Resources

Recommended ukulele stores

Many of us who have discovered the ukulele have come to find these instruments wonderfully seductive. There is also a massive range of instruments all of which can sound and play very differently. I personally recommend the following ukulele stores for buying instruments. Each one is unique and not only has a fantastic range of ukuleles, but crucially also provides an excellent personal service. I have shopped in all these stores and most of my current collection comes from these shops. Every instrument is different and I always advise players to spend some time trying out a wide range of ukuleles to find what you love the most.

Japan

Japanese stores are top of the list simply because the range and quality is so great. Take a look below and increase your visa limit before heading East!

Poe Poe

This store is full of great instruments, see http://nofofon.com/poepoe/ and a must visit for anyone coming to Tokyo

Kiwaya

This store is astonishing with 2 floors packed with all kinds of ukuleles you may never see elsewhere as well an actual museum on the 4th floor – http://www.kiwayasbest.com/html/page17.html

They also have amazing cases of all colours, quality and sizes.

 

Ukulele Mania

http://www.ukulelemania.net/english/index.html One of the very best ukulele stores, period. Dean Leoni really knows his instruments as well. Here is a video clip from one of Nick Cody’s many visits there

Ukulele Store Ohana – http://www.ohana-k.jp/ A terrific esoteric ukulele store with a great range of instruments from both Japan and Hawaii

 

USA

Matt Umanov Guitars

http://umanovguitars.com/store/new/ukulele/ A great store in the heart of New York, Matt and Zeke really know their instruments and are terrific folks to deal with!

 

United Kingdom

The Southern Ukulele Store

http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/ 

The Southern Ukulele Store has probably the best stock of ukuleles and uke related material in the UK. They also have an excellent website that shows the full range of what they offer

World of Ukes

http://worldofukes.co.uk/ A dedicated ukulele store concentrating on mid to high end instruments for improving players and professionals.

 

Reviews site

ukeplanetOUSUke Planet is a website with the goal of providing quality reviews of music featuring the wonderful ukulele. This maybe a new CD album, a downloadable EP from 2 years ago that’s escaped your attention, a Soundcloud file waiting to be discovered or a YouTube video that’s already taking the world by storm. If it’s out there Uke Planet are interested in it!
The website is run by Mike Flaherty who is always happy to receive CD’s or recommendations of music featuring the ukulele. So if you want to give something a plug, have any questions or indeed just want to say hello please get in touch via the Uke Planet website

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“Got A Ukulele” – a must visit site for ukulele players and enthusiasts

The “Got a ukulele resource” created by Barry Max, is the ultimate online resource for written ukulele reviews and information. Its a mind blowing amount of information about the ukulele and there’s really nothing else quite like it online. The video reviews of instruments are totally practical and avoid the whole “emperor’s new clothes” style writing where everything is described as “brilliant” or a magazine feels obliged to give a positive review because the manufacturer has invested in magazine advertising. A good friend of mine who wrote and reviewed for a well known non uke music magazine once refused to give a positive review of a guitar despite editorial pressure to appease the advertiser as the instrument was so poor…

The blog articles are similarly refreshing as Barry challenges readers to question a lot of “the sacred cows” in the ukulele universe, including the commercial viability of so many UK ukulele events described as “festivals” and OUS welcomes such discussions. Similarly Barry doesn’t pull his punches  in his video reviews and this is hugely useful for ukulele beginners. This makes “Got a Ukulele” a must visit site for players and enthusiasts at all levels. You may not always agree with the reviews or the blogs, BUT the site gets people to think and that’s no bad thing! Aside from this aspect there is a staggering amount of information about stores, tuition, ukulele books, tuition and so much more.

Go check it out here

 

 

Ukulele photos courtesy of Karen Turner Photography