Funstuff: Ukulele Gallery

I haven’t given much space here to praise of the ukulele, though it’s made an appearance a couple of times. It’s time to give it a moment on stage. It’s time to say, you really cannot feel too bad, no matter how far Down the Dow goes, how deep the winter, how dark the dawn, if you can make some music. And the little ukulele is humble enough to go with you anywhere, sweet enough to please you even if you’re not so great at it, capable enough that if you want it to, it can make lots and lots of music. You just cannot hold a ukulele and feel glum anymore.

I’m not the only one who thinks so. (Click any of these images to make them bigger.)

Some uke players are stylish:

Some are formal:

This is a banjo ukulele. The other instrument is, I think, a mandolin.

Some are shy:

Some are bold:

Some uke players start young:

Some keep on playing til they’re old:

From time to time a person just has to kick on back and feel good.

Published in: on October 23, 2008 at 6:57 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey, Susan,

    Now is a banjo ukulele different from a regular banjo, or is that just a longer name for the same instrument? I had a banjo once…just couldn’t master it, too many strings, too short fingers. I have a mountain dulcimer that works very well for me, any idiot can play a mountain dulcimer!

    Yes, the banjo uke is a ukulele in a banjo body. It’s a 4-string instrument tuned the same as a uke: GCEA (“My dog has fleas.”) or, in the 1920s and ’30s when the li’l uke needed a bigger voice to get on stage in the age before amplification, a step higher to ADF#B. The banjo uke (they were called “banjuleles” when they first appeared in the 1920’s)plays just like the regular ukulele. It’s voice is different, though. It has that twangy banjo sound and plenty of volume.

  2. Hi Susan,

    Those are some great photographs. I prefer the sound of the National Steel ukulele to the banjo uke, it is mellower but with a little more volume than a wooden uke. All in all though you can’t beat a good mahogany uke. Are you a player?


    Of course I play! Who else would describe the uke in such glowing terms, except a player? That was me at the bottom of the post, with the banjo uke. I’d enjoy strumming a National, but I don’t think it’s in my budget to experiment with one.

  3. I’m in a uke-abilly/retro pop/rock n roll duo called Mad Tea Party out of Asheville, NC. I am am glamorously whimsical, yet edgy, ukulele player.

    – Ami

    Hi, Ami — Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hi Susan,

    There are some good reso ukes about, the Republic is a bargin and not at all bad. You may be interested in some songbooks I put together for my uke club Taunton Ukulele Strummers Club. They can be downloaded (Free) from

    just click on the songbooks page.


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