Since I mentioned learning to play the ukulele (and I use the term learn loosely) I thought I would share about a class I recently took for making my own ukulele. How fun it was! There were about sixty of us all gluing, sanding, varnishing. I’m thankful the ukulele came in a kit. I didn’t want to have to cut, soak my wood and try to form it. That was all done for me. But, as before, I did have glue the neck and fret board, install the keys and fretboard, add the little dots on the board. I had to do a couple of bouts of sanding with different grades of paper and get it varnished. It is a lovely mahogany which has a really nice grain. When the varnish was applied the grain came shining through. It is a standard size just perfect for a beginner.
I did already own a beautiful ukulele which was made for me by a direct descendent of our last king, King Kalakaua. The makers name was J. Kaohokalole which was the last name of King Kalakaua’s mother. With this connection, I feel a connection to the past. This ukulele is made of Mango wood, is a concert size.
I play it at church. I belong to a Hawaiian church and we have a little band…a couple of ukulele, a 12-string guitar, a bass guitar, a six string guitar and a piano. I do not have an ear for ascertaining what key everyone is playing in, but if told, I can usually keep up at times! The congregation has so much aloha they don’t chastise me for my inabilities. I am thankful and feel blessed! We fill the pews with a joyful noise.