Keech Ukulele

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The question of who invented the banjulele has long been debated. What can’t be debated is that Alvin Keech was the man who trademarked the term ‘banjulele’ and the man who popularized it. Keech was born in Hawaii and moved to England (I can’t imagine what possessed him). His instruments exploded in popularity in the 1920’s and 30’s and are still very popular with banjo uke collectors today.

On Video

Although Keech are most famed for their banjoleles, they also made wooden ukes. Here’s Matt Richards playing a rather lovely tune on his vintage Keech ukulele.

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On eBay UK


  1. Ann Keech June 15th, 2011 4:51 am

    I’ve been playing a uke since I was a kid but I’ve only just begun doing any research into the instrument although I own five! Imagine my surprise and delight in discouvering that a respected brand bears my name! I would dearly love to get my hands on a “Keech”.

  2. Peter Boothman December 6th, 2013 1:30 pm

    I have a Keech banjolele with the marking L/B 988

    Can anyone tell me what the marking indicate?


  3. graham white March 22nd, 2014 10:25 am

    i have just acquired an Alvin Keech banjulele in seemingly good condition, but no strings. I am anxious to play it…what strings should i use?
    soprano uke?
    By the way the number is B3387
    Pat.No. 219720/24
    It has wooden tuning pags.
    Can anybody tell me anything else about it’s providence?

  4. R.Scullard April 7th, 2014 9:54 pm

    For Graham White.I have just obtained a Keech Banjulele no A 4274. I has wooden pegs which work well as the strings are very light. Excellent tone and plenty of volume! I love it and will get rid of some of my other Banjoleles which I won’t use often now! Buy thin Banjolele strings, not a wire bound C string. Enjoy. R.

  5. Tony Brooks October 30th, 2015 6:11 pm

    I have a Keech Banjulelee which is signed by Alvin Keech and has a serial number B/386. I Still play it although I think I bought it around fifty years ago.I think the tone is great and prefer it to the other two I have. Its in reasonaable condition considering its age. I have never changed the skin but its had about four changes of strings.

  6. Bob Lehman April 1st, 2016 10:17 pm

    Recently purchased a “yard find” bonjolele which seems to be a Keech. Has “Keech” nameplate and signature on body. Number seems to be “GX 1 876”. Need strings and a bridge

    I am uncertain as to both its validity (is it an original Keech) and its relative worth before I move into restoring for use rather than simply display.

    Open (and appreciative) to any advice/inpu…..

  7. Bill Percival October 13th, 2017 4:56 pm

    I Have Aquired a Keech banjolele and the back is screwed down but not all the way; it has metal like tone ring just lose in the back of it at least i think that is what it is. can anyone please tell me what it is the regestration number is787513 and it has another number L/c437 it is not signed anywhere thank you

  8. carl stokes July 24th, 2019 2:58 pm

    i have just acquired A7832. a little shabby, a doer-upper. the one problem i am not sure how to solve is the string height. the neck appears to be sound to the body and it has an 1/2 inch bridge. any ideas would be a great help.

  9. Jay Thacker August 16th, 2019 3:20 pm

    I have a Banjulele (or Banjolele) that my mother received as a gift from her father probably in the early 1920’s. The number on the instrument is 688A. I would like to know to what the number and letter refer and when the approximate date of the instrument’s construction. Thank you.

  10. Adrian DELSO March 13th, 2020 7:07 pm

    I have a ‘Keech’ wooden uke, from the late 1920s, made by J E Dallas and Sons. It needs a lot of tlc, so if there’s a luthier reading this, please get in touch!

  11. Colin Lloyd May 4th, 2021 11:44 am

    A friend has shown me a find. A Keech banjolele ,All in tact with case .It is strung and tunes up OK the velum is fine the pegs are fine .He wants to know what is it’s worth and wants to sell it The Pat. no. is legible and has a four digit ser. no on the back of the neck. any one interested.

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