One of the greatest aspects of living in a small community is .... well ...... living in a small community. Telegraph Point is tiny, but has a vibrant community culture.
Apart from Book Group, our own local library, Singing Group, community dinners and BBQ's, fitness group, and pub karaoke, there is the Wednesday night Ukulele Group.
A more zany bunch of pluckers, you are unlikely to meet - from diverse backgrounds, but with a passion for that oxymoron - Ukulele Music.
My stupid camera has a flash delay - that's why everyone looks like a deer in the headlights - but you get the idea. Of course - the empty wine glasses might also account for that.
One of our inspirations is The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - Oh that we might emulate them one day!
Their rendition of the old Talking Heads song Psycho Killer is mind-blowingly great. It is one song that we love murdering whenever we can.
Ukes come in all shapes and sizes, the most common, in our group anyway, are the tenor sized ukes. That little maroon one (above) is a soprano - and I play a concert.
Here is my concert ukulele - a Kanani - beside the LOML's Lanikai which is a tenor. The body of the tenor is longer and deeper, and it has a longer neck.
Building a Ukulele
Tonewoods are something that have taken my interest since I decided to build a Ukulele. Now this is totally new woodworking territory for me, so I am in the process of researching methods and materials. I think that I will build a tenor ukulele, as it is the largest with standard uke stringing.
There is a larger baritone uke, but it requires different chord sets, and that may be a bridge and nut too far at this stage.
My Kanani is made of solid Koa - both body and soundboard, and the Lanikai has a spruce soundboard and mahogany body. Both have rosewood fret-boards.
The roundup of materials will now begin. I have some African blackwood that will make a good fretboard, and I am going to try western red cedar as the soundboard.
This western red cedar came from panels from my brother in law's kitchen demolition. Under the paint was some lovely straight grain.
Other ukulele soundboard tonewood timbers that I have a little of, and am considering, are:
- huon pine
- black heart sassafras
- Australian cedar
- Queensland maple
- Tasmanian myrtle
I am still mulling over timber for the body, but am thinking maybe blackwood...... hmmmm ...
This task will take some time I think.
In the meantime, here is the song that I took to Uke group last night ..... a blast from the past ..........
Let's just say that - while I love it, ......... ...............
.....................................................it is growing on the others ....................
Happy uke-ing .....
.... and happy woodworking to all ...............