Category Archives: Reviews

Namuai Cedar Ukulele Review

This is the NUC-900A model from Namuai Ukulele. It’s a concert ukulele made with cedar and mahogany.  Check out how it sounds by watching the video at the end of the article.

It has a solid cedar top that has beautiful binding around the edge.  It also has the distinctive Namuai headstock that swoops up.
  The back, neck, and side are made with mahogany.  It also features strap begs on the heel and end.

This ukulele is great for gigging.  It has a pickup with built-in tuner and tone control.

 

Check out the video to learn more and to hear a demo.

Namuai Spruce Ukulele Review

Today I’m looking at a great ukulele from Namuai Ukulele.  It’s the NUC-800A model.  It has a lot a great features that make it stand out.  Be sure to check the video review at the end of the article.

One of the features that catches the eye is the unique headstock. I really the way it swoops up.  This uke has a concert scale and has a built-in pickup and tuner.

The back, sides and neck are mahogany.  It also has strap pegs on the heel and end.

The top is solid spruce and the fretboard is rosewood.  The sound hole has laser engravings around it.

There is binding around the top and back.  The pickup make it great for performances or leading a ukulele group.

The Namuai ukulele name is new to America, but because of the great design and sound, you will be hearing a lot more from this company.

Check out the video demo and review:

BugsGear Concert Aqulele Review

I had a chance to check out the new BugsGear Concert Aqulele.  I’ve had the original soprano Aqulele for a while now, so I was excited when the concert version was released.

It has a slotted headstock and is strung with a “low g” wound string.  The model’s main color is orange, but it also comes in red, green, and blue.


It has the same style of bridge as the soprano Aqulele, so changing the strings is easy.  Simply tie the end in a knot, pop the knot through the hole, and lock it into place.

The “F hole” is printed on the top.  The real sound hole is a side port.  The glossy black pickguard is inlayed into the sound board.

This plastic ukulele is great for changes in temperature and humidity.  On top of that, it is super playable and sounds great.

Here is the video review and sound sample:

Kamoa E3 Ukulele Review

I’m taking a look at the E3-C concert ukulele from Kamoa. It’s a really pretty ukulele made with solid wood.

This uke comes with a “low g” wound string.  It has a solid spruce top, and solid maple neck, back and sides.  Along with that, it has a bone nut and saddle.

The back and top both have white binding.  The tuners are Kamoa branded geared tuners.

I really like the the clean look of the bridge. The end of the strings are tied into knots and tucked in behind the saddle.  The fretboard has diamond inlays at the 5th, 7th, 10th, and 12th frets.

Get more information at Kamoa’s website.

Here’s my video review:

Makala Waterman Ukulele Review

Today I’m checking out the Makala Waterman Ukulele.  It’s an all plastic uke.

Here are specs of the ukuleles:

• Water resistant
• Affordable
• Portable
• Durable
• Easy to keep clean
• High grade polycarbonate construction
• Nickel plated open gear tuners
• Aquila Super Nylgut Strings
• Logo backpack bag included

Learn more on their website.

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I have the “sea foam green” top with the black back.  They also come in a variety of other colors, including a totally transparent model.

    

This is a really fun ukulele that can be taken almost anywhere. Take it on a road trip, to the mountains, on campus, or even to the beach or pool.

Here’s my video review and demo:

 

Goodtime Banjo Ukulele Review 

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Deering gave me a chance to check out their brand new Goodtime Banjo Ukulele.  They say they have had a lot customer requests to make a banjo ukuleles.  Of course they aren’t the first company to release a banjo uke, but I do think that they got it right.

It looks and sounds great. I’ve always liked the looks of Deering’s Goodtime banjo series.  The light colored maple looks great.  One of it’s most distinguishing features is the large (11 inch) rim.   According to their website, this was done to make the sound “wonderfully warm yet noticeably louder and fuller”.  It does sound great and it can be really loud.  In fact, if you are in a ukulele jam group, be a little gentle with the strums.  This uke’s volume could overpower a smaller group, if you aren’t careful.  🙂   If you are a live performer, using a microphone to capture the sound will not be a problem.

This is a fine instrument. If you want to get a banjo ukulele, or expand your collection, you really can’t go wrong with this “Made in America” gem.

Here are the specifications of the uke:

  • Concert Scale
  • 3-ply Violin Maple 11” Rim
  • 11” Renaissance Head
  • Extended Fingerboard
  • Patented Deering Bridge Plate
  • Aquila Super Nylgut Strings
  • Maple Neck
  • 17 Frets
  • 16 Hooks & Nuts
  • Overall Size: 23.5”
  • Left Handed Available
  • MADE IN USA

Get more info here on Deering’s website.

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BanjoUkeGigBagFront_WebReady There is even a custom gig bag available for it.

 

Here’s a video Deering made to show the build process of their banjo ukulele:

 

Check out my video thoughts on this instrument and a demo:

Christmas Carols for Ukulele Orchestra by M. Ryan Taylor

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M. Ryan Taylor (of ukuleleplay.com) has released a ukulele song book in time for the Christmas season.  This one is specifically written for a ukulele orchestra.  The book has 12 songs and each song is broken into 3 parts.  The first part has the condensed orchestral-style
score (all of the parts together).  The second part is the lyric and rhythm part, and the last part is the separate tablature for all three parts.  This book is definitely great for a ukulele group that wants to push itself to the next level.

Even if you aren’t involved in a ukulele orchestra or group, this is also useful for solo play.  The Christmas songs in this book are all-time classics.

Here are the songs:

  • Away in a Manger
  • Carol of the Bells
  • Deck the Hall
  • God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • Jingle Bells
  • Joy to the World
  • Silent Night
  • We Three Kings
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas!
  • What Child is This?

This book would be perfect for someone wanting to have some fun with multitrack software like Audacity or GarageBand.  Laying down the different tracks with the different parts would be a blast.

Christmas Carols for Ukulele Orchestra is available on Amazon, Sellfy, and CreateSpace.   Get it today!

 

 

The Haunted Ukulele by M. Ryan Taylor Songbook Review

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M. Ryan Taylor of UkulelePlay.com has released another delightful ukulele book.  It is a collection of spooky 59 songs.  [It has a extra long subtitle, but I’ll omit that here for sake of brevity.  🙂  ]

All of the songs include a chord chart at the top of the page.  A lot of the songs use chords that a beginner would know, while some of them use chords that will stretch the player a little.  I love it when the chords are included on each page.  I am alway switching back and forth between different instruments so I enjoy the reminder.

Many of my favorite music books have an accompanying music CD, or music files.  For me, it’s a great way to familiarize myself with some of the songs that I don’t know yet. For this book, Ryan is releasing YouTube videos for each of his song throughout the month of October.  I’m having a lot of fun playing along with the videos with the book in my lap.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wondering where the time went after a “Haunted Ukulele” play-along session.

The printed version is available on Amazon,  or the eBook is on Sellfy.

Pick up a copy today.  With it, you are sure to be a hit at any party, or around any campfire when the fire begins to die.