of them equally! :-)

  31. Woodshed August 17th, 2008 6:39 pm

    Rob: I’m like that with girls.

    Mark: …and then there’s the smell.

  32. Rob August 18th, 2008 1:55 pm

    Woodshed,As was I.It makes sense.There both really fun to play with.

  33. Dinsy November 18th, 2008 9:46 pm

    Well I have a good reason… my current ukulele I bought as a joke and paid £10 for (£5 cheaper as it was pink in colour)… and it’s made by chiness slave children (or other words ashton).

    Now this is all fine other than the first fret and anything past the ninth don’t make any sound other than a dull “twang”. Also the metal (or metalic finished plastic) frets have developed a habbit of falling out. And it keeps it’s tuning as if it lives next to a patio heater. Not too mention the white dot’s on the neck (what they called again?) turned out to be stickers and fell off, in the end i resorted to using my trusty chalk pen to draw them on (which also falls, as the slightest amount of water wipes it clean).

    Besides all that, I love my Ukulele (enough to custom paint hellokitty on the back, and buy a pack of 3D clover stickers). I’m glad I bought it still, as I now play the uke seriousally (but still for fun) and am getting myself a nice looking Westfeild which is currentally in the post to me.

    P.S. so far I only own two uke’s and they are both the same, only one is pink with hello kitty design and the other i painting in blackboard paint to use with my chalk-pen. So, plus my new uke that gives me the not-so-grand total of one uke and two halves.

  34. zym November 19th, 2008 12:54 am

    Dinsy,

    ive been thinking of ‘customising’ a uke – blackboard paint sounds like a fine idea :)

  35. Woodshed November 19th, 2008 6:44 pm

    Dinsy: Yikes, remind me not to buy an Ashton. I hope the Westfield turns out to be better.

  36. moocher December 4th, 2008 2:34 pm

    Dinsy, how was the Westfield? They look like rebadged Ohanas to me.

  37. Dinsy December 21st, 2008 1:41 pm

    It was, how to put it? Worth more than it costed… being solid mahogany. Biggest problem is the current strings, they “are” razor blades! I cut myself on them despite playing guitar for over ten years.

    But over all it gives a crisp clean sound, I haven’t had it long mind, and because of the price I am sort of expecting it to turn into dust any second. Not that I’ve found any reason for it to do so.

    Oh well, that’s about the least clear describition I could come up with, you’ll just have to have a look for your self.

    http://www.peterboroughmusicltd.com/westfield-tenor-ukulele.ir?cName=other-stringed-instruments

    I’m sorry I couldn’t explain better…

  38. Woodshed December 22nd, 2008 8:00 pm

    Thanks very much for the write-up, Dinsy.

  39. Rohan June 15th, 2009 12:46 am

    Hey Dinsy
    I was thinking of repainting my mahalo flying v ukulele and i was wondering how you did it because i really don’t want to screw it up

  40. Jakub July 19th, 2009 3:20 pm

    I think we should see other ukes.

  41. Will November 8th, 2012 8:52 am

    Hell I thought I was doing well. I picked up my first ukulele on May 1st 2012 and now own four, one is a cigar box I made.

    And then I met a fellow named Terry at BUMS (Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society, Australia) and he owns SIXTEEN!!!!

    Talk about UAS.

    Keep strumming.

    Will

  42. Woodshed November 8th, 2012 11:28 am

    Will: Sixteen is getting to be a problem. Stage an intervention before it’s too late!

  43. oscar November 8th, 2012 11:42 pm

    i have a corner of my room where the dust has nothing to settle onto

  44. Woodshed November 9th, 2012 9:59 am

    oscar: Hahaha! I wish I could use that one. All my corners are full of crap already.

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