Sunday, 15 April 2012
If I Could Design my Own Ukulele.....
There was a thread on the Ukulele Underground Forum the other day, along the lines of "What would your dream ukulele be like?" As I'm on the look-out for a new, pretty, excellent-sounding ukulele it set me thinking. I've drooled over the beautiful custom-built ukuleles made by luthiers - works of art in wood, they are, and some are highly decorated with various inlays. If money were no object, what would I commission for myself? Would it be an instrument built of solid koa, with a rosette of abalone and inlays of turquoise? With binding down the sides of the finger-board?
I went to sleep last night dreaming up my perfect ukulele! And here it is - or would be - in my dreams!
It would have to sound sweet and loud.
It would be a long-neck soprano, or a concert, traditional figure-eight shape, round sound hole - built with woods with a beautiful grain, ideally but not essentially grown in the UK, ideally recycled from some beautiful but unwanted furniture. (We're talking Dream Ukulele here!)
Binding on the body not necessary, but a beautiful rosette - not rope pattern. That's for guitars, in my book. The rosette could be inlays of other woods, perhaps with a little mother-of-pearl, but not necessarily. The finish on the body would be satin - not matt, not glossy. Just look well-polished. French-polished, most likely.
No binding on the finger-board but there would be inlaid markers, perhaps tiny flowers like pimpernels at spaces 5, 7, 10, and 12.
The headstock would be solid, shaped nicely at the top in keeping with the traditional look of the whole instrument, with good friction tuners and dark buttons.
There would be a "green man" inlaid or somehow fashioned onto the headstock. The whole instrument would breathe "wildwood", integrity, and would ooze craftsmanship and quality. And beg to be played.
Ah me - that's my daydream for today!