Monthly Archives: August 2014

2014 Utah Uke Fest

In July I had the chance to participate in the Utah Uke Fest in American Fork, Utah.  The Utah Uke Fest is the original and the best ukulele festival in Utah.  This year I was involved in the three parts of the fest.  I was a judge at the open mic contest, I did a workshop where we assembled cigar box ukuleles from kits, and I played at the evening concert.

Weeks before the day of the festival, I started building ukulele kits for my workshop.  I wanted the kits to be involved enough to present a challenge, but easy enough to complete in about 2.5 hours.

The Cigar Box Ukulele workshop sold out very quickly.  The cost of the class was to cover the cost of the supplies and parts.  We had a fun time sawing, drilling, gluing, and playing.

At the the evening concert I covered the song “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie.  I used my fanned fret electric ukulele.

Thank you M. Ryan Taylor and family for organizing this great event.  I can’t wait for 2015!

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Travel Stick Ukulele

Difficulty: Advanced

Cost: $$

It’s well documented that I like experimenting with travel ukuleles.  I modified a design from 2013 for this latest one.  The fretboard and neck/body are a single piece of maple.  The piezo pickup is connected directly to the combination output jack and strap peg.  The tuners are grover friction tuners.  It has a concert scale length (15 inches) and an overall length of under 20 inches.  This thing is perfect to keep in the car, or throw it in a backpack for camping or on campus.

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See it in action!

Soprano Telecaster Ukulele

Difficulty: Advanced

Cost: $$$

The Telecaster is a timeless classic.  This electric ukulele is a soprano size with two pickups.  The body is alder with a butterscotch blonde finish, and the neck and fretboard is maple.  A three-way switch chooses one or both pickups. It also has master volume and tone knobs.  

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I really like the look of the butterscotch blonde. I’ll definitely do this finish again on another instrument.

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See it in action!