Martin Ukulele History: Friday Links

Chris Martin discusses the history of Martin ukuleles. Some fascinating stuff in there – like the iterations they had to go through when moving from guitars to ukuleles.

Bossarocker is looking for some tunes for her triumphant return to the Uke Hunt podcast. If you’ve got any (original) songs you’d like to submit you can find out how on this page.

Jim D’Ville discusses practicing with loops.

Guitarkadia points up a TED Talk with 5 tips for listening better.

The Irish Times covers the ukulele ahead of this weekend’s Ukulele Hooley festival. And informs us that Wilco (???) have given the ukulele a ‘hipster sheen’. Good to know.

Tune-Yards chats and plays with Sound Opinions on WBEZ (via sanfordandsong). And Jake Shimabukuro chats and plays for Rolling Stone.

Coverville has its second ukulele cover mix.

Lots of very stiff competition, but this is officially the worst ukulele-featuring advert. Previous leader: Al ‘Off of Happy Days’ Molinaro in a grass skirt. If you’ve got your own (least) favourite, leave a link in the comments.

View Comments


  1. George August 19th, 2011 2:37 pm


  2. Jim T. August 19th, 2011 7:00 pm

    Tom Walsh of the Ukulele Hall of Fame is working on a definitive history of Martin ‘ukuleles, a project he began in partnership with the late John King. They had full access to the Martin archives, and the bits I’ve seen are as impressive and fascinating as you would expect.

  3. RobNY August 20th, 2011 2:49 am

    I can’t take the ukulele ookulele thing.if your not Hawaiian you sound like a pretentious Hipster.Hawaiian or not ,pick one and stick with it.Grates on me even more when one flip flops between the two. Sorry for the petty rant.

  4. Ron Hale August 20th, 2011 3:08 am

    Cute ad, Al. Do you count the Hitachi song contest videos as ads?

    The day my little green fruit uke develops a ‘hipster sheen’
    is the day I break it over my cat’s head. Rather have a uke with a ‘Charlie Sheen’.

    “Say No To Ukulele Playing Hipsters” has a presence on Facebook. It’s been discussed on the UU forum.

    From “The hipsters are buying out all of the ukuleles. They are ‘playing’ them everywhere; the diners, the subway, the coffee shops. It MUST stop!” Amen and hallelujah, sisters and brothers…

    Take the ukulele away from the hipsters and give it back to its rightful owners – the geeks.

  5. Woodshed August 20th, 2011 7:13 am

    George: I’m pretty sure no one cares.

    Jim: Another book to look forward to.

    Rob: Yeah, that’s my reaction to it as well. Same thing when people put on an Italian accent when they order in an Italian restaurant.

    Ron: Why do hipsters always get such a bad rap? They’re not hurting anyone (except maybe themselves).

  6. Spike Gomes August 22nd, 2011 1:40 am

    Why do hipsters get a bad rap?

    Because they’re like Juggalos, if Juggalos were spoiled upper-middle class rich kids and had a completely unwarranted sense of self-importance.

    Also, Juggalos know that they’re clowns. Hipsters don’t.

  7. Woodshed August 22nd, 2011 4:06 pm

    Spike: Still don’t see what harm they’re doing.

  8. Spike Gomes August 22nd, 2011 8:21 pm

    A person singing out loud with his CD player on a crowded public bus or train does no harm either. It doesn’t mean he’s not an annoying self-absorbed twit. There are lots of annoying people who do no harm. Hipsters are annoying people, only they think they’re being Diogenes by being annoying and full of themselves. You might say “Hey, why don’t you just ignore them if they annoy you?” Well, I feel it’s a mitzvah to say when the emperor has no clothes, or in this case, when the children of the emperors requisition common culture for their own asinine purposes.

  9. carreg wastad August 26th, 2011 7:59 am

    what’s a hipster? i thought they were trousers.
    what’s a jugaloo? is it australian?

    hipsters are very annoying as they have a tendency to fall down. I’m not sure about the jugaloos though.

  10. Woodshed August 26th, 2011 11:01 pm

    carreg: I believe a juggalo is a fan of the Insane Clown Posse. I’m sure some of them are Austrailan. Still not sure what a hipster is.

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