The ukulele often gets lumbered with the ‘novelty instrument’ tag. Obviously unfair. But there are some ukuleles that are asking for it.
There have been quite a few trends in ukuleles of dubious usefulness (cutaways, slotted headstocks, oddly-placed soundholes), but these five stick in my mind.
Feel free to leave your nominations in the comments. (By the by, anyone who thinks me calling these ridiculous means I don’t want them obviously doesn’t know me very well.)
1. Ukuleles Goldilocks Wouldn’t Play
Once upon a time there were only soprano ukuleles – not too big, not too small, just right. Then came concerts, tenors and baritones. Then in-betweeny sizes like super-soprano. Now the trend seems to be towards smaller ukuleles. With Kala’s pocket uke and now the even smaller Tangi (with Will Grove White and Ian Emmerson having a decent stab of getting a tune from it).
Tangi are also taking things in the other direction with this 6 foot 5 ukulele (that’s a Coke can in the picture for scale).
2. Ukuleles Shaped Like Weird Crap
Some of the less imaginative companies may have made ukuleles shaped like Flying Vs or Warhammer battles axes. But Celentano Woodworks really set things going with Pac-man, cupcake and rock-em, sock-em robot ukuleles.
3. Double Neck Ukuleles
I’m hoping someone is going to turn this trend up to 11.
4. Metal Platted Ukuleles
A ukulele entirely entirely coated in copper? Sure, why not? (Thanks to Phredd.)
Tailpieces are those bits that hold the strings to the body in high-tension instruments like banjo and mandolins. So I’m not too sure why they crop up on ukuleles like this Collings UT and this thing (other than looking pretty cool).
On the more traditional ‘Window Shopping’ post front, some photos: Girls with Ukulele, railroad boy and girl, six sailors.