If I keep taking deep breaths and panting, perhaps it'll go away, I don't NEED another ukulele. My little Samich Indonesian-built Greg Bennett UK50 is a sweetie.... lovely intonation, a warm pleasing sound, especially since I put Aquila "new nylgut" strings on. Low action... why would I want another wooden uke?
I've been to slow to realise that guitars, ukuleles and banjos produce different sorts and qualities of sound "timbres" - watching a concert, I'd be mystified, why a guitarist had two or three different instruments on stage with him - "What's wrong with just one?" I'd think. George Harrison always had his Gretsch, Paul McCartney his Hofner bass.....but now I know. A whole new world of sound has opened up to me, and I realise a Stratocaster does not sound like - well - anything else. And if a musician wants a particular guitar sound, they have a guitar to suit.
I have come to realise that all ukuleles do not sound the same... yes, dear reader, I was slow there. Of course, until recently I had only ever played the one - and I have no complaints about it, it's a great little ukulele, I know that for the price, it's particularly good quality. The trouble is, I went into a music shop a few months ago and picked up a couple of ukes - and heard a difference. So now I have an itch - to get a ukulele that's better. That's prettier, with a sound that's somehow superior.
So the research has started. Trip number one to a music shop, to explore the wonderful world of ukulele.
I think I played every concert and tenor size in the shop, and played them against my own ukulele, to compare. I had a blast. I'll return to that.
Now I'm not looking for a top-of-the-range ukulele - just the next step up, within a limited budget. The thing is I think I have been Tango'd...... in the UK there was a TV advert a few years ago for Tango, a fizzy, soft orange drink - so fizzy and full of flavour, (allegedly), that when you tasted it you got zapped - or "Tango'd" - and the bright orange bursts exploded all over the screen.
Well, there was a Tanglewood concert ukulele in their exotic wood range, in "mango" - or, according to the Tanglewood website, lacewood. And it is very bright - not actually what I had in mind - quite "orange" with a very unusual pattern in the grain. But the sound is beautiful. I find that the very bright sound of a spruce-top ukulele does not appeal; my little Greg Bennett is mahogany, with a voice at the opposite end of the spectrum to spruce - warm and full. I don't have the technical vocabulary to accurately describe the difference in the sound of the Tanglewood lacewood to my UK50 mahogany; I can only say that it is better - hence the higher price tag. (Still very moderate.) Perhaps it's that the Tanglewood has more definition and a more bell-like voice - rather like the difference between a bel-canto tenor, like Paverotti and any other tenor singer.
But it is beautiful, and I have the itch to possess it.
Here it is - the Tanglewood TU7 XM Lacewood concert ukulele
Deep breaths girl - and the itch will go away.