TABU: Ukulele Window Shopping

It’s quite common to see ukes like this vintage Hawaiian ukulele being referred to as, “TABU ukuleles.” Which is understandable given that it’s often the only mark on the ukulele. But it’s actually a trade-mark for ukuleles made for ukuleles in Hawaii. It was instituted (according to The ‘Ukulele: A History) in 1916 after the Hawaiian makers got pissed that mainlanders were making shoddy ukes, giving them a Hawaiian name and passing them off as the real deal. Thank God that doesn’t go on anymore.

Two magnificent – and exceptionally pricey – Martins: 60s Martin 3K, 30s Martin 5K.

KoAloha Gambalele – with its slightly controversial use of the Japanese rising sun flag.

Balalaika style ukulele

For all the people that have asked me if it’s okay to put steel strings on a uke, here’s one you can: Kamoa steel string electric.

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  1. Jimmy July 12th, 2012 9:13 pm

    I’ve been playing more guitar than uke recently D:
    Will I ever be forgiven?

  2. Jimmy July 12th, 2012 9:14 pm

    btw, I really want that electric, If only I were rich…

  3. Woodshed July 12th, 2012 10:46 pm

    Jimmy: Sure! I play a fair amount of guitar.

  4. morgan monroe July 14th, 2012 7:11 pm

    What are the true hawaiian ukes?

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