COOL GEAR ALERT: Vintage and Laka by Vintage ukuleles

The ukulele really is the ultimate instrument. Stripped of pretence, it’s like pure music distilled down to its essence and sent drifting out on a wave. It’s a deceptive little instrument: non-musicians often feel comfortable picking it up because “it’s just a ukulele,” only to realise with a jolt a few months later that they’re actually making music now. Vintage has just introduced four gorgeous new ukes that feature familiar outlines and some very player-friendly features which are sure to give the mighty uke the rock cred it so richly deserves. Check them out!
PRESS RELEASE
Plug in and rock out with four fab new electric ukuleles from Vintage and Laka by Vintage
Worldwide musical instrument trade distributor John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd. is delighted to announce four rocking new electric ukuleles under the Vintage  and Laka  by Vintage banners.
The Vintage VUKE1 (UK RRP £49.99) is a nylon-strung soprano model with eastern poplar body, set maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, plastic nut, 15 frets, piezo pickup, Volume and Tone controls, open geared machine heads and a Gloss Sunburst finish.

NAMM 2012: Oscar Schmidt Debuts Uncle Willie K’s New Signature Ukulele

Oscar Schmidt Debuts Uncle Willie K’s New Signature Ukulele

Oscar Schmidt is proud to release the OUWK100K, Willie K’s brand new signature model which will be debuting at NAMM 2012. Willie K is a virtuosic singer, performer, songwriter, and actor. Since 1992, he has been steadily releasing albums and performing his songs around the world to high praise. He has recently released his album “Warehouse Blues” and has toured with and opened for legends such as B.B. King, Al DiMeola, and Willie Nelson.

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INTERVIEW: Amanda Palmer on the power of the ukulele

The ridiculously, unfairly talented and stupefyingly affable Amanda Palmer is one half of The Dresden Dolls. She also has a rather successful solo career, encompassing everything from big shows to sudden public ninja gigs. She has an addictively percussive piano style and expressive vocal delivery, but of late she’s become quite the ambassador for the humble ukulele – partially through her oh-my-god-that-makes-so-much-sense cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” and partially through her song “Ukulele Anthem.” Palmer’s not out there to prove she’s the ultimate uku-shred virtuoso. She simply reminds us that playing music is fucking good fun. Observe:

So why the ukulele? 

The beauty of picking up the ukulele a couple of years ago was, I’d finally got past the stage of piano playing where I didn’t know what the chords were. Probably around my teen years, when I started studying jazz and chords and theory, and not even learning to read music so much but understanding what an A Minor was verses a D Major and knowing what the notes were called – it kind of stripped some of the mystery out of ‘Well this shape sounds pretty, and this shape is scary,’ which was basically the way I learned. When I picked up the ukulele I had no idea, because guitars were really frightening and foreign to me because of the fretboard being laid out very differently. And when I picked up the ukulele I got to go back to the very beginning, of making shapes with my fingers and having no idea what the chords were, just knowing that they sounded nice.

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